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LightSpeed Zulu Headset

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This is a review of the LightSpeed Zulu Headset. The format of this review is ripped off from the reviews by Pelorus32 (thanks!). If you want to read the review I wrote after the first time I tried it, go HERE. Otherwise, this is my review after using for about 4 hours flying so far.


Delivery, Versions & Installation







The Zulu comes packed in a (rather impressive) box. Inside the box is the headset in its case, the cords to connect your phone and iPod, instruction manual and batteries.


The Zulu comes in several different versions.


  • Straight cord with GA plugs, battery powered
  • Straight cord, panel powered
  • Coil cord, battery powered, single plug
  • Coil cord, panel powered
  • Coil cord, GA plugs, battery powered



This review is based on the straight cord, battery powered, GA plugs version.


The included case is quite good. It is 'semi-hard' and the headset fits well. The cords fit into a small divider in the middle of the case which also has the effect of separating the earcups so they don't press against each other. The one downside with the case is, if you put too many things in the small pocket (and by too many, I mean more than maybe 2), it is hard to close the case. Things in the pocket need to be arranged well for the case to close properly. I've managed to fit spare batteries, a small pen and a small whiteout but I wouldn't want to try to fit much more.




  • Comfort;
  • Noise attenuation;
  • Audio and microphone performance
  • Build quality.





I find the headset very comfortable to wear. I have a scar on the top of my head which becomes very painful if pressure is put on it, so weight and clamping pressure were very important to me. The Zulu is very light and, since it's ANR, doesn't have extremely strong clamping pressure. A few times when I've been wearing it, I can hardly feel that it's there.


Noise Attenuation.


The Zulu has Active Noise Reduction (ANR). When I was trying headsets I also tried the Bose and found little difference between the two (although I am hardly an expert). In my opinion, the ANR works well. The engine is still audible (which is good!) but definitely far less audible than a passive set.


The Zulu also has quite good passive attenuation. Recently I forgot to turn on the ANR and didn't realise until I was doing my pre-takeoff checks and was wondering why the radio was so loud (not the engine, the radio). I'm quite impressed by the passive reduction considering the headset is designed for ANR.


Audio and Microphone Performance.


The audio is crisp and clear. It is also quite loud, I fly with the volume down to about 1/2 and sometimes it's still a little loud. Both the radio calls and the intercom are clear and easy to hear.


The microphone also seems to work well. I could hear myself far better than I used to with the passive sets and I no longer have the worry that the mic won't pick up me speaking (although that might also be the fact that I don't mind having it closer to my mouth because I know there haven’t been other people coughing/sneezing/puking on it).


Before I purchased the headset I heard that the intercom doesn't work if battery power is lost. I forgot to turn the power on recently (as I said above) and the intercom still worked so this is clearly untrue.


Build Quality.


The headset appears to be built well. The earcups are made of magnesium which supposedly durable and also blocks out noise (according to the Lightspeed website anyway).


The headset has a 5-year parts/labour warranty.




The headset has a few 'extra' features.




The Zulu comes with the ability to plug in an mp3 player to play music through the headset. An extra cord is supplied to do this. I haven't tried this in flight, but I have connected my iPod at home. The music quality appears to be quite good. It becomes even better when the Front Row Centre (FRC) option is selected. This is supposed to make it sound like you're at the front row of a concert - I'm not quite sure it does that, but it does improve the music quality and it does sound good.


The headset also has an 'auto-mute' feature which automatically mutes any music playing when a radio call comes in. I haven't tried this feature yet but I have heard that it works well.


Phone connection


The headset also comes with the ability to connect mobile phones and make calls using the headset. A cord is included that will attach certain phones to the headset (not compatible with mine so I haven't tried it).


Phones can also be connected using Bluetooth. I think that a bluetooth connection can also be used to play music through certain phones (like iPhones) but I haven't tried this. My phone does have a bluetooth connection but I haven't yet tried it with the headset so I'm not certain how well it works or how easy it is to connect. From other reviews I have read, however, it sounds like it works quite well. It seems a good feature to have in case of needing to make a call in an emergency or something anyway.




Overall, I'm pleased with this headset. It is comfortable, even with my pesky scar. The ANR works well and it is seems to have good passive reduction. I cound say more here, but I would basically be repeating my review above! I would recommend this headset.




  • Comfort
  • Noise attenuation (both ANR and passive)
  • Comfort
  • Audio and microphone performance












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Great review. I also bought a pair about two months ago and love them. I use the bluetooth function with my phone all the time and it works great. The only problem I have found is that some times it has a buzz in the background it has only just started doing this (About 70 hrs of flying with them) and I think I'll be sending it back to get fixed! Hopefully I got a dud pair though and its not a reoccuring problem!



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Zulu problem.


I purchased 2 X Zulu's for use in our CTLS and have been extremely happy with them. I made my choice after using both Bose and Zulu's.


They have however had an annoying problem which is currently being repaired under warranty by the Australian agent even though I purchased them from Aircraft Sprucewhile in the US.


My phones were among the very early ones and it appears that Lightspeed had an initial problem with the connecting cable from the battery/control box to the headset. After a few hours of use one pair started becoming intermittent and/or a very loud "buzzing" sound was heard. Manipulating the cable along its length located a spot at which by squeezing the cable (or similar) full operation was restored - as long as you kept squeezing the cable.


A local aviation electrical contractor located a "break" in the wiring and repaired it. Then the other pair of phones started doing the same thing so they were also repaired. This has happened 3 times now to each set. After contacting Aircraft Spruce, Lightspeed USA have directed me to the Australian agent - Moorabbin Pilot Shop - and the replacement of cables on both headsets is currently being made under warranty. Remember I didn't purchase the phones here from the Aussie agent.


The after market support provided by the manufacturer (Lightspeed USA) is truly fantastic making the purchase price somehow seem very worthwhile. We especially like the ability to use our mobile phone through the system either by direct cable connection or bluetooth.



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