THE Latest Headset Technology

“Imagine an aviation headset with no microphone boom, earcups or headband, …effective reduction of ambient noise, and allowing clear communication with crew members…” With a write-up like that, I had to try the tbone aviation headset.
When I was working on Air Traffic Control issues as a safety expert, I came across this technology. I thought eliminating the boom mike and earcups would greatly enhance the safety of crews who had to use the oxygen mask. In fact, being able to slip the mask over the headphones is exactly what you need in an emergency situation to guarantee crew communication. Then for around 10 years, I heard nothing of the peoduct.
Today I was sitting in the Pilot lounge when I saw an old pilot friend who knew how much I liked the product and introduced me to Jan Thostrup, the person who has designed and brought this through the FAA and is selling it to Pilots. I grabbed one and went looking for a plane to try them out.
I got on an MD-80 series aircraft, went to the Captain who was ironically another friend from my safety past and we began to play. Since the ear pieces are molded specifically for the individual, they did not fit me perfectly, but I was still able to operate them. The Captain’s flight needed a huffer so I contacted the ramp using the tbone headset. It was unusual to not maneuver a boom mike to my mouth first before speaking, but I got over that quickly. I also like the fact that I can adjust the volume separately to each ear. This means that if I wanted to hear the first officer, instead of moving the headphone off that ear disabling any noise protection I had, I just turned down the volume for that side.
Speaking of noise reduction, this system is passive instead of active like Sennheiser. It works on the same principal as earplugs with one difference. There is a small filter that allows the lower frequencies, which happens to be the human voice, to reach the eardrum. The higher frequency noise like wind and fans are cut out allowing to hear what the other crew member is saying. This is a huge plus for crew coordination and situational awareness. What’s even better is the noise cancellation continues to work when you switch to the OXY setting on your Comm Panel because the noise reduction function doesn’t get power for from the microphone jack. Another great safety feature is the oxygen noise is eliminated because the microphone picks up speech from the jaw, not the mouth.
Finally, the headset can be used on a walkaround to cut out all noise on the ramp. You can also use it at home around noisy equipment. And one last thing, you can get an adapter for the tbone to use with your iPhone. Just email Jan Thostrup at after you make an order and he will get it to you when it becomes available.
This is a great headset, perfect for noisy aircraft like the 737. What’s better is its ability to increase safety in Emergency situations. Not having to take off your headsets when putting on the oxygen mask and eliminating the oxygen noise when speaking while retaining the noise reduction function is a great feature when you are having a bad day. Even in everyday use, having noise reduction for both ears and being able to hear the other pilot makes them a tool to save your hearing in the noisiest jet. One more thing – when you get this headset you will need to bring your own spoon to stir your coffee as the boom you usually use is gone forever!
To see the tbone, go to – There’s a neat video on the front page.

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.