Aviation Headset Upgrades and Maintenance - Tips & Product Suggestions
Posted by Brendan O'Mara
Headsets get worn and torn as they get older, but with proper care they can last for years. We’re going to be looking at one of our CRAZEDpilot CP-1 aviation pilot headsets as we go through maintenance for each part to get an idea of what we’re looking at.
The microphone cover (or mic muff) is one part that frequently gets ratty and can lose functionality pretty quickly. For those of you with older David Clark models from the 70s or 80s, you may even notice that the microphone cover just slips right off. David Clark’s solution for this is to secure the cover with an O-ring, but that’s not a great long-term fix. The product that we offer here at CRAZEDpilot is the Mic Muff.
The Mic Muff is available for sale in a 4-pack and as a single unit. Units are generally shipped compressed and it takes just a few minutes out of the packaging for them to regain their shape.
A lot of people ask how to properly install a mic muff cover on their aviation headset without damaging or tearing the product, so let’s go over how to install them properly. Tearing the Mic Muff doesn’t commonly happen, but follow these instructions to avoid any mishaps:
- Notice the hole is about the size of a pencil, your microphone may be about the same size or larger
- Pinch the sides of the hole and gently set it on the microphone
- Continue to pinch and slowly walk the muff onto the microphone
- Test that the element is at the end of the microphone by pinching the tip of the microphone
- Be sure to keep both sides on both axes even and firm at the end
- Ready to fly!
The next common part to replace is the fabric inserts. Aside from cosmetic reasons, on older David Clark, Pilot USA and ASA headsets the speaker can become exposed. Those speakers are metal and they can get cold especially when pressed against your ear. Sound quality may also be affected causing it to sound a little tinny.
Our Earcup Inserts come as a pair to solve those problems for you. Basically, set them inside the speakers and push them into place. This is a simple fix to improve your sound quality and comfort.
Another product that you may consider is a replacement headpad if yours is torn or damaged. This headpad is Velcro-based. If you need to remove your old headpad from the David Clark’s, you take the bolts out of the sides of your headset, then slide the chrome ring lose from the headpad. This process isn’t the easiest to get done, but replacing that old torn pad is worth it for the added comfort that you’ll get when flying.
Our CRAZEDpilot’s headpad takes seconds to install at this point, simply open the Velcro fastener and secure it around the chrome ring.
In another CRAZEDplot Blog post, we talked about the gel seals on your aviation headsets and how to upgrade them and install them properly. Another great product to consider, especially for winter flying, are our fabric ear seal covers to go over those gel seals. When the seals are cold to the touch in the winter or getting sweaty in the summer, these fabric covers will fit over them with an elastic band and put an end to your discomfort.
Lastly, it’s important that stress the importance of keeping your headset. Any kind of disinfectant wipe is an excellent idea for cleaning your aviation headset. Keep in mind that each of the parts that we just went over are not just for comfort, you should also consider the cleanliness and sanitary issues.
The Mic Muff should probably be replaced about once a year for obvious reasons. Our fabric ear seal covers for the gel seals can be laundered every three to six months depending on your flying environment.
Maintain the cleanliness of your headset and take care of it, it’s an investment and it’s worth it.
I hope you found this post valuable, you can watch the installation of each product in the video at the link above! All of these products are available on our website, CRAZEDpilot.com. Thanks for watching, check out more useful videos on our YouTube channel and subscribe!