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The HS600 DANR is the new top-of-the-range aviation headset from Beyerdynamic. It is an active noise reduction headset featuring micro-processor control of the noise attenuating signal, in contrast to the analogue system used in most other aviation ANR headsets. Beyerdynamic call this innovation Digital Adaptive Noise Reduction (DANR). The claimed benefits include noise attenuation over a wider frequency range and better response to changing noise levels.

The HS600 is very nicely constructed and looks modern and smart. When we reviewed the HS300 passive headset last year, we weren’t too keen on the ‘leatherette’ covering on the headband pad, so we’re pleased to see that the HS600 has a nice soft leather pad. The headband padding itself looks a bit thin, but proved to be completely effective. The earpads are large and circular, and made of a visco-elastic material covered with more soft leather.

Beyerdynamic have put all the electronics into the control box, rather than the earcup, which makes the control box a bit bigger than some other ANR headsets, but the advantage is that the weight carried on your head is less. The result is that the HS600, not including the cable and control box, weighs about 330g, lighter than the Bose X. The lightweight construction and excellent padding add up to make it one of the most comfortable headsets that we’ve come across.

Electronics monitor ambient noise and if the level is below a threshold the unit remains in standby mode, indicated by a flashing yellow LED. The DANR only activates when noise rises above the threshold so don’t be surprised if you can’t hear any difference in noise attenuation when you switch on the unit on the ground – you need engine noise to hear the effect.

Our testing in the air included back-to-back comparison with a Bose X. The view of several that tried both was that the overall noise reduction of the HS600 was very good, but not quite on a par with the Bose. On the other hand, some thought the Beyerdynamic was better in terms of comfort.
The control box on the HS600 includes an interface for a music player or a mobile phone.

We tested this using an iPod and were delighted with the sound quality. There is a mute function that reduces the volume of the auxiliary input by 90% whenever any R/T or intercom signals are received. The volume then returns to normal level after 4 seconds. This mute function can be disabled using a small switch inside the battery compartment.

The control box also houses the two AA batteries, which will provide between 15 and 25 hours of use, depending on ambient noise levels. Alternatively, a 3-pin XLR socket and connecting cable are included with the HS600 to allow the aircraft’s electrical power to be used.

The HS600 package also includes connecting leads for both a music player and a mobile phone, a good quality padded case, and even a tiny screwdriver for adjusting the microphone gain.
In conclusion the HS600 gets four stars. Noise cancelling is not quite as good as the Bose or Zulu, but it's very light and comfortable, and has great sound quality.
The headset can be tested and purchased at
Pooley`s Flight Equipment
The Flying Shop

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Comments (2)

Wow, sounds like a good headset.

Posted by: A Tester

I bought this headset early in the year based on Beyerdynamic's reputation and the few available articles I saw on this model. 

I is one of the most attractive headsets out there for sure, and of very good build quality. Also lightweight and comfortable although if the ear cushions were a little softer, it would match or exceed the comfort of the Bose. Some might find the headband pressure slightly tight as well, but not unbearable.

The real issue is with the ANR system and I guess this might depend on the type you fly. I have been using it in a Dash 8 and it has matched and in some cases been quieter than the Bose, PROVIDING it has no sudden noises to deal with. It sounds as though trying to cancel every kind of noise and it ends up sounding like a howling kind of echo especially if you laugh or talk loudly. A door being slammed or landing gear being lowered and locked resulted in a loud thud in the system and the feeling like the ANR had been switched off for a few seconds and this was not bearable in a headset priced close to and competing with the Bose.

Fortunately, the system is Digital, and software based, hence the possibility of being upgraded, and Beyerdynamic has promptly and graciously offered to update and check the system so will see how that goes once I send it off today. If they solve this issue, for sure this will be highly recommended headset as the specs, design and comfort level are superb.

Posted by: Steven Ashby

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