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Reviews Categories | Headphones & Boom-mic Headsets | David Clark H10-13.4 Headset Help

Reviews Summary for David Clark H10-13.4 Headset
David Clark H10-13.4 Headset Reviews: 3 Average rating: 4.7/5 MSRP: $(missing—add MSRP)
Description: Aviation Headset w/Gel Cushions
Product is in production.
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W6LBV Rating: 5/5 May 13, 2012 09:03 Send this review to a friend
Now HEAR this!  Time owned: more than 12 months
“Back in the day” when ordinary humans could afford to rent or own General Aviation aircraft, the “standard issue” pilot’s headset/boom microphone was made by the David Clark Company (DC). One could easily spot the DC headsets around the airport by their characteristically large, pea green earphone shells. Of the many headset products DC sold (and continues to sell) the model H10-13.4 was/is highly popular.

The cockpit of small aircraft is a harsh environment in which to work: crowded, often hot, subject to turbulence and mechanical shocks, and exceedingly noisy. The DC headsets were designed and manufactured not only to survive in that kind of environment, but to do so year after year without repair or attention. They just did not quit! And when taken into the Amateur service, they are far tougher and more resilient than the similar (but hardly equivalent!) products from the Rock & Roll audio company.

One aircraft characteristic, the ambient noise level, deserves a mention. The H10-13.4 gel-filled ear seals are designed to attenuate external audio noise by 23 dB. To convince ourselves that the headphones were working as designed, every so often while flying we would deliberately remove our headsets. The thunder from the engine and air stream, after the quiet listening we had adapted to, was overwhelming. These things really work, and the other DC active noise reduction models do even better. The electret-based, noise-cancelling boom microphone completes the aviation package.

Today GA is mostly “down the tubes,” and the DC headsets are being liberated from the flight bags of lapsed pilots. I looked at my H10-13.4 wistfully one day and said, “it’s time to re-purpose this critter!”

It’s not difficult to interface a DC headset to a modern Amateur HF transceiver. The headset’s earphone audio is run to a standard 1/4" monaural audio plug. The left earphone shell contains an accessible pot for adjusting received audio levels. The microphone audio terminates on a three conductor “mini-tel” coaxial mike plug, of a kind formerly used in military communications systems. Here there are two choices: cut the plug off and replace it with an Amateur-standard plug, or purchase the mating jack (Mouser, Digi-Key, etc.) and make up an adapter cable.

The electret microphone will require bias, obtained (typically) from the 8-12 volt d.c. aux line available at the radio’s mike input. Just bridge the aux pin in the jack or in the radio mike plug to the mike high input pin with about a 3 K resistor, and you have the job finished. You will also need to reset the radio’s mike gain and audio output pots for the new equipment. The radio’s VOX can handle the T/R switching if you don’t want to wire in an external switch.

The DC company has much useful technical information on their Web site, as well as a large assortment of repair and upgrade parts available for order. Even better, common repair parts can often be purchased from pilot’s supply stores located near most GA airports.

And how well does the H10-13.4 work? Once levels are set properly, transmit audio sounds fine on my Kenwoods. Close-talking the boom microphone is required, but there will be no pickup of extraneous sounds in the shack. And the receive side is even better: if you are operating using the H10-13.4, you’ll need somebody else available to answer the telephone should it ring, as you’re just not going to hear that ringing phone! Wearing comfort is excellent, given the use of soft gel-filled ear seals and a large foam headband pad, both replaceable.

New, the DC products carry prices proportional to their quality. (Aviation market products are always inordinately pricey, but DC products are often less expensive than competing brands). If found on the used market at a good price and in good condition, they are certainly worth grabbing. The H10-13.4 should be the last headset that you will ever need.

WD9CMD Rating: 4/5 Feb 24, 2011 07:40 Send this review to a friend
A fine headset  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
If you can get by the clamping force, these are the perfect headset for an Icom rig or other rig that can have phantom voltage on the mic+ line. My Icom 7200 fits that bill straight away. Audio is excellent, however I'm told the M77 mic sounds even better due to it being 1000 ohms impedance versus about 150 ohms on the M-7a. Hearing in a tough environment is perfect. Not broadcast quality, but thats not what these are designed for. A perfect headset for a dxpedition or contest. You have to work around the drake-collins mic plug. I made up a box with the appropriate jack on the front and a simple phono cable to 8 pin on the back. That way I can interface to other radios. Ring is +audio and sleve is low or - in aircraft lingo. Or ... cut the plug off and wire in an 8 pin direct. Use only vox or wire up a hand switch or foot switch to key the rig. I'm using vox and it works quite well on the 7200 at around 40% mic gain, and no compression.

The only reason it does not get a 5 is the clamping force. As most pilots will tell you, just pull'em apart to stretch it a bit and it will be fine for hours. The headbands do break, so don't pull too hard. Also, the newer DC headsets have less clamping force, so if you order a replacement headband, DC says it will fit you much better. I plan on doing just that. A headset like this will last forever. PS, David Clark will be happy to help you with ham radio applications. Just call or email. If you try that with a Bose aviation headset, they just blow you off. Won't even send you a schematic...oh..They will be happy to modify or refurbish a Bose Aviation headset for a minimum $175 service charge. Thats Bose...lots of $ and attitude to match.
K1KP Rating: 5/5 Jul 15, 2009 12:23 Send this review to a friend
Most Comfortable Cans I Ever Wore  Time owned: more than 12 months
Bought a clean used one off of eBay for $180; then upgraded it with hifi speakers available from David Clark. Microphone audio is excellent with Icom rigs (needs 8 volts from rig). David Clark will provide info on using their products for Ham Radio. Gel ear pads and padded frame provide ultimate in comfort - waaay better than any Ham offering!

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