CRJ200 Airline Pilot

The personal experiences, thoughts of an CRJ captain

Sennheiser HMEC 25-KA Headset: What Is So Great About Them?

Posted by Jeffrey on September 18, 2008

Sennheiser HMEC-25-KA ANR HeadsetSennheiser HMEC-25-KA Headset for Regional Jets

If you fly the CRJ 200, or any jet for that matter, and you are looking for a new headset, consider the Sennheiser HMEC-25-KA ANR Headset.

No doubt, the deep technical specifications are important but for me the technical specs go way over my head but the quality, comfort, and price of this headset puts it way above the rest.

Now there are a lot of different types of aviation headsets by Sennheiser.

I’ve broken it down in a chart for you to make it easier which one is right for you.

 

Price

NoiseGard Supply

Connector

HMEC 25-CA

$633

2 x AA Battery Power Pack

XLR-5

HMEC 25-CAP

$689

24 V DC, XLR-3 Connector

XLR-5

HMEC-25-KA

$633

2 x AA Battery Power Pack

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HMEC-25-KAS
(Stereo)

$726

2 x AA Battery Power Pack

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HMEC-25-KAP-2

$726

24 V DC, XLR-3 Connector

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HMEC 25-KAP-2

$726

12-35 V DC, XLR-3 Connector

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HMEC 25-KAP-2R

$569

12-35 V DC, XLR-3 Connector

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HMEC 25-KAX

$726

12-35 V DC, XLR-3 Connector

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HME 25-KA-2

$406

Not applicable

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HME 25-KA-2R

$295

Not applicable

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…but which one is the right ONE for you?

 

I’ll tell you right now, the Sennheiser HMEC-25-KA ANR Headset is the one that I own and the one I think you would be most happy with.

 

For the are MOST part they are essentially all the same:

  • light weight (7 oz. or 170 g)
  • extremely comfortable
  • outstanding Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
  • compact
  • adjustable headset
  • adjustable microphone

The differences are either the NoiseGard™ power supply for the headset or the microphone/headset connectors.

 

So let’s get started.

 

The Microphone

 

The –CA series use one cable, the XLR-5, connector for both microphone and headset, whereas the –KA series uses two connectors (normal configuration for most jets), one for the microphone and one for the headset.

 

Both the – CA and  –KA microphones get their power by using either 24V DC or the 12-35 V DC from the airplane internal power supply and provide crystal clear communications.

 

The Headsets

 

The –CA and –KA both use a power pack that require 2 x AA batteries to power the noise canceling feature of the headsets BUT it is not required if you don’t want to use it.

In order to use the NoiseGard™ on the –CA and –KA versions you have to turn on the battery pack, which has a two-color LED (Power On (Green)/Low Battery (Yellow) indicator); however I very rarely use it in the CRJ200. The quality is so good, that even without the NoiseGard™ on, the interference is substantially reduced and the headset provides extremely clear communications.

Often, I find that when I get in the CRJ, I have to turn down the intercom volume from the previous captain because their headset didn’t filter out the ambient noise. There are times though when I do turn the NoiseGard™ on because either the airplane ambient noise requires it or there is too much static over the airwaves or I am going into a terminal area where I don’t want to miss a single communication.

By turning NoiseGard™ on, the clarity of radio communications improves 10-fold.

Fun Facts of Know and Tell

Did you know that when people use headphones, they tend to choose a higher volume than they would with loudspeakers. As we all know, listening with high volume levels for a longer time can lead to permanent hearing damage. As pilots, permanent hearing damage could seriously reduce the number of years you could fly. Because the NoiseGard™ circuitry reduces the ambient noise, the headphones can be set at a correspondingly lower level leading to more comfortable hearing conditions and thus protect your hearing.

How does the NoiseGard system work?

The headphone is a Sennheiser NoiseGard™ system. It is a dynamic headphone system which, in addition to reproducing the original audio signal, electronically cancels the low frequencies of ambient noises. This active noise compensation operates on the principle that sound and ”anti-sound“ (in phase opposition) cancel each other out. Like matter and anti-matter. The NoiseGard™ compensation circuitry in the headphone requires an extra power supply, hence the battery compartment has been integrated into the headset cable (see illustration on the right), but like I said above I hardly every use.

Clearly intelligible communication is ensured, and the pilot no longer has to turn the volume up to overcome ambient noise.

Conclusion

The Sennheiser HMEC-25-KA ANR Headset is a great headset! The Sennheiser HMEC-25-KAS is the stereo version. It is more expensive and all you get is the ability to control the volume on the headset which no one ever uses, so why pay for it? All the other headsets in Sennheiser series are a bit too expensive for me or don’t have the proper configuration for the CRJ200.

 

The Sennheiser HMEC-25-KA is light weight, affordable, and extremely comfortable. I’ve had mine for over five years and have never had a problem with it and it fits easily into my flight bag as well. This headset absolutely pays for itself over time.



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4 Responses to “Sennheiser HMEC 25-KA Headset: What Is So Great About Them?”

  1. […] HMEC-25 KA and I fly the CRJ200, CRJ700, and CRJ900, and I wrote a review of it on my blog, Sennheiser HMEC 25-KA Headset: What Is So Great About Them? Almost the Speed of Sound. Strictly speaking, an ANR headset is nice on the CRJ but not required. A lot of pilots use the […]

  2. […] replaced. I wrote a review of the different versions of Sennheiser headsets available at my blog: Sennheiser HMEC 25-KA Headset: What Is So Great About Them? Almost the Speed of Sound Good […]

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