Headset Upgrade Oveview
The World’s Greatest Headset Is the One You Already Own!®—with an Oregon Aero® Upgrade!
What began as a one-pad headset cushion evolved into the Oregon Aero five-component headset upgrade kit. Each of the five components work together to prevent headset pain and improve acoustic performance. In order to experience maximum comfort and performance, all five components must be installed on your headset. Oregon Aero Headset Kits are custom designed and manufactured to fit more than 150 different headsets used by civilian aviation, the military, law enforcement, first responders, and more.
A - SoftTop® Headset Cushion
The SoftTop replaces your existing headband cushion. This plush, genuine sheepskin cushion eliminates pressure points by distributing pressure evenly. Sheepskin padding is also self-wicking and keeps perspiration at bay while keeping your head cool—or warm. Flexible leather backing has a customized mount of either rubber extrusion or a nylon hook/loop wrap. The type of mount used varies with different headset models.
B - SoftSeal® Ear Cushions
Oregon Aero's SoftSeal Ear Cushions have more internal space than stock cushions. Our cushions are designed to fit over your ears instead of crushing them. Pressure and temperature-sensitive visco-elastic form core conforms to the shape of your head to form a tight seal—even if you are wearing glasses or earrings. Foam cores are covered in comfy and durable synthetic leather material. SoftSeal Ear Cushions are easy to install with included adhesive rings, flanges, or snap-on mounts. The type of mount used varies with different headset models.
C - SoftSkin® Ear Seal Covers
Keep your ears cooler and dryer and extend the life of your SoftSeal Ear Cushions by covering them with SoftSkin Ear Seal Covers. Self-wicking fabric reduces perspiration buildup which make these covers especially beneficial in hot and humid conditions. SoftSkin Ear Seal Covers are designed to fit loose—not tight like the head of a drum. Loose fitting covers do not apply pressure or cause discomfort.
D - HushKit® Passive Ear Cup Noise Attenuation
Testing shows Oregon Aero's HushKit Passive Ear Cup Noise Attenuation Kit outperforms ANR(Active Noise Reduction) headsets in the 700-7000 Hz mid-range. Installing a HushKit in your headset results in greater clarity and intelligibility. The HushKit component fills the voids of the ear cup assemblily with layers of visco-elastic foam. The speaker is detached from the housing and encased between layers of foam. This prevents environmental noise, picked up by the headset, from getting transferred through the speaker and adding to the background noise. In an noisy aircraft the wearer can actually turn down the radio's volume and still be able to understand what is being said.
E - MicMuff® Microphone Cover
The MicMuff Microphone Cover enables a noise canceling microphone to do its job at noise levels above 97dB. This two-part cover works with your existing microphone to eliminate ambient cockpit noise and improve vocal clarity. The noisier the cockpit the more dramatic the improvement will be. The MicMuff consists of a foam sleeve and synthetic leather cover which creates a chamber surrounding the microphone. This chamber limits the amount of ambient noise going into the cartridge while allowing your voice to pass freely through. The MicMuff attaches with an elasticized tie that ensures it will not loosen over time and slide off or blow away. In order to be effective, a MicMuff Microphone Cover must be installed on every headset connected to your communications system. Connected headsets without the MicMuff will continue to pick up and pass noise through the system.
Headset Upgrade Kits FAQ
Why do you recommend the complete upgrade kit over purchasing individual components?
Each of the five components was developed to address different issues. If you leave any one of those components out, not all comfort and performance issues will be addressed. Oregon Aero headset upgrades have evolved through more than 25 years of research, testing, and feedback. Our complete kits address every issue of pain and noise. For maximum comfort and performance, get the complete kit—it's the right thing to do...
I’m not sure what kind of headset I have or which upgrade parts to order. Can you help me figure out what I need?
Yes, If you are not sure what to order, call us at 800-888-6910 and ask for Dan, our headset specialist. He can determine exactly what you need.
I don't see a headset upgrade kit listed for my headset. Can I still get an upgrade?
Most likely. Have your headset handy and call 800-888-6910 for assistance.
I’m not comfortable doing my own headset upgrade. Can you do it for me?
You bet! Just ship your headset to us. We will install your upgrade and ship your upgraded headset back to you. Be sure to include a note with your name, return address, phone number, and instructions about what you would like done. Give us a call at 800-888-6910 if you have any questions or special requirements.
Why is there a D-ring on some SoftTop® Headset Cushions?
The D-ring is an available option that allows you to conveniently hang up your headset when it is not being used.
Why do I need a MicMuff® Microphone Cover?
The short answer is... The MicMuff Microphone Cover enables a noise-canceling microphone to do its job above 97dB. In a noisy cockpit, your microphone will pick up less background noise and others will hear you with improved clarity. A more complete explanation follows...
Noise-Canceling Microphones 101
A noise-canceling microphone has two sound ports in which sound can enter. These sound ports oppose one another—one on the front, the other on the rear. On the inside of the microphone cartridge—between the two sound ports—is a diaphragm which is sensitive to sound waves. In flight, the cockpit is flooded with noise from the engine, prop, wind, the roar of that passing jet, etc... Because these sources of cockpit noise are not directly in front of the microphone, background noise enters both microphone ports at the same level. Thus, the noise produces even pressure on both sides of the diaphragm causing it to remain stationary. The background noise effectively cancels itself out. When you speak into the microphone, your voice is directed to only one of the microphone ports. Your voice generates more sound pressure on one side of the diaphragm than the other. The difference in sound pressure causes the diaphragm to resonate and generate an electrical waveform of your voice minus the cockpit noise. Pretty nifty, eh?
This technology has been around for a long time and works well until the ambient noise level exceeds 97dB of sound pressure. This level is easily be exceeded by larger aircraft engines—think warbird. Other factors contributing to high levels of cockpit noise are insufficient sound insulation, open doors/windows/vents, or flying an open cockpit plane. When the cockpit noise entering the microphone exceeds 97dB, it causes the membrane to resonate harmonically to the cockpit noise. This resonation generates a noise that sounds like the shhhhhh of wind.
Unfortunately, when the mic resonates three bad things happen. One, the microphone fails to cancel cockpit noise. Two, the noise gets transmitted through your radio or intercom transmissions. And three, the high noise-to-signal ratio causes your voice to be unintelligible. Your voice becomes lost in the chaos.
MicMuff® Microphone Cover FAQ
How does the MicMuff® Microphone Cover work in my noisy airplane?
The MicMuff Microphone Cover is a two-part device. The first part is a foam sleeve placed over the mic. You probably have something similar on your microphone now. These sleeves are frequently referred to as "wind screens". The wind screen reference is a bit misleading since wind passes right through them. Wind screens—as they are called—are often used to reduce vocal plosives or popping sounds from consonants such as "P", "B", etc., when speaking into the microphone. Oregon Aero uses the foam to create an acoustic chamber surrounding the mic.
The second component of our MicMuff Microphone Cover is a soft synthetic leather sleeve with two small holes and an elastic cord to fasten over the microphone. The sleeve is pulled over the foam and the two small holes are aligned with the front and back sound ports on the microphone. This chamber or acoustic baffle formed around the microphone limits the amount of cockpit noise that can enter the microphone. The noise level inside the microphone drops below 97 dB, allowing the noise canceling microphone to do the job it was intended to do.
How will my voice go through the tiny hole in the MicMuff Microphone Cover?
Easily! The opening is not small enough to restrict close range voice. Look at the microphone opening on your cell phone, it is often smaller than the head of a pin.
Will I need more than one MicMuff® Microphone Cover if I have more than one headset?
If they are used at the same time, yes. Many intercom systems keep all the headset microphones live at the same time. If there is a microphone without a MicMuff Cover connected to the system, it will generate unwanted noise. And that noise will be introduced into the rest of the system. Imagine a boat with five holes in the bottom. Lucky for us, three of these holes have plugs in them. However, we still get that sinking feeling because the remaining two holes are allowing unwanted water into the boat. If you only plug one of the open holes, the boat will continue to sink—not as fast, but we are still taking in unwanted water. In order to keep unwanted water from filling the boat, all holes must be plugged. To keep the most noise out of your intercom system, make sure every headset has the MicMuff Microphone Cover installed.
Will the MicMuff® Microphone Cover fit all microphones?
Oregon Aero offers MicMuff microphone covers that are effective on M-87 Military, Electret, and Dynamic Microphones. If you are not sure which MicMuff cover is right for your headset, give us a call at 800-888-6910.
Joe Kittinger, Colonel USAF(Retired), said about wearing the Oregon Aero Upgrade while barnstorming in an open-cockpit biplane: "This headset is the most comfortable I've ever worn and I frequently wear it 11 hours at a time. The noise dampening is quite remarkable and contributes to my comfort by eliminating unwanted noise."