We finally received the Faro G2 ANR aviation headset we had been hearing a lot about. This in-depth review will cover general specifications, unboxing, first impressions, ground-test and of course an in-flight test. Besides, we also partnered up with Faro Aviation to give you a 10% discount on any Faro aviation headset! So read on..
Faro Aviation was founded in 1999 by Kevin Faro, who was at that time dissatisfied with the headsets on the market.
It seemed as soon as someone put the word "aviation" next to a product, even a flashlight, all of a sudden, the price quadrupled.
That didn't make sense to him. With the help of a group of pilot-engineers, they designed a high-performance headset for their own use. They found pilots asking about them and after a test flight, they wanted to get their own. Its success led them to form Faro Aviation to develop models available to the entire aviation community.
The Faro G2 ANR is the ANR version and successor of its brother, the Faro G2 PNR. With a price point of under $390, the G2 ANR is one of the least expensive Active Noise Reduction aviation headsets on the market at the moment. The headset was featured on AOPA ePilot, AirVenture Oshkosh, Avweb and other channels.
This made us curious, is an ANR headset for <$400 too good to be true, or did Faro Aviation really made on their promise of designing a high-performance headset that does not suffer from the common 'Add aviation to the name and quadruple the price'?
Let's find out!
Note that the box has been opened quite a few times already before taking these pictures and writing the review. I was too excited to not open the box when I received it...
So, when I received the package, the Faro headset came in a sturdy cardboard box, shipped by FedEx to my home in Belgium.
Inside the package, the Faro G2 comes in a nice, stylish black box, wrapped with a cover that summarizes the main features of the headset. Everything about this makes you want to open the box and look inside. Faro's black and yellow are the two colors that will keep coming back throughout all the packaging.
And yes, that metal P51 Mustang model looks insanely beautiful, I know.
When you flip the cover to open up the box, the first thing you see is.. Yellow, so much yellow!
The Faro G2 ANR does not come with a headset bag by default. I realized now I should have ordered that with, but the fluffy yellow bag will do for now. At least I'll easily spot it when I drop or lose it somewhere.
Inside the yellow headset bag, the Faro G2 comes in bubble wrap to protect the headset. All in all, the packaging is done very well to protect the headset from damage during transport.
Inside the box, you will find
The only thing you will need to start flying is two AA-batteries for the battery pack to power the ANR functionality. When the battery is low or dead, you can keep using the headset as a regular PNR headset, aux audio will keep working as well.
My first impression of the headset is very good. It looks very well built, high-quality parts and it already looks comfortable by just looking at it. The headset is lightweight, flexible (does not clamp so much on your head at first sight) and gives an overall impression that exceeds what you would expect of a headset at that price point.
Let's go over all the details.
The mic boom is flexible and easily adjustable to your needs. The Faro branded mic muff is included. (The small 'dirt' you notice on the mic muff is just some dust from inside the yellow bag)
Since it's an ANR headset, there is a battery pack located in the middle of the cord. The battery pack is very simplistic with just an on/off button and a 3.5mm Aux audio input. On the back, you can slide open the battery compartment to insert two AA-batteries and also access the mono/stereo-switch you can use depending on whether your aircraft radio is mono or stereo.
The Faro G2 comes standard with dual General Aviation headset plugs. Adapters for other types of plugs can be ordered separately on Faro's website. Also included is a small Aux audio cable with two 3.5mm jacks that fit every audio player or smartphone. The overall quality of the cord and plugs looks very decent.
The headset comes standard with leather ear cushions. Compared to other headsets I have previously used with gel ear pads, the leather ones are way more comfortable for me personally. Trying them on, they are soft and combined with the little clamping force on your head make for a very comfortable headset. In my opinion more comfortable than the DC and ASA headsets. But, I haven't tested it out in flight yet so my opinion could still change.
A volume control knob is located on each ear cup, making it easy to adjust the sound volume on each ear separately.
The headband features small knobs to adjust the size depending on your personal needs. Adjusting is easy and can be done on both sides.
The head cushion is comfortable. Only minor (aesthetic) downside you again notice in this picture is the yellow dust from the fluffy headset bag.
To end, I tested the aux audio with Spotify on my iPhone and it works great (on the ground at least, will test it in-flight later).
From now on, I can blast Danger Zone trough my headset while flying the little Cessna and feel like a real Top Gun fighter jet pilot!
After receiving the headset, I had to wait for a bit before flying with it and testing it out in flight. Luckily, a friend of mine was eager to test the headset during one of his flights. He's an Air Traffic Controller so he knows the importance of a good headset and understands the difference between good and crappy ones. Here's what he had to say about it after flying for about an hour in a C172:
The headset was very pleasant and comfortable to fly with. The side pressure on your head is noticeably less than the David Clarks I'm used to flying with. The ANR works great and very easy to turn on and off. I turned it off a few times in flight just to test what it feels (hears) like to use it as a PNR headset, but the lack of clamping force makes for some more noise than other headsets I've used. It's not like your ears start hurting from the noise, but I wouldn't recommend flying with it for more than 30 minutes in a piston engine aircraft without ANR. Good thing is that the AA-batteries are easily changeable in case they run low.
All in all a great headset. If I would be looking for an ANR headset but wouldn't want to spend more than $400-$500, I would seriously consider buying the Faro G2 ANR myself. It's great value for money!
Two weeks after my Faro headset arrived I finally had the opportunity to use it during my first official PPL flying lesson. I had flown multiple times before in single-engine planes, multi-engine and even jets with different headsets, so I knew what to compare it to.
The Faro G2 ANR feels great. The leather ear cushions and soft headband make it sit nicely and comfortably on your head and ears. The headset is easily adjustable to make it fit even better. This adjustment is crucial for the noise reduction in case ANR would be turned off (due to empty batteries for example).
The dual volume controls make it easy to adjust the volume in each ear, with more than enough extra volume available for high noise environments. Also when using the headset with aux audio from your iPhone, the volume is more than loud enough. Because the music volume does not automatically mute during ATC transmissions, you do have to make sure to turn down the music volume enough to be able to keep hearing the radio.
The audio from the headphones is crystal clear with ANR turned on, which takes about a second to become active after powering up. Also, the microphone makes you sound very clear and understandable.
I tested the headset with both ANR turned on and off. I honestly have to say that the noise reduction in PNR mode is rather weak, making flying without ANR not recommended. Therefore I make sure to always carry spare AA batteries in case my batteries run low.
The Faro G2 ANR is a great ANR aviation headset. It's comfortable, light, easy to use and durable. We found that an ANR headset for less than $400 is not too good to be true.
The leather ear cushions are comfortable and do not have too much clamping force. However, this does result in less noise reduction when the ANR is turned off due to low batteries for example. We would not recommend flying with it without ANR for more than 30 minutes. Another downside one could experience is the lack of an audio prioritization function that could automatically mute music during ATC calls and the lack of Bluetooth. But of course, those are not essential for a good headset.
All in all, the G2 ANR is a great headset for all those would want an ANR headset but don't want to spend $700-$1100 on one. We can highly recommend it!
We partnered up with Faro to give our Hangar.Flights audience an exclusive deal. If purchased through this link or if you enter coupon code HANGARFLIGHTS at checkout, you will get 10% off any Faro aviation headset!