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LightSpeed Zulu 3 vs Bose A20 Aviation Headset: Which one is Better?

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Both Lightspeed and Bose offer some of the most popular and high-quality active noise reduction aviation headsets. The question frequently arises, which one is better? Should you go for the Lightspeed Zulu 3 or the somewhat more expensive Bose A20? We help you decide!

Below, we will explore some of the key difference between the Lightspeed Zulu 3 and the Bose A20.

We will start with an overview of the specifications of both headsets in a convenient table. Next, we will dive deeper into some of the important differences that could influence your buying decision.

Lightspeed Zulu 3 vs. Bose A20

 

Bose A20 Bluetooth

Lightspeed Zulu 3

Price $1,095.95 $850.00
Amazon rating 4,7/5 4,6/5
Weight 12 ounces 14.6 ounces
ANR Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Audio priority Yes Yes
Auto shut-off Yes Yes
Other features Side-swappable mic, Audio equalization Lightspeed FlightLink compatibility
(in-flight cockpit recordings through iPhone)
Battery type AA AA
Battery life 45+ hours 40 hours
Accessories Clothing clip, case, AUX-cable, batteries Clothing clip, case, AUX-cable, batteries
Warranty  5-year manufacturer warranty 7-Year limited warranty

Let's look at some of the main differences in a little more detail.

First of all, there's the price. Retail prices for each model are quite different: on average, the Zulu 3 retails around $850, while the Bose A20 is currently available for around $1095.95.

Side note: the A20 is available as a Bluetooth and non-Bluetooth version. The non-Bluetooth version costs a little less, around $999.00, but as the Zulu 3 offers Bluetooth functionality too, it's only fair to not compare apples and oranges and only consider the Bluetooth version here.

$1,095.95

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Last update: yesterday

$850.00

Buy now on Amazon
If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Last update: yesterday

When it comes to other features, both models are very much alike. Both the Zulu 3 and A20 offer superior noise reduction, Bluetooth, audio input, auto shut-off to save battery life, audio priority to mute music when receiving or sending radio transmissions and more.

Both headsets utilize standard AA-type batteries, making it easy to quickly change batteries before or during a flight when they run low. The Bose A20 has a little extra (theoretical) battery life compared to the Zulu 3, but this depends on many factors of course, such as whether you are listening to music through Bluetooth, for example.

Another difference is the Zulu 3 offers compatibility with Lightspeed's FlightLink system, which allows pilots to record their conversations via an iPad or iPhone with the free Lightspeed app. Bose doesn't offer anything comparable.

On the other hand, the A20 offers the very convenient feature of a side-swappable microphone, allowing you to mount the mic on your preferred side of the headset. This could be convenient as this is the same side the headset cord is attached, which you might want to adjust.

Lightspeed Zulu 3 vs. Bose A20: What Owners Say

The Bose A20 vs Lightspeed Zulu question is one that gets asked a lot in some of the pilot/aviation Facebook groups I'm in. Here are a few of the popular opinions people have in favor of Bose and/or Lightspeed. To protect people's privacy, I have anonymized any names and pictures.

Conclusion

Both the Lightspeed Zulu 3 and the Bose A20 are great headsets. Altough we strongly believe a quality aviation headset is an investment, in your comfort, safety and health, we also understand not everyone's budget allows for the same gear. Fuel is already expensive enough, right?

I personally fly with and love my Bose A20, but I've equally come across Zulu 3 owners who love theirs and wouldn't trade them for anything else. In the end, it will probably come down to how much you are willing to spend. If you're in the market for a quality aviation headset that offers all the features you want but is still somewhat affordable, we recommend purchasing the Zulu 3. If your budget allows for it, there's really no better options, in our honest opinion, than the Bose A20.

For the cost of these headsets, you expect the best. They both do an amazing job delivering just that.

Bose A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth

$1,095.95

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Last update: yesterday

Lightspeed Zulu 3 Aviation Headset

$850.00

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Last update: yesterday


´╗┐Have any questions, suggestions or remarks about this guide? Let us know!

Last updated on March 14, 2020 by Senne Vandenputte

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