Sennheiser introduced its new S1 NoiseGard headset at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, completing the S1 model lineup, which includes the ANR S1 Digital introduced two years ago and the S1 Passive released last year. The three headsets share design features and, said Sennheiser’s Christian Pulm, “as demand changes, there’s an S1 for every scenario.”
The S1 NoiseGard is a mid-range headset, selling for $795, with analog active-noise reduction (instead of the more expensive digital ANR in the S1). All three S1 headsets retain Sennheiser’s high level of passive noise attenuation, with headband tension adjusters to vary the contact pressure and sunglasses comfort zones with special memory foam that forms around glasses frames. The ANR circuit in the S1 NoiseGard, Pulm said, “provides a steady noise cancellation curve across various noise environments.”
To promote the new NoiseGard headset, Sennheiser is giving away an iPad mini with every 10th headset purchased. The mini is preloaded with iFlightPlanner’s flight planning app.
Sennheiser has partnered with industry companies and organizations to promote general aviation. These include iFlightPlanner and the new OpenAirplane system as well as EAA’s Eagle Flights program and the Live Your Dream initiative, he said, “which is aimed at decreasing barriers for those who want to learn to fly.” Live Your Dream has already giving eight $3,000 scholarships to help new pilots learn to fly.
Jeff Skiles, who runs Eagle Flights and is known for his role copiloting the Airbus A320 that had to ditch in the Hudson River, said, “Sennheiser has stepped up to support this program, and we’re excited to have their sponsorship. It’s a more targeted program where our members go to people in their community who might be interested in joining our community of aviators.”
OpenAirplane, which makes it possible for pilots to complete a universal checkout then rent airplanes from any OpenAirplane member company, launched recently. “This is a very exciting program,” said Plum. Sennheiser is supporting OpenAirplane by supplying two headsets for each airplane in the OpenAirplane system, so that pilots who rent airplanes away from their home base don’t have to carry headsets while traveling.
Open Airplane launched with six rental providers, and at EAA AirVenture, co-founders Rod Rakic and Adam Fast announced that eight more companies have joined, including one based in Palmer Alaska. Other new cities include Van Nuys, Calif.; Addison, Texas; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Minneapolis; Naples and Tallahassee, Fla.; and Plymouth, Mass.
Pilots who sign up with OpenAirplane and complete the universal pilot checkout needed to rent airplanes at any location get 10 percent off on renter’s insurance. “Thousands of pilots have signed up and created profiles,” said Rakic. “We’ve captured a lot of interest and support from the aviation community.” The headset problem was a stumbling block until Sennheiser stepped in with its offer to place headsets in each airplane in the program, he explained. “That’s one more reason to use your OpenAirplane credential,” he said, “and use your pilot certificate when you travel.”
The latest version of iFlightPlanner features a new intelligent cockpit voice recorder function that works with any type of headset. By plugging a headset into the iPad, pilots can record all radio and intercom audio during the flight. The voice recorder includes a 15-second rewind recording feature, and users can play back this segment instantaneously at any point in the recording. The latest version of iFlightPlanner with the voice recorder will be available in the fall. The premium version of the app costs $9.95 per month, $24.95 for three months or $89.95 per year. The free version does not include the voice recorder.