www.gps.co.uk £229, excluding VAT

How much is it reasonable to expect from an active noise reduction headset that costs about half the price of the big-name products and sells at the same price as the basic, non-ANR model from famed ‘green earpiece’ quality brand, David Clark?

The surprising answer is ‘quite a lot’, as Harry Mendelssohn’s budget HM40 ANR performs very well indeed. We compared it with the Headsets Inc ANR-converted Dave Clark unit that came out very near the the top in a multi headset comparison made by the Editor with the help of Southampton University Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) and Flyer publisher Ian Seager.

In terms of noise attenuation, it is hard to distinguish between the two headsets: under certain conditions the more expensive David Clark might have had a slight edge, but that’s about it — the HM40 ANR performs very well indeed.

Closely patterned on the American headset’s architecture, the Mendelssohn headset also appears to be well made and it feels robust. Although the steel strip of the headband and earcup yokes is visibly thinner, clamping pressure and general rigidity don’t suffer, and the thick gel/foam earseals are both comfortable and seal well, even when glasses are worn. Battery life is claimed to be forty hours.

If you are piling on the cockpit hours like a professional, the proven durability of one of the more expensive big-name units might justify the expense. However, when you clock the fact that the nicely made HM40 ANR costs about the same as a conversion kit and offers similar, very high performance, it really becomes hard to justify spending money on either one of those big-name ANR headsets or even conversion an existing unit. The HM40 ANR offers terrific value for money for the typical private pilot. PW

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