What to Know About Aviation Headsets


When dealing with the complexity of aircraft parts both electrical and hardware, it’s easy to overlook something like your aviation headset. Even easier to forget is the headset plug. However, the headset plug you choose is an important decision every aviator should take seriously, like you would any other connector in your aircraft.

The GA plug, also known as a general aviation plug, twin plug, or dual plug, is found is most general aviation aircraft. Manufacturers like Cessna, Beechcraft, and Piper use a GA plug, while newer manufacturers such as Cirrus or Mooney typically provide an array of connection options. While GA plugs are as universal as they come, before you purchase them you should know that the plugs will not provide noise reduction or bluetooth capabilities. When in use, one side of a GA plug will provide the audio to your headset ear cups and the other will power your headset’s microphone.

In addition to the GA plug, the U174, XLR, and Panel Power plugs are also used in the aviation sector. The U174 plug is used in helicopters. It is a single plug and, while similar to the GA plug, is much shorter and thicker. It provides power to both your ear cup audio and microphone. XLR plugs are also referred to as Airbus plugs due to their common use in commercial aircraft. Instead of a single plug, XLR plugs feature five small pins that connect to a source. Very similar to the XLR plug is the Panel Power plug. A newer type of plug, it features six small pins and provides power to all aspects of the headset including noise reduction and Bluetooth.

Most military aircraft use a single plug called a U-93A plug which is the same size found in civilian helicopters. Despite this, civilian headsets will not work in a military aircraft. Due to performance needs, military headsets are generally much lower impedance than those of civilian aircraft.

At Purchasing Management 360, owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we can help you find all the headset plugs for the aerospace, civil aviation, and defense industries.


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