The Stratus is Telex’s high-end GA and helicopter aviation headset lineup. Telex sells three different models of the Stratus: a passive variant, the Stratus 30; an ANR variant, the Stratus 30XT; and an ANR variant with improved “digital” noise reduction, the Stratus 50. In this article, we’ll take a look at all of these models.
Telex Stratus Features
- Passive & ANR models.
- Adjustable head-clamping force via “Comfort Cam” feature.
- ANR models are battery powered by 2-4AA batteries and can be powered via a cigarette lighter adapter as well.
- Noise-cancelling (bi-directional) electret microphone.
- Flexible microphone boom with ball-and-socket interface with headset.
- Headset can be worn either direction – boom swivels freely to match.
- Auxiliary input jack for music and cell phone.
- Automatic shut-off feature for powered models.
- Stereo / mono mode.
- Volume control built into earcup – controls both speakers.
- Locking mic boom.
- 3 year warranty (Stratus 30) and 5 year warranty (Stratus 30XT and Stratus 50).
- Twin-GA (PJ) and helicopter U-174 connector options.
Telex Stratus Review
The Stratus headset lineup is Telex’s entry in the mid to high-end headset market, made to compete with the likes of the Lightspeed Zulu and David Clark One-X. The Stratus differentiates itself from its competitors by offering class-leading passive noise reduction coupled with a compelling suite of basic features. We love that the headset is bi-directional, meaning that you can move from the left seat to the right by simply flipping the microphone around. Speaking of the microphone, the ball-and-socket boom mount into the earcup is brilliant engineering – though we do wonder if it will wear out and loosen up under heavy use. The “Comfort Cam” feature, which allows the pilot to fine-tune the clamping pressure of the earcups is another really clever solution to the classic problem with passive headsets – discomfort from flying for long periods with a headset tightly coupled to your head. Finally, the auxiliary power input for the ANR models means you can plug your headset into a cigarette lighter in a pinch – something we wish other headsets supported.
When choosing which model of Stratus to purchase, we recommend you only look at the Stratus 30XT and Stratus 50. The passive-only Stratus 30 is priced very close to the ANR Stratus 30XT and we think that the small bump in cost is well worth it. The Stratus 50 improves upon the Stratus 30XT by adding “digital” noise cancellation. Telex pro ports that this extra reduction drastically improves noise cancellation of the frequencies that the propeller and engine of GA aircraft operate. We have seen similar claims between Lightspeed’s Zulu 3 and PFX headsets, but we have not had a chance to test how much of a difference this extra measure of cancellation provides.
Where the Stratus falls short, however, is technology. It does not offer Bluetooth at all, much less a competitor to Lightspeed’s fantastic FlightLink audio recording feature. However, we recognize that many pilots do not care for these technical features, and for those pilots, the Stratus is an excellent pick.
The Telex Stratus lineup is a comfortable and feature-rich headset that is worthy of consideration for pilots who do not care about Bluetooth or any other fancy tech features. They work great, are expertly designed and are backed with a great warranty.
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