Should you go with insert headsets or over-ear headsets?

We have discussed the best aviation headsets off and on through the years but a student pilot named Erin has recently posted a query about insert headsets verses over-ear headsets on Ask a CFI because she has been having trouble with rented ones staying in place during flights because of her small stature. Obviously her main consideration will be finding a pair of headsets that are small enough to stay on her head but she also noted that in her research:

I came across insert headsets (like Clarity Aloft and Halo). Clarity Aloft boasts of noise reduction of 35-45 dB which is better than any price comparable over-ear headsets. Some discussion with my CFI, however, has led me to believe they won’t be sufficient for my training (a C172).

I’m wondering if anyone here has any experience with the insert type headsets on training planes. And, if not, does anyone know of an over-ear headset that would be small enough…the lovely statistic about size is not included on most websites.

Rich Tyler responded by writing that he has flown with Dave Clarks for almost 15 years, but on long flights they start to get uncomfortable and they are not the best at cutting out excessive noise. His father in law also had a Bose noise cancelling headset, but Rich felt they never sat in his head properly and he was somewhat paranoid about not hearing  something – especially if the batteries run out because they can be eerily quiet. In addition, Rich has tried a Clarity Aloft and was very impressed, but he couldn’t justify the money for a pair. Instead, Rich opted for a Halo which still allow him to hear the engine enough to feel comfortable. With that in mind, Rich suggested trying an in-ear headset if possible before committing as some people don’t like them.

GolfHotelWhiskey.com - Clarity Aloft HeadsetsAnother female pilot named Summer then posted that she has a pair of Clarity Aloft headsets. Summer pointed out that over-the-head headsets give her a headache and that she frankly believes headset manufacturers only cater to the male pilot population. She also added that with Clarity Aloft, she can go flying to places and “not have shitty hairstyle by the end of my trip.”

Finally, Paul Robichaux commented that he has switched to a Halo from a Pilot USA Liberty and he loves them. He also added that the customer support at Quiet Tech has been excellent and you can probably just call or email them to see if they’d give a 30-day trial or something.

With the above response in mind, do you use insert headsets or over-ear headsets? Moreover, which brand of headset do you prefer?

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