Review: Delta’s new LSTN Delta One headsets. Are they worth the hype? Let’s find out!

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Today we get to enjoy a guest post from reader Jeffrey who was kind enough to share his thoughts on the new LSTN Delta One headsets. For me, no matter how good these are they have one fatal flaw – they have cords – and that is a technology for me that is now ancient history. But let’s see if I am going to rethink that feeling after your review!

  • Flight: 757-200ER New York to Seattle
  • Cabin: Delta One
  • Type: Airline dual prong jack

The new Delta headsets by LSTN make an excellent impression when I first sat down in my Delta One seat. The recycled polypropylene bag opens easily and is of a high quality although the screen printed logos on either side could have been done with transfers for higher detail and contrast (Sorry, printing on fabrics is the world I live in).

When I opened up the bag I had two initial thoughts. Wow, these things look really nice and gee, these headphones do not weigh much at all. Noting that the headsets were made by LSTN I was surprised since typically I have found weight is an important factor in the quality of sound due to larger magnets inside. If you are wondering, LSTN is known for their unique wood finishes on all of their products

On a side note the company’s goal is to better the world for the hearing-impaired. This is a great cause and I really like that Delta is working with this company to provide headsets. Unfortunately I suspect that most people do not know that LSTN is the Tom’s of the sound world. It is great they give back proceeds from every sale to the Starkley Foundation.

The inflight version from LSTN, provided by Delta, is an unpowered scaled down version of the Troubadour model sporting a similar look and design but the similarities between the two versions ends there. This version comes with a wired Dual Prong Audio Jack that is wired permanently to the headset. As an unpowered headset I did not expect much from the sound quality and I was correct.

LSTN headsets are known for their bass and it seems, to me, they over compensated here as the mid tones and bass ranges are over powering to the point of distraction. Without the advantage of noise cancellation the heavy base and mid-range caused movies to sound “heavy” and I struggled to understand many lower conversations. I watched portions of Kong and the new Batman Lego movie with the headsets on as I alternated between my wireless Bose noise canceling headphones and the LSTNs to provide a comparison.

I did like the way the LSTNs sat on my head and ears. As an on ear style the headsets rested comfortably on my ear without too much pressure or weight. For someone who loves his Bose sets I can’t say I will be searching these out when I fly but for the times I forget mine, or leave them in the previous flight’s seat back (2 times now). I will have no problem looking to these as a temporary replacement. If LSTN would work a bit on the quality of the mid tones and bass these could be an excellent free option for many flights.

The flights attendants did collect all units prior to landing that were not being used but I did not notice them asking any passengers to remove them for collection (a pet peeve for many). As the headset only comes with a permanent Dual Prong Jack there isn’t much sense in anyone wanting to take them anyway.

On a scale of 1 to 10 I rate the Delta One LSTN headphones:

  • Initial impression of headset = 8
  • Comfort = 8
  • Impression of case = 6
  • Sound quality = 6

Bottom Line – I love that Delta is working with a company that gives back but they should communicate this even more. The appearance and style of the LSTN is a big improvement over the previous headsets but the sound quality has not really improved much over previous Delta One offerings. The LSTN is a suitable temporary replacement for travelers that have forgotten or don’t travel with their own set of noise canceling headphones. Personally I will not be leaving my QC35s at home anytime soon flying Delta One. – Jeffrey from Seattle

 

Thanks Jeffrey for the detailed review and comparison. I have been reading other reviews online as well and by far the overall reaction has been “meh” when it comes to sound quality. I personally have not used Delta One headsets for years and it does not sound like (no pun intended) the new LSTN headsets will change that any time soon! – René

 

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7 comments

  1. Why are you against wired headphones? Wired headphones in nearly every single case (all other things being equal) have superior sound quality. Also: Do you really want hundreds of wireless signals flying around an aircraft?

    Bluetooth is a lossy protocol, so that’s not an option for true hi-fi.

    That said: These headphones don’t sound very good at all based on your review. I’m sure they are cheaper than Bose, or they wouldn’t have switched. Delta’s all about their own cost savings lately.

  2. Don’t they clean them with blue light sterilization or something. Score they are re bagged? It would seem to me OSHA would require Inter user cleaning to prevent spreading ringworm or other yucky
    Skin Inhabitants
    I like the brookstone in ear.l noise canceling re chargeable ear buds
    They are so compact

  3. I had a pair of custom silicone in ear monitors made. They block out all conversation, pa announcements, and cabin rumble and fit into my pocket. They were more expensive than Bose, but the superior sound quality and convenience of storage made it worth it.

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