Audible Altimeter Survey Results

While you can always see our comparison of current audible altimeters at this link, we wanted to hear from you on what you love, hate and/or desire in an audible altimeter!

And did you ever let us know what you think! More than 200 of you took our survey that was open April 1-15!

For the swag pack winners, we decided to award four of you, instead of one, and chose those who identified in the COVID-19 question as a person in the medical or first-response fields. Thank you for your support during this time! See our related blog article on those stories at this link.

The short and sweet from the survey is that the majority of you use and love anything made by Larsen & Brusgaard, and L&B's Protrack II is the audible that is being most considered as your next purchase. Still, the Alti-2 N3/Atlas also received high marks as well the AON2 Brilliant Pebbles. And most importantly, we think the written feedback and comments from all of you is an invaluable resource for other skydivers and the manufacturers.

So lets dive into your responses on these and all the others...

Our 1st question just asked which current audibles have you used. You could answer for more than one, so each audible was out of 100%, and we found that more than 25% of you had used the Solo, Optima, Quattro or N3/Atlas. I think most surprising to me was that nearly 20% of you had used the new Brilliant Pebbles, which is the newest audible available. In the "Other" selection, besides older, discontinued audibles, we had one person list the VOG speaking audible. Here's the full chart (click it to enlarge):

For the 2nd question, we got right down to business: Which Audible Is Your Favorite? We only allowed one vote for each response. The Quattro audible was the clear winner at 19% or 38 of you, followed by the Optima/Optima II at 16% or 33 and then a 3-way tie for 3rd with the Solo/Solo II, Protrack/Protrack II and N3/Atlas at 13% or 26 each. Not far behind was the AON2 Brilliant Pebbles at 11% or 23 of you. Here's that full chart (click it to enlarge):

What You Like!

So what specifically do you like about your favorite audibles? Here are some of those responses:

Brilliant Pebbles

  • Easy to set up
  • Affordable
  • Fair price, it works.
  • Great addition to a more sophisticated digital altimeter.
  • Customizing with PC, number of alarms, sounds, volume. Rechargeable battery.
  • Number of alarms & customization.
  • Easy to set, one button turn on. Pricing.
  • Reliable, loud, hyper configurable with a ton of different tonalities and altitudes; best of all, less than 1/2 the price of competing models. Perfect for a 1st audible, and as a backup secondary when I purchase another.

FlySight

  • Easy to use
  • Works really good
  • Analyzes your swoop
  • Synthetic voice
  • Flying wingsuit and using FlySight is mandatory, hahahaha
  • Easy to use, functional, fabulous

N3/Atlas

  • Large, backlit screen. Pretty easy to use, good customer service
  • Easy friendly menu that’s easy to use
  • 4 alarms!
  • Leading beeps to set up patterns, logbook data at various altitudes, doubles as a wrist alti.
  • N3 has rechargeable battery and also shows aircraft climb rate. Most do not show that, and that is very important for a small aircraft dz.
  • Menu and accessibility
  • Reliable, precise, and works under canopy as well
  • Multifunctionality. Jumplogger.
  • Canopy alarms
  • Freefall AND canopy alarms. Alarm volume has a wide adjustable range. Can use canopy alarms from audible inside the helmet OR on your wrist and actually hear them from the wrist. Has a digital screen so I can feel trust and confidence in knowing I accurately set the right altitude alarms.
  • User friendly. Amazing customer service from Alti-2.

NeoXs/NeoXs 2

  • Easy to configure, reliable, low battery consumption
  • Accuracy

Optima/Optima II

  • I like the ability to set three altitudes (break off, pull, hard deck) as well as the low speed altitude alerts (setup/downwind, base turn, final).
  • Easy functions
  • Color options
  • Size and setting options
  • The way to configure it, the reliability and duration of the batteries. Not to mention the quality and durability of the material.
  • It’s Danish, the manufacturer Larsen and Brusgaard. And as usual it’s very loud and very high quality.
  • It's accurate. Warning beeps that can be set for a specific altitude during normal and high speed landing approaches.
  • Allows me to switch files quickly for different jumps whether I’m working (aff/tandem) or jumping with my friends at sunset!
  • Reliability. Amazing customer service.
  • It’s reliable, no need to power off, battery change only once a year

Protrack/Protrack II

  • I can set multiple altitudes
  • Various audible tones
  • Log book
  • Multiple tones and warning altitudes adjustable from the device itself
  • Reliable
  • Trust, security and easy use
  • Amount of data provided: exit alt, speed, deploy altitude, time of FF
  • It's an audible and a digital logbook, which can easily be downloaded to a computer.
  • Loud, Easy to use, always works
  • Low altitudes minimum reading
  • Features like multiple altitude warnings (high and low speed), logbook and mainly, battery consumption - improved A LOT since the ProDytter.
  • The ProTrack II that I have is a good audible altimeter. Anyway, bought one and after a few jumps it failed and L&B had to replace it. Not sure if if it as reliable as the old Pro Dytter. L&B post sales works, but maybe I'm not fully aware of the market options and customer reviews.
  • The Protrack (1) has been the gold standard for logbook audible altimeters for a long time, it is hard to replace something that still works so reliably for something new.
  • It's made by L&B and has somehow lasted me 10 years and 1500+ jumps. It has never failed me.

Quattro

  • I like that it sounds at 1,000' letting you know it is working.
  • Canopy flight alarms
  • Reliable
  • Simplicity
  • Reliable, alarms that beep faster and faster between alarms for canopy alarms
  • The precision
  • I like that it has so many alarm options.
  • It has 4 altitude settings, I can control the volume and pitch of the beeps, it has low speed warnings and a neat tracking guide. It's
    reasonably priced and suits me just fine.
  • The Canopy flight altitude warnings. It especially good flying a canopy pattern in traffic.
  • For AFF, the fourth alarm is wow for awareness
  • I get altitude warnings as I'm under canopy. Great for Demos.
  • It lets me have two alarms for my students and two alarms for me in one package. This is quite nice as an AFF-I.
  • I like all the extra settings, multiple volume levels and fits in my helmet nicely.
  • Many alarm settings! Useful as an instructor for seatbelts, reminders to talk to students on the way up, when to get ready for exit, multiple freefall alarms, and multiple canopy alarms. LOVE it!
  • Really enjoy my Quattro keeps my awareness super high.
  • High speed and low speed warnings. I don’t use the climb to altitude but the three legs of landing are great. My altimeter is on my wrist and not easy to look at in landing patterns

Solo/Solo II

  • Ease of use
  • It’s accuracy and it’s ability to be heard over the noise of the plane and in freefall
  • Dependability & long battery life. Also, beeps at 1K ft. on the ride up, which is when we remove seat belts
  • It's simple to use and does what I need it to. The battery lasts forever even when it says it's a going flat.
  • It's my first one, and it's REALLY loud!
  • I like that the Solo II is ONLY an audible and doesn't have any other functions. That kept the price down compared to fancier options. I also like that it is L&B which I am always pleased with.

SonoAlti/SonoAlti 2

  • Easy to program
  • So many sounds and 8 different alarms! Works like a charm.
  • The thing I personally love about SonoAlti 1 is all the customizations that you are able to make. I would love to see the newer one that has come out.
  • Simple and accurate
  • Rechargeable, easy to program with the app, very customizable
  • Bluetooth setup via the phone is very clear. I know exactly what I have set.
  • Size, price

VOG

  • Incredible altitude awareness throughout freefall and under canopy. Makes the audible the primary alti with visual used for backup. Can be used as an alarm if you don't like the voice.

What To Improve!

And what features do you wish were added to your audible? Here is your wish list:

Brilliant Pebbles

  • Make it louder
  • Smaller, rounded edges
  • Bluetooth connection with iPhone to change the settings.
  • Wish I could plug it into my iPhone in order to change the settings, versus having to plug it into my computer.
  • A jump counter.
  • Longer battery life. Magnetic docking.
  • Read aloud altitude
  • More tones
  • Setting the altitudes on the audible, not needing your phone
  • Fall rate tracking
  • More reliability. Sometimes when it turn it off, it will turn back on when I’m driving over 60 miles an hour. LOL!

FlySight

  • Alerts...just make it louder
  • Turn on alone when you start to climb up
  • Water protected
  • Better interface for programmability
  • Visor display
  • LogBook

N3/Atlas

  • Brighter screen
  • 4 alarms. I love having 4 alarms but only has 3.
  • The Atlas' date/time function does not work. Regardless of how much I try to reset it, the dates are incorrect in it's log book function. It also never synced with the Paralog program I purchased to go with it.
  • Music
  • Readouts of the altitude, better capacity battery.
  • Better logging software. the Paralog software is stupid as the software is free, but you have to purchase a license to use it, and the license is only good for that unit. If you change units, have to buy another license.
  • Better download program
  • Better wrist mount
  • Maybe smaller size so that it's easier to fit in the helmet (I use my N3 with the wrist mount today)
  • More altitudes, more sounds, add your own information.
  • Warning flash on the altitude display
  • Actually saying altitudes before the bottom end
  • The Atlas has a flaw. During night jumps the backlight will turn off when the alarms go off “in free fall” so I always ensure all my alarms are off during night jumps and it’s something I always remind people before loading for a night jump!
  • Its a bit old now but sync with your phone would be sweet
  • My Atlas has frozen on me and failed to hold a charge previously. Has been working fine for months since, but those were intimidating moments to discover on a jump which is why it transitioned from my digital to audible.
  • I wish it cost less money. $400 is crazy for what i use it for.
  • Additional GPS and flight track info

NeoXs/NeoXs 2

  • More sound volume level. Only 3 levels and in free fall, level 3 could be a little higher

Optima/Optima II

  • Longer battery life
  • More info
  • Bluetooth to phone connection for adjustments
  • Interface with Android
  • More capacity for different altitudes. A vibration mode along with sound.
  • Data logging
  • I wish the navigation was more like the atlas to be honest. Alti-2 is way more user friendly but that’s why I use it as my “visual” altimeter not my audible.
  • Different sounds for free fall vs canopy alarms
  • Ability to detect hop and pops or high pulls on log.
  • LED port as standard

Protrack/Protrack II

  • I wish they'd have a Mac compatible logging software.
  • Jump date on log screen
  • WiFi and mobile app based interface.
  • Addition of canopy alarms (Note: This was added to the Protrack II)
  • Adjustable volume
  • Be able to change the language to Spanish
  • Voice notifications
  • Bluetooth, so I don’t have to remove it from my helmet
  • I wish the download side allowed for more editing of jump numbers. I didn't start my digital download at the correct number and have not been able to correct it since. I would also like portability from one computer to another.
  • More than 2 buttons, and wingsuit mode.

Quattro

  • Add beeps for final landing pattern to Quattro, always can use an extra alert especially for big-ways and various records.
  • Maybe that the casing doesn't get a weird sticky residue on it.
  • Bluetooth sync to phone to program. When doing big-ways we need to change alerts all the time, it's a pain to remove from helmet to do so. I do not like the way L&B product programming works at all!
  • Easier menu to operate
  • Recharge via Bluetooth
  • GPS would be cool
  • Water proof
  • Easier functionality. I have to get out the guide sometimes to work it.
  • LED for visual
  • Wingsuit glide tones.
  • Two more alarms, making it 6 total, 3 for the student and 3 for me.
  • The one complaint I have with L&B is their menus. I’d love a more user interface with my Quattro. I spent too much time trying to setup the damn thing
  • Heads up display
  • I wish it read me the actual altitude instead of having beeping sounds.
  • A faster shut down sequence for the end of the day would be sweet!
  • It spoke in English. Instead of different sirens and beeps.

Solo/Solo II

  • One more alarm tone
  • Digital display
  • More than 3 alarms & add volume control and different alarm tones
  • Bigger numbers
  • Battery life longer
  • Steel case more rugged
  • Stronger beep
  • Landing beep/indicator
  • Maybe rechargeable batteries?
  • One more Alarm maybe
  • Ability to change the first 1000 ft beep. At my DZ it’s 1500 for seat belts off.
  • To be able to change the battery without tools.

SonoAlti/SonoAlti 2

  • Color choices
  • Logbook, more than one jumps worth of data (original SonoAlti).
  • Being able to graph every jump and keep it stored and it being able to fit a little better in a Kiss helmet
  • It’s always on which is nice so I don’t forget, but would like to be able to turn it off to save battery
  • Better data download. It only stores an image and not actual data points. I am starting to want GPS abilities too.
  • Fast skip (less button strikes) to access each individual jump log
  • Better app, too easy to edit alarms when trying to scroll

VOG

  • GIS 3D tracking with a simple simple simple way to download a track.

What You Want!

So with all that said, which audible are you considering purchasing next? Protrack II leads the way on this one at 17% or 34 of you.

Optima II is sought after by 28 of you or 14% and then rounding out double digit percentages is the FlySight at 11% and Quattro at 10%. In the other responses, we received 4 votes for the VOG speaking audible, and then 21 of you not looking for a new audible at all right now. Here's the response chart (click it to enlarge):

And then here are your additional comments and feedback on audible altimeter options.

  • I can't really fault the Quattro for the price: if I wanted logging I would spring for the ProTrack. If I wanted swooping instead I'd go for the Optima II. If I wanted a spoken voice audible and money was no object I'd get the VOG. If I wanted cheap and simple there's the Brilliant Pebbles, no reason to get the Solo II anymore.
  • Bring back the talking audible!
  • I love the idea of the SonoAlti, but I'm worried about if I can change it in the plane for those last minute changes and having to have my phone for that reason. 4 alarms is a must for me on next audible purchase.
  • I use my wrist analog altimeter but there has been a couple of times I have been is a state of "zen", so to speak, and my audible brings me back to the "circle of awareness". I am just enjoying the moment. I don't think I would have gone to a dangerous level but who knows? Being rather new and perhaps older than most, I am more comfortable pulling higher than others and don't want to miss my self imposed pull altitude. My audible was a good purchase for me.
  • An altimeter for skydiving should only contain the altitude, nothing else
  • The Flysight is not an audible altimeter (it's an audible GPS).
  • The comfort that L&B has designed is wonderful. I found the N3 too big to function as an audible. The N3 was difficult getting into a G3. The Protrack has my respect as the grand daddy of modern logging goes. However, it was wonderful for the day however the sport has changed. With the Quattro, I like the multitude of alarms, including canopy alarms.
  • Grateful that surveys in the skydiving community do not generally fall on deaf ears. It’s awesome to have constant evolving products that make the sport safer and more fun as time goes on. I may not update my iPhone every few years, but I will always update my skydiving gear, so long as improvements are always made.
  • I will continue to use 2 audibles from different manufacturers for security reasons, but on my favorite I would love to have all information on a single device (incl GPS info from currently FlySight for swoop)
  • Skydive technology needs to advance into visor displays, etc.
  • I'm not sure if this is an option on other audible (I have a Solo II) or not, but I would love to be able to create different modes that I could toggle through to change the alarms. For example, I wish I could toggle between "tandem" mode with alarms at 6k, 5k, and 3K, and "RW" mode with alarms at 5k, 4k, and 2.5k. That way I could change alarms by changing mode instead of changing all the altitudes manually.
  • I really enjoy doing, and reading these surveys after they are done. It allows me to really think about what more could I ask of my gear, and finding out what do other people think of that I may have never thought of myself.
  • I like the fact of being able to have an additional attention getter
  • Would love a device that spoke break, break, break pull, pull, altitude...
  • I love having an audible alti but do not rely solely on it.

I don't usually put this in here, but there was quite a lot of ChutingStar praise, and that just points to what a incredible staff we have here, who love their jobs and love helping you. Thank you for all your support! I've put just a few of the comments here:

  • Chutingstar is the best site for supplies! I also really like the hearing from Mike on the Skydive Radio podcast.
  • The best place to buy or ask questions is ChutingStar. Always willing and attentive to our questions and purchases.
  • As for the world of parachuting, I thank all the ChutingStar staff who supported me from every point of view to purchase the materials (Infinity harness, Crossfire 3 and Stella altimeter). Your availability and precision in fulfilling my requests has been exceptional!
  • I really like these surveys, keep up the good work!
  • Thank you for being awesome! Your shipping is always so quick and I love getting stickers!
  • I love these blogs! And love the store!! Keep up the stellar work!
  • The skydiving community depends greatly on ChutingStar Star...especially Laura Bales
  • Love this website and love how involved you are with our skydive community!
  • I appreciate the reviews you have on your website, as that's a helpful starting point for me in considering what gear I might want. Also, your website in general is well designed. I have bought some things from ChutingStar I might have gotten elsewhere, just because your site made it easier for me to shop. Well organized, comprehensive, informative, and easy to navigate. Thanks.
  • Thanks for being the best gear store, ever!

And the random responses to keep it all real:

  • I wish people would make t-shirts in black with black logos and black print on it. Like you'd have to look a little closer to see there's something there but that's a good thing.
  • A sweet and soothing voice telling me how rad a jumper I am is the only thing missing from my Quattro.
  • I wish my Optima could magically recharge my Burble account...

Click here for our audible altimeter category at ChutingStar.com for all of these audibles with ordering information.

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