Review: Cessna 172 Sound Set for Microsoft Flight Simulator
The custom sound set for the default Microsoft Flight Simulator Cessna 172, developed by Boris Audio Works, truly transforms and breaths new life into an aircraft that many may otherwise overlook.
Boris Vanian of Boris Audio Works has previously worked on sounds found on the FlyByWire A32NX and the FlightFX Vision Jet, as well as redesigning the sounds on the default Cirrus SR22.
Available now for €18, the Cessna 172 Sound Set for Microsoft Flight Simulator is the most recent offering, and the product of hours of real interior and exterior recordings of the aircraft.
Included in the set are, according to the developer, new sounds for:
- The engine
- Wind and aerodynamic drag
- Buttons, switches, knobs, and levers
- The fuel pump
- Batteries, gyros, and avionics fans
- Dynamic touchdowns and ground rolls
- A stall horn
Especially welcome is the fact there are different sounds for both the steam gauge and G1000 versions of the C172. This difference is particularly noticeable when starting the batteries.
The first question here is how do the custom sounds impact flying the aircraft – they may well be more realistic and immersive, but does that fundamentally alter the experience of the C172 in the simulator?
The short answer is yes, the sounds provide a completely new experience compared to the default aircraft. With huge improvements to the default G1000 in recent months, an overhauled GNS 430W/GNS 530W coming as part of Aircraft and Avionics Update 1, and an already solid external model, the sounds really complete the C172, transforming it into a far more immersive package.
For those who have never used a custom sound set before, it is really hard to overstate how much sounds contribute to an overall sense of realism. Poor sounds can, even paired with an otherwise strong aircraft, completely undermine the enjoyment of flying it.
Put another way, having now experienced what the C172 is like with the custom sounds, and then temporarily uninstalling them to remind myself what the original sounds felt like, the difference is truly stark. You might not notice the immersion from default sounds was lacking at first, but after trying this new set, you really will.
Let’s start with the engine. Not only has the sound of it from within the cockpit been revamped, but the sound of the aircraft from an external view is also massively different. This is especially noticeable if conducting a fly-by with the point of view positioned at a stationary point outside the cockpit. The sound of the aircraft soaring past is extraordinary and visceral.
The wind and aerodynamic drag sounds too are really noticeable. Along with the new engine sounds, the takeoff experience is transformed, bringing a new sense of the aircraft’s momentum and motion through the air.
Finally of particular note are the new button, switch, knob and lever sounds. Starting from cold and dark is now a far more tactile and satisfying process. Whereas before you might usually rush through the startup, keen to get moving and in the air, there is now a new pleasure in listening to the various systems, especially the batteries, warm up.
Once installed then, the C172 sound set transforms and arguably completes the default aircraft. There is, unsurprisingly, no tangible FPS or performance impact, and installation is straightforward – simply drag what you have downloaded into the community folder, or use the vendor’s installation method.
Moreover, while currently priced at €18, the developer has said that from February 1st, all its products will drop to €10, making it an even more reasonable offering.
Support is available via Discord, where the developer is responsive to suggestions and feedback from customers.
Reflecting on the sound set, it is brilliant value for something that takes an aircraft that many people may overlook and transforms it into one that feels engaging and satisfying to fly.
The sound set has a simple aim: to transform the audio experience of flying the aircraft. It absolutely achieves this, without any compromises, and is therefore easy to recommend.