3 Types Of Security Earpieces With Mics

If you are looking for a security earpiece with a mic, then you will need to know the varieties available out there. While some types are more expensive than others, what ultimately matters is the quality and durability of what you get at the end. Below is a look at what you get out there:

One wire kit

With this one, there is only a single wire, which emerges from the radio, runs through the PTT and then ends where the earpiece starts. This makes for a simple yet effective look. As for the length of the cable, the one wire kit has a piece that runs between 28 and 34 inches. This means that you have at your disposal a length sufficient to cover the distance between your ears and the waist without any kind of stretching or straining. Of course, the reach of every security earpiece will be determined by the height of the person wearing it. The one wire kit is great for an average height and will work for anyone 6 feet and below.

Most one wire kits come in the original D and G shapes. There are some fancier designs out there as well if that’s what you are looking for.

Two wire kits

As the name suggests, there are two wires involved in this scenario. One runs to the Push to Talk (PTT) button. The other runs up to the earpiece, making for a good looking dual connection. For the purposes of discretion, you are allowed to wear this cable partially disguised within your clothing. One wire will emerge from the radio, rising up your back to the ear in a way that keeps you comfortable. The other cable runs from the radio, up the length of your hands and terminates at the cuffs if you are wearing a long-sleeved shirt or sweater. In terms of length, the two-wire kit is essentially the same as its one wire counterpart, with a reach of 30 to 34 inches. This accounts strictly for the length of each individual wire, and allows the unit to comfortably cover the areas between your waist and the ears. Two wire kits commonly come in the form of an acoustic tube that many who know a little about surveillance will be able to understand.

3 Wire kits

Here, you have three wires coming off the radio. The first wire will terminate where the earpiece is built. The second will end where the Push to Talk button is located. The last will end at a connection with the mic. As with the two wire kits, this one is worn under ordinary clothing, with a cable for the mic, earpiece and PTT button. There is really no standard length for all the three wires and there is no guarantee that all of them will be equal in length, but there is a sense of flexibility in the way you get to use the piece. Always try on sample pieces before making a purchase at a store. Over the internet purchases are trickier but then the measurements will be highlighted long before you order.

Understanding the functionality of PTT technology

Push to Talk is a cutting-edge technology that allows for direct communication between parties at agreed-upon frequencies and distances. The greatest thing about PTT is that it switches communications from duplex to half duplex. This means people do not talk over each other but get to alternate between speaking and listening. PTT is able to loop in two or more speakers at an instance of communication, allowing for conference-like types of engagements between participants. This streamlines communication. Most enterprises prefer this approach to communication because there are no limitations in terms of allotted minutes. As such, there is absolutely no need to stay within the confines of a data plan, which would be both expensive, inconvenient and rigid.

There is no such thing as a right security earpiece . What works for you may not work for all other parties across the board. While your budget matters a lot, you are looking for something that works optimally and stands the test of time. The three types mentioned above are alright if you are looking for something that works all the time. Remember, prices will vary across brands and models.

How Many Walkie-Talkies Can Operate on the Same Channel?

Theoretically, you can use an unlimited amount of walkie-talkies on the same channel (although in practice you might experience a few problems if you took that suggestion literally). Basically, there isn’t really a set limit. You could use as many as you like provided they are set up correctly. Anybody set to the right channel and in range at the time of transmission would then be able to pick up the signal and respond to it.

Most radios have access to 8 channels. These channels each have 38 separate ‘identification tones’. The user sets his/her channel up with the desired tone and then only other users who know the channel/tone will be able to hear the transmissions. As a result, there are, in any given area, about 304 different combinations, so signal interference is unlikely to affect you.

Please do not interpret this answer as saying that your radio has access to 304 possible channels. It does not. It will likely only have access to 8. Some less reputable manufacturers tend to falsely imply access to 304 channels; this is simply not the case. You will have access to 304 possible tone/channel combinations, that’s all.

To better explain the CTCSS codes and how they work; we’ll include a little information from Amherst.co.uk’s FAQ page.

“CTCSS stands for “Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System”. These codes are also often called “Privacy codes” If a CTCSS tone is selected; a CTCSS sub-audible tone is transmitted along with the regular voice audio by the transmitting radio. The receiving radio, set to the same CTCSS tone, will only receive audio if it contains that sub-tone. Interference from other users on the same frequency is therefore rejected (unless they are also on the same sub-tone). This is a way of allowing groups of users of walkie-talkies on the same channel to avoid hearing messages from other nearby users”.

So, in conclusion, you can probably use as many walkie-talkies as you like on the same channel. As long as the units in question are of the same type (either VHF or UHF) and have the same CTCSS setup, then you simply shouldn’t have a problem. You also shouldn’t suffer from signal interference due to other users (although you may still experience signal loss/interference/degradation from other sources). We have talked about combating signal loss elsewhere, so please see the other questions if you have any problems in this area.

How To Select The Right Radio Earpiece

When choosing a radio earpiece, there are several factors that should be considered. A radio earpiece should not only aid in communication it should also protect the user’s ear against cumulative ear damage that may eventually result in ear loss. Below are the factors that you should consider when buying a radio earpiece;

1) Clarity of communication

The most important reason as to why you have a radio is for clear communication and this is what your radio earpiece should enhance . Although there are several radio earpieces out there, many of them use bone conduction when transmitting the user’s speech meaning that they heavily rely on vibrations of one’s skull as they talk. This does not help much in ensuring that the communications are clear especially when one is on the move.

You should therefore go for a system whose in-ear microphone does not use bone conduction and this will enhance the sound clarity. Such a system can even transmit speeches when one is whispering and this comes in handy especially when in an environment where secrecy is very crucial.

2) Comfort

It is very important to select a system that you feel comfortable with most importantly when you are to wear it on your head. Note that, you will probably be wearing the gear for long hours and that is why it should be of lightweight and should not in any way interfere with your eye wear or helmet.

Avoid heavy, sweaty and coiled tube earpieces that are very uncomfortable and will cause ear fatigue. Instead, go for a radio earpiece whose microphone is built into the earbud itself. Such earpieces come in various shapes and sizes and can even be customized to fit the specific needs of a user. Note that, military-grade materials are specifically designed to be of lightweight.

3) Durability

Durability is a very important factor that should be considered when choosing a radio earpiece. You obviously don’t want to be wasting your time and money going back to look for another earpiece just because the one you chose did not last. This is why it is very important to select a system that is durable and has been tested for rugged use of a soldier or a SWAT officer. Go for one whose manufacturer is experienced in manufacturing earpieces that can withstand water, dirt, shock and even extreme temperatures.

4) Ease of use

Your radio earpiece should be easy to use because you can’t afford to mess up with the push-to-talk or the on & off buttons especially when on the move. Your gear should immediately fit into your actions with minimum effort. Look at the operational and the ergonomic features of the various radio earpieces and make sure that all its features are both of the right sizes and in the right places.

5) Hearing protection

Claims related to hearing loss and its related disabilities is on the rise among police & military veterans and this has led to the need for hearing protection for officers. Note that, hearing loss occurs cumulatively over time and it is irreversible. This is in addition to the fact that it has been associated with cognitive decline and that is why even the minor hearing loss can have a huge impact in the course of time. Select a radio earpiece that not only ensures effective communication, but also the hearing safety of the user.

6) Situational awareness

An earpiece is basically meant to keep you focused and keep your hands free. You should be aware of what is happening in their surrounding and that is why a radio earpiece should allow one to hear sounds that are outside, to stay alert with their surroundings.

In order to have full communications (just like one would have without anything in their ears), it is wise to choose a radio earpiece that has an external microphone. There are systems that even enable you to adjust volume of the external microphone and this ensures that you are aware of the happenings in your surroundings.

7) Modularity & Compatibility

There are several systems that are available out there and you should look for one that fits your requirements. As mentioned above, some of them can be customized to fit an individual user’s specific needs so you can never run out of options.

A radio earpiece that has a modular connector is good as you can change it to match even a different radio without having to replace the entire system. Some systems can even go with both earbuds and over-the-ear earpieces so depending on your needs, select the appropriate system.

8) Affordability

Many years ago radio earpieces cost £100 and upwards, these days you can get a D-ring earpiece for less than £15 and an acoustic tube for about £25. Bone conductor earpieces that were previously and expensive piece of technology, can be yours for about £40.