Every well-funded Special Operations team on earth, whether it be military or law enforcement, currently utilizes some form of tactical communications headset. Communication between team members and between the team and their command structure is one of the most important aspects of any tactical op. One of the most highly respected companies currently fulfilling this need is New Eagle, of Silver Lake, Kansas. New Eagle makes some of the best tactical headsets in the business, and…they offer three versions that all get the job done.
The first is their Special Operations headset, which incorporates either a single or double "vibration audio transducer", a.k.a. "bone vibrator", a.k.a. "bone mic", which enables the operator to receive radio signals through the facial bones directly in front of the ear. With this set-up, communications are transmitted directly to the inner-ear cochlea, without having to go through the ear canal itself. Pretty cool, huh? This arrangement not only leaves the operator’s ears free to hear all ambient noise, but it also has the added advantage of allowing for the use of electronic hearing protection during both tactical operations and training. If the operator wears straight, non-electronic hearing protection, the received signal is actually even louder, due to the fact that there is no competition from ambient sounds in the environment.
The Special Operations headset can be had with just a single "bone vibrator"(called a "mono system"), or dual "vibrators"(called a stereo system). New Eagle also offers two types of microphones. For a mono system, used primarily by LE teams, the company recommends an omni-directional "hot" microphone which is less "position-sensitive" than their waterproof/noise-cancelling microphones, which they recommend for their stereo systems. Stereo systems are preferred by military special operators, who are much more likely to engage in operations in high ambient noise combat environments than are LE operators.
The transmit mic for the unit, and all New Eagle headsets, is a boom mic that is positioned right in front of the mouth. When the operator wishes to transmit, all he has to do is hit the push-to-talk(PTT) button on the interface box, which is usually mounted somewhere on the chest, via either a velcro strap or alligator clip. The interface box is watertight.
New Eagle’s Enforcer Series I and II headsets are essentially just hybrids of the Special Operations headset. You can read about how they differ from the Special Operations version and each other by clicking here. The Enforcer Series II headset is basically just a more streamined version of the Enforcer Series I headset.
According to the company, "all New Eagle headsets are built to order", so teams and individual operators can customize their gear for their specific operational/mission requirements.
In the next article, we’ll be talking about Walker’s Tactical Ear, which is made by Walker’s Game Ear, Inc.. Specifiically, we’ll be focusing on Walker’s Tactical Ear III W-C. That article is the perfect follow-up to this one, since Walker’s Tactical Ear line is perhaps the perfect complement to New Eagle’s Special Operations and Enforcer Series tactical headsets. Stay tuned.