In the modern world the army has to have perfect communications, from coordinating attacks to communicating with other platoons, on the battlefield it really could mean the difference between life and death. This article plans to find the next Military radio.
U.S. ArmyÂ tactical radio officials plan to launch a competition for a new handheld radio next year that would give soldiers twice the capability of the current Rifleman Radio.
The Army currently uses the single-channel AN/PRC 154A Rifleman Radio as its soldier handheld data radio. It runs the Soldier Radio Waveform, which small-unit leaders use to download and transmit maps, images and texts to fellow infantry soldiers in a tactical environment.
If they want to talk to each other, they often rely on another single-channel handheld — the AN/PRC 148 MultiBand Inter/Intra Team Radio, or MBITR, which runs the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio, or SINCGARS, for voice communications.
The Army plans to release a request-for-proposal in 2017 for a two-channel radio that will allow soldiers to run the Soldier Radio Waveform, or SRW, for data and SINCGARS for voice on one radio, according to Col. James P. Ross, who runs Project Manager Tactical Radios.
The change will mean that soldiers will no longer need the 148 MBITR and be able to rely on the new, two-channel radio for both data and voice communications, Ross said.
“We know industry can meet our requirements. â¦ We know it’s achievable,” he said.
The move represents a change in strategy for the Army since the service awarded contracts in 2015 to Harris Corporation and Thales for a next-generation version of the Rifleman Radio.
“We went out with a competition for the next generation of the [Rifleman Radio]. Two companies, Harris and Thales, competed,” Ross said. “We went through testing, and we were on the verge of being able to buy more of them when the Army said, ‘Our strategy now is two-channel.’ ”
The Army had planned an initial buy of about 4,000 Thales AN/PRC-154B(V)1 radios and Harris AN/PRC-159(V)1 radios, according to Army program documents for fiscal 2015.
“We will not be taking action on those,” Ross said.
The current Rifleman Radio was developed as part of the Handheld, Manpack, Small Form Fit, or HMS program. HMS radios are designed around the Army’s tactical network strategy to create secure tactical networks without the logistical nightmare of a tower-based antenna infrastructure.
It’s also a key part of the Army’s Nett Warrior system. It hooks into an Android-based smartphone and gives soldiers in infantry brigade combat teams the ability to send and receive emails, view maps and watch icons on a digital map that represent the locations of their fellow soldiers. The concept came out of the Army’s long-gestating Land Warrior program.
The Army purchased about 21,000 Rifleman Radios under low-rate initial production between 2012 and 2015.
Army officials maintain that are enough single-channel, handheld radios already produced under the low rate initial production that are sitting waiting to be fielded. The service plans to field another two brigade combat teams per year with the single-channel Rifleman Radios through 2019.
The Army will conduct testing of two-channel radios in 2017 and early 2018 and then down-select to one or two vendors sometime in 2018, Ross said. Operational testing is scheduled for 2019 and fielding will begin in 2020 if all goes as planned, he added.
For now, the Army intends to field four BCTs a year with two-channel handheld radios, Ross said.
Small-unit leaders would then be able to retire the MBITR radio from their kit — a weight savings of about three pounds, according to Army officials at Program Executive Office Soldier.
“One thing the PEO Soldier is very passionate about is weight — driving that weight down that the soldier carries,” said Lt. Col. Derek Bird, product manager for Ground Soldier Systems, which helps oversee the Nett Warrior program.
“If we can cut three pounds off a soldier by taking two radios and shrinking it to one â¦ that is a big deal.”
This is an excellent story about how hearing protection is sometimes be essential, and when youâre on the shooting range it has to be vital. But it is important to get the right set of headphones that will protect your hearing sufficiently. Lessons can be learnt from this excellent case study.
There is no doubt that we all take our senses of sight, smell, and hearing for granted as long as we are strong and healthy and everything is working well. When we are young we tend to believe that we are indestructible and readily adopt the idea that âit will never happen to me.â Consequently, we can develop some bad habits and be a little loose when it comes to preventative measures for almost anything.
I know because that was my attitude at thirty years old when my eye doctor made a comment in passing that my eyes were perfect, but the chances are I would be needing reading glasses by the time I was 50. I scoffed, but you could almost have set your watch by it because by the time I was in my late 40âs my arms started to get shorter when it came to reading, tying on fishing lures and other things that required scrutiny up close. At 50 I was wearing reading glasses.
Growing up I never bothered too much about wearing ear protection. When I was plinking it was with a .22 rifle that only put out a little noise if you were the shooter so the thought of hearing protections seemed ludicrous. When hunting I do not know if I have ever heard my firearm discharge and beside that unless I was dove hunting I seldom shot too many shots anyway.
The change of heart came when I started shooting on an indoor range, while in the Air Force. I noticed after shooting a few rounds with my .22 caliber, Ruger Single Six that my ears would ring for a while afterward. One night a grizzled old Master Sargent suggested I wear ear protectors or take a chance of damaging my hearing. I took the recommendation to heart and have been wearing them ever since. The result has been that after many years of shooting .22âs, large caliber handguns, rifles and shotguns my hearing is still intact and working well.
Shooting is not the only activity that can cause hearing problem as any loud noise can damage your hearing. The intense vibration caused by loud noises can injure or destroy the hair cells inside the cochlea, so they no longer function to transmit nerve impulses to the brain. If that happens, you will experience hearing changes.
Hearing protection is needed anytime one is exposed to sounds above 80 decibels (dB). Normal human conversation runs about 30 to 35 dB. At its peak level, the sound of a 12-gauge shotgun is about 140 dB. 9mm runs around 159 dB and a .38 special with a six-inch barrel is about 156 dB, a .22 LR pistol with the same length barrel 140, an M-16 is about 154, a .45 ACP pistol is 155, and a .357 Magnum revolver is 164. All of them are around double the safe sound level. Just to be on the safe side I used to wear muff type hearing protectors and usually ear plugs also when on the range.
For range use today there is an array of muff style hearing protectors. The new style that I now use have not only hearing protection, but also hearing enhancement. The controls on each ear can be tuned to match your individual optimum hearing and increase the volume up to eight times normal. So when the range master gives a command or when you are speaking with a companion on the shooting line you can speak in a normal voice and hear them as well or better than without the power muffs. Yet when you shoot the sound activated compression circuit reduces the sound from the shot to a noise reduction rate of 24dB.
This is very important on a shooting range because I have missed range commands in the past from the range master simply because I could not hear them through my hearing protection.
The new muffs I use are from Walkerâs but they offer many other styles in their Game Ear series. These are unlike the muff style protectors as the bulk of the unit fits behind your ear with an earpiece that fits inside your ear, the unit weighs less than one fourth of an ounce and can be used with or without glasses. These too can be fine-tuned to your specific hearing, allow you to turn the volume up to magnify sounds from five to seven times and still reduce the sound of the shots to a rating of 29dB.
The ability to custom tune the devise to your hearing as well as adjust the volume up on these models will enable the hunter to more readily pickup games sounds in the woods. Sounds like a squirrel jumping through the trees or when their belly slaps a tree when they jump from one to another. It will help the hunter pick up the minutest sound of a deer brushing by limbs or the whisper of them walking through leaves or disturbing a rock.
So now there is really no acceptable reason not to wear hearing protector and if you get a good set it may even enhance your chances of bagging some more game.
A Walkie Talkie is a handheld receiver or portable radio. Walkie talkies come in a pair and they communicate quietly with one another using radio waves, on a single shared frequency band.
Almost all of us grew up with walkie talkies. As children, and especially before the age of mobile phones and technology, we all had a pair and played with them in our gardens.
Walkie talkies have made a comeback. Or maybe they never really went out of style but now theyâre sophisticated.
Each unit is battery powered and has an antenna for sending and receiving radio wave message. There is a transmitter / receiver and a loudspeaker. The loudspeaker doubles up as a microphone. There is a button that you push to talk, pretty much the same way that an intercom works. Some more sophisticated walkie talkies have separate loudspeakers and microphones; it just depends on what you need the walkie talkie for.
Walkie Talkies with noise cancelling headsets
Technology has changed so much and become so much more sophisticated. In the old days, think of the crackles that came with walkie talkies. It was often very difficult to hear what the other person was saying. But a pair of noise cancelling walkie talkie headsets will reduce or remove any unwanted sounds by using active noise control. Note that this is very different from passive headphones which use technique such as soundproofing. Noise cancelling is not soundproofing.
Our worlds are busy and we become bombarded and overwhelmed by everything around us. We need to listen to some things, but we want to cut out others. Noise Cancelling allows us to do this, while still allowing us to listen to the things we want to listen to at the volume we want them.
Pros of a walkie talkie headset?
Remember when we used to listen to music really loud so we could block out all the other external noise? You don’t need to do this anymore. walkie talkie headsets will block out most excess or excessive sound, or the ones you want blocked out anyway. You can now listen to your music at the volume you want, which does not need to be crazy, and the other external sounds (baby crying, man snoring next to you) will be blocked out anyway. Finally, you can listen to and enjoy music in the way you want to enjoy it, at a natural volume. You can hear the fabulous music, have a rich listening experience, and still not be disturbed by chatter around you.
Noise cancelling headphones are fabulous for when you travel or commute. You may be the kind of person who gets on a plane and train and chats to everyone around you. But you may be more solitary and want to sit down and zone out. You can do this easily with a walkie talkie headset. The beauty is that on a plane you wonât hear the noise of the aircraft or its passengers, but you will still hear the safety announcements.
Itâs really easy to work in a noisy environment with noise cancelling headphones. You can focus easily without being disturbed and can make use of any space, productively. You can even go and study your history while at a party or in a restaurant. It is also a good idea to use them at home, while studying for exams or so; they cut out the excess noise and you can focus totally on your work.
Students used to turn up the volume of their earphones in order to cut out the outside worldâ. But with a walkie talkie headset they are finding it is easier to study when music is at a lower volume and when the outside distractions have been eliminated.
Cons to noise cancelling headphones?
There are always cons to everything. Some parents may say they would prefer no headphones at all. They like their children to be available and to engage more and talk more, but we know this is the way of the world. Everyone uses headphones; parents included/ Use them in moderation of course, but still be sociable and take time out in the day, be headphone free, and engage.
Noise cancelling headphones are not very cheap and are in fact possibly even ten times more expensive than ordinary headphones. However, like anything that costs money, they will last for a long time and are super reliable. They may cost more money but will ultimately give a much better noise-free experience.
Lots of research has gone into the design of these special noise cancelling headphones. Each set consists of inner components that cancel out the disturbing external sounds. Ordinary headphones do not have these components, i.e., you cannot cut out the outside sounds. It is quite obvious then, why noise cancelling headphones are more expensive.
These internal components also use up a lot of power. The power can come from internal replaceable batteries or they can be rechargeable. means they are heavier than ordinary headphones. Not all sets carry their own power supply. The ones that are rechargeable are lighter, but they can drain the devices they need to plug into for power.
The quality of sound when using a noise cancelling walkie talkie headset can be compromised. It is unusual though and it is only the most sensitive of ears that would pick this up. There have been very few complaints of a tinny almost mechanical sound, but these complaints are few and far between.
Not all sounds are blocked out by a walkie talkie headset, although we did mention this under pros as well. It is never possible to cancel out all external sounds, but we still need to be able to hear police sirens, pilot announcements or the high pitched screaming of your next door neighbor. All every day external sounds though are muffled and definitely much quieter, and the sounds that you don’t need to hear, are gone.
When you think of a spy earpiece, the first thing that comes to mind is inspector gadget or Mission impossible, well it does for us anyway. But there are real world applications for these earpieces are wide. As this article explains, when you need a little help with prompts on a big presentation or you need to receiveÂ instructions during a lecture, then a micro earpiece could be the answer.
This device originally developed for covert operations is now made available for the public to use. Each earpiece kit can provide a way for you to transmit and receive audio information without anybody in the room knowing. Whether you want to receive pre-recorded messages or information from another party to assist you during your presentation / interview or speech, the earpiece can be set up with your phone, audio recorder, radio, or MP3 player to send the message to your earpiece , placed in your ear channel so that it is undetectable .. All kits also include a built in microphone so that you can engage in 2 way conversation should you wish
So how does it work?
The key is the inductive transmitter that will transmit audio from a phone / mp3 player to the earpiece. The transmitter itself is available in many forms. For example the transmitter may be included within a neckloop to be worn around the users neck, this may connect to your phone or mp3 player via its earphone socket. Or you may have a Bluetooth are often included in everyday objects such as a pair of glasses, a Pen or even a bluetooth watch. The transmitter acts as the aerial for reception and signal transmitter from phone to earpiece. At the same time, output sound picked up by the tiny microphone attached to the neckloop / pen / glasses is sent through your phone just as if the user is talking directly into it.
How to Use The Spy Earpiece?
Depending on what kind of information you wish to receive the earpiece can be set up to suit. For example during a presentation or speech you may wish to pre-record your speech or presentation on an mp3 player, then play it back to yourself during the presentation / speech. Or simply record a simple prompt for each point you would like to make. You could then connect up your mp3 player to an inductive neckloop included in most earpiece kits, and wear a spy earpiece. So long as the battery is inserted into the earpiece you will hear the audio from your mp3 player in the earpiece.
Alternatively you may prefer to have a team prepped in another room to assist you during your speech. This can be achieved by simply starting a mobile phone conversation with your team just before the speech starts. You would then need to either connect an inductive neckloop to the headphone output of your phone, or pair your phone with a bluetooth induction neckloop / pen / glasses. Insert the earpiece into your ear making sure the battery is inserted correctly. Your team should be able to hear your speech in real time over the phone, and can give you tips in your earpiece along the way. The same may apply in an interview situation, you may wish to have a third party issue you advice during your interview.
Lets not forget the original intention of the Spy Earpiece which is for security and covert surveillance. The Spy Earpiece excels in these situations where the requirement is for a security operative to communicate covertly.
The key to success is in the careful planning and preparation so that everything runs smooth.
The way I see it, when the challenge is great and the results mean everything, why not try the Spy Earpiece and take the risk out of the equation?
In the world today, walkie-talkies are very important tools. From security services, construction sites, camping sites to use during emergency rescue missions, they are a vital part of the communication industry. In the past, walkie-talkie users walked around talking and listening directly from the big phonesâ but with the advancement of technology, walkie-talkie accessories have made it possible to seamlessly communicate using earpieces and headphones connected to the walkie-talkie while it remains strapped to the belt. At Earpieceonline.co.uk we have a wide range of top quality walkie-talkie and radio accessories to help ease communication with workmates.
Using a radio earpiece for a walkie-talkie is very convenient and it simplifies the communication by a mile. Radio earpieces and headsets help in remaining discrete and offer clearer communications. This feature is important especially for police and security agents looking to conduct investigations and surveillance unnoticed. The push to talk features make it easy to walk around while communicating. Radio Â earpieces help in noise cancellation enabling loud and clear communication. When looking to buy a good radio earpiece, other than considering your budget, itâs important to consider the comfort and ease of use of the earpiece. EarpieceOnline.co.uk, they have the best Radio Earpieces and Connectors together with many other Radio accessories. They have high quality Radio Earpiece Styles that guarantee to suit your working needs. Below are some of the top Earpiece Accessories, Connectors and Earpiece styles available in the Online store;
EarpieceOnline.co.uk, have the best earpieces both wireless and wired. These earpieces can be used together with all the leading 2 way Radio Brands like Motorola, Kenwood, Entel, Hytera and Icom. Their earpieces are very small, light and comfortable to wear. The small invisible earpieces will help provide clear and covert conversations. Your information is secure with these small masterpieces and no one will even realise that you are on radio communication.
They also have different styles of earpieces available in store. With D shaped earpieces, C shaped earpieces, acoustic tube (2 wire and 3wire) and bone conductors. It is upon the customer to make the choice for the most appropriate earpiece suited for his/her needs. Here are some of the available earpiece types in the store; High quality 3 wire covert earpieces, earpieces adaptors, in ear moulds and mushroom replacements for acoustic tube earpieces. The 3 wire covert earpiece kits available in our store include; The Covert Motorola Block connector earpiece, Covert Motorola 2 Pin connector earpieces, The Covert Kenwood 2 Pin connector earpiece and Icom Multipin connector earpiece. These earpieces can be used with most of the leading Radio brands in the market.
These acoustic tube earpieces are made from very durable materials with Kevlar cable reinforcement. The connecting wires to these connectors are long enough giving you freedom to walk around comfortably. They further have Noise reducing microphones, push to talk buttons and are all RoHS compliant. The features might slightly vary depending on the brand of earpiece you prefer.
We also have wireless kits to further make your communications discrete and easier. These kits are very small, light and easy to use. The inductive pack of the kit is attached to the collar of a shirt or inside a jacket and it then transmits audio signals to the in-ear wireless earpiece. A small push to talk button is concealed in the userâs wrist where the user will be talking to. The available wireless kits in Earpieceonline.co.uk include; Inductive wireless flat pack with its in-ear wireless earpiece and the Neck Loop Inductor Earpiece with an In âEar wireless receiver. All these earpieces come with well-designed mushroom replacements.
Different radios have different connection ports. At Earpieceonline.co.uk, they have a range of earpiece radio connectors to connect earpieces/headsets to all the leading radio brands like Motorola, Kenwood and Icom. Whereas other connectors are tailored to specific brands, some are universal and will be used to connect more than one 2 way radios. Some of the available connectors at EarpieceOnline.co.ukinclude; interchangeable universal connectors- this connectors allow you to interchange between different radios like the Motorola GP340, GP344, GP360, DP3400, DP2400, all Icom, Hytera and Kenwood radios. We also have replacement connectors that are used to replace specific connectors. They include; DP2400 replacement connectors, Entel Multi-pin Connectors, GP340 Connectors and many other individual brands. Be sure to check with us for your desired connectors.
Why shop with us
EarpieceOnline.co.uk have a large team of experienced professionals to help you with choosing and buying 2 way radios and accessories. We sell high quality products which meet the required standards to satisfy our customers. Our prices are very affordable considering the durable and the quality of the products that we offer. Our customers enjoy very fast responses to queries and we deliver the purchased items quickly. Visit our online store at Earpieceonline.co.uktoday and get high quality products to suit your business. If you are looking for the best 2 way radios, earpieces, connectors, adaptors and many other communication accessories then EarpieceOnline is your perfect spot to shop.
Now itâs not the usual field that we cover, but it hit our radar. How many times have you seen an enthusiastic presenter or an excited contestant on TV drop their radio mic and crawl around on the floor, trying to pick it up! Well when a costume designer and a sound man get together then things get designed, and why this hasnât be invented before is beyond us, but it looks like an idea that could take off. Read the full article here.
Sound recordist Simon Bysshe and costumier Laura Smith have combined their knowledge and expertise to create URSA Straps, a unique range of low profile body worn straps designed to conceal radio microphone transmitters.
Officially launched this month and now available in the UK and Europe, URSA Straps are made from a specially developed bonded fabric that is ultra-slim and provides excellent stretch, comfort and breathability. Each strap incorporates a pouch to keep the transmitter locked in place and a cable pocket for managing excess microphone cable. URSA Straps are available in black, beige and brown skin tone colours and can be worn around the ankle, thigh or waist.
Bysshe and Smith developed URSA Straps after listening to numerous artists express discomfort while wearing radio mic straps. Traditional thick neoprene or elastic straps can irritate the skin, become soaked in sweat and are often impossible to disguise under figure hugging costumes.
âIt was obvious that a better way of discreetly securing transmitters was required,â Simon Bysshe explains. âAs a boom operator I had worked with many artists who disliked wearing transmitter packs because their associated straps could restrict movement and become uncomfortable. In some cases they had simply refused to wear them.â
Laura Smithâs knowledge of costume making proved invaluable as she was able to construct prototypes and identify the exact fabrics required to suit the needs of costume, artists and sound departments.
âAfter many months of research we decided to create our own unique hybrid fabric by fusing two stretch fabrics together,â Bysshe explains. âThis resulting fabric is just 1mm thick and much lighter and softer than any other fabric of its kind. Crucially we incorporated a hook Velcro compatible outer surface that allows the straps to be securely attached to themselves at any point.â
Bysshe tested the new straps while working on the second series of Sky AtlanticâsÂ The Tunnel. Lead actress ClÃ©mence PoÃ©sy was an immediate convert and provided valuable feedback to help develop the product. Bysshe has subsequently used URSA Straps on the third series ofÂ Peaky Blinders. The USRA Thigh straps were particularly popular with the cast members who found them secure, light and comfortable. The fact they can be worn around the thigh as opposed to the waist made them invaluable for use with the period costumes.
âWith URSA Straps we have created such a comfortable low-profile solution that artists often forget that they are wearing them. Now we have to make sure that actors remember to take them off before they leave!â Bysshe adds. âThe straps can be washed and re-used every day for many months. Our Thigh straps are particularly popular as they are designed to not slip down the leg. We achieved this by bonding on a strips of Polyurethane gripper to the inside of the straps.â
Outside film and television, URSA Straps are also proving popular with dancers who need to receive audio cues during a live performance. Using waist or thigh straps the sound team can easily conceal a receiver pack on their bodies without restricting movement or compromising the look of their costumes. URSA Straps have also developed a Double-Pack strap allowing artists to wear two packs on one strap.
Oscar-winning production sound mixer Simon Hayes was an early adopter of URSA Straps and describes them as a total game changer for his team.
âURSA Straps allow us to rig radio mics on costumes previously thought to be unmicable. Tight dresses, sportswear, stunt harnesses â they can all be easily miked using low profile URSA Straps. These straps are so popular with the actresses I work with that many have asked to keep theirs at the end of the production.â
URSA Straps are suitable for a variety of wireless transmitters including Lectrosonics, Zaxcom, Wisycom MTP40 and Sennheiser 5212. Two different pouch sizes are available to ensure optimum fit. Three different waist sizes are available: small, medium and large.
âInitially Laura and I were making the straps by hand in our garage,â Bysshe says. âWhen we realised their potential we scaled up production by taking on two experienced manufacturing firms in Leicester. Our launch has been a huge success with orders coming in from all around the world! We are now on our third large production run and expanding our market into Theatre, Concerts and Outside Broadcasts.â
Closed Back Headphones vs. Open-back Headphones
Open-back headphones have pads which rest on the outer ear. They’re designed such that the outer shell of the ear cup has perforations usually with horizontal cutouts. The Open back headphones design of the ear cup enhances better natural sound because of less coloration as compared to the Closed back headphones.
Closed back headphones have much larger earpads which encircle the ears. They are designed such that there’s a big pad which cups the ears, and it features an insulated outer shell of plastic which covers the ears. The Closed back headphones actually have a very solid outer shell which doesn’t have any sort of perforations such that the outer shell effectively cups/encircles the entire ear. The Closed back headphones are excellent at isolating noise. They block most of the ambient noise, but they’ve a smaller sound stage, which gives the user the perception that the audio/sound is originating from within their head. Closed back headphones also tend to produce much stronger low frequencies as compared to Open back headphones.
Low Impedance vs High Impedance
Headphones normally come in various different impedance levels, such as 8 ohms, 16 ohms and 32 ohms. The power that’s supplied by an audio source may be at varying levels because of a variety of factors including being limited because of being battery powered. Generally, as the impedance of the headphones increases, much more voltage will be required in order to drive it, and the audio loudness of headphones for a particular voltage decreases.
The determination of impedance is usually disregarded by many headphone buyers, however, the truth is it’s one of the most important factors to consider when choosing the best headphones for your particular needs. Impedance is basically just how much power the headphones can put out so that it can overcome resistance to move the headphones’ diaphragm.
Low impedance headphones (that is, less than 25 ohm), usually require little power in order to deliver high audio levels. Low Impedance headphones play well with devices which have weak amplification. These can include; mobile phones, portable music players and various other portable devices. This type of headphones can be used at home and also while jogging with your mobile phone; this is one of the reasons why most of the on-, in-, and over the ear headphones, are low impedance. Low impedance headphones are normally designed to get plugged directly in to a single (one) source, and generates sound more efficiently from a lower level input signal. This headphones tend to be much louder and much more efficient, however, they will also require a much more capable amplifier.
High impedance headphones (25 ohms and above), generally require more power in order to deliver high audio levels. As a result, they’re protected from damages caused by overloading. High impedance headphones are typically designed for studio like applications where there might be multiple phones/devices wired in parallel and receiving input signals from a single source. High impedance headphones are more tolerant of the amplifier limitations, however, they will produce less volume for a particular output level. They are also a little more durable (that is, electronically), however, they require much higher signal levels in order to produce the same level of output level of the low impedance headphones. This type of headphones can be used with a wider range of audio equipment.
Passive Headphones vs. Active Headphones
Passive (noise cancelling) headphones are made of materials which help in blocking out sound waves from the surrounding environment. The same way ear muffs soften the outside noise, so does this type of headphones employ passive noise canceling. This type of headphones are typically used for both professional mixing and monitoring, like in broadcast and recording studios, and such other applications. Passive headphones are basically designed to playback music/audio true to the actual original recording, with minimal, compression, EQ, and such other sound enhancements.
On the other hand, Active headphones use batteries in order to power the built in Digital Signal Processing (also abbreviated as DSP) technology which processes play back for a particular reason, for example, to enhance the bass and the high end. Due to the enhancement of playbacks with sharper high ends and more bass, active headphones are more popular for general listening and listening to music for pleasure. Active noise cancelling headphones are also made of materials which help in blocking out outside noise, however, they take things a step further by making their very own sound waves; the sound waves created mimic the outside noises, but are a mirror image of each other, thus cancels each other out.
Wired Headphones Vs Wireless Headphones
When choosing a pair of headphones, deciding between wireless vs. wired is among one of the most overlooked factors. Wireless headphones might be a more popular choice, however, the wired headphones also have their own set of benefits. Well, that being said, as a general rule of thumb, between wireless headphones and wired headphones, assuming a similar price between the models; the wired headphones usually offer a much better quality. Also, the audio quality may get compromised over Bluetooth.
You can opt for the wireless headphones if you are not much of an audiophile, and you tend to travel a lot. If you really don’t like getting the cables of your headphones getting tangled, or caught while listening to music/audio, then the choice should be rather simple; go for wireless headphones.
You can opt for the wired headphones if you are an audiophile, and you do not necessarily bother with the wireless options unless absolutely essential like using them when traveling, or keeping the headphones as a backup. As aforementioned, the wired headphones are way ahead in terms of output quality as compared to the wireless headphones. You will never have to worry about running out of batteries, unless you happen to opt for wired headphones which cancel noise. In addition, you will never suffer from interference from the other commonly used wireless electronic devices. However, you will need to take good care of the wired headphone cables, or they will eventually break.
Technology is improving each and every day, but these advancements have left many of us tightly trapped in the luxuries and comforts, imposing many side effects on our overall health. One such modern advancement in technology that’s affecting our health is the use of headphones. Today, many people use headphones without knowing the kind of negative health issues the devices can cause.
Well, although headphones are an ergonomic, convenient and quite useful hands free accessories, there are various health risks that are associated with their use. Experts believe that prolonged use of headphones can cause great damage to the ears. In addition, headphones cause ear infections, which contributes to hearing loss. Well, some of the risks that are associated with headphones have more to do with their use and maintenance, than with the headphones mechanics.
Ear infections are much more likely to occur amongst the headphone users who wear the devices for extended periods of time, and also amongst those who don’t take good care of their headphones. For example, headphone ear cushions need to be replaced every 2-3 months, and should be treated regularly with the right cleaning agent so as to avoid accumulation of germs and bacteria. Prolonged headphone use also causes aural hygiene issues, hearing loss along with ear canal infections. Recent scientific studies have revealed that wearing headphones for extended periods of time usually increase the humidity and the temperatures inside the ear canals, thereby increasing one’s susceptibility to ear infections. This shows that headphones cause ear infections.
Sharing of headphones is another way headphones cause ear infections. It is quite common for people to share their headphones with others. Sharing headphones with others is not a good idea since the bacteria from other people’s ears will travel to your very own ears and this will cause ear infections. Therefore, the next time you think of sharing your headphones, think again. Do not share your headphones with anyone, not even your friends or family.
Listening to music together is another way headphones cause ear infections. As romantic as it may seem, there are dire repercussions to sharing headphones. In the process of enjoying music together, you will end up transferring somebody elseâs bacteria to your ears; this can lead to ear infections. Make sure you sanitize your headphones by thoroughly cleaning them with a clean tissue paper before plugging them in.
Apart from the germs and bacteria you get from borrowing or/and sharing headphones, you can also get germs and bacteria from not changing your very own headphone sponges. It’s recommended you change the rubber or sponge cover of your headphones every 2-3 months mainly because they tend to get covered with germs and bacteria over time.
Some other ways you can avoid ear infections caused by headphones is by always keeping your headphones clean, regularly replacing the old headphones and ear pads, avoiding sharing headphones or using the public headphones, and not sharing earbuds. Also, if your headphones have a sponge or a rubber cover, make sure you change them every 2 months. Finally, remember to give your ears some rest once every 15 minutes, and do not play the music way too loud, for this might contribute to hearing loss.
It is understood that ear moulded plugs are far more comfortable and effective than the mushroom plugs, but which ones are the best? The Custom fit or generic fit. This article runs over the positives and negatives of that question and comes to a conclusion, if your debating to get some moulded ear plugs or some from the shelf, you will want to read this first.
Over the past 20 years,Â In Ear MonitorsÂ (orÂ IEMs) have become a near-necessity for live performance.
In years prior, engineers would inevitably have to crank up a venueâs stage monitors loud enough for the musicians to hear themselves over the audience, over the sound coming from the stage, and over the main mix.
This would often lead to an arms race of ever-increasing stage volume, potentially causing feedback issues and compromises in clarity and quality for the live mix.
Custom in-ear monitors from JH Audio, one of the first commercial brands to make a name for itself in the IEM market.
With the advent of in-ear monitors, all this began to change.Â In the mid-1980s,Â EtymoticÂ developed the first-ever insert-styleÂ earphones, and soon after, a designer namedÂ Marty GarciaÂ began making one-off custom in-ears for rock stars like Todd Rundgren.
By 1995, Jerry Harvey, founder ofÂ Ultimate EarsandÂ JH Audio,Â brought some ofÂ the first commercially-available dual-driver IEMs to market. All of a sudden,Â everyday musicians had an option that allowed usÂ to save our hearing, get better monitor mixes, and dramatically reduce the chances of feedback onstage.
Today, IEMs are increasingly being considered useful tools for the studio as well. Their ability to prevent sound leakage can be of tremendous value in helping to control click and instrument bleed, and in saving musiciansâ hearing by allowing them to monitor at lower levels.
Some musicians and engineers, such as drummer Rich Pagano ofÂ The Fab Faux, will use IEMs to quickly check for phase when micâing up a drum kit, while others turn to IEMs as a kind of audio microscope, using them to help check for and remove extraneous low-level noise.
Any modern musician would be wise to consider adding in-ear monitors to their toolkit. But is it worth it to dish out the extra money on custom fit IEMs, instead of saving some money with the generic fit ones?
In testing a variety of in-ear monitors from brands like Westone, Ultimate Ears, Future Sonics, and even Skullcandy (that last of which is not recommended for professional use), I have found that there are cases in which generic fit earphones may work better than their custom counterparts. Making the right decision for your needs comes down to considering the following four factors:
Ultimate Ears custom fit in-ear monitors.
Custom fit IEMs tend to cost more than generic fit ones, as it takes more time and effort for the manufacturer to craft a product designed specifically for the unique anatomy of your ear.
Getting custom IEMs made also requires that you go to an audiologist to make a mold of your ear canal that the IEM company can then use to make your monitors fit as well as possible.
Take note of both of these costs, which can range from $100-$200 or more for a fitting from an audiologist, and $299-$1499 or more for the custom monitors to be made.
2)Â Comfort & Seal
Custom fit IEMs areÂ custom, so they should feel really comfortable, right? Â Well, yes and no.
In my experience, custom fit IEMs can feel a little tight in the ear canal compared to generics, especially at first. Hearing so little acoustic feedback from your performance can also take some getting used to, and the tight seal of custom fit in-ears can feel particularly awkward when signing.
Because of this, my looser-fittingÂ Westone 3Â generic IEMs actually feel more comfortable to me on vocal duties, so I often find myself using them over my custom fitÂ Future SonicsÂ when I step up to the mic.
Matt Bellamy from MuseÂ (recently featured inÂ Get THAT Guitar Tone) has been seen using both customUltimate Ears UE-11s and generic-fitÂ Westone UM2s when on tour, and my guess is that he has similar reasons.
Though the tight fit of custom IEMs and lack of acoustic feedback from your performance can be a challenge, itâs worth noting that generic foam-tip IEMs also provide their own tradeoffs: The looser fit of generics can sometimes create a bit of a tingling or âticklingâ feeling in your ear when playing at higher volumes, so it may be useful to have a pair of each and go with what feels best depending on the date and venue.
Silicone-based Encore Studio custom IEMs from ACS.
Another option here is the custom fit brandACS, which makes its IEMs out of soft silicone shells.
This softer silicone-based design is meant to offer both better comfort and a tighter fit than the hard acrylic shells used by brands like Westone and Ultimate Ears.
Though these silicone monitors sell for a premium price of $400-$1,200 and up, they may help bridge the gap between the tight seal of custom acrylics and the looser and easier fit of foam-tipped generic IEMs.
3)Â Hearing Protection
In addition to cutting down on sound leakage to help improve sound quality and reduce feedback, another primary benefit of IEMs is that they can offer considerable hearing protection by helping to block out exterior noise, allowing you to monitor at lower levels.
Some of the best custom fit brands likeÂ JH AudioÂ andÂ Ultimate EarsÂ offer NRR ratings of 26dB in reduction, and some of the better generic brands advertise comparable results as well. (Though your results with generics may vary depending on the fit and seal in your ear.)
In the long term, reducing the levels youâre regularly exposed toâeven by a few extra decibelsâcould mean the difference between a long and illustrious career as a âgolden-earedâ audio engineer and potentialtinnitusÂ and irreversible hearing loss.
Also worth checking out is theÂ REV33Â system, which can be added on to yourÂ your in-ear-monitoring system to help reduce distortion and ear strain. Many live musicians, includingÂ Phil XÂ and Steve Salas swear by the system. According to the company:
âAll in-ear monitors and headphones generate damaging, unwanted noise and distortion that forces the ear to shut down and compress for protection. The REV33 reduces the symptoms of tinnitus, ear-ringing, ear-fatigue, buzzing and dampened hearing by preventing in-ear monitors and headphones from producing this unwanted noise and distortion.â
4)Â WaitingÂ and TimeÂ Considerations
After getting my first pair of IEMâs made, I found that the right ear monitor turned out well, but I was not getting a proper seal in the left ear at first. This made the monitors essentially useless for my live sound needs at the time, and so I had to send them back for some tweaking.
When I got them back a couple of weeks later, the seal still wasnât great, so I had to send them back once again for further modification, and visit my audiologist a second time to take another impression of my ear canal to send in.
Getting the perfect fit turned out to be quite a time-consuming process (as well as an expensive one) so unless youâre on the hunt for a long-term solution with as much acoustic isolation as humanly possible, you might satisfice with generic IEMs, or keep some around as an alternate option.
In that case, I would recommend the generic in-ears from Ultimate Ears, Shure, or Westone.
Ultimate Earsâ generic fit UE900 model sports 4 drivers for $400.
TheÂ Ultimate Ears UE900âs are a great sounding 4-driver IEM that only costs $399, while the $99Â Shure SE215Â single-driver IEMs advertise an astonishing 37dB of noise reduction (more than most custom IEMs) at a great price.
My own triple-driver Westone 3âs (since replaced by theÂ W30 model) are the most comfortable in ear monitors I own right now, and they isolate a lot more noise than most thanks to their foam-tip construction.
Compared to custom in-ears, any of these model can potentially save you time and money, or work as a welcome supplement for those times when the tight fit of custom in-ears feels irksome.
I hope my experiences here help you make the right decision when you go to buy your own IEMs. In short, I found that less-expensive generic foam-tipped IEMs worked better for me in many situations, and the savings enabled me to spend my money on better drivers with a fuller sound.
If youâve used IEMâs in the past, let us know in the comments below whether you prefer custom fits or generic fit ones, and why.
ATEX Radios donât get the coverage that they deserve, they are superior to most other radios and are designed for the most dangerous and explosive situations. In the past Motorola have designed ATEX radios on current models and the respective safety features added, but this 8000XE is a new model with features not seen before on previous ATEX radio. Hot off the Motorola News desk, you can find the original article here.
Motorola SolutionsÂ continuesÂ to design digital radio solutions for firefighters and has added the APX 8000XE two-way radio and APX XE500 RSM to its line of products. The newest entries into Motorola Solutionsâ award-winning APX portfolio of Project 25 (P25) digital radios have been developed using the companyâs well-established practice of hands-on research with firefighters and other first responders who need the most reliable mission-critical communications to do their jobs efficiently, effectively and safely every day.
The APX 8000XE features all-band functionality and is a rugged P25 two-way radio that can be used in either analog or digital mode across 700/800 MHz, VHF, and UHF bands. Time is of the essence for firefighters and they can be ready inÂ momentsÂ by programming the radio remotely via WiFi and radio management software to operate securely on different radio networks, allowing them to quickly help neighboring counties during large-scale emergencies.
Motorola Solutions works closely with firefighters and other radio users to find out exactly what they need, and the APX 8000XE is the latestÂ exampleÂ of that thinking. It features the trusted ergonomics of the APX XE radio series,Â designedÂ for easy operation in harsh conditions. The right-sized radio has a large top display, exaggerated controls for gloved hands, and aÂ dedicatedÂ push-to-talk button. It also provides best-in-class audio with a 1-watt speaker, three built-in microphones and automatic noise suppression for clarity in the loudest of environments.
âThe APX 8000XE is an all-band rugged and submersible portable radio made for firefighters,â said Lieutenant David Hudik, ElginÂ Fire Department. âWith Wi-Fi access, we can reprogram the APX 8000XE on the fly when we are providing mutualÂ aidÂ assistance out-of-state.â
Most firefighters use a remote speaker microphone with their radios and the APX XE500 RSM isÂ designedspecifically for demanding environments, whether combating a fire or providing medical services at the scene of an accident:
With five strategically placed microphones and automatic noise suppression, the APX XE500 Â provides clear communications when worn on either shoulder, center chest, or over the shoulder.
It can be submersed in two meters of water for up to 4 hours.
It withstands heat conditions of up to 500Â°F (260Â°C) for up to five minutes.
A channel knob automatically controls the channels of the userâs portable APX radio.
âWith the APX XE500 RSM, I can completely control my APX radio without having to hunt under my bunker coat for it,â said Lieutenant David Hudik, ElginÂ Fire Department. âWith improved water porting, you can carry the APX XE500 upright or upside down for fast water drainage while maintainingÂ clear voicecommunications.â
âCustomer input is essential to our design and the ElginÂ Fire DepartmentÂ was right at our side as we tested the capabilities of the APX 8000XE and APX XE500 RSM,â said Claudia Rodriguez, vice president, Devices Product Management, Motorola Solutions. âThe latest XE radio means firefighters will be able to talk with other first responders at the scene and across municipalities and regions. The new rugged RSM means they can communicate clearly in the loudest fireground environments, including blaring horns and wailing sirens.â
The APX 8000XE and XE500 RSM will be available in NorthÂ America.