The ComTac V headset recently replaced the popular ComTac III headset in March 2020. This new headset offers more advanced technology and updates than its predecessor. The Liberator headset is manufactured by Safariland, a tactical equipment company. Aside from their headsets, Safariland manufactures holsters, accessories, and gear for military operations.

Military members are around some of the harshest environments and require proper hearing protection when out in the field. Both headsets allow the military to communicate while protecting their hearing. The ComTac and Liberator headset are manufactured with military and law enforcement in mind so it is common that both headsets utilize the same technologies and developments.

So, how does the Liberator V and the ComTac V compare against each other? In this blog, we are going to evaluate the Liberator V and ComTac V headsets on criteria involving,

  • Features
  • Audio Profiles
  • NRR
  • Price
  • Comms

Features

Each headset offers innovative technology from situational awareness to audio profiles. Both the Liberator and ComTac headset have the same features for hearing protection. The Liberator headset is equipped with Digital Threat Compression Technology that reduces unsafe noise to a safe level. The ComTac headset has environmental listening that enhances your auditory situational awareness. This technology still allows you to be aware of your surroundings by enhancing situational awareness and knowing exactly where the sound is coming from. The ComTac headset has Talk-Through for enhancing face-to-face communications.

The ComTac V headset has a volume boost for when you need double hearing protection. The volume boost increases ambient sound and external sounds by around 6 dB. This is intended for wearing earplugs under the headset. The balance mode in ComTac headsets helps with situational awareness and adjusting volume between the left and right speakers. This gives the operator the ability to adjust the audio for different situations.

The ComTac has a new boom microphone that provides 18 dB of noise cancellation. The boom microphone in previous versions only provided 6db noise cancellation. The Liberator V boom microphone features advanced RF and acoustic interference shielding. The acoustic interference shielding protects electronic devices from electromagnetic interference.

Both headsets can be worn with a helmet with the use of rail mounts. The headsets are designed to allow you to hear the headset comfortably while using a helmet. Switching between headset styles is easy by moving the headband and replacing it with the ARC rail mounts.

Audio Profiles

The Liberator V headset is a multi-profile tactical headset with three audio profile modes. These modes help enhance situational awareness and improve hearing within the headset. The Liberator’s three audio profiles are active noise reduction (ANR), active noise cancellation (ANC), and dual-mode ANR and ANC. Active noise reduction protects against impulse noise like gunfire but allowing you to talk and hear others around you. Active noise cancelation cancels out loud noise ultimately protecting your hearing. Lastly, dual-mode with ANC and ANR combined gives you protection from loud noise and still allows you to communicate with the person beside you.

Although the ComTac V headset does not have audio profiles, the ComTac VI has 5 Mission Audio Profiles that enhance your communication and protect you from loud noise. The ComTac V headset is designed to still incorporate hearing protection and utilizes technology that makes it easier to talk to the person beside you. The ComTac V has high fidelity speakers that give you a clear and accurate sound replication that gives you a more natural-sounding headset.

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)

The ComTac V headset has a noise reduction rating ranging from 20-23 dB. These variations depend on the band and ear cushion. In comparison, the Liberator V headset has a noise reduction rating of 26 dB.  Noise reduction ratings on headsets are important when around loud impulse noises that can do significant damage to your hearing over time. The higher the NRR rating the better the hearing protection you will receive.

Price

Both headsets are designed with advanced technology which makes the price of these headsets noticeably high. The Liberator V headset ranges from $1,250 to $1,637.00. The ComTac V headset sold on First Source Wireless goes for around $450 to $800.00 dependent on comms configurations.

Comms

The ComTac V headset comes in three different communications variations. The headset is available as single comms, duel comms, and hearing defender. The comms allow you to connect to either one device or two including your vehicle, cell phone, Bluetooth device, or radio. With the three options for the ComTac V gives you more configuration options to choose from. The Liberator V headset comes in just the dual-mode giving you a double down lead to your devices. The communication is directed to the left and right earcups without bleed over.

Both headsets are designed to be worn in tactical environments without compromising hearing and communication. The ComTac V and the Liberator V headset have common features that make them similar. The main difference between each headset is the price and NRR rating. The Liberator V cost is significantly higher than the ComTac V. The NRR rating is also higher in the Liberator compared to the ComTac. The ComTac does have options to improve the NRR rating with double hearing protection like wearing earbuds under the headset.

Interested in purchasing a ComTac V headset or other headsets within the ComTac series? First Source Wireless is a dealer with 3M providing a wide range of 3M headsets and accessories to the military and various industries.

About the Author

Taylor Thomas is a Marketing Manager at First Source Wireless. Her experience has led public safety professionals to improve their communications with 3M PELTOR headsets. Taylor has also attended many conferences including International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO), and International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE).

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