In the military, communications and hearing protection are always a top priority. Military personnel operate in high-noise environments involving gunfire and aircraft, which has resulted in a spike of hearing loss cases in veterans. This resulted in an increased drive for current service members to protect their ears.
The most critical form of protection for these soldiers is a reliable communications headset, but there are so many products on the market that it can be impossible to decide which is best for you. 3M Peltor recently released its ComTac V headset, the next iteration in its Peltor series, which has grown in popularity with the military community in recent years.
In this article, we’re going to detail the features and benefits of the Comtac V against one of the most popular military headsets, the Gentex Ops-Core AMP. Topics we’ll cover include:
- Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
3M Comtac V
The 3M Peltor Comtac V presents many new features, like updated software to allow the user to access the audio and customization feature more easily.
Balance mode enhances the environmental listening function by allowing adjustment to balance between the left and right speakers, which allows the user to prioritize audio to their preference. The equalizer function is great for military users who operate in different environments.
This function adjusts the sound level in response to external noises such as vehicles. Finally, the volume boost function aids in situations with heavy noise levels, boosting ambient noise levels by about 6dB.
- Level Dependent, Electronic Hearing Protection to Help Protect from Impulse & Steady State Noise
- Earplug Mode for High Noise Environments
- Omni-Directional Environmental Microphones for Auditory Situational Awareness
- “Talk-Through” for Face-to-Face Verbal Communication
Gentex Ops-Core AMP Features
The Ops-Core is one of the top headsets in the military for a reason, thanks to its strong capabilities and reliance in the field. First, the advanced ambidextrous boom microphone silences background noise to allow the user to communicate clearly without interference.
The headset is compatible with a variety of accessories as well as quick release downlead connections. One of the most popular technologies included in the headset is the 3D Hear-Through Technology (3DHT), which restores natural hearing of the outside environment to enhance the user’s situational awareness.
- Double Hearing Protection with Optional NFMI Earplugs
- Mission Configurable Capability
- Noise-Cancelling Microphone
- Ergonomic Ear Seals & Headband
Both headsets include advanced technology and materials, which makes them fairly expensive compared to other communication headsets. The Gentex Ops-Core AMP headset costs $800 for the Fixed Downlead option and $950 for the Connectorized headset.
First Source Wireless sells the ComTac V from $450 to $800 depending on comms configurations, along with all other models in the ComTac series. These comms configurations consist of hearing defender (no comms), single comm, allowing for connection to one external communication device like a two-way radio and dual comm, connection to two external communication devices at a time.
Noise Reduction Rating
Noise Reduction Rating, or NRR, is a rating given to hearing protection devices to determine their effectiveness at reducing hazardous decibel (dB) levels that can be permanently damaging to one’s hearing over time. Military personnel frequently deal with the threat of hearing loss because they spend lots of time around loud vehicles, explosions, and gunfire, making NRR an important category to consider for service members.
The NRR of the Comtac V ranges from 20-23 dB, while the NRR of the Ops-Core AMP headset is 22 dB, but 34 dB can be achieved with the use of Near-Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) earplugs. With these numbers in consideration, both headsets exhibit a strong noise reduction rating compared to the industry average, but the Ops-Core AMP has a small edge in hearing protection.
The Peltor Comtac V has three communication variations, which are the hearing defender, single comms, and dual comms configurations. The communications options allow the user to connect up to two devices, including your cell phone, Bluetooth device, radio, or vehicle. These three variations are standard for 3M’s Peltor Comtac series, allowing the headset to be effective in a wide range of applications.
The Ops-Core headset is offered in a headband or rail-mounted configuration. Both options have NFMI earplug variations, which promote hearing protection while enhancing the user’s situational awareness. Moreover, the user has the choice of the fixed downlead or connectorized AMP headset.
While the Ops-Core AMP headset was designed specifically for military and law enforcement applications, the Peltor Comtac V performs even better than the AMP in many areas. Also, the Comtac V has the ARC rail option, which allows it to be worn with military helmets. In the area of hearing protection, the Gentex Ops-Core NFMI earplug variation will provide the largest benefit to those consistently working around hazardous noises such as gunfire and aircraft.
In each headset, you’ll find a trusted headset to ensure clear and direct communications, maximum situational awareness, and durability against the toughest environments you’ll encounter. The Ops-Core is certainly a military headset and is built specifically to persist the harsh conditions of war, but the 3M Comtac V is very close in terms of ruggedness and beats out the competition in integrated technologies.
Interested in purchasing a Comtac V headset or other headsets in the Comtac series? First Source Wireless is a trusted source for 3M products, delivering a wide range of headsets and communication accessories to the military, law enforcement, and public safety industries
About the Author
Taylor Thomas is a Marketing Manager at First Source Wireless. With her experience, she has helped improve critical communications with the help of hearing protection 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).