Finding out which 3M Peltor Comtac Headset is best for you can be challenging. While the Comtac V and the Comtac VI are similar, some features might benefit you more than the other. You’ll also need to figure out which configuration you’ll need to help narrow down your search.

In this buyer’s guide, we created a quiz that after a few short yes or no answers, will tell you which headset we think fits you best.

Take the quiz below and read on to learn more about the configurations and features of the Comtac series headsets.

Step #1: Find Your Configuration

The first step in finding the right Comtac headset is determining what type of configuration you will need. The configuration is broken down into three - downleads, style, and color.

Question #1: Do you need a downlead for radio communication or military aviation intercom systems?

Will you be using this headset with radios or intercom systems? If yes, you’ll need to have a headset with a downlead. Downleads are cords with a U/174 NATO wired plug that connect your headset directly to most military aviation intercom systems or to a push to talk adapter that goes to your portable/military two-way radio. Push to talk adapters are sold separately.

Push to talks adapters are compatible with most Motorola two-way radios and military AN/PRC-148 MBIRT, PRC-152 Falcon radios and for AN/VIC-3 intercom system.

Question #2: Do you need no leads, one lead, or two leads?

The Comtac series headsets are available in single comm, dual comm, and hearing defender (no leads).

Just as the name suggests, a single comm headset has one downlead cord to connect to a single radio or intercom system. This means your headset will receive and transmit communications from one radio to your headset.

A dual comm has two downlead cords to connect to two separate radios/intercoms. Your headset will then receive and transmit communications to your headset from two radios. One radio transmissions will come to one earcup and the other radio will go to the other earcup.

Some headsets have no downleads which are found on the 3M Peltor Comtac Hearing Defenders. This is good if you don’t need to connect to a military radio or push to talk and just need hearing protection. Hearing Defenders are good for shooting practice, etc.

The Comtav V Hearing Defender can be turned into a communications headset after purchase with additional parts. However, the Comtac VI Hearing Defender can NOT be turned into a communications headset. If you need comms it’s more cost effective and recommended to just buy a headset that already has comms.

This configuration mainly depends on the application of your headset for if you need single or dual comm. Making this decision will allow you to quickly choose between the Comtac V or the Comtac VI.

Single Comm Headset

One Downlead

Dual Comm Headset

Two Downleads

Hearing Defender Headset

No Downleads


Question #3: What Style of Headset Do You Want?

The Comtacs come in three different styles – headband, neckband, and headband + arc rail. The style of headset you are looking for is mostly preference to how you’ll most likely wear the headset.

The first option is headband the headset rests on the tops of your head when worn. The headband option is the most popular.

The next style is neckband—this means the headset will rest on the back of your neck when worn.

The last option for style is the headband with ARC rails. ARC rails transition the headset by removing the headband and adding rails so it can be mounted on helmets. This makes it optimal for military and swat team use. The Comtac VI comes with ARCs included in the purchase; on the other hand, the Comtac V ARCs are sold separately.


Headband (most popular)


Headband + ARC


Question #4: What color headset do you prefer?

3M Peltor Comtacs come in three colors—O.D. Green, Coyote Brown, and Black (Swat-Tac). Coyote brown is the most popular color for military followed by O.D. Green.

You’ll notice the black headset is called the Swat-Tac. The only difference here is the name. It’s still the same headset as the Comtac just in black. The reason for the name change is due to the fact that the black color is typically worn by SWAT teams whose uniforms are traditionally black.


Coyote Brown

O.D. Green


Step #2: Comtac V vs Comtac VI

Now that you have answered the above questions, you can move on to the major questions that separate the main differences between the Comtac V and Comtac VI.

Question #5: Do you want advanced listening modes?

The main difference between the Comtac V and the Comtac VI is the features. The Comtac VI comes with two listening modes: Natural Interactive Behavior and Mission Audio Profiles. These are not available on Comtac V.

These advanced features are more geared towards military combat scenarios as they enhance situational awareness and connect the team.

Natural Interactive Behavior (NIB) allows the headsets to automatically pair when in close range, usually within 5-10 meters or when noise levels are 72 decibels and above. This features will connect 4 team members and let 60 people listen in at a time. NIB is great for teams to be able to listen to one another as they would in a non-tactical environment.

Mission Audio Profiles (MAP) adjust the headset to 5 different listening modes dependent on which environment you’re in. The MAP modes can adjust so you get the best communication and listening for every situation. The 5 profiles include.

  • Observation: Good for when standing or sitting still to maximize hearing.
  • Patrol: Limits the sound of footsteps, grass etc. when moving.
  • Conversation: Maximize frequencies for face to face communication.
  • Comfort: Used when in noise for long periods of time like inside vehicles where comfort is a priority rather than environmental listening.
  • Mic Off: Turn off the environmental listening feature.

If you are looking to use advanced listening features when using your headset, then you will want to purchase the Comtac VI. If these features are not needed, then we suggest going with a Comtac V.

Question #6: Will you be using this outside the United States?

If you’re thinking of buying the Comtac VI headset, then you need to read on. This doesn’t apply to the Comtac V as it does not have the NIB feature.

Recently, 3M introduced two versions of the Comtac VI headset. One offers a single frequency and a dual frequency. The two versions are due to the NIB feature, which if not using the right version headset, won’t work properly in Europe.

If you are a U.S. Federal Government customer such as the U.S. Military, planning on using your Comtac VI outside of the United States, like in Europe, you need to buy the dual frequency headset.

The dual frequency headsets work on both 915.5 MHz and 864 MHz. The 915.5 MHz frequency is meant to be used when operating in North America, Australia, and New Zealand and the 864 MHz frequency is approved for use in Europe. These headsets are not FCC approved.

If you are using the Comtac VI in North America, Australia, and New Zealand and don’t plan on using it in Europe than the single frequency headset will work for you. This headset only operates on the 915.5 MHz frequency band. This is an FCC approved headset.

Prior to using a NIB enabled headset, it is the user’s responsibility to ensure they are using the correct NIB frequency for the region in which they are currently using the headset.

Dual Frequency Headsets: OK for use within North America, Australia, New Zealand.

MT20H682FB-47N CY

3M Peltor Comtac VI Single Comm – Brown

MT20H682FB-19N CY

3M Peltor Comtac VI Dual Comm – Brown

MT20H682FB-09N CY

3M Peltor Comtac VI Hearing Defender – Brown

MT20H682FB-47N GN

3M Peltor Comtac VI Single Comm – Green

MT20H682FB-19N GN

3M Peltor Comtac VI Dual Comm – Green

MT20H682FB-09N GN

3M Peltor Comtac VI Hearing Defender – Green

MT20H682FB-47N SV

3M Peltor SwatTac VI Single Comm – Black

MT20H682FB-19N SV

3M Peltor SwatTac VI Dual Comm – Black

MT20H682FB-09N SV

3M Peltor Swatac VI Hearing Defender – Black


Single Frequency: OK for use in North America and Europe

MT20H682FB-47N CYS

3M Peltor Comtac VI Single Comm – Brown

MT20H682FB-19N CYS

3M Peltor Comtac VI Dual Comm – Brown

MT20H682FB-09N CYS

3M Peltor Comtac VI Hearing Defender – Brown

MT20H682FB-47N GNS

3M Peltor Comtac VI Single Comm – Green

MT20H682FB-19N GNS

3M Peltor Comtac VI Dual Comm – Green

MT20H682FB-09N GNS

3M Peltor Comtac VI Hearing Defender – Green

MT20H682FB-47N SVS

3M Peltor SwatTac VI Single Comm – Black

MT20H682FB-19N SVS

3M Peltor SwatTac VI Dual Comm – Black

MT20H682FB-09N SVS

3M Peltor Swatac VI Hearing Defender – Black


Next Steps:

Hopefully this quiz and buying guide helped narrow down your search for the right 3M Peltor Comtac headset. Once you’ve thought about the leads, style, and color you’ll need to figure out if you want the Comtac V or the Comtac VI.


If you still have questions, we’re happy to help you! Reach out to us at 800-991-4569 or contact us here.

How First Source Wireless Can Help

First Source Wireless is an authorized dealer of 3M Peltor communication headsets. We have years of experience in helping the U.S. military, law enforcement, and other agencies find the right solutions for them. Shop around to find more communication headsets and accessories from 3M.

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