Tactical communication headsets are a way for military and law enforcement to stay connected and protect their hearing. Two popular tactical headsets are the Safariland Liberator IV and the 3M Peltor ComTac IV. These two headsets are designed with similar features making them both suitable for tactical use. The military is around some of the harshest environments where loud noise is often an issue. Headsets are worn to protect hearing and offer available for communication with your team at all times.

Both the Liberator and the ComTac series are two of the main types of headsets used by military and law enforcement. So how do the Liberator IV and the ComTac IV compare to each other? In this blog, we are going to evaluate the Liberator IV headset and ComTac IV headset on criteria involving,

  • Cost
  • Comms
  • Audio Profiles
  • Features
  • NRR


Both headsets are equipped with advanced technology meaning the price of these tactical headsets is priced noticeably high. The Liberator IV headset is around $975.00-$1,153.00 depending on the features you want. The ComTac IV headset can range from around $718-$974.97. The ComTac prices differ between the single comm, dual comm, and hearing defender headset.


Headsets come with radio communication capabilities to connect users and allow them to communicate. This is espe Peltor cially important for the military on missions to be able to communicate. The 3MComTac IV headset is single and double comms. The Liberator IV headset is just single comms configurations.

Audio Profiles

The Liberator IV is the only headset with audio profiles. Audio profiles help adjust auditory settings within the headset. These profiles help the military in combat missions with hearing and listening. Audio profiles help soldiers and law enforcement achieve desirable communication in specific environments.

The Liberator has 3 audio profiles: active noise reduction (ANR), active noise cancelation (ANC), and dual mode with ANR and ANC together. ANR protects your hearing from impulse noises like gunfire. This profile enhances ambient audio so you can still have a conversation. The ANC mode cancels out the loud noise of high decibels to help protect your hearing. Lastly, dual-mode combines the two giving you protection from loud noise and still lets you talk to and hear the person beside you.


Tactical communication headsets are designed with military and law enforcement in mind. A lot of the features found in these two headsets are great for loud environments and staying connected. Situational awareness is one of the most common features found in both of the headsets. Situational awareness is how alert you are with your surroundings. The ComTac and Liberator headsets maximize situational awareness. This listen-through technology allows users to locate threats and hazards in the environment they are in to protect their safety.

The ComTac IV is tested in accordance with MIL-STD-810F. This MIL-STD is tested by the Department of Defense to ensure equipment survives some of the toughest environments and can integrate with the military. The headset is also tested with MIL-STD 461E. This tests the headset's requirements for electromagnetic interference.

The battery life in ComTac IV headsets is two AAA batteries which provide about 250 hours of battery life. In the event of the battery life is depleted, the headset is Rx/Tx fail-safe. This means that external communications are independent of the battery and will continue to function. The Liberator IV headset takes the same AAA battery or one CR123 battery. Safariland has not stated how many hours the batteries will last.

The boom microphone on the ComTac IV headset is ambidextrous which allows you to move the mic to the right or left side of the helmet. The Liberator IV boom microphone features advanced RF and acoustic interference shielding.

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)

Noise Reduction Ratings are especially important for protecting your hearing when exposed to loud noise. Both Liberator and ComTac range in noise reduction ratings. The Liberator headset has a noise reduction rating of 26. The ANC mode within the Liberator adds up to 5 dB of NRR. The ComTac scales between a noise reduction rating of 20-23 depending on the type of style of the headset. The ComTac hearing defender headset has a rating of 20 NRR. The highest NRR rating for headsets is 31. These two headsets have a decent rating for suppressing noise.

The Liberator and ComTac headset both have various features that help the military stay connected and protected. Tactical headsets have the ideal balance of Noise Reduction Ratings without compromising situational awareness. The ComTac headsets fail-safe feature keeps the headset still operable when it's needed most. Interested in purchasing a ComTac headset? First Source Wireless sells 3M Peltor ComTac IV headsets and other ComTac series headsets.

TAYLOR THOMAS is a Marketing Manager at First Source Wireless. With her experience in critical communications, she helped public safety professionals enhance their communication through the help of two-way radios and headsets.

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