Tactical Headsets: The Pursuit of Perfection
In our team's history, clear communication has often been thwarted by subpar equipment. We have grappled with headsets that faltered at crucial moments, leading us to scour the market, hoping to find the headset that would stand up to the rigors of our demanding environments.
We’ve walked a long road, trying a gamut of brands and types, from 3M Peltor Comtac to MSA Sordin, and from Z-Tactical to throat mics and Bowmans. But time and again, we've been met with disappointments: microphones that gave up on us, earmuff speakers that broke down, and in-ear versions that irritated more than they helped. Water resistance? More like water ingress.
The challenges were manifold. Sound pickup wasn’t accurate, and some required amplified PTTs, which were an added expense. Understandably, we found ourselves sidestepping communication systems, unless absolutely necessary.
However, as our team grew, the dire need for a unified, reliable communication system became paramount. The decision was made to standardize our radios, which prompted us to restart our quest for the perfect headset.
Our prayers seemed answered during a seemingly innocuous Facebook scroll. I chanced upon a post heralding the arrival of a new dealer for tactical headsets. The images were promising. Without a second thought, my mate Mentes and I decided to check it out in person.
Given the need for specific PTTs, we invested in those too. Post a rigorous 36-hour MilSim testing in the UK, it was evident that this headset was leagues apart from its predecessors. The PTT, however, was a tad underwhelming. But more on that later.
Introducing: The OPSMEN Tactical Headset
Here's a breakdown of its features as provided by OPSMEN:
- Sound Quality: Boasting a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 22, it promises clarity in communication. The headset restores ambient sounds, making it perfect for tactical environments.
- Volume Control: A user-friendly electronic volume adjustment, complete with an on/off switch reminder tone.
- Gunshot Noise Suppression: It suppresses any noise above 82 dBa, while still amplifying low-level sounds.
- Battery Life: Powered by 2 AAA batteries, it guarantees approximately 350 hours of operation.
- Ergonomics: The design aligns well with the ear's structure, ensuring comfort. The built-in NATO Military Standard 7.0 Plug is a thoughtful addition for PTT.
- Microphone Flexibility: The detachable microphone can be assembled on either side, catering to both left and right-handed users.
- Comfort: The ear cups are anti-sweat and comfortable for prolonged use. The adjustable headband ensures it fits all.
- Design: The foldable ear cup design is a smart touch, making it portable. With an IPX-5 rating, its water resistance is commendable.
- Certifications: It ticks off all the necessary standards, being compliant with CE/RoSH/ANSI S3.19-1974.
The Not-So-Good Part: The PTT
While the headset was a dream, the PTT was its polar opposite. Without diving too deep, the responsiveness and durability left much to be desired. Given the headset's quality, this was a surprising and disappointing revelation.
In our journey towards impeccable communication, we've made significant progress with the OPSMEN tactical headset. While it's not the complete package due to the PTT issues, the headset in itself is a game-changer. We hope that as technology advances and feedback is heeded, the perfect tactical communication solution isn't far off.