By David Crane defrev (at) gmail (dot) com All photos and video contained in this article were shot by DefenseReview.com, and are copyrighted. DefenseReview.com owns the copyright on these photos. The photos and video clips were shot with a Canon PowerShot S90 10-megapixel digital camera (still camera with video capability). August 26, 2011 Las updated on 9/14/11.
Two days ago, Soldier Systems published a short blurb on the TEA INVISIO Digital Ears X50 System Digital In-Ear Bone-Conduction Tactical Comms (Tactical Communications) Headset with X50 Multi-Com PTT (Push-To-Talk) Button Module and integral active hearing protection (tactical hearing pro). As it happens, DefenseReview (DR) got to peruse and photograph this exact piece of equipment a few months ago at the TEA booth at the 2011 Special Operations Forces Industry Conference (SOFIC 2011), and we got some pretty good shots.
The X50 System is interesting. It's designed to simultaneously provide cutting edge tactical comms with low-profile in-ear active hearing protection when you have to go into a room loud and proud, ventilating and neutralizing all those big, bad threats as you go. Maybe you don't have an AAC Mini4 fast-attach or SureFire MINI muzzle can (silencer/sound suppressor) on the end of your select-fire Ferfrans SOAR-P (Piston) gas piston/op-rod (push-rod-type operating rod) 5.56mm NATO tactical AR SBR (Short Barreled Rifle)/sub-carbine. And, even if you do, the bad guys sure won't, and Kalashnikov AKM rifles and PKM machine guns are every bit as loud. If you've got the TEA INVISIO Digital Ears X50 System, your hearing will be protected, and you'll be able to effectively communicate with your teammates that are running and gunning along side you with the tactical comms advantages provided by "dual communication with radio autosensing and full-duplex/VOX capability".
The X50 System comes standard with the INVISIO X5 Dual Headset – Universal Fit Bone-Conduction Mic and the aforementioned INVISIO X50 Multi-Com PTT (Push-To-Talk) button module. If the X5 mic doesn't do it for you, you can opt for the INVISIO X6 Dual Headset – Custom Fit Mic. In-ear bone conduction/active-hearing pro technology provides a clearer, surer sound through the earpiece(s). The operator can still hear ambient sounds while being protected from dangerous high-impulse like gunshots and explosions. The X50 is reportedly good-to-go for Military Free Fall Operations, so that's, well…good.
The following information comes from the TEA INVISIO Digital Ears X50 System Data Sheet (PDF Format):
"Patented In-Ear Bone Conduction Technology The INVISIO® X5 Bone Conduction Headset contains one of the most unique microphone technologies in the world. The X5 is designed to place the bone conduction microphone in the exact spot within your inner ear where the jaw bone meets the ear canal to capture your voice. Effectively speech is transmitted with ultimate clarity and minimal background noise. Communication is possible even when your face is covered with a gas mask, respirator, re-breather or even through HAZMAT suites.
State of the Art – 360° Situational Awareness The X5 has external microphones on each earpiece that allow you to monitor your surrounding environment. The X5’s digital sound processors will automatically protect you against damaging impulse noise such as gunfire and explosions by compressing sound above 85dB back down to a non-damaging level. The X5 is also capable of super enhanced hearing that allows you pick up audible sounds never before possible during tactical operations.
Certified Hearing Protection – Comply ™ Foam Canal Tips Maximum Attenuation: Comply™ Foam Canal Tips help provide the highest level of audible attenuation with a 29dB Noise Reduction Rating we ensure your hearing stays protected at all times.
Stay In-Ear Fit: Comply™ Canal Tips are feature a tapered design and body heat activated material that allows the foam tip to expand to the natural shape of your ear canal. Comply™ Canal Tips also have a threaded core so the tips can screw onto the INVISIO® X5 and stay secure and in place during movement.
Comfort – Clarity – Security Universal Fit – The X5 Headset’s universal design provides you a natural and comfortable inner-ear fit.
Patented Soft Springs™ – Soft rubber springs apply the perfect amount of pressure to keep the X5 Headset secure and in place inside your inner ear. The Soft Springs™ also ensure proper pressure of the bone conduction microphone against the jawbone.
Cable Retainers – The X5 has a contoured cable management system that keeps the headset’s kevlar cables behind your ears giving you a clean fit that doesn’t get in the way of masks or eye wear.
Customized Comfort The X6 Headset is customized to your exact ear shape and is potted in certain areas to prevent hit spots in your ears. The X6 is perfect for users that operate for extended periods of time and want nothing but the best!
Ultimate Speech Clarity The X6 Headsets’s design allows the bone conduction microphone to sit in the most effective place in your inner ear to pick up speech. Even in the most extreme noise environments you’ll always be able to say “I Heard You The First Time…®”
Custom™ Protect Hearing Protection The X6 features dual ridges in the design of the custom fit earpiece material. These ridges provide optimal attenuation to protect you from damaging impulse and continuous noise. The X6 has a noise protection rating of 25NRR and 29SNR.
Simple Earpiece Donning It can't get any easier when using a headset made specifically for your ear. The X6 headset makes your life a lot easier without having to use foam tips. Simply pop it in your ear and you're good to go!
How the X6 Headset is made In just a couple weeks we turn your ear mold into a dual in-ear X6 Headset. The process starts by getting impressions of your ears taken which can be done by your local Audiologist (usually your local hearing aid provider) or you may be able to have this done by a certified Flight Doctor or Base Medical Office. Once we receive your ear molds they are sent off to be scanned using a high tech 3-D imaging device, after they are scanned the X6 is then laser cut to your exact ear shape. Every contour, ridge and detail of your inner ear is incorporated into the X6 Earpieces, providing you with one of the best tactical in-ear headsets in the world!
Stay in Control of your Communications The X50 Control Unit gives you full control of multiple 2-way radios, vehicle of aircraft intercoms and even your mobile phone. The X50 was designed and engineered with capability, simplicity, and to give you the ability to operate in some of the most demanding environments tactical operators are subjected to. The Mechanical design incorporates functionality with a thoughtless button layout that allows for quick reaction transmission abilities and on the move adjustments. Functions and Buttons Interface The X50 Control Unit has two push-to-talk buttons located on the side that are separated by a ridge to distinguish which radio source you will transmit on. The Function Button and Volume Buttons allow you to cycle between and adjust the volume up or down on your primary, secondary radio and adjust your situational awareness on the go.
Radio and Headset Auto-Sensing Each X50 radio cable has sensor pins that communicate to pre loaded software in the X50’s memory. This software adjusts the control levels based on the pre loaded radio or intercom values. The X50 Software is can be upgraded in the field by use of a CD and USB cable or can be sent back to our factory in Brewster to be updated.
Full Duplex and Cross Talk Elimination The X50 allows you to communicate full duplex/open mic over vehicle or aircraft intercom systems without using your hands or turning off your situational awareness. Also when monitoring two communication signals/sources you never have to worry about sensitive information being inadvertently picked up or transmitted over a non-secure line.
Also Operates your Mobile Phone Stay connected with the X50 Mobile Phone Cable! Use your 2-way Radio on Com 1 and your Mobile Phone on Com 2. A great tactical option if you need to make a call on-scene or even in the back of a helicopter or APC.
Wireless Dual Radio Control The M80 Dual Wireless Push-to-Talk enables you to operate your primary and secondary radios through the INVISIO® X50 Multi-Com PTT remotely while remaining “Hands On” your weapon at all times. Wired Remote PTT's
Extend your ability to communicate We offer a wide variety of remote push-to-talk switches that allow you to extend and take full control of the your communications remotely.
Finger Switch The Finger Switch is a lightweight universal remote switch that allows users to communicate without being noticed.
Palm Switch Includes an elastic strap that allows for many variations of wear. Users can place this switch on their palm and key using their finger tips or place it on the stock of your weapon.
P-16 Dual PTT The Dual T Switch also comes with an elastic strap that allows for many variations of wear. This switch also allows users to key multiple com sources remotely.
M15 Body PTT The M15 is a 2” round body switch that has an optional protection ring. The M15 allows for remote keying even underneath NBC suites.
Halo Switch The Halo Switch has a strap that fits over the user’s hand and allows them to communicate without losing grip. This is a great option for airborne and turret operators.
Signal and Security: Encryption Type: 32-bit, AES-CCM-32, with the following security services: Data Encryption: Encrypts the message with a 32-bit security key Media Access Control: Unique MAC address for each physical unit Message Integrity: Message Integrity Code (MIC) is attached to each packet when sent Sequential Freshness: Only accepts the same message once, doesn’t allow for record and repeat
Range Attributes: Range: 2m line of sight Regulations: United States-FCC Certi ed, Canada-IC Certi ed, Europe-ETSI Certi ed Operating Band: ISM Band 2.405-2.48 GHz Operation
Environmental Specifications: Military Speci cation: MIL-STD 810F IP Rating: IP68 2m for 2 hours Operating Temperature: -30° to + 55°C Storage Temperature: -30° to + 63°C
Battery Specifications: Battery Type: Internal lithium ion non- replaceable battery Battery Shelf Life: Up to 5 years Operating Battery Life: Up to 3 years"
Company Contact Info:
Television Equipment Associates, Inc. (TEA)
16 Mount Ebo Road South Ste. 6 (PO BOX 404)
Brewster, NY 10509
New York Office:
Marketing, Programs & Training
Military & Law Enforcement Sales
Military & Law Enforcement Sales
Email Contact Page: http://www.teaheadsets.com/contact.htm
Website 2: http://www.swatheadsets.com/
Advanced Armament Corp. (AAC)
2408 Tech Center Parkway Suite 150
Lawrenceville, GA 30043
Email Sales: [email protected]
Email Technical: [email protected]
18300 Mount Baldy Circle
Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Toll Free: 800-828-8809
Outside the US: 714-545-9444
Email: [email protected]
2649 E. Valley Blvd., Suite D
West Covina, CA 91792
Email: [email protected]
214 Calle Moreno
San Dimas, CA 91773
Falcon Security Group Inc. (FSG)
Huntington Beach, CA
Main Number: 714.248.6509
Email: [email protected]
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