It has been years that cops have been using code red headsets and portable radios to get information from each other and from their base unit. They have been using either shoulder mics or built in speakers whose quality was easily impaired by noise and the information was loud enough for persons within close vicinity to hear. Headsets however give them clear sound and also keeps the information private while allowing the officer the use of both hands. There are different types of headsets available and most police departments allow the officer to make the choice of the one they want to use from a list of models that have been preapproved. These include;
Sound tube headsets – these sometimes have microphones integrated but sometimes don’t. It connects to the portable radio by a cord that is worn beneath the officer’s shirt, emerging at his collar and clipped there for security. This is also the type of headset that you see worn by television new broadcasters. There can also be a mic attached which is clipped to the shirt cuff of the officer. If you choose this option ensure you get a custom molded earpiece so you will be comfortable wearing it all day.
Boom mic headsets – these are those sets that have a plastic headband that is flexible and is used across the head to fix the headset in place. The mic can be found in a boom that has the mic positioned flat against the user’s throat or close to the mouth. The earpiece can either be an earplug, a bone conduction transmitter or a flat speaker that is pressed on the ear. The downside of these are that it is hard to distinguish a person just by their voice alone and they do tend to stand out so may not be suitable for certain tactical applications.
Wireless headsets – these make use of Bluetooth technology or NFMI which means Near Field Magnetic Induction technology. When using Bluetooth devices it is best if both the radio and the headset are worn on the same side and going just 8 feet apart could cause static and other interference. NFMI makes use of a magnetic field which is generated by any device that transmits energy. This type of headset will work with no interference as long as it is within this magnetic field even if there is another officer close by using the same technology. The downside to these is that there is a power source that cannot be serviced by the users so once it has reached its battery life it has to be replaced or sent back to the manufacturer for servicing.
- The main thing you want to ensure is that the headset that you are choosing will work with a portable radio. If you are in law enforcement then you will not have to worry about that as all the choices on the list are preapproved and so it is assumed that they must work with a portable radio. If you work outside the police force you may want to check Code Red Headsets as they have a wide range of items that can help with your business communication.