Earpiece questions

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by thardey, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    Got a question for you all -

    Where can I find those clear "surveillance" earpieces that it seems that every cop has? Hopefully just the ear-piece part, not even the speaker - I already have the speaker.

    And, how many of you like wearing them? Do they limit your hearing? It seems like that would be critical for awareness. Do you wear them for a long period of time, or do you take them out when you're not actively using them?


    I've been avoiding the whole "Ipod" craze as much as possible, in a large part because I don't like having my ears plugged with speakers while I am walking about - I rely on my "peripheral hearing" to help me be aware

    Also, I've been avoiding the whole Bluetooth speaker thing, just because I can't stand to have those things hanging off of my face, and they're never comfortable for me.

    Well, finally I broke down when I got a phone that has "stereo bluetooth," and since I've started driving a stick, I need something hands-free. The problem is, that none of the store-bought headsets will stay in my ears! I always end up doing the typical movie-surveillance thing of "touching my ear" when I want to actually hear.

    I need something that goes over my ear, and will stay in the ear canal. The bluetooth device hangs around my neck, and just has a standard "mini" plug, so I have a lot of options. I just figured that if it worked for you guys, maybe it would work for me, as well.
     
  2. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    Check Motorola, Galls and other LE supply houses. They'll have a variety of different earpiece systems available. The style I use requires an ear doctor to actually make a mold of the ear canal, and then the company makes it to fit. It's not cheap.

    As to comfort and "hearing" past them... it all depends on the model, on you, and on what you're doing. In my expierence, you can hear past them, but it's muffled a bit. (I know; stuff something into your ear, and it's a surprise that it muffles the sound...) That's why we only use ONE earpiece. They can be kind of uncomfortable, especially after several hours.
     
  3. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

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    JKS9199
    Do the better models also include some kind of baffle to protect against loud sudden noise hearing damage?

    Thanks
    Regards
    Brian King
     
  4. Big Don

    Big Don Sr. Grandmaster

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    If they don't that is a brilliant idea for the technically skilled among us.
     
  5. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    I hate them and won't wear them.
     
  6. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    Other than the specifically molded earpieces, is comfort a matter of getting what you're paying for? Or do all price ranges fit pretty much the same?

    I can see the price affecting the quality of the sound, but all of the earpieces themselves look pretty standard.
     
  7. jks9199

    jks9199 Administrator Staff Member

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    You'll simply have to look at the different manufacturers and different products, and see what's there.

    I'm not aware of any radio/phone earpiece that adds a baffle effect; there's a functional limit to the stuff you can throw on there and still have it do it's job. There are shooting/noise reduction ear protectors that do have baffle controls that allow you to actually hear but still block the loud noise of shooting. That's not what you want, though.

    One side note, after reviewing your original post. While the laws vary in different states, I believe most (and I'm certain Virginia) prohibit earpieces that cover both ears while driving. Make sure you're not spending money on something that's gonna get you in trouble!
     
  8. Brian King

    Brian King Master of Arts

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    Thanks JKS9199
    I was merely thinking/keying out loud. I have some of the shooting ear protections that allow you to hear while still protecting you against hearing loss due to noise damage but they are older and large and cover both ears. I do not like wearing jewelry let alone anything inside my ear but having suffered some hearing loss due to explosion and gunshot exposure, I was thinking that for those action professionals and others that regularly carry and also wear the ear pieces that a few bucks for a better model that also offers protection for at least one ear might be worth it.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply sir
    Warmest regards
    Brian King
     
  9. thardey

    thardey Master Black Belt

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    Thanks for the help, unfortunately, I can't find any "in the flesh" around here, so anything I try will have to be ordered from pictures. Also, I'm extremely tight right now, so I only can afford one shot.

    I don't want both ears covered! In fact, that's why I always avoided the Ipod thing. Whether driving, or walking, I don't want to isolate myself from what's going on around me. That's why I started thinking about tactical-type earpieces - I figured that you guys needed to be even more alert than me, so your equipment must give some sort of balance.

    The ear "plugs" that came with the bluetooth completely block out ambient noise, I don't like that at all.

    (For reference, this is what I bought:Jabra BT3030)
     
  10. Drac

    Drac Sr. Grandmaster

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    Ditto..When you transmit it always sounds muffled...
     
  11. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    Yeah....and I also find them distracting. With a shoulder mic it's part of the outside noise environment.... but with an earpiece it's as though it becomes more of a primary focus, which can effect situational awareness.
     
  12. LawDog

    LawDog Master Black Belt

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    I had a few, an earlier style then a newer version. They shut off your in-direct hearing ability. When using one there is a tendency to use direct hearing because of the constant voice that is in your ear. This will over ride all of the other sounds that are arround you.
    Many an officer uses an ear piece for their ipods or serius radio and worst of all, for their cell phones.
    :rules:
     
  13. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    Exactly!

    Our primary job, even beyond monitoring our radio traffic, is actively observing our environment. Too many 'communications' gadgets take away from that primary responsibility of constant situational awareness.123
     

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