Bose® Military Headsets: At Work Around the World
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In 1978 Dr Amar Bose had an inspiration during a noisy international airline flight. At that time, to enhance passenger entertainment, electronic headphones were replacing older pneumatic tube phones. Unfortunately the fidelity improvements were masked by cabin noise and distortion, the latter caused by passengers increasing the volume setting to overcome background noise. Dr Bose believed it was possible to achieve noise reduction in headphones by means of closed-loop feedback control.
Dr Bose quickly initiated a research program to study the array of complex acoustic, electronic and mechanical challenge to practical active noise cancellation headsets. This work eventually led to the development of Bose® consumer headphones and military headsets. The Bose Product Improved Combat Vehicle Crewman (PICVC) headset and the TriPort® Tactical Headset (TTH) are currently used by the US Army and other military forces around the world.
Reduce noise. Increase mission effectiveness
The US Department of Defense considers 85dBA SPL as the maximum safe level for continuous noise over an eight-hour period, assuming a 16-hour quiet recovery period. Removal of a headset for even 15min in a 95dBA SPL environment can cut the allowable exposure time in half. Even relatively brief noise exposure can induce short-term hearing loss and impair critical communications, while longer exposure can cause permanent hearing loss and induce fatigue.
To help reduce noise, conventional headsets rely on large, heavy earcups with tight clamping force, resulting in discomfort that may distract users from essential tasks. Users may also simply refuse to wear the provided headsets, further worsening the situation. Situational awareness is also affected by high vehicle noise. Missed, misunderstood and repeated commands increase operational risk and reduce mission-effectiveness.
However, proprietary Bose Acoustic Noise Cancelling® and TriPort® technologies overcome the typical conventional compromise of noise reduction vs. discomfort by allowing:
- Smaller, lighter earcups with lower clamping force than typical conventional designs. the result is comfortable headsets that can be worn continuously during long missions
- A carefully combined active and passive design that provides balanced full-spectrum noise reduction. Thus, external sounds are quieter but still natural-sounding
- Proven mission-effectiveness. US Army tests have demonstrated that Bose noise reduction headsets along with the current-generation intercom system increased voice intelligibility by 21% as compared to conventional noise reduction headsets and intercom systems
Product Improved Combat Vehicle Crewman (PICVC) headset
The PICVC headset is designed for crewmembers operating tracked military vehicles, like the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, where noise levels may exceed 103dBA SPL. Bose provides the headset with the standard US military helmet-liner, while the DH-132B ballistic shell is provided separately.
In addition to being the standard on all US Army tracked vehicles, the PICVC is used by armored vehicle crews around the world, including Australia, Egypt, Israel, Norway, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
TriPort® Tactical Headset (TTH)
The TriPort® Tactical Headset (TTH) is designed for use in wheeled vehicles such as M1114/1151 HMMWVs. While not as loud as tracked vehicles, wheeled armored vehicles often have noise levels of 95dBA SPL or higher, which can damage hearing and degrade communications.
Like the Bose PICVC, the TTH features our Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphone technology to dramatically reduce noise. It fits under infantry ballistic helmets such as the ACH with lighter weight, less clamping force and smaller earcups than conventional tactical headsets. The TTH also features our proprietary TriPort® acoustic headphone structure which helps maintain appropriate noise reduction performance even when the earcups are worn over helmet straps and ballistic eyewear. As a result, clear audio communications are maintained during mounted military operations.
Please contact Bose to discuss your application and determine if our products are appropriate to your needs.