3M announced Friday, March 13th, 2020 that the company will be discontinuing the 3M Peltor ComTac III product line effective immediately. For more than 20 years, the ComTac/ Swat-Tac headset remains a trusted solution worldwide with over 800,000 headsets in the field today. The ComTac III was first introduced in 2010, giving it a 10-year duration before discontinuing.
The 3M Peltor ComTac III and Swat-Tac III have been discontinued to make way for its replacement, the ComTac V Headset. 3M manufacturers have made vast improvements to the ComTac V to be more compatible with new P25 radios and improve auditory transmissions.
The color options for these headsets remain the same except 3M is phasing out the Foliage Green color and will not be an option in the ComTac V headset. Features have been added to the new headset to ensure it continues to be the most reliable and rugged solution that many tactical operations trust today.
The new Comtac V headset has improved greatly from its previous version, giving its users a more updated feel. See below for a list of the product highlights
- Updates and upgrades to the overall performance
- Protection from hazardous steady-state and impulse noise
- Clear, intelligible two-way audio communications via radios and intercoms
- Environmental listening for enhanced auditory situational awareness
- “Talk-Through” for face to face verbal communication
- Ruggedized, reliable design for use in harsh environments
- Accessory Rail Connection (ARC) option
- Engineered to help prevent crosstalk in Multi Comm configurations
The New 3M Peltor ComTac V Features
With the discontinuation of the ComTac III headset, the ComTac V headset is now the alternative. The two headsets are similar in look, but the 5th generation headset has enhanced features that improve the overall performance and comfortability for its users.
We’re going to discuss the improvements of the ComTac V compared to the ComTac III.
- New Headband
- New Speakers and Environmental Microphones
- New Boom Microphone
- Increased EMI/RF Shielding
- 100% Backwards Compatible
- Updated Software
The headset comes with a new, modern rubberized headband. The headband is removable to convert the headset to ARC adapters. This feature helps increase environmental resistance in maritime environments.
New Speakers and Environmental Microphones
The ComTac V has omnidirectional microphones and high-fidelity speakers that result in a more natural-sounding headset. The improvements to the microphones and speakers are optimized to provide you with clear and accurate sound replication.
New Boom Microphone
The new boom mic improves audio transmissions in various conditions providing 18 dB of noise cancellation compared to the ComTac III with a 6dB noise cancellation.
Increased EMI/RF Shielding
Within the cables and around the circuitry have new improved shielding providing a significant reduction of radio frequency and electromagnetic interference that happen with the newer radio models.
100% Backwards Compatible
The ComTac V utilizes a 4 pin U-174 plug that connects directly into your existing Peltor push-to-talk (PTT) adapter.
Updates to the software allow users to easily access audio customization features including
- Balance Mode
- Balances the volume in the environmental listening function between the left and right speakers to prioritize audio.
- Release Time
- This setting adjusts the time before the limiter opens after activation. The default setting is best for combat operations while the extended delays are best for indoor firearm training.
- Volume Boost
- This function allows for double hearing protection (or ear-plug mode). This increases the volume of ambient sound and the external input by 6 dB. This feature is intended to be used when a fitted earplug is used under the headset.
- Equalizer Function
- This feature adjusts the preset frequency response setting for environmental sounds where there is steady-state noise. This helps improve the signal-to-noise ratio within the earcups by reducing the effect of low-frequency noise.
The Noise Reduction Rating in the ComTac V is 20 tested by ANSI S3.19-1974. This testing is required for protective devices by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The level of NRR will be dependent on the type of band and ear cushion on the headset and can go up to 23dB.
The Impulse Noise Protection in the ComTac V is tested to 168dB Peak SPL by ANSI S12.42-2010.
Helmet Integration (Accessory Rail Connectors ARC)
The ComTac V has improved its capabilities for use with a helmet. Accessory Rail Connectors are left and right guide arm that attaches the headset onto a helmet.
The improvements made to the headset with the help of the ARC attachments help enhance the comfortability and design while wearing a helmet. The enhancements have removed pressure points from the headband to reduce potential hot spots.
The integration helps with heat relief and easy donning/ doffing of the headset. When placed in the “open” position, the headset is easily removable and allows for ventilation in high heat environments while still monitoring communication in low-noise settings. The ComTac V, while in the closed position allow the earcups to compress against the head for stability and balance while moving.
3M Peltor FL4000 Series Push-To-Talk Radio Adapter
The new FL4000 push to talk adapter compatible with the ComTac V headset also has new features including,
- Low profile radio adapter designed with tactical operations in mind
- Swivel clip
- Connection with 6 Pin Mil-C-55616 radio and Motorola APX Series radios
- PTT can fit in either hand or can be used with gloves
- Headset connection serves as a breakaway connector for easy removal during an emergency
- Tested for crosstalk in Dual Comm headset configurations
Comparision of the ComTac V to the ComTac III
|ComTac III||ComTac V|
|Battery Life||400 hours||200 hours|
|Battery Polarity Protection||Yes||Yes|
|Fail-Safe (When batteries have died or been removed)||Yes||Yes|
|Ambidextrous Boom Mic||Yes||Yes|
|Status and Menu Functions||Tone Guided||Voice Guided|
|Ambient Listening Volume Steps||4 Levels||4 Levels with Silence Mode|
|Auto Shut Off||2 Hours||2 Hours|
|PCB with EMI Shielding||No||Yes|
|Speaker Impedance||230 Ω||75 Ω|
|Ambient Listening Limit||82dB(A) SPL||82dB(A) SPL|
|Net Weight (including batteries)||335g||335g|
|Operating Temperature Range||-40 ⁰C to 55 ⁰C||-40 ⁰C to 55 ⁰C|
|Storage Temperature Range||-55 ⁰C to 70 ⁰C||-55 ⁰C to 70 ⁰C|
|Submersion (3 feet, 30 minutes, saltwater survivable)||Yes||Yes|
|Buy American Act||Yes||Yes|
With the discontinuation of the 3M Peltor ComTac III Headset, the alternative ComTac V headset offers more advanced technology to its users. The ComTac V doesn’t interfere with the newer P25 radios like the ComTac III headset, so users can hear transmissions without interruptions.