What Is an Acoustic Tube Earpiece

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An acoustic tube earpiece is a special type of listening device that features a thin tube that helps transmit sound, which often fits behind the ear and is attached to an earbud placed inside of the ear. Such devices allow for hands-free operation of a two-way radio or may be used in mobile communications or television broadcasting. Sometimes referred to as a radio headset or a tactical earpiece, some also refer to this device as a surveillance earpiece.
This particular type of radio accessory is commonly used by security personnel and may feature an earpiece that includes a hidden microphone, making it highly useful for two-way communication. The earpiece does not have to include a microphone, however. Most are constructed so the tubing fits discreetly and comfortably behind the ear, which makes it useful for covert surveillance.
Though commonly used in security and covert operations, some also prefer an acoustic tube earpiece for mobile civilian devices, which include personal audio devices and mobile phones. Television broadcasters are also known to wear these earpieces, as they allow for communication between producers and broadcasters without being visible to viewers. Most are comfortable to wear and efficiently reduce background noise. They are also known to be particularly useful in noisy environments, as quality models make it easy for users to comfortably listen to incoming audio despite high environmental noise. Depending on the manufacturer, some may also feature volume control buttons on the cord.
Aside from a covert design and a high sound quality, one of the primary benefits of an acoustic tube earpiece is its durability. The sturdiness of some of these earpieces is often preferred over earpieces that feature exposed wiring, as well as certain wireless earpiece devices. Sturdy tubing protects delicate wiring crucial to the device’s operation, which is particularly useful in occupations where the person wearing an earpiece may be required to engage in rigorous physical activity while wearing it. Such earpieces are also known to outlast other wired devices.
In order for an acoustic tube earpiece to work, it must be plugged into a wireless receiver, which is usually hidden beneath a person’s clothing. Some are also accompanied by microphones, which are covertly placed on the user’s shoulder or at the wrist.

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