As a drone company, we must always be in complete communication with our team members during the duration of each drone flight. That’s why we use Eartec headsets.
This entails myself as the pilot to talk with my gimbal operator while being able to communicate with my visual observer.
So after testing the Eartec headsets out in the field, we were impressed by the overall quality and features.
The first feature is “full duplex.” – This basically means the headsets are an open com, like a phone. Meaning everyone can talk at once and everyone can hear each other at the same time without having to press any buttons. So those of you who use 2-way radios and have to press a button to transmit, are communicating the old fashion way. As a remote drone pilot, I need to keep my hands on the controls and to be completely hands free, is a huge bonus. Same thing goes for our gimbal operator. We can’t take their hands off of our controls during the shot.
Second feature, “Range” The manufacture states these headsets can reach up to 1000 ft of range. We had Ryan, our gimbal operator walk 1100 ft away and while maintaining LOS (line of sight), we could still hear him.
I even walked about 500 ft into some foliage and I could still be heard by the other headsets.
Now we tested the limits and I walked behind a structor and I definitely lost the signal. These headsets work on a 1.9Ghz frequency which is great for long distance, but not good for transmitting through buildings.
Now as a drone team, we rarely are more then a few hundred feet apart. So knowing that we can be between 500-1000 ft away line of sight, really gives us a lot of freedom.
The third feature is “Multiple Headsets.” With these headsets, you can connect up to four total at a time. If you need more then that, you’ll need to include a central hub. With the hub you can connect up to 7 total headsets.
Now when using 2-4 headsets at a time, there is a Master headset and the other headsets (remote) sync to the master headset. So the master headset is the hub.
So if you did need to extend your range on the distance, you could have the master headset user in the middle and have one remote headset move up to 1000 ft in one direction, and the other users could be located 1000 ft away in the opposite direction.
Fourth feature is “Good Battery Life.” Each headset comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 6 hours. We have two batteries for each headset that gets us through a full day of production.
Fifth feature, “Sound Quality.” Each headset is equipped with a noise cancelling microphone that does a nice job keeping unwanted sounds from being transmitted to other users. The overall sound quality is about the same that you’d get on a cell phone which is still pretty decent. Another nice feature you can swing the microphone up to mute the microphone. The headsets also have volume control located on the sides of the headsets.
Sixth Feature, “Flexibility.” We decided to go with the single ear headsets so that we can keep one ear open to our surrounds. When on film sets, there’s always a lot that goes on and you need to be full alert. With the single ear headsets, you can wear them on any ear.
So with all of this headset and full duplex goodness, what’s the price? For a single headset, it’s going to set you back $150. In our opinion, this is a great price for what you get.
Overall, we’re very happy with the performance and they’ve really made life easier and safer on set for us as a drone team. They were also easy to wear for a long period of time. We got used to them to the point you barely noticed them after a while. Not to mention they made communication easier and less effort because we didn’t have to think about talking louder, turning our heads in the right direction, or straining to hear.
If you want to purchase these headsets, we sell them on our VidMuze Store.