Localized situational awareness is the ability of the user to be able to sense their immediate surroundings while wearing a communications headset.
Headsets that occlude (cover or block) the user's ears can impair their natural situational awareness. Racal Acoustics' Talk-Through functionality gives users 'their ears back' and restores natural situational awareness. The added benefit of Talk-Through is that the user’s hearing is protected from impulse noises, such as weapons discharge and explosive blasts.
Through independent laboratory-based verification and in-field evaluations. Racal Acoustics' Talk-Through functionality has been determined to provide better sound localization than any other communications headset.
While it is vital that headset users are able to hear what is happening in their immediate surroundings (to provide situational awareness), protection is required to ensure temporary or permanent noise-induced hearing loss does not occur due to events such as small arms fire or explosive blasts.
Talk-Through allows users of communication headsets to hear sounds external to the headset, without having to remove the apparatus and thereby maintaining platform intercom or radio communications integrity.
The electronic reproduction of the external sounds ensures that near natural hearing is accomplished while the Talk-Through feature is activated. With some products, such as the RA5000 Raptor-17 communication headset, the user is able to control the volume of external sound to enhance their own natural hearing.
Talk-Through is enabled and disabled through a control button located either on the control box (switchbox) or on the headset, depending on the exact model.
How it Works
Small microphones, mounted externally on the either side of the headset, pick up the external sounds.
These sounds are processed electronically and mixed (combined) with the platform intercom or communications signals into each earshell.
The stereo Talk-Through signal is a faithful reproduction of the external environment; localisation is the ability to detect sound direction through superior electro-acoustics design of both the headset (earshell) and the Talk-Through circuit.
Talk-Through has in-built protection which ensures the sound level reaching the user’s ears (presented by the Talk-Through system) does not exceeds 85 dB(A).
This protection is especially important when personnel are dismounted and operating in an environment with a high probability of weapons discharge or explosive blasts. The onset and recovery time of the Talk-Through circuit are rapid, allowing normal communications and Talk-Through almost immediately following the impulse noise.
This protection is achieved by the Talk-Through circuit actually 'compressing' the peak sound pressure, as opposed to merely 'clipping' the sound. This has the advantage that the radio or platform communications can still be understood during this noise exposure.