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Old May 4th, 2011, 02:08 PM   #1
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Wireless Communication Headsets

I'm thinking about getting something to be able to communicate with a second shooter for live events. The only problem is I need to also monitor the sound with headphones.

I had the following in mind.

1. On the low end a Motorola Walkie talkie with a head set. The advantage here I think I could use ear bud and they're inexpensive.

or

2. Eartec makes wireless headsets. I'm not clear the difference between the models and how I would be able to monitor the camera audio at the same time.
Eartec 2 Simultalk 24G Beltpacks with Cyber Headsets SLT24G2CYB


Eartec TD902 - Full Duplexing Portable 2-Pers TD902PSCYB B&H
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Old May 4th, 2011, 02:59 PM   #2
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Re: Wireless Communication Headsets

I had 2 pairs of the TD902, and hated them! It sounded like you're talking through a tin can...literally. Then if you lost signal, you would get blasted with deafening static noise.
I'm guessing that those who say the TD902s work well have never tried a professional wired headset. There is absolutely no comparison.

Believe it or not, the best wireless communication system I came across is not a communication headset at all...it's 2 sets of wireless microphones! I used 2 pairs of Sony UTX-B1 mics. I have the transmitter of unit A, and the receiver of unit B. The other person has the transmitter of unit B, and the receiver of unit A. I clip the lav mic to my collar, and listen via earbuds connected to the receiver. Other person does the same. There are no buttons to push to talk, and you can talk and listen in full duplex all day, with crystal clear sound! You can look on ebay for a pair of good but cheap wireless microphones.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #3
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Re: Wireless Communication Headsets

I concur with what Warren says the best wireless comm system for line of sight work is wireless mic's I also use two wireless pairs which allows you to get top quality audio even when whispering. We sometimes have full conversations over them, hehe.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 04:12 PM   #4
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Re: Wireless Communication Headsets

I don't doubt what you say but the only issue especially in this case is I need to stay in communication with a camera man who is going to be roaming around on stage. I'm not sure how practicable/affordable wireless mic solution would be he would need to carry a transmitter and receiver. I have one wireless mic but I'm using that for the performer and don't want any inference between them.

The second camera man is only going to be 35 ft away from me in my sight line. Under those conditions is the audio going to be that bad? At least for this shoot all I need it for is simple communication like move this way. I'm not monitoring whats been shot on his end.
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Old May 4th, 2011, 06:10 PM   #5
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Re: Wireless Communication Headsets

I also have 5 sets of the Anchor BPW-300. Not as good as a wired com setup, but way better than TD-902. It also costs more though, it's made in the USA.

Distance doesn't make the TD-902 sound bad, it'll sound bad even if you're 5 feet away. I think it sounds bad because the audio spectrum that is being transmitted is narrow (like talking on a telephone) plus it's being sent at a very low bitrate.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #6
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Re: Wireless Communication Headsets

if you are talking concerts, the audio levels are so loud that most intercomm headsets are useless. the ones that can sometimes work are the dual muff headsets like you see being worn at events like nascar racing. they have high enough isolation that you can usually sort of hear whats being said. even so I still recommend wearing ear plugs to avoid excessive sound levels. you can't just keep turning them up to drown out the external sound.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 09:03 PM   #7
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Re: Wireless Communication Headsets

If you're going to be working in loud environs like concerts, the difference in a real purpose-built coms system will become very apparent, VERY fast.

Along with clean gain, and sound isolating earphones, the other critical feature is a good belt pack with a properly set up "lock on OR off" push to talk feature. That's critical because the more "open com mics" you have in a loud environment, the more NOISE they inject into the signal stream, making it VERY hard for cues to reach everyone.

A good com system is a monster time and grief saver in any live shooting multi-cam or multi-person event.

And worth EVERY penny to rent or own.

My 2 cents.
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Old May 7th, 2011, 09:12 PM   #8
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Re: Wireless Communication Headsets

You make a good point. I was only thinking about the sound quality and distance it could transmit/receive, I didn't think about how well it could isolate your conversation over the background sound. I see you need a headset with very directional mic and closed ear cup.

Eartec now makes a 2.4ghz model but I didn't feel like spending $280 and returning if it wasn't good enough.

The other main challenge is that I need to simultaneously monitor the audio I'm recording. I think I'm going to run though what to do with my camera man before the concert and use cell phone with a headset only for emergency communication.
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Old May 10th, 2011, 05:58 AM   #9
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Re: Wireless Communication Headsets

Many many years ago "Tandy" had a single sided VOX or push to talk headset, the company I did some work for used them for weddings on 2 camera shoots.
On one occasion the second guy after getting shots of the bride walked in to the upstairs balcony where his tripod was set up, turned on his headset and called me on the down stairs camera near the alter, and what he said is not suitable for this or any other forum..... the problem was it was set to exactly the SAME frequency as the priests lapel mic. I wont continue but it wasn't funny.

It was the last time they were ever used
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