Evaluation of Variants of 3M Peltor ComTAC Tactical Communication and Protection System (TCAPS) Headsets: Measures of Hearing Protection and Auditory Performance

Report No. ARL-TR-6667
Authors: Angelique A. Scharine; Rachel A. Weatherless
Date/Pages: September 2013; 38 pages
Abstract: The auditory effects of the 3M Peltor ComTAC III Accessory Rail Connector (ARC) and the 3M Peltor ComTAC IV Hybrid headsets were compared to the 3M Peltor ComTAC III. Passive and active attenuation were measured in two steady-state noise levels (85 and 105 dB A) and three microphone settings (off, low, and high). When the noise level was 85 dB A, and the microphones were set to high, the systems provided approximately 20 dB of amplification. However, at 105 dB A, and the microphones off, attenuation was equivalent to that of passive attenuation. The devices provided attenuation of impulsive noise (154 dB peak) exceeding 25 dB for all measured settings. Of the three types of eartips available for the ComTAC IV, the "skull screw" style eartips provided the most impulsive noise attenuation. Auditory localization performance was measured for 12 listeners while wearing the ComTAC systems in combination with two Ops-Core FAST helmets (ballistic and lightweight carbon). There were fewer front-to-back localization errors when wearing the lightweight carbon helmet than when wearing the ballistic helmet but there was no significant difference between the ComTAC systems in their effect on localization performance.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2013