Baofeng UV-5R (A and MHP) Covert Ear Bud and Cuff Mic – Part #1

Secret Agent radio earpieceOK, some of you have been dying to be a secret agent…a veritable 007 James Bond kind of guy. Well, this piece of equipment can help you be all of that and then some. I am speaking of a covert ear bud and lapel microphone for your Baofeng UV-5R (A or MHP models).

I am not doing as much security work as I use to, but I still do 2 – 4 security gigs a year. Some of it is meetings, some for clearing large buildings of homeless people, and still doing some executive protection work (i.e. bodyguard) once in a while, but not much. And, still there is the #1 problem every single time…communications! Moreover, I can’t imagine that will ever change because it never has changed.

The Baofeng UV-5RA use to be my “go-to” radio for all things having to do with emergency preparedness. Earlier Baofeng UV-5RAthis year I switched over to the Baofeng UV-5RMHP due to its higher power rating. When inside buildings with concrete or concrete or concrete block walls the high power wattage can come in handy. One of the really positive benefits of this switch from the UV-5RA to the UV-5MHP…yeah, all the accessories are interchangeable. Sweet!

Yes, there are better handhelds like my Yaesu FT-60’s but they are 5 times more expensive than the Baofeng. So the Baofeng is my every day radio (EDR).

There are times when a handheld can simply function well enough as just that, pick it up, PPT, and start talking. Then there other times, like operating in a vehicle, that you need to add a couple of options to maximize the radio’s operational capability. For vehicles, it would be a Tram 1185 antenna, adapter, and a speaker mic. Other times just the speaker mic alone would be a great option, just clip it to your collar or tact vest at shoulder level and get to work. Throw on an earbud with the speaker mic and you are really ready for a lot of operations.

Unless you are using the earbud one of the main drawbacks to those options is other people being able to hear Headset boom mic boafeng uv-5raincoming transmissions. In another article I review a headset and boom mike. That is a great option for many applications, especially keeping incoming transmissions private, plus semi-hands free operations The downside to this option though is pretty clear…everyone can see you are using a radio. Hence, you become the target of their interest. And, that might not be what you want.CovertEarbudCuffMic-001So, here comes the secret agent option. When I am doing personal protection work, the client usually doesn’t want the security to be high profile. They may want to make sure that everyone sees there are large, tennis-ball haircut, attentive “friends” but that is about it. Well, that is the occasional client and his/her ego-driven desires.

However, always a key to good personal protection work among team members is communications. Without good comms, a bad situation can get much worse very quickly. And, I am not crazy about everyone seeing us with radios in our hands. So we go Hollywood!

Yeah, just kidding…kind of. Come on, you have seen the shows and movies where the security guys have the clear curly wires coming out of their left ear and disappearing under their collar. And then when they really want o look Covert Acoustic Ear Piececool they talk into their sleeves. Right…you’ve seen that before. Well, those are supposedly covert earbuds connected to a cuff microphone. The clear “wire” is actually a clear acoustic tube that is attached to a signal converter. That is attached to the cuff microphone which all attaches to the radio.

The purpose to a covert earbud and cuff mic set-up is simply to lower the profile of the person using a radio. You can discreetly listen to your radio via the acoustic tube stuck into your ear. Don’t worry, it has a soft little “bud” on the end of the piece that goes into your ear and it is very comfortable. The cuff mic doesn’t have to be in your sleeve, but that is one option.

Here is the mission statement –

“Provide a lower profile of communications via handheld radio.”

So here are the brands/models that I chose to test based on a considerable amount of research –

  1. Tenq Pro – $17.99
  2. Hypario 2-pin Covert – $6.88
  3. Advanced Covert HYT – $5.58
  4. K Earphone EmBest Covert Headset – $7.99
  5. abcGOODefg 2-way Radio Headset – $9.99
  6. KENMAX Earpiece Headset – $7.99

It’s easy to see a wide range of prices for these nifty little options. The real question is…Does the price difference indicate the equivalent difference in quality? Well, that may be the second most important question. The primary question would be…Which one is the best quality in terms of field operations?

And that my friend is extremely important in this situation…defining “field operations.” These covert unit are not meant for use in harsh conditions like the mountains of Afghanistan. I can bet you that the Secret Service doesn’t rely on them while guarding the President. These units are reasonably priced covert units for non-harsh, light-duty operations. Can they function in harsh conditions? Yes, of course they can. But, for how long? The wiring for all of the units was light-duty, little shielding, etc. It wouldn’t take long for a wire to be pulled apart, cut, or simply wear out. But, if you are using them let’s say in church to provide building and/or meeting security they would be fine. As part of SEAL Team 6…ah, no.

The wires could be a little longer to be sure. This unit was probably not built for some 6’+ man. I can imagine they had someone about 5’ 9” or smaller in mind. But it does work for any size person. Just try some options for the lapel mic.

Let me get into some of the descriptive and technical details from their websites for each unit before going any further –

Tenq Pro – $17.99

Model – “Bodyguard FBI Earpiece Headset Mic

Professional Acoustic Tube Bodyguard FBI Covert Earpiece Earphone Headset PTT(Push To Talk) with built-in Covert earpiece and mic headset - TenqProline mic microphone for Baofeng radio. Clip this hands free earpiece onto your shirt and use your radio device to communicate discretely and easily, whether you’re in security, retail, or hospitality. Provides excellent durability, reliability and performance in low-profile environment. Ideal for demanding covert security applications where sound clarity and earpiece durability are of paramount importance.

 


Hypario 2-pin Covert – $6.88

Model – “Hypario 2-Pin Covert Acoustic Tube Earpiece Headset

2-pin Clear Acoustic Tube Covert Earpiece Earphone Headset PTT(Push To Talk) with built-in line mic microphone Covert earpiece and mic headset - Hypariofor Baofeng radio for Bodyguard FBI Security Door Supervisor use. Clip this hands free earpiece onto your shirt and begin using your radio device to communicate discretely and easily, whether you’re in security, retail, or hospitality. Ideal for demanding covert security applications where sound clarity and earpiece durability are of paramount importance. Excellent for use in police, military, nightclubs, bars, paintball, security, restaurants, hotels, bouncer, warehouses, and noisy environments.

 


Advanced Covert HYT – $5.58

Model – “Advanced Nipple Covert Acoustic Tube Bodyguard FBI Earpiece Headset Mic”

Advanced Nipple Covert Acoustic Tube Bodyguard FBI Earpiece Earphone Headset PTT(Push To Talk) with Covert earpiece and mic headset - Advancedbuilt-in line mic microphone for Bodyguard FBI Security Door Supervisor. Clip this hands free earpiece onto your shirt and begin using your radio device to communicate discretely and easily, whether you’re in security, retail, or hospitality. Nipple Style makes it more comfortable to wear, better materials and components made earpiece and PTT allows longer time use. Ideal for demanding covert security applications where sound clarity and earpiece durability are of paramount importance. Excellent for use in FBI, Bodyguard, police, military, nightclubs, bars, paintball, security, restaurants, hotels, bouncer, warehouses, and noisy environments.


K Earphone EmBest Covert Headset – $7.99

Model – “EmBest 2-Pin Covert Acoustic Tube Headset Earpiece microphone”

Ideal for demanding covert security applications where sound clarity and earpiece durability are of paramount Covert earpiece and mic headset - EmBestimportance. 2-pin Clear Acoustic Tube Covert Earpiece Earphone Headset PTT(Push To Talk) with built-in line mic microphone for Bodyguard FBI Security Door Supervisor. Clip this hands free earpiece onto your shirt and begin using your radio device to communicate discretely and easily, whether you’re in security, retail, or hospitality. Excellent for use in police, military, nightclubs, bars, paintball, security, restaurants, hotels, bouncer, warehouses, and noisy environments. Package includes: 1x headset. Sold exclusively by EmBest


abcGOODefg 2-way Radio Headset – $9.99

Model – “abcGoodefg Advanced Nipple Surveillance Radio Speaker Mic Microphone “

Fits two-way radios, radio speaker mics, MP3 players and similar devices with 3.5mm connector. Compatible Covert earpiece and mic headset - ABCgoodwith  radios that has a standard 3.5mm jack socket. Also work with some mobile phones with 3.5mm jack socket including Iphone, blackberry etc, MP3 and MP4 players. 3.5mm plug (standard headphone jack) with Acoustic Tube with metal clip. Listen/Receive Only Covert Acoustic Tube Earpiece Headset.


KENMAX Earpiece Headset – $7.99

Model – “KENMAX Earpiece Headset Covert Air Acoustic Earpiece Headset”

100% Brand New KENMAX 2-Pin Covert Air Acoustic Earpiece Headset for two way radio. 888S Soft plastic Covert earpiece and mic headset - Kenmaxearbud fits snugly to ear. Hands free compatible with radios that are hands free capable. Excellent for use in police, military, nightclubs, bars, paintball, security, restaurants, hotels, bouncer, warehouses, and noisy environments. Hidden microphone inside PTT switch.


OK, so they all pretty much look alike; I’ll give you that. But, also notice how the descriptions all start sounding the same? Yeah, I wasn’t real impressed or encouraged reading just how similar they all were. But, I try to keep an open mind when testing and evaluating radio gear from China. Occasionally I am pleasantly surprised, as in the Baofeng UV-5R radios themselves.

I will be testing the units for these characteristics –

  1. Clarity of reception, quality of sound in the earpiece.
  2. Clarity of transmission via the covert microphone.
  3. Sturdiness/quality of wire, connections, and stress points.
  4. Comfortable and adequate fit.

In my next post in this series I will get into the details about each covert earpiece and microphone. I think you will find very interesting results when all is said and done.


Associated Articles –
  • Baofeng UV-5R (A and MHP) Covert Ear Bud and Cuff Mic – Part #2
Related Articles –
2016 Copyright © AHTrimble.com ~ All rights reserved
No reproduction or other use of this content
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s