Monday, May 9, 2011

Equipment Review - Bravo Headset

***** Bravo Headset (Don't Buy - Don't even borrow!)
***** MilSim Products (Best Buy - Customer Service)

In our quest to achieve TEOTWAWKI short range communications, we have tried a number of headsets that plug into our MURS radios.  Sir Knight does not like the bluetooth-like headsets that plug into your ear and have a flimsy boom mike. They are uncomfortable and generally of poor quality with tiny wires and substandard push to talk (PTT) buttons.  In reality, Sir Knight wanted a single over-the-ear headset with a large boom mike.  After a lot of research, he found MilSim Products and the Bravo headset.  The Bravo headset is a less expensive replica of the headsets the Marines are currently using for personal communication.

Sir Knight ordered a Bravo Headset from MilSim Products and was immediately impressed with their quick ship time and timely communication.  The headset is exactly what we were looking for.  It was comfortable, serviceable, the elastic could be cut of and replaced when it became worn and the speaker had excellent sound quality.  The boom mike also superior, providing sound quality equal to that of speaking directly into the radio.  It could be worn under a cover (hat) or a helmet with comfort and was extremely easy to use.

Outside of speaker and boom mike
Inside of same
Of course, Sir Knight immediately put the headset into use as our motto is "use it, use it, use it".  The Product Durability Test Panel (our children) used the headset a number of times to determine its quality and durability.  The headset failed within two hours.  The push to talk button failed and the radio would not transmit. At the point where the headset plugs into the PTT button the connections are faulty.  Flexing the plug and pushing the PTT button allows the radio to transmit momentarily.  It was obviously a problem in the PTT button assembly.

When we contacted customer service at MilSim Products, they shipped out another PTT button without question.  The second button failed in less than an hour.  After another email to MilSim Products they sent out a different style PTT button.  This button was dead in the bag in which it arrived.  By flexing the wires near the PTT button, you could get intermittent transmission from the radio.  It was obviously a broken wire in the harness where it goes into the button.

Defective PTT button assembly
Headset plugged into radio
(we provided the camo sweatband)
Sir Knight really WANTED to like the Bravo headset.  It was exactly what he was looking for to compliment our radios.  It just didn't work.  He is left with no option but to seek an alternative to the Bravo headset. At this point, he has found nothing comparable, but he will continue the search.  Short range communications are vital in a grid down situation and having equipment that will perform correctly is essential.

The Bravo headset is a "Do not buy - Do not even borrow".  However, MilSim Products is an exceptional company.  Their customer service is superior and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.

The Bravo Headset receives a no star rating.  MilSim Products receives a five star rating.


  1. Did MilSim accept a return of the faulty equipment and issue you a full refund?

    If not, I would not grant them a five star rating.

  2. Suggestion:
    Contact the MURS radio manufacturer and ask which boom mic headsets they recommend.

  3. Yes, MilSim offered to issue a full refund for the faulty equipment. We have not gotten that far yet, as they have other headsets that we may try. They are definately 5 star worthy.

    Thank you for the suggestion to go to the radio manufacturer. That is a solid idea. Our radios are military, so unfortunately they will most likely recommend extraordinarily expensive models - but who knows, they may surprise us!



  4. Recall your earlier post about the Icom IC-3001. Are you still using those? I checked the specs on those radios at the time you posted and they looked really nice. The VOX not working out for you? Any words of wisdom would be appreciated. If I run into our pistol instructor, I will ask him about what the swat teams use and his experiences.



  5. Very nice to know there is another family in N idaho who values reliable short range communications. We've bought a few different earpiece and mic solutions, none of which I'd give a 5-star rating.

    In a high-noise environment, I have found the 'in-ear' solutions to be better than 'on-ear'.

    It seems like there is a lot of gear that looks reliable; looks like what the professionals use; but is not in fact reliable. The reliable gear is just way out of our price range.

    Have you found a carry solution you like?

  6. How about trying some of that headgear the fast food joints use for their driveup windows? That stuff must be able to take a licking and keep on licking (sorry Timex).

    NoCal Gal

  7. Are you going to try the bowman II? Even the throut mice looks good with a high noise over the ear piece. I would send it back and try another one as the problem appears to be in the wiring. Don't let one bad unit turn you off.