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A Sound Decision

Being able to hear orders and other situational awareness audio clearly is absolutely vital for the warfighter. They need to know what’s happening at all times to execute their missions successfully and safely. At the same time, the warfighter requires substantial hearing protection while on the battlefield, where the roar of artillery can deafen unprotected ears.

Addressing both of these concerns with end-to-end communications products for the warfighter is what INVISIO is all about. Their personal communications systems — protective communications on head/in-ear headsets, control units, cables, and intercoms — are used by NATO allies around the globe.

For instance, the Canadian Army relies on the INVISIO X5 in-ear headset and the INVISIO V60 tri com control unit to deliver clear audio and hearing protection to its troops, as part of Canada’s Integrated Soldier System Project (ISSP). The INVISIO system provides our soldiers with significantly improved command and control, target acquisition and situational awareness for the soldier. It also enables seamless sharing of voice and data with intermediary command centres across the battlefield.

The US Army also uses INVISIO X5 in-ear headsets and INVISIO V60 tri com control units to inform and protect their troops. So did the Australian, British, Danish, and French armies. The obvious conclusion: INVISIO is justified in describing itself as “a global market leader in advanced communication and hearing protection. We enable professionals in noisy and mission-critical environments to communicate and work effectively, while protecting their hearing.”


The INVISIO system used by so many NATO armies works because it combines effective audio delivery with active noise reduction. This means that INVISIO uses the most effective ways available to get the audio to the listener’s inner ear for processing, while electronically reducing the volume levels of battlefield noise.

With respect to the equipment being used by the Canadian and other NATO armies, the INVISIO X5 headset uses bone conduction technology to transmit audio vibrations through the user’s jawbone into their inner ears, bolstered by external microphones for natural hear-through in quieter situations.

Mindful that human ear sizes vary, the INVISIO X5 comes with six sizes of exchangeable foam plugs for optimal hearing protection and wearer comfort. Meanwhile, its audio processing capabilities deliver solid 32 dB SNR and 29 dB NRR levels of hearing protection and noise reduction. The X5 is fully compatible with other INVISIO systems and fits under helmets, eyewear, breathing apparatus and earmuffs. It is even submersible down to 2 metres, while only weighing 70 grams.

: The INVISIO V60 II is a tri com control unit designed to be the ultimate communications hub for its users


The compact INVISIO V60 is the wearable Push-to-Talk (PTT) communication hub that connects the INVISIO X5 headset to up to three communications devices (such as radios and cell phones) being used by the wearer. The company has advanced the capabilities of its control units through the introduction of two new models: The V60 II and the V60 II ADP.    

The INVISIO V60 II is a tri com control unit designed to be the ultimate communications hub for its users. This device comes with three COM connection ports and four PTT buttons. It can connect to any type of communication device, such as multiple net radios, smart phones, headsets (tactical, covert and commercial) and intercom systems for land, sea and air vehicles. The V60 II also boosts the hearing protection and noise reduction thresholds of a connected X5 headset to 42dB (SNR) and 34dB with dual hearing protection options with the T7. It gets its power from the connected comms device, is submersible to 20 metres, and MIL-STD-810G and MIL-STD-461F compliant.

The V60 II ADP control unit goes one step further by adding connectivity to data devices to the mix. This allows it to combine audio, data and power in one lightweight device, allowing notifications from end user devices (EUDs) and live audio streaming to be transmitted directly from the wearer’s own data device to their headsets.

In either instance, the second generation of V60s “offers significant voice quality improvements to their users,” said Sébastien Martel-Laverdière, INVISIO’s Canadian Regional Manager. “We’re able to support all kinds of communication devices on this control unit, including the new ‘dual net’ radios that are becoming more popular with our customers.”

Worth noting: INVISIO makes control units in a wide range of sizes, from the multi-device/multiple PTT button V60 II down to the single radio/one PTT button ultra-small V10.


A world that supports a wide range of two-way radios and cell phones also supports a dizzying array of communications cables. “Honestly, there’s over 10,000 cables available because there’s so many radios out there,” Martel-Laverdière told CDR.

To address this mess, INVISIO has developed the INVISIO IntelliCable. Thanks to its use of advanced cable chips, the IntelliCable can automatically detect the parameters of connected devices and adjust its configuration to make them work together. It’s like having a single AC adaptor for a specific laptop computer that is smart enough to adjust itself to work with all of them! Better yet, IntelliCables are available in black or tan, and as straight, coiled and splitter cable types, with a possibility of adding specialized functions. This ensures that they fit seamlessly into all applications.

: The Canadian Army uses the INVISIO X5 in-ear as part of Canada’s Integrated Soldier System Project


As far back as World War One, foot soldiers have been working jointly with motorized vehicles on the battlefield. To ease communications between the two groups, the INVISIO Intercom makes it easy for soldiers to connect themselves into vehicle intercom systems whenever they are on board.

“Our intercom unit is very simple, portable and light,” said Martel-Laverdière. “It is easy to put into a backpack, so that soldiers can take it with them without the need to rely on vehicles to have such a unit.”

The bottom line: INVISIO has the end-to-end communications products needed to keep troops connected, informed, and safe. That’s why it is the choice of so many NATO armies. When clear communications and hearing protection are a must as they are on the battlefield, warfighters deserve a system this good.

James Careless is CDR’s Ottawa Bureau Chief


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