Two weeks ago Halter Technical came out with a new premium IFB headset. I’ve had it since it came out and its a huge improvement over their past model but also it holds the title of premium very well.
I picked up a IFB ear piece on my last stop to Audio Department. While there the clerk was telling me about a camera op who had come into the store just a week earlier asking for a fancy high end ear piece.
The clerk directed him to the Halter Technical IFB headset and the camera operator was shocked it was only $25.
He said “No I want like a really good low profile set.”
“Well look at it like this, those Sennheisers on the wall are also $25 and come with a lot more plastic and 2 speakers. This one is a lot smaller and only 1 speaker and they are asking for the same amount as that big brand.” The clerk responded.
“Oh, yea… I see your point.” He purchased the Halter Technical.
Yea. And that pretty much sums it up. And that would be a good review for say a camera blog or some filmmaker forum. But This is a blog written by a nerd.
So lets break down the specs of the Field Monitor:
- The cable is now 6” longer than before. The total cable length is ~44 inches. The new addition of cable length will allow you to run the cable behind you to your Comtek instead of across your front.
- Speaking of Comtek, the new IFB headset from Halter Technical is now Comtek compatible, even if you have the older Comtek PR72b units that require a 3.5mm TS connector! And it now comes with a stereo to mono adapter so if you plug the IFB headset into a stereo wireless IEM unit like the Sennheiser EW300 IEM, you can hear both channels in the same ear piece. The new unit is now compatible with Comtek, Lectrosonics, Sennheiser, Shure, and Zaxcom.
- The shirt clip is now removable and stronger.
- The driver in the ear piece is only 8 Ohms. What does that mean? Well if you have a weak headphone pre-amp this ear piece doesn’t care, it’s gonna be loud! This ear piece will make your Lectrosonics R1a go to 11! To put that into perspective, the average “ear bud/ surveillance” is typically 32 Ohm, 4x more impedance than the Halter Technical model.
- Can be worn on either ear.
The best part of about the Halter Technical IFB headset is that they have gummy ear inserts. With a very simple hack you can turn this IFB headset into a proper professional IEM type ear piece.
So who should buy this product?
Youtuber/ Extreme Hobbyist: Maybe? Idk what you YouTube people be doing all the time.
Professional Videographers: Possibly. Back when I was a camera op I would plug an ear bud into my camera to make sure I was getting decent reference sound. Since the Halter Technical is only for one ear means you don’t have a lot of bulk to fight when you put your head next to shoulder mount cameras. It also lets you use your other ear with your walkie.
Professional Sound Mixers: Well, probably not for monitoring your mix. But if you are a boom op you could heat shrink 2 of these units together and reterminate them to a shared 3.5mm TS connector and make yourself one super loud DIY professional IEM. But if you are a sound supervisor on a reality show or big network series you should get the production to buy these as expendables. That way at the end of the show run people can just take home their ear pieces. It’s more hygienic that way.
Producers: YES! Duh! You want to hear your actors/talent. This lets you wear a walkie in one ear and your Comtek in the other. Ease of use alone is a good enough reason, what more do you need?
Andrew Jones is a location sound mixer based in Los Angeles. He started in the TV and Film industry in 2004. You can email him at Andrew@HoldForSound.com