What makes a good airsoft team? Besides honesty, a fair grasp of infantry tactics and team play? Communication. Communication is a cornerstone of decent performance. This is not much different than any army, where communication is used for chain of command to delegate orders and to coordinate units in order to achieve tactical supremacy.
And that pretty much goes for Mil-Sim airsoft too. Cavalvy joined ranks of tactical communication equipment manufacturers (with Toy Soldier and DevGru as most recognisable names) in the mid of 2006. Their first communications related product was called Elite TOTO II Tactical Headset, which was recently discontinued and replaced with model designated as Elite II Tactical Headset.
Cavalvy Elite II Tactical Headset (from now on called Elite II) is a replica of Selex Daylight and Patrol head set, which is designed for use in military and para-military organisations in the general course of their duties. It has several distinctive features -which are faithfully replicated- which will be scrutinised later on.
Sticker on the rather plain cardboard box indicates that Cavalvy Elite II Tactical Headsets are available in green, black, tan and khaki. With the exception of the latter all three are already available in online stores.
Plastic ear cup is padded with soft spongy material which is very comfortable and won’t dig into your ear even after prolonged use. Comfort also depends on the configuration of your protective equipment. Glasses with thicker temples may be uncomfortably pressed against the sides of your head by straps, which can be solved by careful configuration.
In order to facilitate situational awareness one of the main selling points of Selex Light Patrol Headset is vented cup, which enables peripheral hearing. This is huge advantage over ear buds (which are very common in airsoft), which block sounds from environment.
Interestingly, type of PTT (push-to-talk) switch depends on the colour or the Elite II Tactical Headset. Black uses so called “D” PTT switch (large “doughnut” type switch. This type found its applications mostly with snipers and SWAT personnel due to large contact surface). We reviewed green version of Elite II Tactical Headset, which uses “U94” type PTT button. Its main feature is boxy shape of the PTT housing with clip to attach it to either clothing or webbing. Button is fairly small so it is imperative that its position enables an easy access (in the due course of use we found out that it is wise to find a optimal placement and than stick to it. You should develop muscle memory in no time). Spring in the PTT unit is quite stiff and requires a very “positive” push.
Microphone is located on the fully adjustable boom and does its job very well. During testing we found out that it is best to be positioned about an inch from the mouth. Microphone is encased in plastic shroud.
Installation is simple. At this time, Kenwood and Motorola two pin plug versions are available, however, the box states that Yaesu and Standard plugs should be available too. Keep in mind that proper installation of cables is a life saver. Tuck them away to prevent snagging, which may damage equipment or even worse, you.
One of the most recognisable features of Selex Light Patrol Headset is its low profile setup. We already mentioned very slim, comfortable and unobtrusive ear cup. Ear cup is secured with three fully adjustable, elastic straps. Length of straps is adjusted with Velcro; quality of material and work seems more than decent. Top strap is made out of mesh material. As always, take your time to adjust headset to your wishes. Tip: make necessary adjustments with your protective glasses/goggles on.
Its low profile nature comes evident when we try to use it together with headgear. We tried it with MICH and PASGT helmets, boonie hat and baseball cap. Elite II comes trough as truly versatile product. When worn under boonie hat it is probably worth noting that boonie should be little bigger than usual so it is comfortable fit and doesn’t ride too high.
While quality of transmission is probably the most important feature, it is hard to say anything more than that quality of sound is very good. Transmission is crisp, there is no cracking which would indicate cheap wiring or poor connections on the behalf of Elite II. It is worth mentioning again that PTT button is somewhat stiff and it takes a push to activate it- which is yet again quality of the original product.
Quality of cables is very decent; cables are thick and well insulated.They are long enough for average height player to store his radio somewhere on the belt. Cable, leading to the radio is coiled; cable, leading to headset is using special safety semi latching connector on the PTT box.
As far as field report is concerned- product makes game even more fun, as it gives additional aspect of game to master.
Frankly, this was one of the toughest reviews to write. Reason? Cavalvy Elite II Tactical Headset is an excellent product and it was quite hard to gather all relevant points in order to make it justice. There is one pitfall, though- it is only as good and useful as operators make it out to be. All the usual postulates of military communications apply- without them communication falls on the level of casual banter.
For the seasoned airsoft operator this is not a fashion accessory- it is a must.
Test item provided by RSOV