In our line of work communication is key and having a solid radio system to carry those messages is just as important. Of course, none of that matters if you can't hear what everyone is saying. N-ear has a very slick solution for this and it comes wrapped in a very tiny package. The N-ear Stealth360 is a listen-only earpiece designed from the ground up to provide crystal clear audio for covert or discreet operations and it does this simple yet critical job quite well.
My first impressions of the Stealth360 were concerning to say the least, but I needn't have worried. Cops are notoriously hard on gear and the Stealth360 certainly didn't appear to be cop-proof. The earpiece is made with a thin and very flexible copper-colored Kevlar wire coated in a clear plastic sheathing that looks very fragile, yet N-ear claims is nearly indestructible.
End to end, the 3.5mm jack is gold plated with a rubberized 90-degree junction that mates it to about 18 inches of thin, straight cable. From there the cable is coiled tightly to make the remaining foot or so retract to about 2 inches. Attached to the end of the coil is a clear plastic connection that transitions to a smaller and more rigid loop that contours over your ear and ends with a very small grey earbud. There's also a grey plastic alligator clip to secure the wire to a shirt or vest.
In the ear the Stealth360 is nearly invisible yet provides amazing audio quality. This is largely due to the fact that the speaker is actually in your ear and not emitting through an acoustic tube as is the case with most earpieces. Volume is incredible, and I don't imagine many scenarios where it wouldn't stand up to ambient noise.
The Stealth360 comes in a nice rigid clamshell protective case with two different styles of silicone earbuds; one perforated so it doesn't interfere with outside noise and the other more typical solid flange that is likely best for high noise environments. It also comes with four additional earwax filters to keep the incredibly small speaker unobstructed. For uniformed use the Stealth360 probably isn't the best option but if discretion is your goal it is nearly impossible to beat.
Made in Denmark, the N-ear Stealth360 isn't something you'll find at your uniform store. It is a high-quality acoustic device sold through a select group of specialized retailers for around $200. Certainly not cheap but you get what you pay for and the Stealth360 is as good as it gets. You can find a retailer through the company's website at www.n-ear.pro/contact.
A.J. George is a sergeant with the Scottsdale (AZ) Police Department assigned to the Technical Operations Unit, Special Investigations Section. He has more than a decade of law enforcement experience in patrol, field training, and traffic enforcement.