Why Do Secret Service Agents Still Wear Those Curly Earphones?

What is your favourite feature of the radio accessory? Personally, I like the design job – Its cooler than an Inuit’s underpants!

audioYou’d think that the American secret service (being the American secret service and all) would have access to earpieces a little bit cooler that just the standard ‘curly cable’ job, wouldn’t you?

If pushed, I have to say that I tend to imagine a little old fella, like Desmond Llewelyn in the Bond movies, (or even a younger model like Ben Whishaw from ‘Skyfall’) making all the gadgets himself and then explaining them to the agents before they go out and guard the President’s life.

This is simply not the case. They use the models that they use because they work and they work well. Basically, wired models are still more reliable than their wireless counterparts. With wireless, you tend to get more interference, as well as having to contend with more limited bandwidth. Essentially, you need reliable tech when you’re in the field. Lives are at stake in some cases.

This simple, trusted earpiece can be relied upon to do the job, every time.

Another advantage that wired earphones have over wireless ones (in this instance, at least) is the fact that a wired set needn’t carry an extra battery. Wireless earphones would require charging and, as a result, would have a somewhat limited operational capacity. It just causes a lot more headaches for people who, let’s face it, already have a fair bit on their plates to start with.

According to ‘AskJeeves.com’

“The ear piece and mic that the secret service uses is called a Throat Mic. The Throat Mic has clarity that is unsurpassed, great sound quality, and allows for discreet interaction. It also has an acoustic air tube that makes it comfortable when worn for long periods of time”.

The ‘curly earpiece’ technology is actually rather popular and has been used by a number of people and businesses beyond the secret service. You can even buy a wireless version, but don’t expect the secret service to be interested!

I could argue another point, but this is just a pet theory with very little research to back it up. Psychologically speaking, when you see a secret service agent, you identify them as such without seeing them in any kind of uniform (beyond a suit, shades and an earpiece), the earpiece, then, is a subtle reminder to you, the civilian, that not only is this not a regular person in a suit, but also that the area in which you now find yourself is being closely monitored.

With one word to his/her earpiece, the agent in question can probably call down all the other agents in the immediate area, as well as police, fire brigade and anybody else he/she believes is necessary. That subtle reminder is probably a very potent crime deterrent. No guns need to be displayed, no helmets or flak jackets worn and yet you know that this person has eyes everywhere and could, potentially, really ruin your week. As I said, it’s just a theory, but I think it makes sense.

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