Motorola's new remote speaker microphone built for firefighting

The APX XE RMS is the first rugged RSM for the fire market to feature a two-microphone design that cancels out distracting background noise


Expanding a growing lineup of radios designed specifically for firefighters, Motorola Solutions showcased a newly released remote speaker microphone at Fire-Rescue International in Atlanta.

The APX XE Remote Speaker Microphone is the first rugged RSM for the fire market to feature a two-microphone design that cancels out distracting background noise.

The two microphones work together — the one nearest the firefighter picks up his or her voice to transmit, while the other microphone picks up all other environmental noise and removes it to improve clarity.

Photo Motorola Solutions, Inc.The Motorola Solutions APX XE RSM is seen with the emergency light activated amid smoke.
Photo Motorola Solutions, Inc.
The Motorola Solutions APX XE RSM is seen with the emergency light activated amid smoke.

In terms of volume, the RSM is 50 percent louder than current speaker microphones and includes superior control, said Nick Candotti, director, Global Accessory and Energy business at Motorola.

"Other microphones might have up and down buttons," Candotti said.

"This is not just a volume control, but a true ramp-up of volume."

Another important feature of the RSM is the detachable cable, which is easy to replace and prevents the entire microphone from being taken out of service for prolonged periods of time for repairs — a problem that had faced previous RSM users.

The RSM also contains features familiar to the APX XE extreme series of radios, with exaggerated controls that are designed to be easily accessible with bulky gloves but also made to prevent inadvertent activation.

"The buttons are protected from when a firefighter is crawling around or bumping into things to make sure it doesn't accidentally get activated," said Candotti.

Controls include a large orange emergency button, prominent Push-To-Talk button with strong tactile feedback and a large volume switch.

The emergency button activates a strobe light on the microphone that can be seen up to 10 feet away in thick smoke, which Motorola built in to improve firefighter safety by making firefighters more easily locatable.

In addition, a single inch square of reflective tape was placed on the microphone to improve visibility, along with the high-visibility impact green color of the microphone itself.

So far, response from firefighters at shows has been positive.

"We got comments like 'you're listening to us' and 'this is exactly what we're looking for,'" Candotti said.

Other features of the microphone include rugged IP68 submersibility and flexible mounting options with a large d-ring hook and 360-degree rotatable clamping clip.

The APX XE RSM is expected to start shipping later this year.

Motorola Solutions, Inc., has been developing and expanding a portfolio of radio devices designed specifically for firefighters and extreme firefighting conditions. To learn more about Motorola and the company's products, visit the official website.

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