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What's the Difference?


For those that are new to the world of intercom, here are some terms you don't want to confuse with each other:

Analog vs. Digital

Encore Analog Partyline
HelixNet Digital Partyline

Analog systems record waveforms as they are. Digital systems will convert the analog waveforms into sets of numbers and record the numbers instead. When played back, the numbers are converted into a voltage stream that approximates the original analog wave.

Two-wire vs. Four-wire

Four-wire communication systems have a talk and listen path that are separate. The term four-wire comes from the fact that the system uses a transmit pair and a receive pair for the audio to and from the intercom (two paths). They can be interfaced to other four-wire audio devices and most wireless intercom systems.Two-wire communication systems have a path is the same for both talk and listen. There are two wires (one path) for the transmit and receive. They can be interfaced to only some wireless intercom systems.

Handset vs. Headset                    Clear-Com Handset                                                   Clear-Com Headsets

A handset is a telephone-style connection to an intercom station with an earpiece and microphone. A headset has one or two earphones with an integrated microphone on a boom arm and connects to a beltpack.