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Passive Attenuation Communications Earphone (P.A.C.E.)

The Passive Attenuation Communications Earphone (P.A.C.E.) System is designed to be a more comfortable and usable system for the user. Originally developed to gain astronaut acceptance of in-ear systems for training and space flight as part of NASA’s Orion Project, P.A.C.E. has become a solution for superior hearing protection and enhanced speech intelligibility during flight for aircrews.

NEED: Hearing protection system with improved intelligibility that reduces fatigue/ear canal pain, enhances communication clarity and intelligibility, and improved design requiring less maintenance while economically mitigating hearing loss.

EXPECTED RESULT: Use of an earphone designed for use in high noise environments will greatly enhance effective communication over legacy fielded communication/hearing protection solutions.

The success of completed missions can be hindered by poor intelligibility of received communication signals by aviators in high noise environments.


Being a stereo plug it is ready for future enhancements into 3D Audio and other initiatives that a mono system is not capable of.


The above image shows the approved USAF HGU-55/P with Combat Edge configuration for P.A.C.E. Configuration consists of: (PFG-PACE-1001) P.A.C.E. 3.5mm Earphone Cable, (PFG-PACE-1003) P.A.C.E. Y-Tap Adaptor, and PFG P.A.C.E. Custom Ear Pieces.

In-Flight Communication

Aircraft cockpits can be a difficult noise environment in which to communicate. In-flight communication signals are driven directly into the ear of aircrews from various sources: air traffic controllers, warning signals, command and control, co-pilot and/or other crew members.

The addition of communication earpieces to the flight helmet is crucial to adequately protect rotor and fixed wing pilots and aircrew from excessive noise exposure without degrading communications while increasing speech intelligibility.

Test results with P.A.C.E. used in conjunction with flight helmets indicate that passive noise attenuation is greater at all frequencies with the P.A.C.E. earpieces when compared to the flight helmet alone. Speech intelligibility for all helmet configurations tested was greater than 80% (necessary to meet air worthiness requirements) even in the worst-case noise condition. 

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Mission Performance - Enhanced.

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Improved Hearing Protection and Improved Communication

The Passive Attenuating Communications Earphone (P.A.C.E.) System provides a quality level of hearing protection without compromising the communications signal provided through your communications system.

It has been reported that poor communication interpretation and the effects of long-term exposure to noise and vibration (fatigue) have been causes for most aviation mishaps in which human error has been causal.

Designed for Comfort and Versatility

Extremely low profile and behind the cranium design that eliminates cable snagging issues found in most under helmet/headset earphone systems. 

Intelligibility and ear canal comfort is vital to mission completion.  If an aviator cannot hear or understand transmissions that affect survivability of other aviators or ground personnel, catastrophic results can occur.  Furthermore, if the aviator’s concentration is on pain of the ears instead of the task at hand, mission completion is in serious jeopardy.

By using a more standard cable connection, P.A.C.E. can be used and tested with any device that utilizes a stereo connection. This system is full stereo and will provide left and right channel audio when connected to a stereo source of audio.

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Choice of Non-Custom Ear Tips or Custom Earpieces

Non-Custom Ear Tips

The P.A.C.E. System utilizes Comply Foam Ear Tips in three sizes to accommodate the use of the system when custom earpieces are not used or available.


The Passive Attenuation Communication Earphone (P.A.C.E.) System has two styles of Custom Earpieces available: In-The-Ear (ITE) and In-The-Canal (ITC).

*Venting of earpieces: This is the standard option for the P.A.C.E. Custom Earpieces to ensure pressure equalization for altitude changes during flight.

**This option is to be selected when ordering.**

In-The-Ear (ITE) - Standard Type

  • The ITE is a Shell Earpiece that covers the entire Concha Bowl of the ear, this is the recommended/standard custom earpiece for P.A.C.E.

In-The-Canal (ITC) - Alternative to Standard Type

  • The ITC is a Half Shell Earpiece that covers only half of the Concha Bowl, the recommended alternative for those that prefer just a half shell or have other comfort/fit issues.

*Ear Impressions Required prior to purchase Custom Ear Pieces. A variety of colors and noise protection designs are available.

Estimated lead time for production of P.A.C.E. Custom Earpieces is 3-4 weeks.

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P.A.C.E. 36″ 3.5mm Earphone Extended Cable

PACE 3.5mm Cable

P.A.C.E. cables integrate specialized electronics into a custom molded earpiece to provide clearcommunications while simultaneously protecting the ear from damaging audio frequencies.

P.A.C.E. provides superior passive attenuation and comfort while also reducing unwanted noise by an average of 30 dBA.

P.A.C.E. integrates seamlessly with stock flight helmets and communication systems and is cost-effective.

Flight evaluations show that P.A.C.E. exceeds the comfort found in earlier attempts at in-ear communication systems. So not only does it provide a significantly quieter environment during flight operations while delivering clear communications to the wearer, it removes the distraction and discomfort from legacy in-ear systems.


P.A.C.E. Earphone Wire with extended length so that it can be used with Chemical/Biological Flight Equipment. Same performance with an extended cable.


P.A.C.E. Comparison Chart

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P.A.C.E. has adaptors that allow it to be used with current aircrew systems without major modification to flight equipment or replacement of standard communication cords:


P.A.C.E. Single SMB-PACE Adaptor
(Rotary Wing Aircraft)

These adaptors work with helmets modified for SMB connector systems. There are three styles available, single-connection and dual-connection (used with hear-through systems).


P.A.C.E. Y-Tap Adaptor
(Fixed Wing Aircraft)

Utilizing the P.A.C.E. Y-Tap Adaptor, flight helmets and headsets that use a common U-179 connector to provide communication signals to the earcup speakers can be quickly modified. The user can regulate the audio volume provided through the aircraft communication system by using the integrated volume adjustment feature of this adaptor.

NOTE: For 3D Audio Systems using connectors other than the normal U-179, a P.A.C.E. Adaptor has been specially built. For users of Terma 3DAS, see T-Tap.

PFG PACE Tap Types
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What Sets P.A.C.E. Apart from Other In-Ear Comm Systems?

P.A.C.E. is similar in format to other in-ear communication systems; however, P.A.C.E. is designed to route the communication cable over the ear and behind the neck, with the connection point on the flight helmet versus the oxygen mask. This configuration improves both egress and ejection safety and should reduce the cost of transitioning standard fixed-wing flight helmets and masks to P.A.C.E.

The P.A.C.E. design is lower profile and uses a much more robust stereo connector instead of the SMB coaxial connector used in other comm systems for rotary-wing aircraft. The overall construction of the P.A.C.E. cable is more rugged with more responsive earphone speakers for improved communication clarity. The P.A.C.E. cable is built to last much longer than similar products.

The P.A.C.E. custom earphone tips provide more comfort with a smaller pressure vent to allow for better noise attenuation (the amount of passive noise reduction), with a connection point and speakers that are true stereo. In addition, P.A.C.E. allows a single cable to be used on all aircraft platforms and can be used with either non-custom tips or custom tips. The ability to use a single cable for all aircraft and to accommodate the use of custom or non-custom earphone tips improves operational requirements while reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

Which of the custom ear pieces do I choose?

The Passive Attenuation Communication Earphone (P.A.C.E.) System has two styles of Custom Earpieces available, In-The-Ear (ITE) and In-The-Canal (ITC):

  • The ITE is a Shell Earpiece that covers the entire Concha Bowl of the ear, this is the recommended/standard custom earpiece for P.A.C.E.
  • The ITC is a Half Shell Earpiece that covers only half of the Concha Bowl, recommended for those that prefer just a half shell, have a cauliflower ear or other comfort/fit issues.
What is ear piece venting?

Venting of earpieces: This is the standard option for the P.A.C.E. Custom Earpieces to ensure pressure equalization for altitude changes during flight.

*This option is to be selected when ordering.

How Do I Fill Out the Impression Slip?
  • Fill out your name, organization or unit, color selection per ear, earpiece style, vent selection, contact and shipping information. This will help us identify your order, and who to contact and ship it back to.
What Is the Process for Submitting My Ear Impressions?

Once you have had your impressions taken, make sure you complete an impression slip and send the slip to the lab with your actual ear impressions.

  • If your unit or organization gives you a pre-labeled envelope, put your impressions and prepaid slip in the envelope and mail that off to the address listed on the front. This will cover the shipping cost to and from the lab.
What’s the Expected Timeline to Receive the Custom Earpieces Back?
  • Estimated timeline is 3 weeks from the time the shipment arrives at the lab and the ear impressions are approved for production.
How Do I Know Which Ear the Custom Earpieces Go In?
  • A red dot is placed at the base of the canal of the right earpiece. The earpieces will also only comfortably fit into the correct ear.
What Is Included In the P.A.C.E. Kit?

We have different types of P.A.C.E. Kits, so it will depend on which one has been ordered or purchased, but it should have the following:

  • Pre-labeled Envelope
  • Clear Baggie
  • Impression Slip with an order number starting with the last two digits of the year or a contract with letters and numbers included
  • Standard cable (only in the PFG-PACE-1001-Cust Kit)
I Got a P.A.C.E. Kit from Supply/ Aircrew Flight Equipment/ My Unit. How Do I Pay For my Custom Earpieces?

Included in each P.A.C.E. kit is a clear baggie, a pre-labeled envelope, and an impression slip with an order number stamped on it ( the number should start with either the last two digits of the year or a long contract number that includes letters and numbers).

  • YES – The custom earpieces are already paid for.
  • NO – If the contract slip is missing, please contact the individual that gave you the slip or Contact Us.

If you were not provided the contract slips due to unit/organization policy – then you will Contact Us to order your custom earpieces direct.

Contact PFG for any questions or assistance with P.A.C.E.

1-844-PRO-FLYT (776-3598)

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