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Intercom Systems From Vortex

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Vortex now stocks a full range of Intercom headsets, Bluetooth Interfaces and Beltpacks as well supplying Unity Intercom which uses smartphones, computers and tablets in place of beltpacks and intercom stations, connecting everything together using IP and the internet.

Conventional 2-wire and 4-wire party-line intercom systems provide a good combination of price and performance for group communication but as the name suggests, users are in effect "wired" together, connected to a cabled intercom outlet on the wall or floor, with belt packs into which the Headsets plug.

Bluetooth provides a convenient way of extending conventional intercom / talkback systems using wireless connectivity to provide freedom from being tethered by a cable to the intercom/talkback system. This freedom is achieved by plugging a BlueSet Bluetooth interface into a standard beltpack in place of the headset but still cabled to the intercom party-line, or replacing it with a Bluetooth-equipped Beltpack such as the JK InterLoop. These can then be paired with a Bluetooth Headset, another beltpack with a matching Bluetooth interface or with a Bluetooth Beltpack such as the JK OuterLoop to provide wire-free connectivity up to about 20m.

To extend an Intercom system across the world, a Bluetooth-equipped Beltpack can be paired with a mobile phone which of course can call anywhere there is a phone connection. The called phone either becomes the intercom station (Vortex has intercom headsets that plug directly into a phone) or it can be paired as described above using Bluetooth to a Beltpack on another intercom system.

The Beltpack and Headset are normally supplied by the intercom manufacturer and whilst in general, connection to the partyline is via a 3-pin XLR, different manufacturers use either 4-pin or 5-pin XLR for headset connection with no standardisation either of plug or socket on the headset cable. In order to accommodate these variations, our Bluetooth range of BlueSet, BlueDriver, Interloop and Outerloop include all combinations of number of pins and plugs and sockets.

Unity Intercom is a novel, low-cost IP/Internet-based Intercom system with 6 channels plus programme feed that allows you to use your existing smartphones as Intercom stations. Unity works by connecting over IP including using Wi-Fi or via a mobile network to a "Unity Server" that provides Talk and Listen on multiple independent channels, as well as an independent programme audio feed. Unity Server software can be downloaded from and free Client apps onto iOS, Android or Windows devices that convert smartphones/tablets into wireless intercom stations from which the Talk and Listen channels can be selected. There are also (free) Client versions for Windows PC and Mac designed to run on computer workstations that may be running lights, computer graphics etc. that may also need intercom communication. To complete the picture, Vortex stocks a complete range of compatible dual-ear, single-ear and lightweight intercom headsets (including models from the David Clark range).

Unity works in both 4-wire (broadcast) and 2-wire (user to user) mode with a large Push-To-Talk button that can be momentary or latched. It can also display camera "On-Air" Tally with GPIO Interface to production switchers. Unity Server also integrates with hard-wired intercom systems providing IP connectivity (including over the internet) thus extending existing systems using Unity to provide additional virtual intercom stations. With Unity, it is now possible to get going – and with high-quality audio connectivity - for about the price of a couple of conventional Beltpacks.

And finally, Vortex has produced a talkback solution called HotSwitch that uses BRIC-Link IP Codecs and the HotSwitch Virtual Control Panel with its rows of push-to-talk buttons. Designed originally for football and election round-ups with many contributors back to the studio all contributing to the same show, HotSwitch lets users switch between codecs at the push-of-a-button.

A 14-day Unity trial software can be downloaded from which provides a 5% DISCOUNT off normal end-user pricing.

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