Boldly Go With the ‘Star Trek: TNG’ 30th Anniversary Communicator Badge

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The Star Trek TV series was all about living in the distant future and as a kid I was always looking up at the stars and dreaming about that future. So what Star Trek fan wouldn’t want to wear a bit of that future on their chest?

Star Trek 30th Anniversary Edition Communicator Badge
Original packaging next to the communicator badge (Photo by Skip Owens)

What is the Star Trek The Next Generation: 30th Anniversary Edition Bluetooth Communicator Badge?

The Star Trek communicator badge is a “life-like” replica of the communicators that were worn in the TV Series Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). But it is much more than just a physical prop as it actually functions much like the badges did in the TV series:

  • Plays classic communicator chirp sound effect when you press it
  • Connects to your phone or device via Bluetooth
  • Built-in microphone for hands-free calling with noise cancellation
  • One button answers/ends calls, plays/pauses audio, or accesses Siri, Google Now, or Cortana
  • Listen to texts or emails hands and ears free
  • Use with 3rd party apps like translation, maps and more
  • Wireless Range: 33 feet / 10 meters – Minimum
  • Attaches using neodymium magnets
  • Batteries: Rechargeable Lithium-ion (2 hours constant usage / 48 hours Cosplay mode)
Star Trek 30th Anniversary Edition Communicator Badge
It looks like it was just ripped off the chest of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Photo by Skip Owens)

The fit and finish of the badge is spot on. The magnetic backing detaches from the front piece and once placed on the inside surface of your shirt (hopefully not a red Star Trek uniform for your own sake) it securely keeps the badge pinned to your chest (without using an actual pin that could harm your precious Star Fleet uniform).

Star Trek 30th Anniversary Edition Communicator Badge
I’m not sure how this guy made it through Star Fleet Academy…he seems a little old. But then again Star Trek is about inclusion and acceptance, even if it is from not one but two other movie franchises (Image by Skip Owens)

I took the advice of one of my fellow geeky writers Dakster Sullivan (see her review on GeekMom) and fully charged the communicator badge before attempting to pair the device with my smart phone. I have an iPhone X and the pairing process was flawless. The badge doesn’t pair with an app, so the badge essentially works stand alone like any other bluetooth speaker or headset that you would pair with your phone. You can listen to music, make and receive phone calls and of course it wouldn’t be a communicator badge unless you could give you digital assistant voice commands. Bonus tip…if you are using a iOS device try using the following command with your communicator badge and Siri: “Hey Siri, beam me up.”

Verdict

I decided to look at the Star Trek 30th Anniversary Edition Communicator Badge from a couple of different perspectives for this review. First I looked at it as purely a cosplay prop or as a piece of Star Trek memorabilia. The communicator badge has a very sturdy weight and solid feel…this is no toy. You won’t be disappointed with it if you are looking for a nice piece of authentic looking Star Trek gear. The fact that Fametek was able to make the badge function just like it does in the TV show by having the entire front surface act a a single button is a nice touch, and not only does it function that way but it has a professional feel and response (it doesn’t feel like a plastic toy). It also has a cosplay mode so that when you press it only the audio “chirp” is triggered and not a smart phone function. That leads into the other perspective I took as I tested out the TNG Communicator Badge…the perspective of using it how it was used in the TV show as a communication device. I already own an Apple Watch and a pair of AirPods so I am spoiled with already being able to just raise my wrist or tap the earpiece in my ear to summon Siri or control audio, but not everyone already has a device that does this. If this is you then the TNG Communicator Badge will double as a very useful hands-free unit. Granted in the 24th century they don’t really drive cars or hand wash dishes anymore, but here in our time being able to take a quick phone call or issue a voice command while doing either of these activities is not only convenient but it also a safer way to do it (keeping your eyes on the road and your phone from being dropped in dishwater).

If you are die-hard Trek fan then the Star Trek 30th Anniversary Edition Communicator Badge should be on your wish list. It is an iconic prop from the TNG series and it also offers most of the key functionality from our present-day bluetooth hands-free devices, which means you can use today’s technology while feeling a bit nostalgic and futuristic all at the same time. The Star Trek The Next Generation: 30th Anniversary Edition Bluetooth Communicator Badge is available directly from the Fametek website and also at Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: Fametek provided me with a Star Trek 30th Anniversary Edition Communicator Badge for the purposes of this review, but unlike an Admiral from TNG series there were no demands from Fametek made upon me about how I go about my job (those Admirals were pretty bossy weren’t they).

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