Wireless systems have an obvious advantage: freedom of movement on stage. If you do not use instrument or microphone cables, or if you need to stay close to monitor the speakers, you are free to browse the performance space. For active artists and presenters, this can be a significant benefit.
Wireless systems can also be faster to configure and help reduce the footprint of cables, mic stands, and floor monitors that clutter performers. Of course, their benefits are not limited to steps; You’ll find wireless systems in places of worship, conference rooms, theaters, dance and exercise studios – wherever presenters, instructors or artists seek freedom of movement.
In this buying guide, you will discover how current wireless microphone systems are easy to use and offer dramatically improved performance over their predecessors. Best of all, you can now get a new wireless microphone for a lot less money than you might think.
Things To Consider Before Buying
- Operating Range
- Sound Quality
The UHF standard (400MHz and above) has been the norm for many years and generally offers The Best performance. In recent years, the FCC has imposed restrictions on the operating frequencies of wireless microphones, but these frequencies may still vary. The Best combination of long-distance transmission and free frequencies is in the 470-548 MHz bands. Use 2.4 GHz wireless microphones only in small rooms, with no obstruction between the transmitter and receiver antennas.
Another frequency band used by professional wireless microphones is 902-928 MHz. For people replacing old and obsolete 600-700Mhz wireless microphones, this replacement frequency range is popular. Remember that old 700 MHz wireless microphones are now illegal and 566-698 MHz will be illegal by 2020! You must stop using these wireless systems and replace them with new wireless microphones operating on legal frequencies.
A good rule is to choose a wireless system with a defined operating range equal to twice the distance that suits you. Your wireless system must have a range of 1,000 feet or more. Although your operating space is only 900 square meters and is slightly obstructed, we found that wireless systems with short operating distances typically have interference problems.
Wireless Microphone System Reliability
Wireless microphones, like most things, are worth your money. Of course, you want to buy a reliable system, but how do you know which systems are reliable? Less expensive systems may contain components that are unreliable and may even cause compatibility issues. Look for quiet, static, low dropout systems. Determine whether the noise reduction used in the construction corresponds to the actual type of compression-extension. Compression-compression refers to the compression of the signal when it is inserted into your system and expanded when it is released.
Sound Quality – Analog Vs Digital
However, there are many reasons to consider digital wireless systems over analog wireless systems, such as battery life (which can last up to 40% longer).
Analog wireless systems use a “compandor” (the compandor is a contraction of the words compandor and expander) to compress the full dynamic range of a voice or instrument into the narrow frequency assignment intended for wireless use.
Digital systems can simply transmit a coherent digital signal offering a full dynamic range without compression. This results in a more natural sound. The price cuts in digital wireless microphone systems have made the price affordable for almost everyone. Some systems will even allow you to adjust the transmitter from a computer connected to the receiver.
Wireless Microphone Features
Separate Mute and Power Switches – One of the most requested features in a wireless system is separate muting and power (transmit) switches. When your receiver and transmitter are communicating, both are “locked” at the same frequency. During this communication, nothing can interfere with this system except another system on the same frequency. However, when your receiver is turned on and your transmitter is off, no signal is transmitted.
Antenna Diversity – Emphasize that any wireless microphone system that makes up your shortlist has two antennas. Single-antenna systems are subject to abandonment. True Diversity dual antenna systems use two antennas. Therefore, if the signal from one antenna fails, the other is there to pick up a signal. Detachable antennas are a sure sign of a true diversity system.
Low Impedance, Balanced line output – Commercial and professional wireless microphones have balanced receiver outputs to connect directly to your mixer. Balanced connections reduce or eliminate noise and buzzing problems of the audio signal once it has left the receiver.
Rechargeable Batteries – The new systems have high-performance rechargeable batteries that last 10 hours with a charge. They can perform 1000 charge cycles, saving you thousands of dollars in battery costs! High-performance digital systems monitor these rechargeable batteries both during charging and during use. Some systems will even tell you how many hours are left on the battery before needing to recharge.
What to Look For…
When choosing a wireless microphone for live performance, several factors must be taken into account. Naturally, the good sound quality is self-evident, but there are also other factors no less important:
- The microphone must be robust and reliable to withstand the rigors of live performance and travel.
- It should be comfortable and easy to hold while you play.
- He should have good resistance to feedback.
- It should be able to handle high Sound Pressure Levels (SPL).