With wireless mics, artists are free to walk around the stage without worrying about tripping over cords. In addition, using a wireless microphone system gives musicians, instructors, corporate meeting rooms, and places of worship more flexibility. If your school, theatre, or karaoke bar may benefit from a wireless microphone system, our purchasing guide will point you in the right direction.
There are several different frequencies to choose from, but the most common is UHF (up to 400 MHz). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently set regulations on wireless microphones’ operating frequencies. However, these frequencies may still fluctuate. Frequencies from 470 to 548Mhz provide excellent transmission distance and clarity.
The 2.4GHz frequency is also home to a slew of microphone systems. It’s important to know that microwave ovens might cause interference with wireless devices using the 2.4GHz frequency range. They also have a significantly smaller operational radius. Only in small spaces without obstacles between transmitter and receiver antennas should you use a 2.4GHz microphone that is wireless.
Professional wireless microphones also utilise the 902-928Mhz frequency range. This frequency band has proven popular among those looking to replace their old and out-of-date 600-700Mhz wireless microphones. Keep in mind that older 700 Mhz wireless mics are currently prohibited, and frequencies between 566 and 698Mhz will be restricted by 2020. Therefore, you must stop utilising these wireless equipment and switch to new wireless microphones that use lawful frequency ranges. VHF will be available from certain manufacturers in the 169 to 216 Mhz band as well. It may be a possible option in the future with the advent of new digital technologies.
Range Of The System
A decent rule of thumb is to get a wireless microphone system with an operational range twice as far as you believe you need. At the very least, your wireless system must have a range of at least 1,000 feet. Because of interference issues, even if your working area is just 900 square feet and has minimal impediments. It is recommended to use a long-range wireless mic system.
A further drawback of short-range wireless systems is that their signal is generally degraded when passing through objects such as pulpits, desks, doors, and sound booths. The range of a 2.4Ghz or VHF system will not be as great as a UHF system, so keep that in mind while shopping around.
Reliability Of Microphone System
Everyone wants to buy a trustworthy system, but how can you tell which systems are reliable? Components in less expensive systems may be less dependable and potentially create compatibility problems. Look into low-noise, low-static, and low-dropout microphone systems. Find out whether the construction noise mitigation is of the companding kind. In computing, compression and expansion are two terms that describe how a signal is compressed before entering your system and expanded after it leaves. Some systems’ noise reduction creates a pumping noise that your listeners will notice and may find bothersome.
Digital Versus Analog Sound Quality
Aside from the extended battery life (up to 40% longer) and the increased spectral efficiency that digital wireless mic systems provide over analogue wireless systems, the main advantage is the better sound quality.
Because of the limited frequency allocation available for wireless mic usage, analogue wireless systems rely on a compressor/expander called a companion to capture the full dynamic range of a sound source.
Digital wireless microphone systems’ declining prices have made them accessible to the majority of the population. As a consequence, the sound is more realistic. Rather than relying on companding, digital systems may send an unaccompanied digital signal with a wide dynamic range. The transmitter of specific microphone systems may even be adjusted remotely using a computer networked to the receiver.