A wireless microphone system is a technology that allows for the transmission of sound to be wirelessly transmitted from one place to another.
There are many different types of systems, with each type having its advantages and disadvantages. This blog post will break down the basics and advise you on what to look for when purchasing a new wireless microphone system for your business or event.
What should I look for in a wireless microphone?
One of the most important factors in choosing wireless microphones is deciding what you need them for and how much money you want to spend.
If you are going to be using them for live music, then a pair of high-quality wireless microphones can cost up to $500 each. However, for karaoke nights at your local bar or some other venue that doesn’t need sound reinforcement, having an inexpensive set of microphones and receivers is more important than top-quality gear.
Types of wireless microphones
There are two types of wireless microphones: bodypack and lavalier. Body packs transmit the signal to a receiver, while a lapel mic attaches directly onto your shirt collar or tie. What you need is dependent on where in the room you’ll be speaking from—it needs to have strong enough radio frequency transmission for it not to break up.
Body packs are typically worn on the performer’s belt and need to be wired for power, while a lavalier clipp onto the speaker’s clothing near their neck or collarbone. The signal from these microphones transmitted wirelessly to a receiver plugged into an amplifier of some sort via cable; it then gets amplified and distributed around the room.
Lavalier microphones might be the best choice for those with very limited space near their speakers’ podiums because they allow for a more flexible wireless system. They are also good if you’re moving around, but only if your clothes don’t have too many thick layers of fabric.
Musicians typically prefer body packs because they can wear the pack while standing up, giving them more mobility than a lavalier that needs to clipp on the speaker’s clothing near their neck or collarbone.
What are the components of a wireless microphone system?
A wireless microphone system consists of either one or two parts: an antenna and receiver for audio and power and a microphone. The receiver is often connected to a mixer or soundboard for audio amplification.
The antenna connects wirelessly with the receiver to send information back and forth without any cables connecting them. The antenna and receiver power by a battery, which is usually located inside the microphone. The receiver contains an integrated circuit for converting analog audio signals into digital data sent to the mixer or soundboard over a wireless connection.
Is the sound quality of a wireless microphone system worse than a wired one?
No, the sound quality is usually just as good or better than wired microphones. When considering a wireless system, one thing to note is that if something goes wrong with one of your parts (such as a battery running out), you can’t simply plug in another wire and start using it again. Some systems use digital transmission for a wireless connection, which may provide better sound quality than analog.
Wireless microphones have the same pros and cons as wired microphones: they are more expensive to purchase, but you don’t need a mic stand or microphone cable. The downside is that wireless systems can experience interference from other sources of RF energy like cell phones, microwaves, baby monitors, and WiFi hotspots. It may cause audio distortion or interruptions in the sound feed.
If you are using a wireless system, it is wise to place your microphone as far away from other RF energy sources. To be safe, find out where the nearest WiFi hotspot is and keep at least 30 feet between them.
Use a wireless microphone system for a studio
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to determining whether you should buy wired or wireless microphones for a recording studio.
A wireless microphone doesn’t have the same range of pre-amplifiers as a wired mic. With a wired system, you can choose between many different pre-amps that depend on your needs and budget. A wireless system doesn’t have this option.
Beyond that, wireless microphones can degrade the signal further depending on their technology. For example, analog signals are susceptible to interference, while digital conversion introduces delays in the signal.
The wireless microphone is more portable and easier to set up, making it a better choice for larger or outdoor recording sessions. However, if you’re limited on time in your studio or want different sound quality from the same mic, then wired might be a better fit than wireless systems.
I know you might be thinking that it’s not necessary to have this technology when you can just plug your microphone into the audio interface and get to work. But there are some situations where having a wireless mic is invaluable.