Should I get a wireless microphone?

Wireless microphones are perfect for singers, venues and schools as there are no wires to trip over.Wireless microphone system showing receiver, headset microphone and beltpack transmitter

Wireless microphones are available with handheld microphones which contain their own transmitter or headset or lapel microphones (right) which connect by a short wire to a small belt-pack transmitter.

You need one receiver per transmitter - the receiver plugs into the mixing desk or speaker and wirelessly receives the signal from the microphone transmitter.

Which type of wireless microphone is best - handheld or headset/lapel?
The general public often have problems using handheld microphones because they hold them too far away from their mouths, or wave them around when they are gesticulating. The microphone volume is usually turned up too loudly to compensate, and this can result in feedback. They are easy to pass around though, in an audience situation.

Beltpacks can be used with headset microphones or lapel microphones (sometimes called lavalier or tie-clip microphones). Headset microphones are usually better, in our opinion, as the microphone stays in a fixed position next to the mouth, so it doesn't matter how much the speaker moves around the volume stays constant. Unlike tie clip or lapel microphones, which stay in the same place as they speaker moves their head around, so the volume is constantly going up and down.

Wireless microphones usually have a range of 50 metres so the person singing or speaking can be a fair distance away from the receiver. The signal will even go through walls (but this will decrease the range). As with any microphone, don't use it while standing in front of the PA system speaker as you will get a squeal of feedback!

You can get single, dual or multiple wireless microphone systems: single have one microphone per receiver, dual have two microphones plus two receivers which are built into the same box. The benefit of the dual receivers is that they can take up only channel on the mixer if you take a mix from the back of the receiver. Dual systems are much cheaper than two singles, and new six-way systems are now also available - perfect for schools!
 

Is there anything I should consider when buying?

Click to fill in our simple enquiry formThe main consideration is to get a wireless microphone that works on the True Diversity principle and operates at UHF (Ultra High Frequency) rather than VHF (Very High Frequency). All True Diversity means is that the transmitter sends two signals to the receiver on different frequencies which are then summed at the receiver end. This reduces the amount of drop-out or signal loss. If you have a wireless that is not true diversity it will be prone to drop out.

If you use fixed frequency microphones then you can use no more than two at any time as they usually come pre-set with one or the other of two frequencies.

We prefer to recommend UHF systems with 16 switchable channels for that reason, as you can use up to 4 wireless systems at the same time on the free bandwidth, Channel 70, or multiple systems at the same time on Channel 38, but that needs an annual licence (from 75 per year) to use.

Channel 70 covers the range 863-865 MHz, and Channel 38 covers 606.6 - 613.5 MHz.

Please note that in 2012 Ofcom sold off some of the wireless frequency ranges which will affect some wireless microphones and may make them illegal to use. See our Wireless Frequency Allocation page for more information.
 

If you need help, please complete our simple enquiry form or email  enquiries@whatpa.co.uk


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