Lapel and Lavalier Mics – Lapel and lavalier microphones are suitable for broadcasting, film, and TV purposes. They’re designed to be ultra-discrete so they don’t appear on camera and fix onto clothing. They work in the same way as standard wireless microphones but will require a bodypack as well as a receiver. This is because they’re not big enough to house their own transmitter.
Wireless Microphone Buyers Guide
What is a Wireless Microphone?
A typical microphone works by converting an audio signal into an electrical one and sending it through a cable to a desk and then an amplifier. A wireless microphone picks up audio signals utilizing the exact same magnetic field process as any other microphone, the only way in which it differs from its wired counterpart is in the manner in which it sends its signal to be amplified. It manages to do this via radio waves, much like a CB radio, or indeed any radio. Wireless mics usually operate on ultra high frequency (UHF) bands.
Wired Vs Wireless microphones
A wired microphone is generally accepted as better so long as the cables are of high quality the signal will usually be stronger with absolute integrity because there is no way for it to become interfered with.
A wireless microphone can be subjected to other waves crossing through its path and as they tend to have a generous transmission radius and many modern devices operate with wireless in modern times this can sometimes be problematic but manufacturers typically try to counter this within the technical aspects of the receiver engineering.
There are many scenarios, live performance and otherwise where a wireless option is essential. They allow for much more freedom of motion unimpeded by cables. This makes them ideal for larger stages and audiences without the trouble of having endless meters of hazardous cable strewn about the place.
The other benefit of having a wireless mic is a tidier appearance, if you are behind or in front of a camera wearing a microphone about your person is not only liberating in terms of being less restricted to a certain spot but the audience doesn’t see the wires in view.
Handheld wireless systems are perfect for public address, DJ MCing, karaoke, play narration, comparing, street interviews, and much much more.
What to look for when buying a Wireless Microphone?
Some important things to consider are if the microphones are for singing, speaking or commentating or perhaps a bit of both. There are many different microphone pickup patterns and each is suited for different things. The majority of those we have looked at today are uni-directional which means they pick up from directly in front of them (or on top really) meaning they need to be pointed at the source. This pattern is called cardioid which you will have seen mentioned throughout.
This is because the shape of the magnetic field generated by the microphones components resembles a heart shape although speaking in 3-dimensional terms it is also sometimes referred to as apple-shaped in appearance as well.
This is a good microphone pattern for isolating what you want to pick up rather than general background ambiance. A lot of the mics we have compared are also dynamic by nature meaning they respond to a wider frequency range and can really pick up the dynamics of the audio making them perfect for singers who often have an impressive range and unique nuances in their vocals.
Wireless systems rely on battery operation, usually one or sometimes both parts will have a built-in rechargeable battery of some for this is preferable as some sets will need constant battery replacement which can end up pricey with long term use.
If Bluetooth capabilities are important to you then you should for look for a system which is compatible, however a word of advice as many people carry around their own Bluetooth devices the signal can subject to less stability regardless of not being paired to a stranger devices specifically.
The best bet is to choose a system which operates in bandwidths not used by television broadcasting, and typical radio frequencies to rule out the possibility of interference altogether.
If you are looking to invest in something for professional use you should be prepared to part with a fairly large lump sum of cash. From today’s reviews, we highly recommend the Shure and Sennheiser sets as some of the oldest companies in the business and manufacturers of products which have continually set and raised the industry standards time and again they are a sound choice and superbly built to boot.
What was once reserved for bigger fish, is now a product attainable for many. The benefits of wireless microphones are mainly motion and a modicum of professionalism. They are quickly becoming a go-to for far-field recording with cameras eliminating the need for a huge boom (and operator) which is an expense many budding media makers just can’t afford.
There is a range available in recent years which are much more accessible to the masses and some of them even have a pocket money price tag which is great news for younger enthusiasts and non-profit organizations which want to hold events.
Many of those on the current market is very easy to pair and use and most have measures in place for quick channel changing should anything dare to interrupt your signals. The higher-end models we have looked at obviously offer more in terms of quality, clarity, and longevity but there are plenty of affordable options out there as well. We hope today’s reviews along with our wireless microphone buyers guide will help you make an informed purchase.
Always buy newer systems and always do your research if a deal seems suspiciously too good to be true, the law was changed in the early 2000s to prevent certain frequencies from being used by the general public, and some older systems operating on illegal bands are still available for sale despite this fact.
Did you Know
If you are planning something really extravagant you can actually get wireless systems that broadcast from 300 or even a whopping 500 meters away.