Wireless Microphone Systems
May 6, 2014 10:16 AM, By Bennett Liles
Modern wireless microphone systems are truly a wonder with more setup features and simpler operation—two trends that frequently work in opposite directions. These wireless systems have all come to the market during a period when manufacturers and users were set reeling from the seismic political and technical challenges coming into force with the digital television transition and there’s more of that in store in the upcoming incentive auctions. Analog, hybrid, and all-digital systems are currently sharing the marketplace and new strides have been made in networked control and digital encryption. As more microphones, musical instruments, in-ear monitors, and intercom systems cram the available RF bands, the world of wireless is becoming an ever more exciting place.
The AKG WMS 420 is designed for small- to medium-size venues where up to eight wireless systems may be needed to operate simultaneously in one frequency band. The group consists of the SR 420 receiver, the PT 420 pocket transmitter, and the HT 420 handheld transmitter with a D5 dynamic microphone head. The pocket and handheld transmitters feature charging contacts for use with rechargeable batteries. The pocket transmitter can be used with the head-worn C555L condenser mic, the C417L lapel mic for presenters, or the guitar set using an instrument cable. The system is compatible with all AKG MicroMics, and it features a low-battery warning indicator.
Through its Special Projects Audio line, Ansr Audio’s Evo True Wireless system is aimed at contractors who service demanding venues such as recreation and fitness centers. With 16 channels and a transmitter that is built into the head-worn microphone, the water-resistant system operates with the Scan16 UHF receiver, and it will find and remember the best clear channel in the local area. The noise-cancelling microphone element is attached to a flexible microphone boom and the rechargeable system will provide up to four hours of talk time. Separate replacement chargers and windscreens are available from Special Projects Audio.
For professional touring applications the 5000 series frequency agile true diversity UHF wireless mic system from Audio-Technica operates in the UHF C and D bands with two receivers in each 1RU unit. Multiple configurations can be made through the AEW-T1000a UniPak transmitter, AEW-T3300a, and AEW-T4100a cardioid condenser microphone/transmitters, and hypercardioid handheld microphone/transmitters in any combination. The system offers IntelliScan, an onboard Ethernet interface, digital tone lock squelch, and a 1/4in. external mute switch jack. Each transmitter is housed in a metal body with a backlit LCD display, and each component can store up to five configurations with names.
Consisting of a number of different handheld, head-worn, and instrument transmitter configurations, the RAD 360 wireless system is built by Audix around its R360 UHF true diversity receiver. Operating in the 614-638MHz and 538-661MHz bands, the receiver can pick up the handheld transmitter with an OM series microphone using a range of mic capsules to suit the needed pickup pattern. Guitar and saxophone mics can be used with the bodypack transmitter, and for more challenging RF environments, an amplified antenna distribution system and antenna signal booster may be added for four receivers to use simultaneously.
For quick camera mount setups with self-contained battery power, Azden offers the 330 series transmitter/receiver configurations to suit a variety of bodypack microphone situations. For a handheld system the 35HT microphone can be used or the 35XT plug-in transmitter can convert any dynamic handheld mic for wireless operation on its 25mW signal. The 35HT and all other transmitter components have an LCD screen for setup and battery condition monitoring. The 330UPR dual-channel receiver includes an LCD display, mic, and headphone outputs on mini jacks, 188 user-selectable frequencies, and a removable shoe mount. The unit gets five to six hours running time on two AA batteries.
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