Tech talk: Wireless microphones

Wireless systems make a musician’s life so much easier - especially those who are particular energetic and active when on stage. Annoying cables almost always get in the way, tie themselves in knots, and constantly need to be moved out the way and reorganised to avoid you stumbling over them. It’s very annoying, especially when the atmosphere is electric and you just want to focus on the music and your fans. So throw away those cables and get yourself a wireless mic! But how do they actually work, and just how reliable are they?

Warning: Now it’s getting geeky!

Wireless systems access frequency ranges that are regulated by the Federal Network Agency, which distinguishes between two types of user: private and professional. Most of you can be considered as private users. You can register and use your wireless microphones within three different frequency ranges, completely free of charge:

  • 823 - 832 Megahertz
  • 863 - 865 Megahertz
  • 2,4 Gigahertz frequency band

The latter frequency can be used throughout the world and doesn’t require registration. However, due to the high frequency, its range is rather limited. A stable range here is up to 30 metres, which is still a significant distance – more than enough for use in the practice room, clubs and even larger venues. It’s important to note that there are also other WLAN devices which use the 2.4 GHZ frequency and occupy channels within this frequency range. As a result, wireless systems usually only have 2 to 4 channels that are available to use. To avoid this, simply turn off all the wireless devices that you don’t need for your rehearsal or concert, or turn off their WLAN connectivity. This will make up to to 8 channels available to you, which will ensure that you have a continuous and stable connection. Modern digital radio systems, for example from Shure, change frequency automatically and silently when there is interference. Good quality sound is thereby guaranteed each and every time.

Interference-free transmission - no problem!

High quality wireless mics provide a very clear and linear sound that can’t be distinguished from the traditional cable varieties. The GLX-D wireless systems by Shure also have an operating time of 16 hours. The batteries have a lifetime of 10,000 hours – the same as 2,500 disposable batteries. So it’s safe to assume that your singer will run out of juice before your mic’s batteries do!

The benefits at a glance

More freedom to move about, clearer sound, interference-free transmission with a very long operating times, free registration and cost-free frequency ranges. These are just some of the awesome advantages of wireless systems. So go and hang up your cable and really blow the fans away with your next performance!

More info on wireless systems and frequency ranges can be found HERE.

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