The wide range of wireless systems available can be confusing. To help you choose the best wireless system we have only listed mic's that we have used ourselves. We have either installed the systems for customers or operated them at events.
We recommend buying high quality UHF wireless systems. We have handheld microphones, headset mics, and lavalier microphones.
Dual systems include two receivers in one physical unit. Quad wireless systems have four receivers in one unit.
After the list of systems below there is a section containing more information about radio mics.
Product listings for Wireless Microphone
Questions and Answers on Wireless Microphones
Listed below are some of the common questions we are asked, and their answers:
What wireless microphone frequencies are illegal?
Radio mic frequency ranges in the UKOver the recent years competition for available wireless spectrum has increased dramatically. The UK government decided to clear large numbers of frequencies previously allocated to wireless microphone users.
This has affected both professional broadcasters, performance and music professionals, together with churches and occasional users.
The table shows UK wireless spectrum available for shared usage, the frequencies can be shared by anyone throughout the UK.
Consultations on clearing the interleaved spectrum and channel 69 co-ordinated frequencies are ongoing.
|Channel||Frequencies||Licensed||No. of Mic's|
|VHF||173.8 - 175 MHz||none required||2|
|Ch 38||606.500 - 613.500 MHz||£85 per year (2019)||10***|
|Ch 70||863 - 865 MHz||none required||4*|
|Digital||2400 - 2483.5 MHz||none required||10**|
* Although 4 systems are possible, in practice it may be limited to 3 in close proximity to mobile masts
** Up to 10 channels are possible, the max number may be limited in close proximity to wireless data networks
*** Ofcom have a 10 channel plan that shows 10 mic's can be used concurrently, some manufacturers say they can provide more
Channel 38 systems require a UK wireless microphone licence
What is the best frequency for wireless microphones?
We have experience with using all 4 frequency ranges.
VHF is so prone to interference that we do not recommend it for any purpose.
Channel 70 remains popular because it is free, however the government can close it down with only 12 months notice. It is also sandwiched between mobile phone frequencies. Because of this we advise against using it.
Channel 38 is the only choice for radio mic systems that you rely on to provide a service. The High quality equipment is reliable and the signal quality is much better. The government only offered compensation to licence holders when it last moved the wireless mic frequencies.
Digital wireless technology appeared to offer a way forward for users who needed more than 10 concurrent microphones. However, they share the same frequencies as IT Wireless Networks. Where there are large numbers of WiFi networks or large numbers of digital mics the WiFi networks will get disrupted.
Our engineers strongly recommend buying a license and using Ch38 equipment
What frequencies can wireless mics use?
For UK users they can use the following frequencies:
|VHF microphone frequencies||173.8 - 175 MHz|
|UK radio mic frequencies channel 38||606.500 - 613.500 MHz|
|UK radio mic frequencies channel 70||863 - 865 MHz|
|Digital mic frequencies||2400 - 2483.5 MHz|
Which frequency bands are unlicensed?
Here in the UK these are the unlicensed frequency bands:
- VHF 173.8 - 175 MHz, so prone to interference that we do not recommend it for any purpose.
- UHF 863 - 865 MHz, however the government can close it down with only 12 months notice. It is also sandwiched between mobile phone frequencies. Because of this we advise against using it except for casual use.
- Digital 2400 - 2483.5 MHz, Shares the same frequencies as IT Wireless Networks. Where there are large numbers of WiFi networks or large numbers of digital mics the WiFi networks will get disrupted.
What type of wireless mic should I use?
lavalier (or tie clip) mics are the staple for studio TV interviews and corporate conferences
Headset microphones are becoming increasingly popular as they are available in discrete skin colours and smaller sizes. A wireless headset allows the wearer to turn their heads and interact with the surroundings without loosing reception on the mic.
Handheld microphone systems are common at press conferences and presentations as they offer a practical way of picking up questions from the audience. For an audience not used to handling microphones you should supervise the use of handheld transmitters.
Can WiFi interfere with wireless microphones?
Only if you are using digital 2.4Ghz microphones, and it is more likely that the professional standard digital mics would take priority over the WiFi traffic disrupting the wireless network.
Does a wireless microphone need speakers?
A wireless system includes the Microphone, transmitter (built into handheld radio mics), and receiver with antenna. These 3 components are all that is required for the wireless system to work.
However, radio mic systems normally form part of a larger set-up, for use in a PA system the minimum additional requirement would be either powered speakers or an amplifier and speakers. For use with hearing loops then the minimum requirement would be a correctly installed hearing loop system.
How do wireless microphones work?
A complete system includes the Microphone, transmitter (built into handheld radio mics), and receiver with antenna. The receiver is connected to your other equipment using a suitable audio lead
The receiver converts the transmitted radio signal into a normal audio signal
The transmitter converts the output of the microphone into a transmitted radio signal for the receiver
The technology used for the wireless link is continually developing:
UHF and VHF analogue links
This system relies on each transmitter having a paired receiver on the same frequency. A carrier tone is transmitted on top of which the audio signal is embedded. Multiple receivers could receive from one transmitter, however, multiple transmitters on the same or adjacent frequency will cause interference
2.4Ghz digital links
This digital system relies on each transmitter encoding packets of audio addressed to a paired receiver, that receiver examines each packet for the id of its paired transmitter before using the contents.
The greater the number of microphones the greater the bandwidth used
What can interfere with wireless microphones?
These are the sources of interference we have encountered:
- Electrical interference from poor quality mains appliances such as tea urns and strip lights causes interference with VHF systems
- Close proximity to broadcast transmitters can affect Channel 70 and VHF systems
- Having wireless transmitters on the same or immediately adjacent frequencies will cause interference. How close you can have the frequencies depends on the quality of your equipment.
- Here in the UK we have seen increased interference from mobile phone networks on the channel 70 band since the roll out of 4G
Why does my wireless mic cut out?
This happens when your receiver loses the signal from your transmitter, it is less of a problem with true diversity receivers. True diversity receivers are able to pick up radio signals reflected off hard surfaces. Some causes of signal loss are:
- Your receiver is not in line of sight to your transmitter and either cannot receive reflected signals or the signal is completely blocked.
- The batteries in your transmitter are low reducing its broadcast power.
- If your transmitter has a flexible antenna it should not be bundled in the pocket with the transmitter
- Ensure screw in antenna are properly connected
- The human body is capable of absorbing wireless signals, ensure the wearers body is not between the transmitter and receiver. Also ensure that in church use when the congregation stand the receiver antenna are not blocked.
- Most failures of tie mic systems are caused by breaks in the mic cable. These breaks happen when the mic cable is wrapped tightly around the transmitter pack.
What are the best wireless microphones for churches?
We carry out a lot of church sound system installations and we can tell you what we have found
- Licensed Ch38 microphones have the least interference.
- Most churches without worship groups leading the singing have two tie clips and two handhelds.
- If your minister will wear a wire frames headset mic their voice will not drop away if they turn their head
- For churches up to 300 seats the Audio Technica lapel microphone system and Roving Microphone system are our favourite for reliability and quality
- For value for money then this quad system with handhelds and optional tie mics comes highly recommended
- For large cathedral sized churches then this Professional quad system comes highly recommended