While the earliest microphones were wired, the design was inconvenient for the user, especially for live performances in the entertainment sector since the movement of the user was restricted. Hence increasingly people are using microphone wireless for speaker or performer to move freely without being restricted by the cable length or worrying about tripping on the wire. There are a wide range of wireless microphone available, with new technologies being developed to improve audio quality, range of the microphone, while keeping the microphone compact. Some of the main factors which should be considered while purchasing a wireless microphone are discussed below.
The microphone wireless is paired with a receiver which amplifies the sound. For professional applications usually there is a receiver module which can be used to receive signals from multiple microphones. For each channel the user can select the microphone and gain. Many people are using their microphone at home, and wish to control it easily with their smartphone or tablet using an app. Hence it is important to decide how the microphone will be controlled, before purchasing the microphone. The microphones for professional applications are usually of better quality and more expensive.
Range and frequency
The microphone is usually connected to the receiver using Bluetooth or UHF frequency. Bluetooth is widely used at a frequency of 2.4 GHz, but there may be some interference in the frequency band. UHF is used for professional applications where high sound quality is required, but in some countries there may be restrictions on usage of certain UHF frequencies. Additionally the range of the microphone should be considered. Most of the popular wireless microphone systems have a range of twenty to thirty meters from the receiver. However, there are some microphone wireless with a larger range of 60 to 100 meters available.
The microphone uses different mechanisms for converting sound waves into electrical signals. Most wireless microphones are of dynamic type with a movable induction coil, since they are durable, cheap and have good sound quality. For best sound quality,condenser microphones are used, and there are two variants, large diaphragm which are used for studio recording, and small diaphragm microphones or pencil microphones are used. The earliest microphones which were used were ribbon microphones, however, they are fragile, since the ribbon may break if not handled properly. The pickup pattern of professional wireless microphone is usually cardioid, supercardioid or omnidirectional, so that music from multiple instruments is captured. For better sound quality, the microphone has a noise reduction chip and also is not affected by interference.
Battery life and other features
The wireless microphone for mobile or camera usually has a rechargeable battery and the life of the battery should be considered while choosing the microphone. In a few microphones, AA batteries can also be used. Typically the inexpensive microphones have a battery life of 10 hours, though the better microphones have a battery life of 20 hours or more. Usually the microphone and the receiver has an indicator showing the battery status, how much the battery is charged, so that the user can charge the microphone using the usb port if required. The microphone is usually automatically connected to the receiver by switching it on or pressing a button.