Dynamic performances require wireless microphones. In some instances, using long cable runs is simply not an option, as they can be a hazard onstage or prevent the vocalist from moving around freely.
Wireless mic systems are discreet and practical. If you desire to have complete freedom during a performance or are tired of being confined to the lengths of your XLR cable, the following wireless microphones could be the solution.
The Best Wireless Microphones & Systems
Table of Contents
- The Best Wireless Microphones & Systems
- Everything You Need to Know About Wireless Microphone Systems
Respected worldwide for their assemblage of outstanding electronic musical equipment, German manufacturer Sennheiser tapped into their decades of experience to produce the XSW 1-835 wireless microphone system,
Easily operable and packed with functional features, the XSW-1835 captures or reproduces audio in a warm, streamlined fashion. Vocals of all pitches sound smooth and refined when sent through the system.
The included transmitter in the wireless mic system is an 835 cardioid capsule. It's the capability to isolate a sound source and cleanly capture the treble-end that makes it well adept for use in a vocal ensemble, such as a choir in church.
At the heart of all Sennheiser products is their ability to simplify complex features. A prime example of this is the one-button scanning ability of the XSW 1-835, which, when combined with the synchronization feature, allows you to quickly connect the transmitter to the receiver without the need for manual tuning.
Another quality that makes this wireless microphone system perfect for large vocal groups is that it is capable of operating up to 10 channels simultaneously, with no lagging issues or diminishing in sound quality.
The 835 capsule is both accurate and versatile. In fact, it captures and reproduces vocals with such impressive clarity thanks to feedback suppressing cardioid pattern that it could be used in the recording studio if required.
With impeccable SPL handling, it's resilient enough to handle the loudest of vocalists.
With almost a century of experience producing microphones and other audio equipment, Shure is regarded as the kingpin of recording technology. If you've ever played a live gig before or been in a recording studio, it's likely that you have used at least one of their products.
The SM57 and SM58 are arguably the two most reliable, and certainly two of the most popular microphones to ever exist. With the BLX24/PG58, Shure has translated their wisdom into a world-class wireless microphone system at an affordable cost.
Durability is a quality that Shure has built its reputation upon. The BLX4 receiver included in this set has it in abundance. Reliable and low- maintenance, it is able to run for up to 14 hours using just two AA batteries.
The PG58 is the chosen microphone which complements the BLX24 receiver. Integrated within the system, this cardioid dynamic capsule can be used to record all varieties of human vocals, along with guitars, pianos, or other acoustic instruments.
Although it’s undoubtedly a versatile wireless microphone, the PH58 excels the most when used for live performance singing. It allows the singer to move freely around the stage, without the fear of the mic cutting out due to poor signal or distance issues.
With a handy microphone clip included, this Shure wireless system is ready to go right out of the box. Simply connect the transmitter with the capsule using the single-push connection button, and get down to business!
The ATW-1233 wireless microphone system by Audio Technica is an innovative option with a multitude of convenient features. With mountable receivers that perform at 24-bit/48 Khz in the range of 2.4GHz, there’s no shortage of quality with this set.
When designing the ATW-1322, Audio-Technica aimed to ensure that the performance is as streamlined as possible. One way that they have successfully achieved this is by enabling the receivers to easily eject from the chassis.
Additionally, the receivers are hooked up via an Ethernet cable, which can be situated anywhere up to 300 ft from the position of your mixer. This provides you with absolute freedom over the placement of the system and guarantees a reliable wireless signal.
The installation of the ATW-132 is simple and convenient. Included in the set are the robust ATW-RC13 receiver chassis, a pair of ATW-RU13 receiver units, and a high quality ATW-T10002 wireless transmitter. All of these mentioned components are easy to mount and set up in no time.
Crosstalk interference is a common issue with low-end wireless microphone systems. To combat this potential pitfall, Audio-Technica installed a single button which, when pressed, automatically scans for the best-suited open channel, considering the environment of the live performance.
If you need to run multiple wireless systems at any one time, this system suffices. With up to ten channels or units able to be simultaneously operated without frequency coordination issues occurring, the ATW-1322 is a generous tool.
The ATW-1002 handheld microphone is designed to provide you with pristine sound capturing and reproduction. The set also includes an RJ12 cable for linking multiple systems, and LCD display, mounting hardware, and rack ears for secure placement.
Shure’s BLX/PGA31 is a headset wireless system that provides you with un-tethered vocals in any given setting. With the rock-solid durability and world-class performance you’d expect from a Shure product, this mic and receiver combination is hard to beat.
Thanks to Shure’s impressively functional QuickScan technology, nightmares of frequency-selection issues are quickly forgotten. With this streamlined method, you simply set off the scanning mechanism and it quickly locates the ideal bandwidth at that moment.
Regarding power and battery life, this Shure wireless microphone can run constantly for up to 14 hours using a pair of AA batteries, or alternatively, by an external power supply.
It’s highly important when performing onstage that a singer feels confident with their wireless microphone. With the BLX14/PGA31, you can rest assured that their decades of audio design experience has created a reliable and high-performance system.
The cardioid microphone included in this wireless mic system is the accurate PGA31 condenser. Perfectly suited to picking up vocals, this mic hones in on the slight nuances that give a singer's vocal their individuality.
To further improve the performance of the BLX14/PGA31 wireless microphone system, Shure has included a number of add-ons. There's a solid windscreen, which prevents unwanted noises from reaching the capsule. Then there‘s also the clip-on Bodypack transmitter.
Rode has been pumping out quality recording and live music equipment from down under since the late 1960s. Their microphones are regarded as some of the most reliable in the industry and are used for multiple instruments and purposes.
The Wireless Go microphone and receiver set is well-suited to vloggers, podcasters, filmmakers, or content creators. It acts as a central hub, controlling all of your audio-related needs in a simple-to-understand manner.
At the heart of the Wireless Go system is the integral transmitter. This device has an inbuilt microphone with an omnidirectional polar pattern and therefore can be used as either a detachable lavalier mic or as a conventional wireless transmitter for another microphone of your choice.
This included receiver is as compact as they come. It can be clipped easily onto the shoe mount of your camera, an item of clothing, a backpack, or a camera strap. It's an ideal solution for traveling content-makers.
Another convenient feature of this Rode system is its internal rechargeable battery. The worst thing that can happen when broadcasting, capturing audio, or interviewing someone is that you have to stop due to a lack of power. With up to seven hours of usage per charge, the Go Compact eliminates this issue.
The range of which the Wireless Go system can operate is also worth mentioning. Although it performs best at short-ranges, it is also able to reach up to 70 meters if required.
Xvive Audio’s U3 wireless microphone system is an affordable option that performs to a level you’d expect from a more expensive offering. Operating within the 2.4GHz wireless band, the U3 has a particularly wide frequency response.
There’s no microphone included with the set, which shouldn’t be an issue if you already own one. Paired with an SM58 or another quality vocal mic, the U3 will perform to an exceptionally high level. Just simply connect the mic to the receiver using a standard XLR cable.
Latency and lag are issues that seem to plague recording engineers and vocalists. It can be soul destroying to find that your vocals have slipped out of sync after performing or recording. Xvive has taken this into consideration and ensured that the U3 always has less than 5 milliseconds of latency to avoid any distractions.
The frequency range of the U3 spans from 20Hz-20 kHz. This means it will cater to all tones of the human voice and most instruments, electric or acoustic. It produces high-quality 24-bit/48kHz audio, too.
For performances in church, or at large venues, the fact that the U3 is able to wirelessly function at up to 90 ft away is very useful indeed. It also comes with rechargeable batteries that provide up to 5 hours of operation.
The EW 135 GW combines a high-end handheld transmitter and solid rackmount receiver to create this brilliant wireless system. An expandable system, it can be hooked up to 12 receivers for simultaneous usage.
The transmission range of the EW 135 GW is absolutely huge. Reaching up to a staggering 330 ft, it’s ideal for large venues, festival stages, or vocal ensembles. Also, it can operate for up to 8 hours using batteries.
The chosen transmitter is the powerful SKM 100 G4-S. This handheld device has built-in infrared synchronization which tunes it to an ideal frequency with a single push of a button.
The mute switch on the capsule is also very useful. If any unwanted sounds creep into your mix, simply flick the switch and the audio will be stifled before the audience even notices.
The E835 uses a cardioid pickup pattern, chosen for its ultra-effective feedback suppressing qualities and off-axis rejection. Not to mention, it handles SPL expertly, further improving the clarity of your vocals.
Included with this Sennheiser wireless microphone system is some function-improving add-ons. There’s a strong mic clip, a linking cable, a pair of AA batteries, and a rack kit.
The ATW-1102 by Audio-Technica provides an affordable solution to your wireless microphone needs. This handheld mic/transmitter unit operates with a technologically advanced 24-bit quality, within the range of 2.4GHz.
By utilizing the automatic frequency determining feature on the ATW-1102, you can quickly scan for the perfect bandwidth for uninterrupted usage. If you intend to employ numerous wireless systems within your vocal rig, this is a very useful tool.
A maximum of eight channels or units can be used simultaneously without coordination issues arising. The smartly-designed LCD information display clearly indicates the status of the wireless system.
The ATW-1002 handheld mic is also included in this set. Dynamic and unidirectional, it is well suited to picking up multiple sound sources at once, such as a choir, ensemble, or crowd.
Unwanted hum is an issue that can potentially mar a live performance or vocal recording. To combat this, Audio-Technica has fitted a ground-lift switch, which acts to eliminate any electrical noises caused by the complex ground loops that link the receiver to the sound system.
Samson’s range of budget recording and live performance equipment is a great entry-point for aspiring vocalists and musicians. The Go Mic Mobile follows this blueprint, with simple operation and decent functionality.
Essentially a lavalier wireless system, the Go Mic Mobile makes recording professional-standard audio an easy endeavor. Although it can be used for music, the system is best suited for content creation, such as podcasting, filmmaking, or YouTube videos.
An advantage of using a receiver with two channels is that it allows you to mix two pieces of the audio separately. This is essential for any form of capturing conversations, ironing out any dynamic inconsistencies between two people's voices.
A wireless system wouldn’t be complete without a quality microphone. The lavalier LM10 mic, with a shoe-mount adapter, offers crisp audio capturing with little noise. The set also comes with a rechargeable battery, with up to 6 hours of usage per charge.
Behringer’s ULM302MIC is a straight forward wireless system for singers or speakers. It provides you with a pair of handheld mic transmitters that are specially designed for vocals.
Additionally, the set includes a dual-channel receiver that performs to a high level and is very easy to set up. Simply connect your microphones, locate the best suited frequency, and enjoy the quality sound with minimal interference.
The ULM302MIC shows its true class when it comes to battery life. With up to 24 hours of continuous use with a single set of batteries, it’s one of the best systems in that respect.
Another impressive attribute of this Behringer wireless microphone system is its ability to operate at a range of 200 feet. For playing in large halls, gig venues, or outdoor stages, this comes in very useful.
The main issue that occurs with budget wireless systems is interference from frequency clashes. Intrusive signals are restrained by the 2.4GHz frequency band that the ULM302MIC operates within, which is out of reach of radios or television stations.
Everything You Need to Know About Wireless Microphone Systems
Studio microphones are a topic that fascinates musicians and audio-enthusiasts, with endless discussions surrounding the best mics for capturing vocals, certain instruments, or particular positional techniques to achieve the perfect recordings.
Live microphones, like the Shure SM58, also get plenty of attention. When it comes to wireless microphone systems, fewer musicians seem to glamorize them, despite their undeniable practicality and integral importance for enhancing live performances.
Unlike their wired counterparts, wireless systems consist of multiple components that interact with each other to allow vocalists, speakers, or content creators to move around freely whilst capturing or reproducing audio.
Like all microphones, there's a lot of variation on the market from model to model. That's why it's highly important to establish what purpose you intend to use your wireless mic system for and to understand the features that will best accommodate those needs.
One of the essential parts of any wireless microphone system is the receiver. It operates at one end of the radio link, essentially scanning the information from the digital signal, and converting it into an audio waveform which can be audibly reproduced.
Receivers generally come in one of two varieties: multi-channel, or single channel. This usually depends on the cost of the system and the quality of the manufacturer.
Larger rack-mounted systems will usually boast multiple channels, while ones best suited for podcasts or interviews will have a singular channel.
The transmitter also performs a vital function within a wireless mic system. They work by taking the audio signal produced by vocals or an instrument, converting it into a signal that the receiver is able to identify, and wirelessly transmit it.
To get technical, a digital wireless system employs the receiver to convert the analog audio from the sound source that is directed into the microphone capsule into a digital signal, which is then transmitted to the receiver using radio frequencies.
Transmitters vary in quality and performance capabilities. Those which are best suited to the musical application need to be able to process the analog audio signal quickly and accurately to ensure that no interference occurs and the clarity remains pristine.
Handheld Wireless Mics
The most common type of microphone used within a wireless system is known as a handheld mic. As the name suggests, these mics are held by the vocalist, and usually fall into the dynamic or condenser category.
Handheld microphones are smartly designed. It’s common to find that they have inbuilt transmitters, which makes them convenient to use and very simple to set up.
The great thing about handheld mics is that they are extremely mobile. For dynamic performers who like to move around the stage a lot, they are definitely the best option.
Handheld mics are not only utilized by singers or vocalists, but also by public speakers, lecturers, or announcers. They are commonly used at sporting events, large public gatherings, or to address crowds at a gathering.
Headset Wireless Mics
The second most common variety of microphones found in a wireless system is a headset mic. Again, you can probably guess how these microphones operate based on their name. Worn on the performer's head, they are commonly used by singers who also dance or by referees in sport.
Headset mics are hard to spot, and this is why many performers use them. Discreet microphones don’t take anything away from performers, or attract attention onstage.
Because they are hands-free, they allow the vocalist to concentrate fully on their body movements and the projection of their words.
These microphones are also useful in environments that are noisy, such as large-crowded events. The microphone maintains its distance from the mouth of the vocalist, and therefore, the dynamics are more consistent.
Lavalier Wireless Mics
The third and final variety of microphones you’re likely to find in a wireless package are known as lavalier mics. Sometimes referred to as “lav” mics, they are small and discreet devices that are designed to go unnoticed.
Lav mics are commonly attached to a person’s clothing via a clip. They’re commonly used in interviews, podcasts, or radio broadcasts, due to their unobtrusive nature. As they are constantly situated closely to the speaker's mouth, they provide very little noise compared to the desired signal.
Lavalier microphones are also great for combating common issues that occur when using other varieties of interview-style mics, like shotgun microphones. For this reason, they are popular amongst filmmakers and content creators, where a larger mic may look out of place and ruin the aesthetics of the shot.
The way that lavalier microphones are worn, is usually by attaching them to the belt or item of clothing of the interviewer or interviewee. The only downside to them is that they require more effort and adjustment to initially set up.
They have to be positioned correctly to capture the audio with clarity, and if they rub on an item of clothing it can be detrimental to the interview or broadcast.
They are also delicate and have to be taken care of, which is one of the reason’s you’d rarely find them used for music performances or in situations when they are likely to be moved around a lot.
Wireless microphone systems are one of the best investments a vocalist, interviewer, or performer can make. They provide you with ultimate freedom onstage, with none of the restrictions caused by using long cables.
Choosing the right option for you really depends on your intentions. If you are likely to use the system for musical purposes, it’s best to go for a handheld or headset variety, while interviewers and content-producers will prefer lavalier mics.