Whether you're sick of tripping over wires on stage or simply need the freedom to walk around a venue whilst using a microphone, a wireless microphone system is a great option. We take a look at the best wireless microphones designed for professional public speakers and musicians as well as schools, pubs, clubs and houses of worship.
The trusty wireless microphone system is one of the best inventions ever created for performers, allowing singers, performance artists, public speakers and even fitness instructors the freedom to roam around the stage, room or arena freely without worrying about tripping over wires. There’s hundreds of different options out there to choose from when it comes to wireless microphones and wireless microphone systems, thus choosing the right one that’s best for you can be a little daunting.
So today we’re looking at 6 of the best wireless handheld microphone systems ideal for singers, performers and public speakers. Before we delve in to the best wireless microphones, in our opinion, it’s worth finding out the benefits of a wireless microphone (there are loads) and whether or not you need a licence to use one! So read on, or simply scroll to the bottom to see our favourite picks.
How do wireless microphones work?
In short, wireless microphones convert the audio signals, usually your voice, into radio signals which is then sent via the transmitter through the air rather than through a cable or XLR lead. A transmitter, which usually sits by the mixing desk, monitor desk or PA system receives these signals then pumps them out the through the sound system.
It takes away the need for cables, which can sometimes be messy, and can reduce the chance of tripping over if there are already too many cables on stage. Ideal if you have a million guitarists in your band, or the stage you’re performing on has too many musicians taking up all the space – we do that.
The cool thing, and the reason why people choose wireless microphones, is that they allow you the freedom to roam anywhere. Whether you’re singing on stage, taking assembly at school, using them for houses of worship or presentation halls, wireless microphones give you so much more freedom of movement.
Do I need a licence for my wireless microphone?
Before you go ahead and buy a wireless microphone, you may have heard that you’ll need a licence for your wireless microphone system. But don’t start freaking out. You may not need one at all! It all depends on what you’re going to be using it for.
To understand licencing wireless microphones, read our beginners guide to UK Radio Mic & Wireless Guitar System Frequencies and costs to get an idea how it all works, but in short here’s a quick summary:
Wireless microphone channels
There are 6 main wireless frequencies that you can tap into, some of which you have to pay an annual licence, and others are free to use.
These are the channels you have to pay to use
- Channel 38 (606-614MHz)
- 1.8GHz (1785-1805MHz)
These are the channels you can use for free (Licence exempt)
- 2.4GHz (Wifi)
- Channel 70 (863-865MHz)
- 173.7 - 175.1 MHz
How much is a wireless guitar system and wireless microphone system licence?
According to OFCOM the prices of a wireless mic or wireless guitar system licence for one year is around £75. For more information on radio frequency licences visit OFCOM.
You only really need to pay for a licence if you need (Ultra High Frequency) channels and/or will be running 8 or more microphones in your set up. If you’re performing or speaking with just one wireless microphone, then chances are you won’t need a licence and you can just use the 2.4GHz channel, which connects to the WiFi.
So now that we’ve got the boring parts out of the way, let’s take a look at some of our favourite wireless microphones!
6 Of The Best Wireless Microphone Systems For All Uses
1. Alesis Miclink Wireless Digital Microphone Adapter
If you already have your favourite microphone, or you’re particularly attached to your existing mic complete with all the dents, bruises and stinky grille, then look no further than the Alesis Miclink Wireless Digital Microphone Adapter. All you have to do is plug the adapter into your microphone and connect the included receiver into your PA system, and you’re good to go! This no fuss, easy to set up wireless microphone couldn’t be easier to use. The rechargeable Lithium Ion-powered XLR transmitter has a 6+ hour battery life, so those long concerts or public speaking events are easily handled.
In addition, the receiver can be powered via 3 x AAA batteries or the included AC adapter. A simple single-button allows you to pair the mic link with the transmitter, so there’s no messing about before you go onstage! Best of all, you can use it on the licence free and reliable 2.4 GHz spectrum which means you have 14 channels to choose from as well as 60ft range. For under £100 you can go wireless – a budget friendly solution for musicians and public speakers who do not need their own PA system and just want to hook up to the in-house system with ease.
Licence required: No
- Bands on a budget
- Public speakers/orators who already have a microphone
- Places of Worship
2. Alto Radius 100 Handheld Wireless Microphone System
The Alto Radius 100 Handheld Wireless Microphone System is a budget friendly, professional wireless microphone ideal for professional public speakers and musicians, especially those who travel internationally.
At way under £200, you get everything you need to capture audio and start your performance. Inside the box you get the Radius 100 receiver, the Radius HHT Condenser Microphone transmitter, a power adapter and 2 AA batteries. You even get all the accessories to rackmount the receiver.
However, the interesting thing about the Alto Radius 100, and the thing professionals will most appreciate is the reliable switching diversity design. The Alto Radius 100 utilises two separate antenna systems that speak to each other. If one antenna detects any signal interruption or interference, the other will take over the signal seamlessly to ensure your signal remains uninterrupted. This means your performance, speech or presentation is completely uninterrupted, leaving you to focus on the task at hand.
It does operate via UHF Band Operation (520 – 937.5MHz) which is Regionally Selected, so that means you have to pay for a licence to use it. However, for around £80 per year, you have peace of mind that your signals will not compete with other electronic devices in the area and will remain uninterrupted.
Licence required: Yes
- Professional public speakers/orators
- Professional touring musicians
- Houses of worship
3. Sennheiser XSW2 835-e Handheld Wireless Microphone
If you’re in need of a full wireless microphone setup for professional use, the Sennheiser XSW2 835-e Handheld Wireless Microphone package is a perfect choice. This is ideal for all applications whether you’re a motivational speaker, solo performer or part of a larger musical group, and thanks to the no fuss set up and automatic frequency management it’s one of the best wireless microphones available today. The cardioid pick up pattern with 50 to 16,000 Hz (–3 dB) frequency response ensures a transparent and realistic sound at all times whilst the ability to use up to 12 compatible channels gives you all the options you need.
The cool thing about the Sennheiser XSW2 835-e Handheld Wireless Microphone is that it can operate on both paid and licence free! A great wireless microphone for singers, musicians and public speakers that provides that unmistakeable Sennheiser sound quality.
Licence required: Can operate on both paid and licence free channels
- Public speakers
- Pubs and clubs
- Quiz masters
4. Rode RODELink Performer Kit Wireless Microphone System
We’re now in the realms of the consummate professionals here with the Rode RODELink Performer Kit Wireless Microphone System. Although it’s a little more of an investment, it’s worth every penny thanks to the reliable RODE construction process, flawless sound quality and automatic frequency management.
The clue is in the name with this one, as the team at RODE have specifically created this with the performer in mind, providing everything you need to gig in the box, including TX-M2 condenser mic, desktop receiver, LB-1 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, zip pouch, micro USB cable, DC power pack and mic clip.
The Rode RODELink Performer Kit ensures that your signal remains strong thanks to the automatic frequency management and the 100m range makes sure you have the freedom to move around wherever you need onstage. Best of all, you’re never having to worry about the battery dying and leaving you high and dry as the LB-1 lithium-ion battery can be charged without removing it from the microphone by connecting the included micro USB cable when you’re not using it.
The mute function ensures you can deactivate the microphone whenever you need making it ideal for those public speaking events or functions. In our opinion it’s one of the best wireless handheld microphones for churches as it gives you the freedom to roam across the stage or throughout the venue.
Best of all, you can use it on the license-free 2.4 GHz band – a great investment for professional singers or public speakers.
Licence required: No
- Houses of worship
- Public speakers
5. Line 6 XD-V75 Digital Wireless Handheld Mic System
The Line 6 XD-V75 Digital Wireless Handheld Mic System has been designed for the discerning musicians and singers out there who are well aware of what type of sound they need. The interesting thing about the XD-V75 is the fact you have 10 modeling pre-sets of industry standard microphones including SM58, Beta 58, SM57, Sennheiser E835, E935. This means you can enjoy all the warmth and subtle nuances within a wide variety of different microphones without having to buy a studio’s worth of gear!
The fact you have presets of industry standard capsules such as the Shure SM58 and Beta 58 as well as the Sennheiser E835, E935 mics means the XD-V75 is a world class vocal microphone for singers and performers. However, the inclusion of the SM57 capsule modelling pre-set means you can even get gorgeous instrument recordings without having to deal with cables and leads. You can even use it to mic up drums and guitars on stage!
With 14 switchable channels running on the 2.4ghz, your signal remains clear at all times! The fact the microphone runs on 2 x aa batteries and the receiver unit includes a PSU adapter makes setting up even easier.
Licence required: No
- Sound engineers
- Studio professionals studio engineers
6. Shure GLXD24UK / SM58 Digital Wireless Microphone System
Leave it to Shure to make life easier for everyone. The Shure GLXD24UK / SM58 Digital Wireless Microphone System is a wireless version of the industry standard vocal microphone, the SM58. Any singer knows that the SM58 is the onstage vocal mic of choice – rugged, hardwearing and great sounding. However, any singer who likes to roam the stage will also know that dealing with cables can be a nightmare. Shure have solved that problem by introducing the GLX-D24/SM58 dynamic vocal system which is everything you’ve come to love about the wired SM58 – without the wires!
You have 8 channels running on the free 2.4GHz frequency, so there’s no need to purchase a licence, and the automatic frequency management ensures your signal is as pure as it can be at all times. If you love the SM58, but hate the cables trailing behind you, this is the wireless microphone for you.
Licence required: No
- Touring musicians
- Houses of worship
- Public speakers / orators
- Colleges and Universities
Shop a complete range of wireless microphone systems over at PMT Online today.