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 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)
These are the channels you can use for free (Licence exempt)
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. Audio Technica ATW-13 AT-One Wireless Microphone System
This no fuss, easy to set up wireless microphone couldn’t be easier to use. You get everything you need in the box including microphone, wireless receiver and carry case – so you’re all set for rehearsal, live shows and public speaking events. It’s also the best wireless microphone system under £200 clocking in at around £195.
We think it's one of the best wireless microphone systems for touring musicians as you have two sets of channels to choose from. You have one set that is set to the Europe wide license-free frequency and the other set to the LTE duplex gap for added flexibility. This means you can tour with this system and not worry about finding channels - they're already set up for you!
This wireless microphone system is ideal for singers and live performers as the condenser element reduces unwanted background noise and feedback - preserving your voice.
You can also enjoy up to 10 hours' battery life as the microphone can be powered by 2 x 1.5V AA batteries - ideal for long sessions.
Licence required: No
Bands on a budget
Public speakers/orators who already have a microphone
Places of Worship
2. WHARFEDALE AEROLINE D-206A WIRELESS MICROPHONE SYSTEM
The Wharfedale AeroLine D-206A Wireless Microphone System is a budget-friendly, professional wireless microphone ideal for professional public speakers and musicians, as well as schools and church sound systems. This is a great plug and play option as you get the wireless microphone, receiver and all accessories to get started straight out of the box. This makes it an ideal option for public speakers, performers and even worship environments as you don’t have to worry about sound issues thanks to the twin antennas and True Diversity Wireless technology. If the unit detects sound issues, it automatically switches to whichever antenna has the strongest signal, quickly and seamlessly. The 80 meter operating range also allows you complete wireless freedom! Licence required: Yes Ideal for:
Professional public speakers/orators
Professional touring musicians
3. SENNHEISER XSW 2-865 WIRELESS MICROPHONE SYSTEM
If you’re in need of a full wireless microphone setup for professional use, the Sennheiser XSW 2-865 Wireless Microphone System 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 XSW 2-865 Wireless Microphone System 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 Ideal for:
Pubs and clubs
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 Ideal for:
Houses of worship
5. Line 6 XD-V35 Digital Wireless Handheld Mic System
The Line 6 XD-V35 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-V35 is the fact you have an onboard dynamic capsule with cardioid polar pattern. This is base don the Shure SM58 microphone, and provides a budget-friendly way of getting superb quality wireless sound!
You have a 275-foot / 83-meter range that offers incredible audio quality at all times. This means you get the same 10Hz – 20kHz (-2.5dB) frequency response, wide 115dB dynamic range and 24-bit digital conversion whether you're 10 feet away or 200 feet away!
With 6 always 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.
A budget-friendly price tag ensures anyone can get hold of one!
Licence required: No
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 Ideal for: