Wireless MicrophonesHuge changes have come about in the wireless microphone industry since the last big functional innovation with diversity reception. 4/19/2012 8:03 AM Eastern
Apr 19, 2012 12:03 PM, By Bennett Liles
Huge changes have come about in the wireless microphone industry since the last big functional innovation with diversity reception. Attention has been focused on the 700MHz exodus but another significant development has been the networking of wireless mic receivers. The implications have spilled out beyond big event production and are now infiltrating the academic arena. Our roundup here includes networked and standalone systems along with a good look at all of the new setup and operational features.
Released last year, the DMS 700 V2 digital wireless microphone system from AKG features 512-bit encryption and a 155MHz tuning range. The 2-channel receiver has a low-cut filter, three-band equalizer, dbx compressor, and dbx limiter with an infrared link to the transmitter for all frequency and setup data. The digital true diversity system also allows transmitter battery status monitoring and includes an AES/EBU audio output with word clock input in addition to its two analog XLR balanced and 1/4in. unbalanced outputs. The DPT 700 bodypack transmitter has a seven-segment battery level meter and manual input gain settings of 0dB, +10dB, and +20dB. The DHT 700 handheld microphone/transmitter can fit the D5, D7, or C5 microphone elements, and it is rated to handle up to 140dB SPL. The CU 700 charging unit can accept either the DHT or DPT transmitters.
Ansr Audio designed the Scan700 professional wireless mic system with a built-in recharging system and autoscan, manual, or preset channel selection. The audio output level is selectable between line/mic, and there are both 1/4in. and XLR output connections. The front panel provides an LCD screen and menu controls along with a large rotary volume knob, while the rear panel includes a manual squelch control. Consisting of the AW-71 handheld transmitter, the AW-72 bodypack transmitter, and the AW-75 receiver, the system can be configured as the AW-7572-14/14T using the bodypack transmitter and AM-14 head-worn mic, the AW-7572-H2O bodypack system, the AW-7572-19 or AW-7572-18 bodypack system with lavalier mic, the AW-7500 with lavalier and handheld mics, or it can be used as the AW-7572 bodypack system with no microphone.
Offering a choice of 996 selectable frequencies on two UHF bands, the 5000 Series diversity wireless microphone system from Audio-Technica consists of the AEW-R5200 receiver, the AEW-T1000a UniPak bodypack transmitter, and a variety of handheld mic/transmitter units: the AEW-T5400a large-diaphragm cardioid condenser based on the AT4050 studio microphone, the AEW-T3300a cardioid condenser handheld based on the AT4033 studio vocal microphone, and the AEW-T6100a hypercardioid dynamic handheld transmitter and the AEW-T4100a cardioid dynamic handheld transmitter. All of the components can store up to five preset user configurations including names. The dual receiver can be networked for remote control and monitoring from a central computer and features integral antenna distribution and power supply. Using both UHF bands, up to 40 systems are compatible.
Audix offers the RAD-360 with 193 selectable frequencies per system group and menu-driven displays on each component including the R360 receiver, the B360 UHF bodypack transmitter, and the handheld transmitter with its broad range of capsules. The receiver may be rackmounted as a pair using the optional ADS-4 antenna distribution system that allows up to four receivers to share a pair of antennas. Each handheld transmitter features a gain setting with a -6dB, -12dB, or -24dB attenuator pad while the bodypack unit has a mic/line adjustment and input sensitivity gain setting to enable it to be used with either microphone or electric instruments. Constructed of ABS composite, the bodypack transmitter is housed in a protective metal cradle.
The 330 series dual channel on-camera wireless microphone system from Azden consists of the 330UPR dual-channel camera-mount receiver, the 35BT bodypack transmitter, the 35XT plug-in transmitter, and the 35HT handheld transmitter. The system provides 188 user selectable UHF frequencies that are set on the LCD screen on the receiver and each transmitter. The audio output on the 330UPR is through a mini jack at -28dBm, and there is also a mini headphone out. The 35BT beltpack transmitter provides 25mW RF power on a quarter-wave antenna and runs for 6 to 8 hours on two AA batteries. The 35HT handheld transmitter has a frequency response of 50Hz to 15kHz, and the 35XT plug-in transmitter has a screwdriver adjustable level control, power switch, and audio mute switch.
With a wide selection of transmitters, receivers, and interchangeable microphone heads, the Opus 910 professional wireless system from Beyerdynamic has up to 2,880 selectable channels per frequency range and features an automatic channel targeting (ACT) function. Receiver modules may be mounted in a single, dual, or quad arrangement in 1RU, and when the scan function is activated, the units will find a clear channel and transmit the frequency to the transmitter on an infrared link. The S 910 M with metal housing and the S 910 C with plastic housing are the handheld transmitters, and these can be paired with a range of Beyerdynamic microphone heads. The TS 910 M and TS 910 C bodypack transmitters offer the same type housing choice and include a threaded mini XLR input connector. The gain setting can be used to allow a microphone or instrument to be connected.
Compact and simple to set up and use, the Clockaudio CW9000R receiver operates on bands between 630Mhz and 960Mhz with 192 PLL selectable channels per band. Using full diversity reception with twin receivers, the system includes a large front LCD, balanced and unbalanced outputs, and a sturdy metal case. The CW9004T transmitter is a tabletop base unit that can accept several Clockaudio microphone models; it provides 10mW RF output and controls include power, frequency, and audio level along with a programmable touch switch and LED indicator. Two AA batteries can run it for up to nine hours and the audio input is on a mini XLR.
Apr 19, 2012 12:03 PM, By Bennett Liles
The RE-2 Pro wireless system from Electro-Voice provides the flexibility of a larger system while containing it in a setup that can be easily portable. Operating in the UHF G and A bands, the RE-2 Pro receiver tunes 1,112 possible channels in 25kHz steps and comes with detachable quarter-wave antennas. The ClearScan function will find the frequency group with the clearest channels and indicate how many clear channels are in that group. The PHTU2 handheld transmitter has 30mW power output and can be fitted with five different cardioid and supercardioid microphone elements. It has a 26dB mic gain adjustment range, and it can run up to eight hours on a 9V alkaline battery. The WTU-2 bodypack transmitter can output either 5mW or 50mW in RF, and it includes an audio gain adjustment range of 42dB. The unit can operate up to eight hours on two AA alkaline batteries.
With the UHF-5200HL dual wireless headset/lavalier system from Gemini Sound, up to 20 microphones can be used simultaneously among 1,156 frequencies. The system includes two lightweight headsets with detachable lavalier microphones with sensitivity and pop control. Each of the receivers features switchable automatic/manual frequency selection, RF and AF LED indicators for monitoring incoming signal strength, a front-panel output level control, balanced XLR and unbalanced 1/4in. output connections, and a mic on/off switch. Both receivers are housed in the same enclosure with individual output level knobs. The beltpack transmitters have power/mute buttons, and the units will run for up to eight hours on a pair of AA batteries.
Lectrosonics has introduced a couple of new partners for the Venue series digital hybrid receivers. The HH handheld transmitter has the capability to accept standard thread-on capsules from a variety of microphone manufacturers, and it can switch power settings between 50mW and 100mW. Settings are made with a membrane switch and LCD on the mic case. The SMQV UHF beltpack transmitter can transmit at 50, 100, and 250mW power settings; it features a TA5M audio input jack to fit a wide range of microphones. The unit inserts a DSP-controlled analog audio limiter before the A-D converter with a range of more than 30dB and a dual release envelope. On the receiving end is the well-proven Venue 6-channel modular receiver with possibly the highest concentration of receiver modules in 1RU. The front panel includes a headphone jack with rotary volume control.
Digital RF transmission, 24-bit audio quality, and proprietary 128-bit encryption are only a few of the features of the ACT-82a diversity receiver from Mipro Electronics. The unit’s full color vacuum fluorescent display can be seen from a wide range of angles and the ACT (automatic channel targeting) and autoscan greatly speed setup. The rear panel includes a word clock in/out connection to sync the unit with other digital gear. Realtime adjustments and monitoring can be network linked using Mipro’s optional RCS2.Net software. The receiver can be used with ACT-8Ta bodypack transmitter, which features a backlit LCD display with menu navigation buttons and a user selectable lockout facility. Another compatible transmitter is the ACT-8Ha handheld model with a cardioid condenser capsule and other capsule options. The built-in lithium polymer battery pack can run the mic for eight to 10 continuous hours on a four-hour charge.
The Pro Comm PCX U-1002 wireless mic system from Peavey has an all metal, half rack, 100-channel receiver that features a color LCD display on the front panel and autoscan to find clear UHF channels. Equipped with both unbalanced 1/4in. and balanced XLR output connectors, the unit also has a handy line/mic output level switch. A group of the receivers can be remote controlled through a serial interface in the form of an RJ-11 loop through on the rear panel and the antenna connectors have 8VDC on them to power remote antenna signal boosters. The Channel Control System (CCS) matches the transmitter’s frequency setting through an IR link. The handheld transmitter/mic includes a pop filter in the grille and an LCD on the side for setting parameters and battery level indication. The bodypack transmitter has a TA4F audio input connector, and it has a switch for input sensitivity between instruments and microphones.
Revolabs designed the Executive HD wireless microphone system to use multicarrier time division multiple access and time division duplex (MC/TDMA/TDD) radio transmissions both to and from the microphone for interference-free operation with other wireless equipment. The rack mountable 4- or 8-channel base station provides line or mic level outputs on mini-Phoenix connectors for each mic channel, and multiple receiver units can be connected to scale up the system. The audio level at the outputs are set on a rear panel DIP switch. The Revolabs HD Control Panel software can be downloaded and used for realtime monitoring and control. Up to eight microphones can be put into the battery charging station where they can also be programmed with firmware updates. The system can be custom configured with a wide range of operating parameters.
The DS8800 receiver from Sacom can fit up to eight small receiver modules into a 1RU with antenna loop-through connections for daisy chaining up to 64 receiver modules. The network connections can also be daisy chained with each hot-swappable receiver module separately IP addressable. The DS80-T bodypack transmitter has a programmable switch for on/off, on/mute, on/logic mute, and on/on along with programmable power output of 1, 10, 25, and 50mW. The DS80-T also has a field-replaceable antenna. The DS80-H handheld transmitter has the same RF output settings, and it can fit several different dynamic and condenser mic heads. The DS80-G gooseneck conferencing mic uses a rechargeable battery cassette; it can accept a variety of omni, cardioid, and supercardioid mic heads. The system can also include the DS80-C conference table microphone with omni or cardioid patterns.
Designed by Sennheiser to suit any production scenario, the new XS wireless series is based on the EM 10 true diversity receiver and it can include the SKM 65 handheld transmitter or the SK 20 bodypack transmitter with ME 2-2 omnidirectional clip-on mic, Cl 1 instrument cable, or the ME 3 cardioid headset mic. The receiver can tune over two UHF bands in frequencies using eight frequency banks, each with 12 coordinated factory-preset channels. Its audio output is line level on XLR and 1/4in. connectors. The SKM35 handheld transmitter accepts the e835 cardioid dynamic capsule and can provide up to 10 hours of operation, a mute button and excellent feedback rejection. The SK 20 bodypack transmitter has an illuminated audio mute button and it can run up to 10 hours on two AA batteries.
The Shure UHF-R system can tune in up to 2,400 frequencies across 60MHz bandwidth. The UR4+ receiver can be rackmounted singly or as a pair in a 1RU rack enclosure featuring Networked Automatic Frequency Selection and Automatic Transmitter Setup. When networked, the receiver can be used with Shure Wireless Workbench Control/Monitoring PC software. The UR1M micro bodypack transmitter has a user-adjustable RF output of either 10mW or 50mW and can be ordered with a TA4F connector (UR1M) or a LEMO connector (UR1MLEMO3). The larger UR1 bodypack unit uses AA batteries to operate for up to eight hours. The system includes the UR5 portable diversity receiver for EFP camera use with several mounting options and it runs for around four hours on two AA batteries. Also available is the UR3 plug-on transmitter for handheld microphones.
With Sony’s WiDIF-HP transmission, the DWX digital wireless microphone system can use up to 12 simultaneous mic channels within one 6MHz wide TV channel. Security assets include operation in secure key mode and in password mode allowing password assignment and broadcasting to multiple receivers by the same transmitter. The DWM01 handheld transmitter includes three dynamic and three condenser configurations along with selectable 1, 10, and 50mW RF power settings. The microphone can operate for up to five hours at 10mW on two AA alkaline batteries. The DWTB01 bodypack transmitter can connect to a variety of microphones and electric instruments while the DWTP01 plug-on transmitter converts wired hand held mics to wireless. The DWRR01D 2-channel receiver features analog and AES audio outputs and includes word sync and antenna passthrough ports as well as a LAN port for remote monitoring and control with Wireless Studio software.
A trio of new wireless microphone transmitters from TOA Electronics includes the WM-5225 condenser handheld transmitter, the WM-5265 dynamic handheld transmitter, and the WM-5325 bodypack transmitter for use with lavalier and headset mics. With 64 selectable frequencies within a 30MHz band, they are rechargeable and can run up to 10 hours when used with optional AA NiMH batteries. Three charging stations are available with the largest providing 12 charging slots. All three microphone transmitters are compatible with existing 5000 series receivers as well as the WT-4820/WTU-4800 modular tuners. These models are available now on any of four frequency sets ranging from 576 MHz to 698 MHz (E01: 668-698MHz; F01: 638-668MHz; G02: 614-638MHz; and H01: 576-606MHz). TOA also offers a five-year warranty on all its wireless products.