Wireless MicsWe’ll be looking at a variety of systems and implementations of wireless technology for production and presentation applications. 5/07/2013 12:05 PM Eastern
May 7, 2013 4:05 PM, By Mark Johnson
By now, probably the majority of audio professionals are fully aware of the reallocation of available wireless frequencies in the UHF television spectrum by the FCC, and the ensuing relative upheaval to the wireless manufacturing community. To briefly recap: As of June 2010, frequencies in the UHF spectrum from 698MHz to 806MHz, otherwise known as the “700MHz band,” were ordered by the FCC to be made available for exclusive use by public safety agencies such as police, fire, and other emergency responders. Any other systems that operated in that band should have been removed from service and replaced with systems that would operate outside of that band. To further complicate the issue, the increased bandwidth required by the DTV stations just coming online exacerbated the situation by adding to the already crowded airwaves. The good news is the engineering and product development teams at many of the manufacturers have come up with nice options where wireless technology is concerned. Some incorporate digital technologies, and many new wireless offerings operate in the 2.4GHz range, 2.4GHz ISM band (or higher), far outside of the TV band. We’ll be looking at a variety of systems and implementations of wireless technology for production and presentation applications.
Featuring 24-bit/48kHz operation in the 2.4GHz ISM band, AKG’s DMS70 provides true, uncompressed audio transmission. Bidirectional communication between the transmitter and receiver allows for power off from the receiver for all connected transmitters, battery-status monitoring, and out-of-range warning. Available in 2- or 4-channel versions, the systems feature dynamic frequency selection and AES 128-bit encryption for secure operation. The DSR70 receiver features five XLR balanced outputs, one per channel, and one summed output for mixdown of the four channels. Approximate battery life for two AA Alkaline batteries is six hours, and seven hours for NiMH batteries. Operating range is 98.5ft. line of sight. Transmitter options include the DPT70 pocket transmitter and the DHT70 D5 and Perception handheld transmitters.
The Audio-Technica System 10 provides digital 24-bit/48kHz wireless operation in the 2.4GHz range. It is available in multiple system configurations, with handheld vocal microphone transmitters and UniPak bodypack transmitters for use with lavalier, headworn, and instrument microphones, as well as electric guitars. Up to eight channels can be used simultaneously. System 10 provides three levels of diversity: frequency diversity sends the signal on two dynamically allocated frequencies; time diversity sends the signal in multiple time slots; and space diversity uses two antennas on each transmitter and receiver. Automatic frequency selection finds clear frequencies each time the transmitter/receiver system is powered up. The System 10 ATW-R1100 receiver features balanced XLR and unbalanced 1/4in. output jacks with level control. The transmitters use two AA alkaline batteries with a typical battery life of seven hours.
The RAD360 from Audix is a UHF system operating between 614MHz and 662MHz, with 193 selectable frequencies (per system group or 24MHz spaced 125kHz apart) and dual-tuner, true diversity receivers. Transmitter battery life for either the T360 handheld or B360 bodypack transmitters is approximately 12 hours for two AA batteries. The handheld transmitter accepts capsules from the OM series dynamic microphones. The transmitter and receiver are synthesizer-controlled via Phase Locked Loop (PLL). Optionally, the AB-1 antenna booster can be used for increased range and improved signal to noise and the Antenna Distribution System allows up to four systems to be run off a pair of antennas. Rackmount kits for mounting one or two systems are available.
The Azden IR-CS or WS Infrared Classroom Systems are available as two complete systems (including speakers), or separate components are available for customization. The systems include an IRR-30P-powered dual-channel receiver, four ACS-6.5 in-ceiling or AWS-4.5 wall-mounted speakers, IRN-10 chest-worn microphone/transmitter, IRH-15c handheld transmitter, and IRD-60 ceiling-mounted sensor. The receiver provides two stereo aux inputs and up to three additional sensors may be added for larger installations. The handheld transmitter provides six hours of use with two AA batteries while the chest-worn transmitter provides up to eight hours.
May 7, 2013 4:05 PM, By Mark Johnson
Beyerdynamic’s new TG 1000 digital wireless system features a digital UHF true-diversity receiver with automatic frequency selection, encrypted data transmission and browser control, and monitoring via an integrated web server. The system can be integrated into any network. Up to 12 receivers can be cascaded for operation off a pair of antennas. The TG 1000 UHF handheld transmitter features an operating time of approximately eight hours on two AA alkaline batteries. Frequency synchronization with the receiver is via an IR interface. Five different Beyerdynamic microphone heads are available. The TG 1000 beltpack is also available. Transmission range is up to 984.3ft.
The Clockaudio CW9000 UHF multichannel radio microphone system comprises a CW9000R receiver and a CW9000T handheld transmitter. The system uses phase-locked, loop-synthesized channels with an optimum operating range of 328ft. line of sight. The CW9001T beltpack transmitter is also available.
Designed for the entry-level professional market, the Electro-Voice R300 UHF wireless microphone system features ClearScan, which scans through 32 preset channels (with compatible groups of eight for simultaneous operation) to find the clearest channel. EZsync infrared channel transfer synchronizes the transmitter to the receiver. Two AA alkaline batteries provide 14 hours of operation. The handheld transmitter features an Electro-Voice PL22 cardioid dynamic element and the bodypack transmitter is compatible with all Electro-Voice headworn and lavalier mics. The APD4 + antenna splitter provides antenna and power feeds for up to four receivers. Rackmount ears are available as an option.
Lectrosonics’ HH Digital Hybrid wireless handheld transmitter combines 24-bit digital audio with an analog FM radio link. RF transmission power is selectable at either 50mW or 100mW. Battery life at 100mW is 5.5 hours with two AA alkaline batteries and eight to 10 hours with lithium batteries. The mic also features a programmable mute/talkback function where a button actuates either audio mute, or in talkback mode, the signal is sent to a secondary output in the Venue receiver. The mic comes with the HHC cardioid condenser capsule, but capsules from many microphone manufacturers can also be used.
The XD-V75 2.4GHz digital wireless system from Line 6 provides 10 different microphone models based on commonly available microphones from well-known manufacturers for the handheld system. The bodypack systems provide six vocal and three instrument EQ filter models. Channel scanning helps to select 14 always-available channels when multiple systems are in use. Antennas from additional systems can be daisy-chained via the two powered BNC antenna inputs. The operating range is 300ft. Digital Channel Lock (DCL) prevents interference for other devices operating in the 2.4GHz band.
The Mipro ACT-3 series wireless microphone system comes with single- and dual-channel UHF diversity receivers, and ships as complete systems in five configurations, which includes handheld and/or bodypack transmitters. The system provides 961 selectable frequencies per band, 56 presets (eight of which are user-definable) and eight interference-free channels per band. The system incorporates third-generation ACT technology and features one-touch AutoScan and ACT channel setup. The system provides up to 20 hours of battery life with two AA alkalines. The ACT-30T bodypack transmitter features switchable RF output power (10mW to 30mW).
Nady’s W-1KU UHF receiver provides 1,000 user-selectable UHF frequencies per band, with Auto-Scan for location of clear channels. ASC (Auto-Sync Channel) sends the selected group/channel information to the transmitter via IR. The system features 120dB dynamic range and up to 500ft. line-of-sight operation. Front-panel backlit LCD display indicates selected audio-output volume level, group, channel, RF signal strength meter, and A/B diversity antenna status. The receiver is rackmountable with optional single rackmount kit or dual (side-by-side) rackmount kit. The HT-1KU handheld and BT-1KU bodypack transmitters both feature LCD displays for: selected group, channel, audio input levels, and battery-level status; transmitting high/low RF power switch for optimizing distance; and operation with two AA batteries (alkaline or rechargeable NiMH).
May 7, 2013 4:05 PM, By Mark Johnson
The Revolabs Executive HD and Executive HD MaxSecure 4- and 8-channel wireless microphone systems are designed for executive boardrooms and conference rooms. Systems can be linked to support 32 microphones (or more in maximum density mode). Sixty channels are available in North America. Rechargeable batteries provide up to eight hours of talk time on a full charge. Operating range is approximately 300ft. (no obstructions), with an out-of-range alarm.
Sacom DS Series digital wireless microphones from Sabine features the Sacom DS8000 receiver with four or eight modules per rack, 24-bit digital audio, and 256-bit, FIPS 197 encryption. The receivers may be daisy-chained to provide up to 64 channels using two antennas. Transmitters include handheld, beltpack, and conference podium and table mic options. An eight-bay docking station fits all Sacom transmitter models and NiMH battery cassettes. Battery life is up to eight hours dependant on transmitter power setting (1mW, 10mW, 25mW, and 50 mW).
Samson’s AirLine Synth AR300 receiver and AL300 beltpack transmitter is a frequency-agile system capable of operating on more than 300 channels with up to 11 simultaneous systems, and includes an infrared channel set for synchronizing the transmitter and receiver, and automatic channel scan for selecting the clearest frequency. Beltpack microphone options include earset or lavalier mics. Also available are the AirLine Synth handheld with plug-on transmitter.
The Digital 9000 System from Sennheiser includes the EM 9046 mainframe receiver that can accommodate up to eight receivers. The receiver features a large display for an icon-based user interface and also incorporates a graphical spectrum analyzer and RF level recorder. The SK 9000 bodypack transmitter also employs an icon-based menu structure. The SKM 9000 handheld transmitter is compatible with mic capsules from evolution wireless G3 and 2000 series and the KK204 and KK 204 Neumann capsules, along with three new capsules. The transmitters feature HD mode RF output at 10mW, and LR mode at 25mW.
Shure’s venerable ULX system now comes in a digital version as the ULX Digital Wireless System. The ULX-D offers 24-bit audio with AES 256-bit encryption and Dante digital networked audio over Ethernet. Up to 17 transmitters can be active in one 6MHz TV channel, with up to 47 in high-density mode. The working range is approximately 328ft. Receivers come in single, dual, and quad versions. Transmitters are available as handhelds (with eight microphone capsule options) and bodypacks, which offer minimally 11 different mic options. Either transmitter provides up to 11 hours of operation with two AA batteries and selectable RF output power of 1mW, 10mW, or 20mW.
The Sony DWZ-M70 series 2.4GHz digital wireless vocal/speech set includes a ZTX-M02RC handheld transmitter with an interchangeable dynamic cardioid microphone capsule along with a ZRX-M70 half-rack-size receiver. The DWZ-B70HL package includes headset and lavalier mics. The handheld transmitter also uses optional Sony interchangeable microphone capsules. Additional features include AES 128-bit encryption, an intelligent feedback reducer (with up to 1024-band suppression filters that are continuously tuned in realtime), and two RF modes (wide band hopping mode and narrow band hopping mode). Battery operating time is approximately 10 hours of continuous use with two AA alkaline batteries.
The Trantec S4.16 series from TOA Electronics features 16 selectable UHF channels in the 616MHz to 630MHz range with the ability for eight systems to operate simultaneously. The system is available with either a handheld with a dynamic cardioid capsule or bodypack transmitter, with an omni-directional condenser lavalier mic, which provides 10mW of RF output for up to 120ft. operating range. A single 9V alkaline battery provides up to 10 hours of operation. The tuner is equipped with both balanced XLR and unbalanced 1/4in. connectors.