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best wireless microphones.

Top 5 Best Wireless Microphones For Musicians And Performers

audiosorcerer
|
February 24, 2024 
|
Last Updated on February 24, 2024

Tired of tangled wires tripping you up onstage? Then ditch the cord and go wireless! But with so many options out there, how do you find the mic that rocks as hard as you do? Fear not, fellow musicians and performers! This blog post is your backstage pass to the Top 5 Best Wireless Microphones, ready to amplify your voice and unleash your inner rockstar. Let's get to it!

Included in this guide:

ImageProductFeaturesPrice
Best Overall
Shure SLXD24D/B58 Dual Channel Wireless Microphone System

Shure SLXD24D/B58 Dual Channel Wireless Microphone System

  • Digital system on 480–514MHz UHF range
  • 2 Dynamic super-cardioid mics
  • Up to 8 hours (AAs or rechargeable SB903)
4.3
Check Price
Runner-up
Sennheiser XSW 1-835 Dual Channel Wireless Microphone System

Sennheiser XSW 1-835 Dual Channel Wireless Microphone System

  • Analog system on 548–572MHZ UHF A-range
  • 2 Dynamic cardioid mics
  • Up to 10 hours (AA batteries)
4.1
Check Price
Top Pick
Audio-Technica ATW-1322 Wireless Dual Handheld Microphone System

Audio-Technica ATW-1322 Wireless Dual Handheld Microphone System

  • Digital system on 2.4GHz ISM (2400–2483.5MHz)
  • 2 Dynamic unidirectional mics
  • Up to 7 hours (AA batteries)
3.9
Check Price
Top Pick
Audix AP42 OM5 Dual Handheld Wireless Microphone System

Audix AP42 OM5 Dual Handheld Wireless Microphone System

  • Analog system on 554–586MHz UHF B-range
  • 2 Dynamic hyper-cardioid mics
  • Up to 14 hours (AA batteries)
4.5
Check Price
Lowest Price
JBL Lifestyle Dual Channel Handheld Wireless Microphone Set

JBL Lifestyle Dual Channel Handheld Wireless Microphone Set

  • Plug-in receiver on 470–960MHz range
  • 2 Dynamic cardioid mics
  • 6 hours (rechargeable receiver, AA batteries for transmitters)
4.6
Check Price

Related Article: How To Avoid Microphone Feedback: Expert Tips For Clear Audio


The Top 5 Best Wireless Microphones

The 24-bit SLXD24D is the dual handheld model of the SLX-D wireless lineup. The receiver here is made with scalability in mind, being able to handle up to 32 systems on the 44MHz band and 12 systems on the 8MHZ. The 6MHz band, however, only supports 10 channels.

Included in the package are SLXD2 transmitters with Beta 58 vocal capsules. With a max SPL of 145dB, a neodymium magnet, a frequency response of 50Hz–16kHz, and a super-cardioid pattern, these mics are quite focused and sensitive. However, the system is also compatible with other mics, including the dynamic SM58, the condenser Beta 87A/C, and the dualdyne dynamic KSM8.

Pros
  • Wide dynamic range (120 dB) to reduce the impact of compression
  • Lots of room for scaling up your wireless system as you go
  • Compatibility with the ShurePlus Channels app for remote monitoring and control
Cons
  • Slightly heavy receiver (3.2 lbs without the antennas)
  • Relatively high price point

The wireless XS dual system from Sennheiser supports eight frequency banks, and each one contains up to 10 preset channels. This model, however, is the A-range, with a bandwidth of 548–572MHz. The antennas on the receiver are integrated and non-detachable, though.

XSW comes with two handheld transmitters, each featuring an 835 double superheterodyne capsule with warm sound and decent off-axis rejection. The signal-to-noise ratio on these mics is ≥ 103 dBA. Meanwhile, their frequency response is 80Hz–16kHz.

Pros
  • Mic heads sound warm and have nice high-end detail
  • Internal antennas give the chassis a sleeker look and cut the need for dismantling
  • Easy setup with a Quick Guide
Cons
  • No rack-mounting capabilities (table-top receiver chassis only)
  • Plastic ABS housing feels a bit cheap

Audio-Technica’s ATW-1322 system comes with two T1002 mics transmitters. The dynamic range on these mics is 109 dB. For the receiving end, the set includes the RC13 rack-mount dual-unit chassis.

Since the chassis is only a half-rack, you can set up four wireless channels on a single rack space with a total of 10 simultaneous channels per band. It’s also possible to release the antenna units and mount them separately using a standard Ethernet cable. The operating range, in this case, will be up to 328’.

Pros
  • Lightweight transmitter (merely 0.22 lbs) for easier handling
  • Receiver units can be mounted to stands or mounted on walls using the included receiver holder
  • Efficient use of your rack space
Cons
  • Non-interchangeable mic capsules

The AP42 OM5 features two H60 transmitters and one R42 two-channel receiver with 106 pre-coordinated frequencies, operating over a 300’ line-of-sight range. The set is available in two frequency band options. But we went with the B-band model here.

A few OM series dynamic capsules and VX5 condenser capsules work on the H60 transmitters. However, the mic capsules that come with the set are the dynamic OM5 with a max SPL of 144 dB. These heads feature Audix’s VLM (Very Low Mass) diaphragm, improving the transient response and sound reproduction.

Pros
  • Rugged metal housing feels premium and is suitable for touring
  • Tight pattern on the VLM capsule for extra vocal clarity and excellent off-axis rejection
  • Slim mic body with a scratch-resistant grille for easier handling and more durability
Cons
  • Slightly heavy receiver (4.75 lbs) and transmitters (0.68 lbs each)

Rather than using a rack-mountable or even a table-top receiver for this wireless mic set, JBL opted for a receiver that you plug into your speakers directly via a ¼” output. The receiver doesn’t run on a DC power supply, though. Instead, it’s rechargeable via a USB connection. That said, you wouldn’t want to use the system while charging the receiver because the connection could create some noise interference.

Pros
  • Surprisingly high audio quality from such affordable mics
  • Lightweight (0.12 lbs) and highly portable receiver
  • Plug-and-play design process cuts the hassle out of the setup process
Cons
  • Requires charging in advance (2-hour charging time)
  • No XLR outputs available on the receiver
  • Relatively narrow operating range (32’ only)

Related Article: The Top 5 Best Vocal Mics For Live Performance


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the different types of wireless mics?

There are handheld mics, headset mics, and bodypack mics (with lavalier clips for instruments). It's important to note that lav microphones are meant for speaking engagements and not for singing.

What is the difference between digital and analog wireless microphone systems?

Digital systems aren’t fully digital—they still use an analog carrier wave, much like traditional analog mic systems. However, the main difference here is the sound signal. Digital systems send the signal as ones and zeros to make it easier to filter out noise.

Are digital microphone systems inherently better?

No, not necessarily. While digital units reduce noise and artifacts, they can introduce a bit of latency. An analog system, on the other hand, tends to have a shorter delay, especially if you go for a high-end model.

Is UHF better than 2.4GHz?

The cost-effective ISM 2.4GHz signals can be easier to obstruct (with wood, metal, etc.) than UHF. This makes UHF more robust and reliable in professional settings. That said, the legal frequencies change from one country to another, which could make touring with a UHF system trickier.

What kind of interference can affect my mic?

Wi-Fi, other wireless devices, and even power lines can cause static. If you live in a highly populated area make sure to choose a mic with strong interference resistance.

Product Recap

The dual-channel SLX-D system with Beta 58 mics is convenient, scalable, and delivers a rock-solid RF performance. The analog Sennheiser XSW is more affordable, but it does compromise on the scalability and premium feel. But if you just want an entry model with a hassle-free setup for music performances, the JBL plug-and-play set would be the way to go. No matter which wireless system you choose, don’t forget to pack a spare set of batteries!

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