Cordless Microphone

Unlike wired microphones, a cordless microphone allows the user complete freedom of movement, since it is not attached to the receiver with a physical cable. A microphone is actually a transmitter and a receiver. Wired microphones require physical cables to connect them to the recording, transmitting or amplifying device. This is because wired microphones transmit sound electronically or digitally. Wireless microphones on the other hand, transmit signals with the help of radio waves, allowing people to use the microphone within a considerable radius without hassle.

In most cordless microphones, the transmitter is built into the microphone itself and the receiver is a separate device which picks up signals from the transmitter with the help of an antenna. In some microphones, the transmitter is a separate, smaller device attached to the mic (which is rather small) with wires. The transmitter, however, transmits to the receiver wirelessly. Wireless transmitters can be classified into various types on the basis of first, their design and second, the frequencies they operate on.

The most common and also probably the first wireless microphone was the handheld microphone, which is commonly used today as well, for on-stage activities. It is often the device of choice for stage show presenters, singers, orators and often, college lecturers. It provides great mobility; however, it ties up one of your hands. Nevertheless, it is largely preferred over the wired mike. The other type of wireless microphone is the hands-free version. These offer ultimate freedom, in that the user can perform all the activities that he wishes to without a thought to the microphone. This one is the device of choice for those who require both hands to be free while using the microphone – like stage performers, event managers or construction workers and telemarketers. The hands-free microphone comes in three different designs: lapel, collar and headband. Each offers handling comfort and is used for different purposes.

Both offer good sound quality, however, the handheld microphone is much less expensive. Also, the handheld microphone allows the user to hold the microphone close or away which is an essential aspect of live singing. Therefore, most singers will prefer using a handheld that will help them amplify/de-amplify their voice at different pitches by adjusting the position of the mic. The hands-free, on the other hand, is attached and remains at a fixed distance from the mouth, thus providing consistent volume and is quite efficient for practical purposes.

The cordless microphone operates via radio waves or Infra Red waves and therefore, both the transmitter and the receiver need to be set on the same wavelength. For wireless microphones that use radio waves, the government designates different frequencies to be used for different types of wireless communication purposes, and thus, different types of users. Radio frequencies are divided into VHF (very high frequencies) and UHF (ultra high frequencies). The frequencies in the VHF band are ‘reserved’ by the government for use by government agencies (like the US coast guard), cordless phones, paging services and commercial broadcasting. As it turns out, VHF is a low cost way of wireless transmission. It is also, the most interference prone.

UHF frequencies are the ones used by wireless microphone systems. Due to the high frequency, it becomes possible to have high energy transmission, and wireless microphone systems can produce very powerful high fidelity sound even in a complex set up. However, the high frequency also means a shorter wavelength, and therefore, UHF wireless microphones operate within a shorter range as compared to VHF. In addition, the short range requires minimum physical interference between the transmitter and receiver. This problem was overcome with the introduction of a diversity receiver which had two antennae instead of one. Today, ‘true diversity receivers’ come with two separate receivers in the same system, having one antenna each. The receivers can be placed separately and it decreases the likelihood of interference.

This Cordless Microphone Review is Written/Updated on Apr 30th, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed