Don’t we all like owning nice tech gadgets that make our lives easier?
We all know what they(I don’t know yet who “they” are) say, “ too much of a good thing is bad”, well in this case, almost every household, every office block, every house of worship has got WIFI access in every room.It’s great that we don’t only rely on hard wire for internet access or transferring files. It’s great that we are able to wirelessly transfer files from one device to another.
For every pro, there is a con. While even us as wireless audio technicians and wireless audio users enjoy the benefits of wifi access and bluetooth connectivity, we also have the problem of “it was fine during rehearsals and as soon the room filled up with people the microphone started dropping out”
Well, its rather irritating that this happens on show day, when the room is filled with people and not during rehearsals. Yes, thats how it is and will be. See almost each and every human being has a cellphone, these days even 5yr olds have mobile wifi routers and cellphones on them.
What are you getting at RF Junky?
Well, we have wireless Microphones that operate on the UHF(ultra high frequencies)band, VHF (Very High Frequencies) band and ISM ( Industrial, Scientific and Medical) band. In this article, we will focus on microphones that operate in the ISM band.
We have wireless microphones that operate on the 2.4GHz band, this is the ISM band. The ISM band is not really regulated and is the most clogged up frequency band in the world, this is simply because it’s a free for all when it comes to this frequency band, we have bluetooth and we have wifi….lots of it.
It’s a constant fight between the IT department, bluetooth and audio team. This why…wireless microphones that operate in the ISM band operate on +-80MHz of bandwidth, which is not much when you are fighting with your in-house WIFi plus mobile wifi devices and bluetooth devices from guests. These microphones are quite intelligent so they do their own coordination. The reason they drop out when the room is filled with guests is not that the microphones are shy, it’s because the frequency band is clogged up and the microphone receiver has nowhere to run to because your signal to noise ratio is not good on every channel.
There is nothing wrong with these microphones, the only problem is not with the microphones but with the limited space they operate in. The sound quality on these microphones is actually quite good keeping in mind the price you pay for them. I have heard good remarks on your quality brands, your Shure, Sennheiser, AKG, Audio Technica.
Bottom line is, when you buy a wireless microphone, you NEED to consider the environment and its purpose in the environment. Yes, these microphones work anywhere because the frequency band is unlicensed, but, If you are running over 5 channels maybe consider UHF microphones. Even if you are getting more restricted in other countries, you still have some room to move around with your RF Coordination.