6 facts about wireless microphones

Six things to consider before buying a wireless microphone

High quality sound is a key ingredient of all live performances. Whether in a theatre, concert venue, church, school or conference centre—great microphones result in great experiences.

Wireless microphones have been used for decades, but what was once an expensive luxury for select venues and performers, is now an affordable reality for everyone. As with all professional audio products, there are specific microphones for different uses. 

Here's our guide for the six things you need to consider about wireless microphones.

Wireless microphones from Stage Electrics
What do you need to know before buying a wireless microphone?

1: Handheld, Tie Clip or Headworn?

The main decision to make when selecting your next wireless microphone is do you prefer a handheld microphone, a head worn microphone or a lavalier microphone (otherwise known as a tie clip microphone)?

Lavalier microphones like the Sennheiser EW 100 G4-ME2-E are perfect for use by a single performer or presenter. The discrete microphone can be clipped to the clothing and is barely noticeable to the audience or cameras.

Handheld wireless microphones such as the Sennheiser EW100 G4-835-S are a great choice if you need a wireless microphone which can be passed between speakers at events, such as panel discussions or awards shows.

Fancy the best of both worlds? Why not consider the Sennheiser EW100 G4-ME2/835-S-GB which includes both a lavalier and held microphone as well as the base station, which receives the sound signals from your microphone and outputs them to a mixing or recording device.

Headworn microphones are a popular choice with presenters and performers who need to keep their hands free and clipping a microphone to clothing might not be the best option. Headworn microphones can be a specific headset microphone such as the Sennheiser EW100 G4-ME, or a lavalier microphone which is clipped to the hairline of a singer or performer in drama or musical theatre productions. Headworn microphones generally produce a better sound than a Tie-Clip/lavalier microphone.

2: Microphone Capsule

Microphone capsules convert sound waves into electronic signals, which are transmitted from the microphone to the receiver and then into other audio processing equipment such as a PA system, recording device or TV camera. There are two primary types of microphone capsule: dynamic and condenser.

Dynamic microphones are ideal for capturing loud sounds such as instruments or vocals in a live environment. Dynamic mics are cheap and durable, but not very sensitive to quiet or high-frequency sounds. A dynamic microphone is well-suited to live events with lots of background noise and movement.

Condenser microphones are more accurate than dynamic mics and capable of capturing complex sounds with a greater range of frequencies. Condenser mics are perfect for stunning vocals in a theatre performance or capturing high quality audio in a recording studio. Condenser microphones are more expensive and delicate than dynamic mics (they don't deal with loud sounds very well)—but in the right environment and application, there is no better choice.

3: Cardioid or Omnidirectional?

Microphone pick up patterns are very important but if you've never heard of cardioid or omnidirectional microphones—don't worry, we'll give you all the advice you need

As the name suggests, omnidirectional microphones pick up sound from all directions and are great at capturing the collective sound on stage. But omnidirectional mics aren't such a good choice if there's ambient sounds you don't want to capture—such as recording a person's voice outside on a breezy day. Whilst you’ll record their voice, you'll also pick up the hissing sound of the wind or passing traffic.

A cardioid microphone is most sensitive to the sound produced directly in front of it. Imagine a performer singing on stage, using a correctly placed cardioid microphone will help to isolate their voice from any ambient noise, such as the audience. Whereas an omnidirectional mic would get a bit of everything. Cardioid microphones are perfect for isolating the sounds you want to capture from everything else.

6 facts about wireless microphones from Stage Electrics
What should I know before buying a wireless microphone?

4: UHF Channels and Licences

UHF (ultra-high frequency) connectivity refers to how your wireless microphone connects to the base station. It's very similar to how your devices receive internet signals from a wireless router. Using UHF connectivity maintains the high-quality of audio and minimises the risk of interference (when two signals get jumbled up).

If you're running less than four wireless mics in your venue, you can do so using a specific license free frequency range of 863 to 865 MHz (often called channel 70). If you need more, you can purchase licences from Ofcom to use channel 38 (606.5 to 613.5 MHz). This will allow you to run up to 10 wireless mics in your venue. Details on what kind of licence you’ll need and the relevant fees can be found on the Ofcom website.

There is an exception to the UHF methods discussed, which allow quick setup of a small number of microphones. 1.9 and 2.4 GHz are common commonly used frequencies which are easy to connect to. However, these frequency bands are routinely used by cordless phones and Wi-Fi routers, so interference is more likely.

We understand UHF and connectivity frequencies might be daunting, with every purchase of wireless microphones, we offer a comprehensive support package to ensure you get the best out of your new technology.

5: Batteries

Making sure your wireless mic is fully charged and lasts for the big show is of paramount importance. When it comes to batteries, you have two choices. Built in lithium power packs are popular because they hold a lot of charge and can be recharged between performances. However, if one suddenly dies, this could leave you without a microphone unless you have spare battery packs ready to go. 

The other option is standard batteries such as AAA or AA batteries. Although they need changing regularly, they can quickly be swapped out in the event of battery failure. Both options are perfectly viable providing good battery management and battery charging practises are followed.

Information about wireless microphones
Which wireless microphone is best?

6: Build Quality

How often are you going to use your wireless mic? If it's only for occasional use, you'll get away with less durable build quality. But, if you're buying wireless microphones for daily use in a professional performance space, you'd be well advised to go for a high-quality microphone by Sennheiser, a leading manufacturer stocked by Stage Electrics.

Sennheiser microphones are designed for professional use—day in, day out. Constructed from the highest-grade materials, with high quality electronics designed and manufactured in Germany, you won't find a better-quality wireless microphone than Sennheiser.


Wireless microphones are a versatile piece of professional audio technology which offer many benefits to venues and production companies. Whilst there are many points to consider, we’ll help you every step of the way. 

We’re one of the UK's leading distributors of Sennheiser microphones with access to all their products and support services—for professional audio technology you're in safe hands with Stage Electrics.

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