Wireless microphones have no physical cable connections to the sound recording or amplification with which it is working. They all work on either VHF or UHF signals, and they need a battery to operate — a good one.
The best wireless microphones may seem similar in that really all they are doing is transmitting a signal. But, there is a little bit more to it than that. The operation itself is fraught with problems right down to frequency selection.
While the concept has freed performers from cable and leads. Getting it to work consistently and predictably is no easy task. No system is immune from problems. We think that needs to be understood.
Knowing how to choose the best for what you want to do is not always that easy.
We would like to refer you to the rules and regulations regarding the use of wireless microphones and headsets that are applicable and differ from country to country. Don’t forget to check them out before buying.
So, let’s have a look at the best wireless microphones currently available and find the perfect one for you…
Top 10 Best Wireless Microphones On The Market 2021 Reviews
1 Shure BLX14R/MX53 Headworn Wireless System with MX153 Earset Microphone
Shure is a name synonymous with microphones and very good ones at that. They have always provided a quality build level in all their products. And, the BLX 14R is no exception.
A wireless microphone system is sometimes going to present some challenges. But, Shure has managed to overcome many of these and created an easy to use and user-friendly system.
Included in the package is an omnidirectional condenser earset microphone. This provides outstanding clarity in the over the ear design. It boasts enhanced plosive protection and no proximity effect. Signal transmission is via the bodypack which includes an on/off switch, volume control, and an LED status indicator.
It is compact and lightweight and will operate at distances of up to 100 meters.
Two AA batteries will give you approximately 14 hours of use. But, of course, spares are always essential to carry as that figure will vary according to individual circumstances.
The BLX4R rack mount receiver has one-touch Quickscan technology which simplifies frequency selection. And, there is an LCD display panel giving you RF and audio metering and XLR and 1⁄4″ output connections.
A convenient and easy to use transmission and receiver system making life an awful lot easier.
The whole system is expandable and can run up to twelve compatible systems. Plus, it includes is a rack mount kit.
Shure do produce quality in their products. And, the quality of this system is just that. However, while it is great for onstage vocals. It would also produce stunning results for those giving presentations who need and want to move around as they do so.
It’s a great example of a wireless microphone.
Not a cheap option but if you consider what you are buying, then it is realistically priced.
2 Shure SLX2/SM58 Handheld Transmitter with SM58 Microphone
One thing of note about the SLX2 is the clarity of its transmissions. And. achieved by its ARC technology that increases clarity.
Shure has taken its successful and respected SM58 and given it the wireless option. And, this has produced a mic that gives powerful response and performance.
Usually, wireless microphones operate with a fixed compression ratio. However, the SLX works with a variable compression, which adds a dynamic range.
The systems in the microphone will scan looking for an appropriate channel and at the touch of a button will sync with the receiver. The frequency responses are designed for the voice and incorporate an enhanced midrange and bass roll-off.
It utilizes a cardioid pattern which will ensure the main sound is not affected by background noise. This will make it suitable for a variety of venues where background noise could be a problem.
As it is designed to be handheld, it also has a built-in shock mount system to reduce any unwanted noise from handling.
To assist in the clarity and performance, the mic head features a wind and pop filter. As with the SM58, it has a steel mesh grille. Being Shure it is reliable, rugged and well-built, and able to withstand some knocks.
It has a mute button and a battery life indicator. And the two AA batteries should last about 8 hours.
Set at a competitive price.
As with all things Shure, it is a wireless microphone that will produce performance and reliability.
Frequency response 50 to 15,000 Hz
3 Audio-Technica System 10 ATW-1102 Wireless Handheld Microphone System
Audio-Technica has produced a very cost effective handheld wireless microphone system where the microphone is the transmitter. It has a 24-bit operation in the range of 2.4GHz and is, therefore, using some advanced technology. Using this range keeps the unit completely free of TV and DTV interference.
It has an impressive performance and produces no interference or static and doesn’t suffer from dropouts or loss of signal. It has a wide range of user applications including live performances, public address at gatherings, conferences, etc. And offers a great diversity of operation.
…as the unit will scan frequencies searching for the best available open channel. Automatic frequency selection will ensure interference-free operation. In the event, that you require more than one channel, up to eight may be used without coordination problems.
It has a convenient and easy to read LCD giving the status of settings and operation at any time.
You can only use one microphone at a time with this unit, and the need to use more than one will require an extra unit.
The microphone and unit are made of hardened plastic but are quite rugged and sturdy.
One of the outstanding plus points about this wireless microphone is its range. It will comfortably manage distances of up to 200 meters from the source without any problems.
It uses AA batteries, but it does get through them quite quickly, so spares on hand would not be a bad idea.
The Audio Technica ATW-1102 is a good system. Neat, tidy, and efficient. Has no problems with interference and is easy to set up. Not as rugged as some systems, but that will maybe encourage people to be careful with it.
The price is realistic.
4 Shure PGXD24/SM58-X8 Digital Handheld Wireless System
As in the SLX2 w reviewed earlier, Shure once again use their world-class SM58 as the preferred handset for this wireless microphone system. I suppose the question is when you have something as good as the SM58 why would you want to use anything else.
The SM58, of course, is a cardioid dynamic microphone and in this system is linked with a PGXD24 wireless transmitter.
The excellence of sound has been achieved using 24-bit/48Hz technology. This always sounds very impressive, but it is the analog circuitry ahead of the conversion that is the defining factor, and with Shure, that is always excellent.
A clear, usable channel is located automatically by the automatic frequency selector, and one-touch sync links the transmitter and receiver automatically.
Setup is therefore very easy. The frequency selector gives reliability and diversity. And, to ensure you are kept aware of the status of the unit, it features a multi-function LED indicator.
Whereas some systems are designed to be multi-purpose, you get the feeling that Shure has designed this system for use on stage.
The SM58 is known to be as hard as nails and is therefore ideal for wireless operation. The wire mesh grille and wind and pop filter, of course, are standard. The transmitter is designed to ensure plenty of protection against feedback but still manages to produce a quality of sound that Shure is known for.
Each frequency band can handle five compatible channels.
It is powered by two AA batteries, and the battery life is expected to be up to 9 hours.
5 Sennheiser Ew 100 Portable Wireless Microphone System
Sennheiser has really created a portable wireless microphone system that has many uses. Microphones are not always all about rock bands on stage, and they have a myriad of uses. Especially if they are portable and cable-free.
It is easy to operate and has a range of approximately 300 feet and will produce quality sound, even good enough for broadcasting. And, an infra-red sync function is placed in the microphone/transmitter that will tune into its receiver just by pushing a button.
The microphones cardioid pattern reduces potential feedback and provides a warm and consistent sound reproduction.
Being designed with outdoor usage in mind, and constructed of rugged aluminum. Tough and not affected by any potential bad weather as some materials might be.
It has an enhanced frequency range, and the onboard scanning feature will search for available frequencies, The syncing of transmitters is via an infrared interface.
If you are going to be using this system for outside broadcasting, possibly even live reporting. Then the last thing you need is to inadvertently change the settings.
Battery indicators keep you informed of their status.
Of course, live reporting of outside broadcasts are not the only use available to such high-quality kit. This microphone is a superior addition to any video recording that requires an excellent sound balance and range. There is a fitting designed to fit securely to a camera for this very reason.
Even the transmitter is designed to fit neatly and unobtrusively about your person.
If you need a wireless microphone of the highest quality for an outside video recording or mobile journalism. You will go a long way to finding better quality.
That is what Sennheiser do, produce quality. It never comes cheap, but it is usually worth the expense.
6 Innopow 80-Channel Dual UHF Wireless Microphone System, Metal Cordless Mic set
If you have been plowing through reviews and reports about Wireless microphones hoping to find a product that will let you use more than one mic on a single system…
The Innopow 80 has a facility for more than one person to speak at the same time using the same unit. There are two receivers and dual controls. And, of course, two microphones along with two antennas to ensure clarity of the signal.
The microphones have a range of about two hundred feet, allowing you the freedom to move around. There are five different frequencies. The microphones themselves are of metal construction and are unidirectional cardioid.
A simple power switch turns the receiver on and off. And there are indicator lights to advise you which band is currently in use. The digital display shows the current settings. Plus, with a battery life of up to seventeen hours, it should ease any time pressures.
Although at first glance this looks like a system that was designed for interviews or using at conference facilities, they do have many options. Even singers will see the benefits of this system that gives you long battery life and freedom to move.
To the hand, the microphones feel quite heavy and have a substantial feel to them.
This is a decent product that provides a lot of options when you consider it is very much at the budget end of the scale. The performance, though, without being startling, is very good. Although it does not compete with the more expensive systems, we’ve covered in this round-up.
Good value, with some interesting options. And certainly worth considering if you need more than one microphone.
7 Wireless Microphone System, Phenyx Pro 4-Channel UHF Cordless Mic Set
When you are in need of multiple microphones for an event, it can be a problem. Phenyx recognizes this and has produced a four channel UHF cordless system with four handheld microphones.
It has a four channel UHF microphone receiver. The fixed frequency design gives a high level of sound quality and provides a stable base reducing the chances of drop-off, as well as, the potential for distortion. It has four independent volume controls, one for each channel and XLR and 1⁄4” outputs.
The receiver has two screens with two LCD displays per screen. These give you information on your signal and the output level of the audio. It has two antennas. And, featuring an impressive range of up to 260 feet in open spaces, you should be able to go crowd surfing in style!
It operates in a frequency range of 530MHz to 580MHz. And, is rack mountable if required.
The unit is well built, and the metal construction will allow transportation without fear of occasional damage.
Including four handheld UHF microphones, that like the unit are well built and feel tough and sturdy. They feature a cardioid dynamic cartridge. The off/on switch is positioned on the bottom of the unit, which is a clever design preventing the microphone accidentally being turned off during activity.
There is an LCD screen. This will provide information on the channel and frequency number. The screen will turn red when the battery runs low.
As a unit, it is designed to be functional, and it is unlikely it will suit a band or live performance. But, it is ideal for other gatherings such as weddings, conferences, or conventions where you may need several microphones.
It is well priced and basically a lower priced unit. But, it offers good facilities onboard and is well made, and will certainly fulfill a function.
Operates on AA batteries.
8 AKG Pro Audio Wireless Microphone System
AKG was founded just after the second world war in Vienna. Originally they worked providing sound equipment for cinema but later expanded into other sound areas, including microphones. Today they are owned by Samsung, managed by Harmann Industries and based in Los Angeles.
They manufacture quality microphones right across the spectrum, from the classic AKG C-1 to the modern AKG C-12, VR (The Vacuum Tube). They produce the best microphones by any standards, that is much sought after by studio engineers.
This model, though is at the lower end of their operations, in terms of price. But, as with all good companies, the product is worth looking at.
The AKG Pro Audio Wireless is an analog system that delivers high performance and a great sound.
It’s easy to use and features a dynamic microphone with a cardioid pattern. And, will give you plenty of gain before feedback and which acts as the transmitter. It has a steel wire mesh grille for protection. It has a volume control for adjustment of the gain. And, a useful on/off switch which also acts as a mute.
An indicator shows battery status. And, the receiver has XLR and 1⁄4” jack outputs. It also has the ability to set up eight channel presets. It operates from a single AA battery, and battery life is approximately eight hours.
The sound quality is very good for a system that is essentially on a budget. And, it is certainly worth considering if you are moving into wireless for the first time.
9 Sennheiser Ew 100 Portable Wireless Microphone System, G, ew 122P G4-A (ew 122P G4-A)
One thing you can be sure of is if a microphone has Sennheiser written on it there will be plenty of quality. This model by one of the best in the business, Sennheiser, is rugged and road ready and produces excellent results.
It is not designed for bands or live performances but for mobile journalism, video production or outside broadcasts. For this reason, it has been designed for ease of use and quick setup. It enjoys a range of up to 100 meters and a battery life of about eight hours
The system comes with an omnidirectional ME-2 Lavalier mic with a cardioid polar pattern for improved sound isolation.
To use such a system as an outside broadcast unit is challenging, to say the least. Not only have you to ensure a good and stable connection and have reasonable travel from receiver distance, but the sound quality also has got to be superior.
As we have mentioned, it also needs to be tough and ready to withstand the occasional knocks it is bound to get.
There are further options available with this system. For instance, a handheld receiver mic, also cardioid, but this obviously is an extra you need to pay for.
We wouldn’t call this the cheapest system out there for what it does. But, neither is it the most expensive, and with Sennheiser kit you know you are buying quality.
10 Sony ECMAW4 Wireless Microphone
As most of the reviews we do are for music-related products, Sony is a name we don’t come across that often. Huge corporation, into most things electrical with a reputation to defend. So, let’s see how they get on the world of Wireless microphones.
There is a reason why Sony has lifted its head above the parapet. And, it’s not because they thought they would have a little try with something musical. It’s because this system is designed to work with video cameras or other recording devices.
The ECM-AW4 is a battery powered system that will operate with nearly any kind of camera, DSLR or a recording device that has a mini-jack input for microphones. The transmitter has a built-in mic and is totally Bluetooth compatible.
Using both handsets two-way communication is possible for up to 150 feet from the video device. This allows the subject and the operator of the device, being a director or other person, to communicate without the need for any extra intercom facility.
An audio/headphone jack socket is provided on both receiver and transmitter to allow the users to hear any directions given.
The wireless mic will record a quality sound up to 160 feet away. And a belt clip and an armband are included. There is an LED giving battery life, which is actually quite short. It uses AAA batteries.
It is a very useful system. Not maybe at the high end, but certainly useful in today’s world where bloggers, etc., use this kind of equipment.
If there is one thing to be careful of it is the build. It is not built like a tank. Which it probably should be for the sort of work it will be doing, so take care of it.
Priced very reasonably.
Buying The Best Wireless Microphone System
If you want to buy the best wireless microphone system, then there are many things to consider. We mentioned in the opening about some of the dangers and potential problems. And it’s important to do your homework and make sure the system you buy will do what you want it to.
The good news about these systems is that they have freed up the user from annoying cables and wires. On stage, this is a veritable boon, or it can be.
Obvious things like frequency selection are fraught with problems. Not only in attaining it, but maintaining the signal and keeping it stable. Nearly all systems will search out the frequencies. But, will they maintain them at a satisfactory performance level.
For example, do you need a line of sight between transmitter and receiver? Some do not work so well without being able to ‘see’ each other.
No system is completely immune to the problems, so choose wisely.
What Do You Need It For?
This is a critical question. You will need a specific system depending on how you propose to use it. Not many wireless systems ‘cross-over’ from one discipline to another successfully.
So, is it for a singer on stage, an outside broadcast, making a blog, making a video?
Each discipline will require different strengths of operation and a different set of functions. We have reviewed equipment from each of the disciplines. And it has to be said, that there is some very impressive kit out there.
Some of it is priced very realistically. All by quality manufacturers. Some are prepared for a lot of outside usage, others not so much.
The understanding of its prime area of operation is the first decision.
What actually fits the purpose is second.
So,What’s The Best Wireless Microphones?
To a certain extent, it will depend on how you want to use it. Well like you, we have to decide what we want to use it for.
We would utilize it on stage in front of a crowd. And, we expect the stage to be quite large; therefore, the range must be adequate. Plus, it needs to be tough enough to handle any accidental knocks it may take. And, we want the sound to be of the highest quality.
We don’t want to have any problems with chosing the signal and frequency. And, with the best chance of maintaining its strength.
Therefore, the best wireless microphone is the…
You can’t go very far wrong, having an SM58 as your base tool.
A great microphone with a proven track record.