Wireless mics

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
5,908
52
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
As you may have heard, I use Sennheiser ew 100 series mics. Mostly G3 these days but still have some g2's and some old g1. Working flawlessly.
But just looking down the road a bit. Should I be looking to get out of UHF? Digital just as good? Better?

Are there a few windows in the 600 spectrum I'll be able to use?
Right now, half of my mics are in 620-662 and other half in 516-558

What I love about my mics- scans for open channels and stores them. Then with a button press will sync with transmitter. Always crystal clear. Units typically about $600-$700 new these days. I buy used a lot and get them more in $400 range.

Love the battery powered receivers too. Half of mine are battery powered. Love that I can mix and match my transmitters and receivers, so if I need all battery power, no problem, or if I want plug in receiver but a lav mic, no problem

What systems should I be thinking about for the future? 75% of our events is just 1 mic needed and a back up.

Ceremonies will typically add 2 more mics. Sometimes 3. 4 total is typically the max we do at a show. And that's rare.
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
32,239
Prospect, CT
There are 2 windows in the 600 MHz band .. 614-616 MHz and 657-663 MHz. Won't work for too many mics and, depending on location, might be sharing it with others. Where I am is pretty rural, so I will limp through the next few years there. Any new mics will probably be in the 500 MHz band as there is a bit more competition in the digital bands.

There isn't much new tech on the lower side. On the high end, there is certainly a move to digital, but you're at $4-5K per mic with all the parts. I expect the tech will filter down, but I don't see much under $1,000 that would push me to switch from the Sennheisers in the very near term.

If I needed a prime mic, I might look at the Shure QLX.
 

DJ Bobcat

DJ Extraordinerror
Nov 8, 2014
10,816
Oklahoma City
...Should I be looking to get out of UHF? Digital just as good? Better? ...

What systems should I be thinking about for the future? 75% of our events is just 1 mic needed and a back up.
Honestly... I have NO CLUE.... I pretty much have the same questions.

Thanks for starting a gear related thread that isn’t about buying speakers you don’t need from your friend with money you can’t afford for gigs you can’t do.
 

Scott Hanna

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 25, 2006
5,908
52
Cleveland, OH
www.djincleveland.com
There are 2 windows in the 600 MHz band .. 614-616 MHz and 657-663 MHz. Won't work for too many mics and, depending on location, might be sharing it with others. Where I am is pretty rural, so I will limp through the next few years there. Any new mics will probably be in the 500 MHz band as there is a bit more competition in the digital bands.

There isn't much new tech on the lower side. On the high end, there is certainly a move to digital, but you're at $4-5K per mic with all the parts. I expect the tech will filter down, but I don't see much under $1,000 that would push me to switch from the Sennheisers in the very near term.

If I needed a prime mic, I might look at the Shure QLX.
On the digital side, i was looking at the sennheiser d1. Seems priced about the same range as mine, but i really havent found good reviews after a while of use, just people that got them when it came out 3 years ago.
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
32,239
Prospect, CT
On the digital side, i was looking at the sennheiser d1. Seems priced about the same range as mine, but i really havent found good reviews after a while of use, just people that got them when it came out 3 years ago.
The ratings seem OK and I like the 835 capsule, but I've heard issues with other 2.4 GHz units .. mainly interference with (networking, microwaves and other electronic) gear. Might be the newer versions are better at rejecting it.

There is a Sennheiser digital unit that looked promising, but not cheap .. the Sennheiser Speechline SL .. Sennheiser Speechline SL Handheld Set Digital Wireless System - (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SLDW4USRHH--sennheiser-speechline-sl-handheld-set-digital-wireless-system)

and I noticed someone blowing out a few on eBay .. Sennheiser SpeechLine Wireless SL Handheld Set Wireless Mic W/Rackmount Kit | eBay - (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sennheiser-SpeechLine-Wireless-SL-Handheld-Set-Wireless-Mic-W-Rackmount-Kit/113026423447?hash=item1a50e65a97:g:SFIAAOSwiMRbDgeI:rk:20:pf:0)
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
I've presently abandoned wireless mic ownership and now rent them instead. I'm getting better and more reliable results by using digital QLXD and ULXD systems while also providing better service to clients. I don't want to own high-cost gear that could change or become obsolete and so this is a great pay as I go solution.

It's about $100 to rent and that includes having both the body pack and handheld transmitters, plus directional antenna kits. I typically rent them as dual or quad systems.

I think the age of affordable quality wireless mics is over for me. Most of my gigs require a very high grade of wireless service so, there's no short cuts. I can still get away with a $500 wireless mic to DJ a wedding and so I keep one of those, but I won't be buying any new mics in that class.

I only use cabled mics for karaoke and now that karaoke has evolved to a streaming service I'd rather position myself as high end audio/video supplier for upscale talent show/events and not the affordable party KJ that was the trend in years past. The top end of what a consumer can provide on their own has surpassed the cut-off point of most budget services a DJ would be willing to offer. Other than a charitable donation I haven't done any karaoke service for under $700. and would simply add the more expensive wireless to that when and where it might be preferred.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
As you may have heard, I use Sennheiser ew 100 series mics. Mostly G3 these days but still have some g2's and some old g1. Working flawlessly.
But just looking down the road a bit. Should I be looking to get out of UHF? Digital just as good? Better?

Are there a few windows in the 600 spectrum I'll be able to use?
Right now, half of my mics are in 620-662 and other half in 516-558

What I love about my mics- scans for open channels and stores them. Then with a button press will sync with transmitter. Always crystal clear. Units typically about $600-$700 new these days. I buy used a lot and get them more in $400 range.

Love the battery powered receivers too. Half of mine are battery powered. Love that I can mix and match my transmitters and receivers, so if I need all battery power, no problem, or if I want plug in receiver but a lav mic, no problem

What systems should I be thinking about for the future? 75% of our events is just 1 mic needed and a back up.

Ceremonies will typically add 2 more mics. Sometimes 3. 4 total is typically the max we do at a show. And that's rare.
I would keep what works for you, and use them until they stop working for you. There aren't any frequency police out there patrolling for rogue wedding DJs and your effective range is so very short. It all comes down to the day you can't get interference free use out of them.

All of the frequency bands in turn will be reviewed for re-assignment as digital communications continues to expand so, it's wise to move very slowly on the issue of where to go next.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
This mic is tailored for speech and has 19ms of latency, so you'll run into some issues if you require foldback, or use it for anyone trying to sing.
You're also paying for it's encryption capability which is generally not necessary outside of the corporate realm.
 

steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
32,239
Prospect, CT
This mic is tailored for speech and has 19ms of latency, so you'll run into some issues if you require foldback, or use it for anyone trying to sing.
You're also paying for it's encryption capability which is generally not necessary outside of the corporate realm.
True, but I would guess singer use is probably less than 2-3% of a wedding DJ's mic use. This unit also manages its frequency automatically, so a lot of the cost is in the spectrum management. The feature set is what piqued my interest. I agree, the Shure ULXD is probably the best mid system.
 
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jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
198
33
QLXD and ULXD =stop looking. I got the ULXD, them the cheaper QLXD, and I know Shure same it's the same hardware inside, but the more complex/robust RF menu with better meters from the ULXD seems to give me better results. I having nothign to prove this, but my ULXD seems more stable in receving the signal. It almost always shows full strength...
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
32,239
Prospect, CT
QLXD and ULXD =stop looking. I got the ULXD, them the cheaper QLXD, and I know Shure same it's the same hardware inside, but the more complex/robust RF menu with better meters from the ULXD seems to give me better results. I having nothign to prove this, but my ULXD seems more stable in receving the signal. It almost always shows full strength...
The ULXD is cheaper than the QLXD from what I've priced.
 
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steve149

Veni, Vidi, Lusi
Staff member
Sep 26, 2011
32,239
Prospect, CT

IceBurghDJ

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 17, 2015
1,657
57
Western Pennsylvania
iceburghdj.com
I would keep what works for you, and use them until they stop working for you. There aren't any frequency police out there patrolling for rogue wedding DJs and your effective range is so very short. It all comes down to the day you can't get interference free use out of them.

All of the frequency bands in turn will be reviewed for re-assignment as digital communications continues to expand so, it's wise to move very slowly on the issue of where to go next.
so your suggesting i keep using my 700mhz shure? Never had any interferance..
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
so your suggesting i keep using my 700mhz shure? Never had any interferance..
Yes. Until they pry it from your cold dead hands or it dies of natural causes.

DJs are low power non licensed users - the signal doesn't even leave the room.
 
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Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
QLXD and ULXD =stop looking. I got the ULXD, them the cheaper QLXD, and I know Shure same it's the same hardware inside, but the more complex/robust RF menu with better meters from the ULXD seems to give me better results. I having nothign to prove this, but my ULXD seems more stable in receving the signal. It almost always shows full strength...
What are you using for antennas?

There's no difference in performance between the two. The current settings on your QLXD if you are not accessing the full feature set may account for the differences you experience. QLXD has two power settings, and ULXD has three power settings. You may not have them set to the same power levels.

The ULXD has all parameters accessible on the front panel menu. The QLXD has a simplified front panel menu and the full feature set is accessed through the communications port.
 

Jeff Romard

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 4, 2006
12,084
48
Sydney, Nova Scotia
I've presently abandoned wireless mic ownership and now rent them instead. I'm getting better and more reliable results by using digital QLXD and ULXD systems while also providing better service to clients. I don't want to own high-cost gear that could change or become obsolete and so this is a great pay as I go solution.

It's about $100 to rent and that includes having both the body pack and handheld transmitters, plus directional antenna kits. I typically rent them as dual or quad systems.
I have a couple of sure 58 handheld but for years I've been renting when the need arises. I had several different ones over the years and the one thing I found was the body packs were breaking so I was replacing or repairing all the time it seemed more sensible to let that become someone else's problem. I can rent the ULXD units for around $60-$70/month if I have need or about $20/day if it's real short term need I can get the Line 6's for even less than that.
 

Proformance

DJ Extraordinaire
Nov 6, 2006
3,264
No true. Same transmit/receive sections and same mic head combos. Both include encryption.

Beyond the additional power setting and high density mode (up to 100 mics) there is no RF or audio operating difference. All of the other ULXD features are based around dual/quad receivers, subnet access, Dante, etc, which are all way outside of what a DJ requires. For a wedding DJ the ULXD is money overspent for the same performance.
 

jaswrx

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 15, 2015
198
33
What are you using for antennas?

There's no difference in performance between the two. The current settings on your QLXD if you are not accessing the full feature set may account for the differences you experience. QLXD has two power settings, and ULXD has three power settings. You may not have them set to the same power levels.

The ULXD has all parameters accessible on the front panel menu. The QLXD has a simplified front panel menu and the full feature set is accessed through the communications port.
Yes, QLX has hi and low power, and ULXD has 1, 10, 20. I assume high power on the QLXD is the same as high power.

Like I mentioned, I have nothing to base it off of, but my ULXD almost always seems to give me a more robust signal, but I realize the two are idetntial in terms of RF.

I mainly use the omni-directional antennas, although sometimes I put the directional antenna (only have one) 8 feet up in the air, so I then I have one directional and one omni-directional atenna.

I have done a direct comparison, and unless I can crank the directional antenna, it doesn't seem to do any better than the omni directional ones (at same height).

I purchased the ULXD before the QLXD was even out, so there is that... I since then have only bought QLXD. I have 8 of them.