The wireless microphone systems are becoming more and more popular as technology advances. This makes it difficult to recognize which wireless system is the best. Oh, wireless system; this is a device that transmits sound on a radio wavelength to a piece of broadcasting equipment like a speaker, depending on what you are using it for. An unwired microphone, same as a wireless microphone is a great innovation in the music and entertainment industries. Back in the days, exquisite performances were ruined due to faulty mics or mic malfunction. These days, microphones are designed to bring more excitement to performers and artists.
Talking about wireless microphones, there are basically two types; the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) and VHF (Very High Frequency) wireless microphones – they operate in different bands. VHF wireless mics are those of the fixed frequency type, i.e. it doesn’t allow users to switch frequencies whenever they encounter interference.
The UHF band is the most common band used in the wireless microphone system, with a frequency range between 300 MHz and 3 GHz. Those experiencing interference issues can find a solution with a UHF system; but, with a VHF system, you don’t need expensive equipment since interference isn’t so much of a problem. The VHF band, on the other hand, is located in the frequency range between 30 MHz and 300 MHz. Though, this is another alternative to the UHF band; yet, it is not as commonly used as UHF.
The professional models in UHF or VHF radio frequency are designed to eliminate the effects caused by the reflection of the radio waves on surfaces. Generally, wireless microphones may operate in the range between 470 MHz and 865 MHz depending on national regulations for every country. These frequencies are distributed with over-the-air TV broadcasts. This is why it is important for a user to know what frequencies to stay away from in order to avoid interference.
The history of the wireless microphone is very interesting because there are many individuals and companies who claim to be the first inventors of the microphone. Dating back to the year 1951, John F Stephens designed a wireless microphone that was made for a navy musical show. Every one of the singers was given their own wireless microphone.
In the year 1957, Sennheiser who happened to be a manufacturer of German audio equipment was working with Norddeutscher Rundfunk (a German Broadcaster) on a wireless microphone. This system was showcased through Telefunken under the name of Mikroport from the year 1958. It was not long after that Beyerdynamic, a German equipment manufacturer claimed that Hung. C. Lin initially invented the wireless microphone. Back then, it was called a “transistophone” and in 1962, it started mass production. Transistophones were first used in 1964 by Rex Harrison in a film called “My Fair Lady”.
Wireless microphones vary in shape. There are various types of wireless microphones such as handheld microphone, clip-on microphone, and headset microphone. Handset microphones are very light and fit well on a user’s head. Karaoke microphones are popular with singers and instrumentalists who need amplification of sound while on stage. They fit well because they are the perfect replacements for wired mics that cause mishaps like tangling or tripping.
However, the handheld type is the most flexible and reliable wireless microphone. This is quite similar to the usual microphone just that it doesn’t have the cords. It is left for you to decide between any of these systems, UHF or VHF. Since UHF systems are more expensive than VHF, it is believed to be more expensive. If that could be the case, I feel it still have some drawbacks. Do read on!
MAJOR DIFFERENCES BETWEEN VHF AND UHF WIRELESS MICROPHONES
- Power Level
The power output of a wireless microphone may vary according to the type that is being handled. A UHF microphone will work with a higher maximum output of 250mW, while a VHF microphone will have a maximum output at 50mW. Truly, the higher power for the UHF microphone will be used to increase its operating range. VHF, on the other hand, will not die easily because it will work with a longer battery life.
VHF microphones are the most affordable types of microphones. Although, they work well in a vast area; yet, its production in terms of recording is of a low-quality. Making more research about these kinds of microphones will give you ideas on what is best for you.
VHF microphones are more susceptible to television interference in so many ways. This is because the frequency used by a VHF system is similar to what is used among many television channels. A UHF system, on the other hand, is less likely to be affected by television interference. Notwithstanding, the older models disrupt digital signals because they use frequency range between 698 MHz and 806 MHz.
The quality of a wireless microphone is another major difference. Wireless microphones are designed with professional wireless gadgets. The quality of a VHF or UHF microphones depend on the support and innovative features.
- Frequency Range
The frequencies used for wireless microphones differ by each type. The UHF system uses a frequency range between 470 and 698 MHz. It is used to allow a greater variety of control and functions. It will also help to control the frequency to make sure that there is no interference among other devices in the home that functions in the same ranges. The VHF system uses a frequency range between 174 to 216 MHz.
BENEFITS OF WIRELESS MICROPHONES
Technological advancements in micro electronics has made wireless microphones a classic handheld device that is portable and even small enough to be clipped on the shirt without been sighted. They create a complete natural effect when one is giving a presentation. Been a wireless microphone, you can keep it anywhere on any part of your body. All you have to do is to attach them and move freely while singing or making a presentation irrespective of wherever you are, whether indoor or outdoor. As this microphone is wireless, there is no chance to for cable issues.
One of the benefits of a wireless microphone is the freedom of movement (mobility) it affords the speaker, performer or presenter. With this type of microphone, you will have no issues with internal wires breaking your connection every now and then. There is no problem with tangling, tripping, and twisting of wires. It can be very useful for singers, rock stars, pop singers which insist for enhanced and dynamic performance. You can jump and dance around the stage to create an outstanding performance.
Whether you choose to purchase a VHF or UHF-based system, make sure you consider the frequency agility of each system before you proceed. Generally, both VHF and UHF are very popular and these systems come in different forms. A moderately agile system may suit your purpose while one with a wide range of possible frequencies might be good enough in other situations.
You should be aware of this fact; one of the biggest disadvantages in wireless microphones is the batteries. The batteries used in the older models of wireless microphones are heavy and have shorter battery life. Fortunately, the latest models of microphones re lightweight and has longer battery life compared to the previous models.
There are two important things to look for in a wireless microphone system; they are battery lifespan and distance limitations. All wireless microphones will have a maximum distance of which they will operate away from their receiver. The battery life, as well, is important in the sense that you will no longer make use of electrical components. As such, the batteries used for this system ought to be strong, durable, and efficient.