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Top 5 Lavalier Microphone Wireless Systems

Updated on October 12, 2010
Steve Jobs is well-known for using a lavalier system.
Steve Jobs is well-known for using a lavalier system.

Say goodbye to big microphones that sit between you and the audience. You won’t have to worry about the distance or angle you speak or sing into microphones anymore. Lavalier microphones are an ideal solution for videographers, audio engineers and public speakers that want to take the guess work out of amplifying the voice.

Wireless lavalier mics provide the ultimate in freedom of movement. The technology allows you to casually move around the stage, giving presentations a natural feel. Being married to the podium is now a dull and out-modelled idea. By adding hand gestures, you’ll be speaking to audiences much like you would to a couple at a cocktail party. The aim is to amplify the voice like magic so people aren’t even really aware that you are wearing a microphone. For best of breed examples of lavalier integration, watch “TED: Ideas worth spreading,” Apple keynotes or theatre productions in New York City.

Once proper audio levels have been set via the P.A. system, there is no need to tinker or adjust the position of a lavalier. You’ll merely need to avoid bumping it which will produce a deep “thud” sound.

There is a huge range of wireless systems on the market. So choosing a model can be overwhelming to first time buyers. Since reliability and sound quality are paramount to your success, this article focuses on quality offerings that also provide a good bang for the buck. The leaders in the industry are Audio-Technica, Shure and Sennheiser.

Recommended Dual Lavalier Systems

Below are reviews of wireless systems that allow you to use up to two microphone channels. A pair of transmitters and lavalier mics are included with each package.

Shure PG188/PG185 Dual Lavalier Wireless System, M7
Shure uses a technology called Predictive Diversity to achieve continuous reception, even in less than ideal circumstances. The long, slim chassis of the receiver includes two independent UHF diversity systems. Especially cool is the fact the antennas have been placed internally to avoid poor positioning or accidental breakage. You have the option of switching between 10 frequencies across multiple bands.

Audio2000 6032UF UHF Dual Channel Wireless Microphone System
This Audio2000 unit offers an incredible value as two channel systems at this price point are rare indeed. Best of all, it performs well within the quoted operating range of 150ft (50M) in normal conditions. It operates as UHF VHF college, which allows it to bend around objects better than run-of-the-mill VHF. Interference and static noise are undetectable. The Audio2000’s one weakness is that the wires in the included lavaliers may crackle if moved. For this reason it isn’t a good system for particularly active subjects, at least out of the box. At this price upgrading the mics is an option however.

Recommended Single Lavalier Systems

Below are reviews of wireless systems that have one wireless channel. One transmitter and lavalier microphone is included in each set.

Sennheiser EW 112-P G3 Omni Lavalier Microphone Wireless System, CH B
If you are looking for a no compromises, state-of-the-art system ideal for use with a video camera, this rig from Sennheiser deserves a long look. The big difference is that the metal-housed bodypack transmitter and receiver look identical. Usually receivers don’t feature this level of mobility. As a videographer, you can travel light just like the subject being recorded. By using the 3.5mm audio out jack, an unbalanced signal can be sent to your camera. The EW 112-P G3 features 42 MHz of bandwidth and 1680 tunable UHF frequencies to ensure interference-free reception.

Shure PG14/PG185 Wireless Lavalier System, M7
The PG14/PG185 brings you a single channel of quality wireless from one of the most trusted brands in microphones. Like its big brother the PG188/PG185, the antennas have been placed inside the chassis of the receiver for greater reliability. Variable companding ratio is employed to avoid breaks in the signal, and produced clear, accurate sound. The included mic is of good quality as is usually the case with Shure products. Gain levels on this unit are lacking in comparison to competing models so if you need to crank the volume, look elsewhere.

Audio Technica Freeway 200 Series VHF Lavalier Wireless System
AT has a great reputation among audio engineers for producing quality mics. As expected you get a very nice lapel mic with this purchase. The design of the receiver falls short when compared to Shure’s new line. The antennas stick out quite a bit a look awkward. Although less idiot-proof, in the right hands this will be an advantage. The Freeway 200 Series receiver rewards the effort of tweakers seeking the perfect angle. There is a lack of frequency control since this unit operates at 170.245 MHz only. It would have been nice to at least have a fall-back option in case of emergency. You can move 70-90 feet away from the receiver without a trace of static. Sound quality is decent and above average for this price range.

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