What Microphone Do I Need?

No matter what you do, there’s a microphone solution for you. Here’s a rundown of the different types of microphones available:

Handheld Microphone

This is the ideal microphone for most stage vocalists. It’s also great for stage situations in which a microphone will be passed from person to person. The transmitter is built into the body of the handheld microphone, so you only have two components in this type of system – the handheld transmitter/microphone, and the receiver.

When shopping for a handheld microphone you should consider the quality of sound that you require. It goes without saying that the higher the cost of the microphone the higher the quality of sound. Just let us know your budget and what you intend to use the product for and we will be happy to advise on the potential options.

Headset Microphone

Ideal for singing dancers, fitness instructors, and anyone who is active onstage. This system uses a headworn microphone which is connected to a bodypack transmitter that you wear, and a receiver.

When shopping for an aerobics microphone, search for sweat-proof microphones that will fit comfortably on your head or around your neck while simultaneously giving good sound quality. A microphone with an adjustable mouthpiece is a good idea, but be sure that the microphone is not too obtrusive in the position that you are most likely to wear it. Consider selecting an aerobics microphone that is lightweight, but durable enough to be used repeatedly for extreme physical activities. Speaking to other aerobics instructors about microphones may help you in making a good purchasing decision.

Lavalier Microphone

A standard for public speakers, presenters, worship leaders, and stage actors. You clip the lavalier mic to your clothing, connect it to a bodypack transmitter, and it transmits to the receiver. For public speaking in quiet venues such as lecture halls, omnidirectional microphones can work fine. In noisier environments such as a school’s gym, it’s best to choose a directional version. Lavalier microphones often come in black or flesh coloured versions which are perfect for theatrical performances where a microphone may need to be disguised.

When shopping for lavalier microphones take time to consider what additional spares you may wish to purchase. It is a good idea to purchase spare clips for affixing the microphone to clothing as these become lost easily. Also, if using during a stage performance, it is advisable to purchase some replacement pop windshields, as these can often become dirtied and clogged with stage make up.

Wireless Microphone Buying Guide

*Products listed are subject to change*

Wireless Microphones let performers move freely onstage, unrestricted by cables. Musicians, teachers, corporate meeting spaces, and houses of worship can all benefit from the freedom of a wireless microphone system. If you’re thinking about adding a wireless system to your school, theatre, or karaoke bar, this wireless microphone buying guide can help you find the system that’s right for you. 

Transmitters and Receivers: 

Every wireless Mic System has two components: a transmitter, typically worn or held by the performer — and a receiver, which collects the radio signal from the transmitter, converts it to audio, and sends the audio through a cable to your mixer or power amp.

Running Multiple Simultaneous Wireless Mics: 

If you plan to use several Wireless Microphones at the same time, each microphone must operate on a different radio frequency so their signals don’t interfere. Look for frequency-agile systems, which allow you to choose from a range of frequencies to find an open channel. For two-mic setups, it’s a good idea to choose a “Dual” system that’s designed to run both microphones simultaneously.

VHF vs. UHF vs. 2.4 GHz: 

Most Wireless Systems operate in the Very High Frequency or Ultra High Frequency bands. Due to their shorter wavelengths (300 – 3000 MHz), UHF systems are less susceptible to drop-outs or dead spots, even over distances of 200+ feet. And some digital systems use frequencies within the 2.4 GHz band to avoid interference from TV stations and cell phone towers.

Digital Wireless Microphones: 

Digital Wireless Systems convert audio to a digital signal before sending it through the air. These systems are much less prone to noise or interference, since the digital receiver is “listening” for a specific stream of ones and zeroes. High-quality 24-bit digital wireless systems can deliver a wider dynamic range than traditional analog systems

Handheld Wireless Microphones & Systems

Perfect for reinforcing singers, Handheld Wireless Microphones look similar to Wired Microphones, but with a slightly larger handle to house the transmitter’s antenna and battery. Most wireless handhelds have cardioid or hypercardioid pickup patterns that reject sound to the rear of the microphone, making them less susceptible to feedback on stage. If you need to mic up multiple singers, “dual” systems give you two microphones and a multiple-channel receiver.

Lavalier/Clip-On Wireless Microphones & Systems

Wireless Lavalier Microphones are designed to be worn on your lapel, which makes them perfect for presenters who need their hands free. These tiny, inconspicuous clip-on microphones can even be hidden in a performer’s costume or hair. Lav mics with an omnidirectional pickup pattern are very easy to place, since they pick up in all directions. Lavs with a cardioid pickup pattern offer higher gain before feedback, but for best results, they should be carefully aimed at the performer’s mouth.

Due to their small size and delicate electronics, lavalier microphones require a separate transmitter. The transmitter is typically housed in a “bodypack” or “beltpack” about the size of a deck of cards, which is worn on the belt or in a pocket. The lavalier microphone plugs into the bodypack transmitter with a short, thin cable.

Combination Wireless Microphones & Systems

Can’t decide between a handheld, lavalier, or headset? “Combination” wireless mic systems include at least two types of transmitters — like a handheld/lavalier combo, or handheld/headset combo. And some combination systems have one wireless microphone, plus one instrument wireless system: a bodypack transmitter with a 1/4″ cable that can plug into a guitar or bass.

Single or Dual? Single-channel combination systems are perfect for venues that want to offer the performer the choice of a handheld or clip-on mic. Don’t forget: single-channel systems only let you run one microphone at a time, not both together. If you plan on using two or more wireless mics simultaneously, choose a “Dual” combination system with a dual-channel receiver.