Our reliance on wireless audio technology is heavier than ever, whether its playing music back via Bluetooth, controlling speaker systems remotely or performing on stage without the physical restrictions of cables. But there are plenty of other applications where wireless systems can reign supreme. From lecture halls, houses of worship, schools and more, we’re going to highlight the benefits of wireless microphone systems outside of the music industry.
Corporate Presentations & Lecture Halls
Nobody wants to be tangled up in cables mid-presentation. Although in certain spaces there’ll be a fixed microphone at a lectern (and sometimes that’s more appropriate), often having the flexibility to move around freely is immensely desirable. Whether you’re using a wireless handheld microphone or a head-worn microphone for a hands-free approach, this type of setup keeps things clean and allows the presenter or lecturer to focus on what’s important and not technical or physical restrictions.
Something to keep in mind when using opting for a wireless system is the channel count, but not necessarily just for your own requirements. Quite often presentation spaces will have multiple rooms, in which other presentations and lectures will be happening simultaneously. There’s likely to be other presenters nearby using a wireless mic, and maybe another mic or two distributed among their audience for Q&A sessions. So, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a wireless system installed that’ll give you enough available channels for simultaneous use, while keeping interference to a minimum.
The AKG WMS470 range is a great, professional solution, being able to run a maximum of 16 channels simultaneously, per frequency band. There are numerous packs available ranging from handheld dynamic or condenser microphone packs through to a presenter pack, which includes both a lavalier and head-worn microphone.
Houses of Worship
Connecting with the congregation in a house of worship service is the most important thing for a clergyperson, so having a system in which they can be heard properly without any interference is absolutely integral. Most houses of worship will have a gooseneck style microphone installed at the lectern, but often a wireless solution is also required, whether it be a handheld transmitter, head-worn or lavalier microphone. A system like this will allow the clergyperson to move freely throughout their house of worship and engage further with their congregation. There might be an element of wireless integration required to help amplify a music ensemble too, so having a system that can handle a good number of simultaneous channels will be useful. If the line of sight is less than desirable, most wireless systems offer omnidirectional or directional UHF wideband antenna’s such as the Sennheiser A2003-UHF paddle antenna, for wider coverage. Boosters like the Sennheiser AB3 are also available to compensate for RF signal loss.
Schools & Sporting Events
Wireless audio systems installed at schools, sporting events and other outdoor scenarios can save some serious headaches and be incredibly convenient. Not having to run massive lengths of cable into the middle of a school oval or sports field makes life much easier, plus the speaker won’t be tethered to a speaker or mixer. Most wireless systems now days boast impressive operational distances. Line of sight distances can range from 30m right up to 300m, which the AKG WMS470 range we mentioned earlier is spec’d at. Being able to have a system that is reliable at long distances can be particularly useful, especially in wide open spaces.
Ah yes, the theatre. Whether we’re looking at a traditional play or musical theatre, there’s a heavy reliance on wireless systems and for larger scale productions, lots of them. Some performances will get away with a standard handheld transmitter but quite often a rugged, bulky headset mic won’t be appropriate. Lightweight, almost unseen head-worn microphones are needed in these situations. Being able to maintain clear visibility of facial expressions without physical constraint is a key element for theatre performers too, especially musical theatre. This is, after all, how characters are portrayed to the audience, so having a microphone that is as low profile and discreet as possible is essential.
Available in numerous skin tone colours to help aid with the illusory nature of these mics, this style usually comes in either a body worn/lavalier style or an ear hooked/head worn design. With superbly designed capsules to pick up all the subtleties and nuances of the performer’s voice, as well as being incredibly resistant to moisture, these microphones are made with the utmost comfort in mind too. DPA Microphones’ 4066, 4188/4288 Ranges are some great options, as well as the AKG Microlite Series.
Gyms, Outdoor Classes & Karaoke
That early morning PUMP, Aerobics or F45 class will often have some music blaring and an instructor pushing you to within an inch of your physical capacity. Exhausting, just thinking about it. The physical nature of the instructor’s job, means a wireless head-worn microphone set is ideal and allows them to be heard properly by the whole class and they don’t have to strain their voice any harder than required. So, no room for slacking off in this gym class.
A similar approach can be taken with outdoor activity classes. Especially if the outdoor area has surrounding environmental noise or if the class is spread out, a system that can both amplify the instructor’s voice and give them the flexibility to move around as needed, while still being heard by the whole class is a far better option that straining the instructor’s voice.
And lastly, maybe something that fewer may think of but wireless microphone systems are becoming increasingly popular with karaoke systems, both at karaoke bars and for the home setup. After all, having microphone cables running all over a small room filled with amateur rock-stars is a disaster waiting to happen. Having a couple of handheld wireless mics setup takes a lot of potential hazards out of the equation, allowing anyone to do their best Elvis, Madonna or Spice Girls impersonation without hindrance.
A great thing about these particular scenarios is that they won’t require a system with all the bells and whistles. Distance and interference will be kept to a minimum and larger simultaneous channel count and channel selection probably won’t be required, so a fixed frequency system will usually do the job just fine. The professional entry-level WMS40 Mini systems by AKG are a great solution, with dual systems available too, ideal for that inevitable “Ebony and Ivory” duet at the karaoke bar or at home.
From day to day use of our phones, music playback devices and numerous other scenarios, we’re constantly relying on wireless technology, and the use of wireless microphone systems are certainly not reserved for just musicians to use. Having the right system for the right situation can be incredibly helpful, more convenient, more flexible and even safer.