How Wireless Microphones Work – Part 1

For those old enough to remember pop and rock concerts in the 1970s, you will recall the amount of wires on the stage. Every instrument had their own individual cable going back to an amplifier and that included the singers. Often roadies had to rush on stage to disentangle the spiders web so that the performers would not trip and land in a mess on the floor. But these cabled microphones were considered the best for sound quality, and who can forget iconic moments on stage such as Roger Daltrey of the massive British band The Who, he was famous for swinging his microphone high above his head as he performed.

Then came the invention of the wireless microphone and things changed for good, stages became uncluttered and so performances could include dance routines from the singers, which turned the iconic rock concert into an extravaganza. But how does a wireless microphone actually work?

In this blog we endeavor to find out and see how this technology has revolutionized live performances.

How Wireless Microphones Work

It is very rare in these modern times that you can go a day without seeing a microphone of some sort or other. Whether it is a daytime talk show or a fitness class in your gym, wireless microphones are used absolutely everywhere. The technology that enables them to work without cables is quite rudimentary and simple. And this simple technology has made using a microphone far easier and less hassle than before. And now it is rare to see a microphone with a cord.

The Basic Differences Between Cable and Wireless Technology

In the past, cable wired microphones converted a sound into an electrical signal which was sent down a copper wire cable. A wireless microphone converts sounds into radio signals which are then sent to a receiver which in turn sends it to amplifiers and the sound system. The biggest difference between the technologies is that radio signals were introduced.

The Key Components

Using a wireless system is pretty simple and is not as expensive as you may have thought. Of course, it is costlier than a simple microphone with a cable as it has more components but prices have plummeted since the first ones rolled off the production lines. The three main components are the microphone, a transmitter and a receiver

Types of Wireless Microphones

Wireless microphones come in all shapes and sizes, and mostly each type has a specific purpose. The most common wireless microphone that you will see is the hand-held variety. This type is used by live performers, and everything from singers to stand-up comedians.

Another very common type of wireless microphone is what is termed as Lavalier (lapel microphone). This is the type of microphone a talk show host would commonly use or perhaps a TV reporter. These microphones are small but very effective and produce great sound. There is also the microphone that is worn on the head and this is the particular favorite of dance groups and bands that have lively routines. We continue our blog all about wireless microphones in part two.