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Help me decide on a wireless mic to purchase out of these 3

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  • Help me decide on a wireless mic to purchase out of these 3

    I'm not recording, I'm not even singing, but need something that is pretty reliable for people who are speaking. I realize that the people here might not be likely to choose any of these and might usually spend their money on the best, but I'd like some opinions on what you would choose out of these 3 wireless mics, and why. I've narrowed my search down to these 3 name brand products, all similarly priced, all working in the low to mid 500 MHz range. This will be used many times in the suburbs where there would be no interference, but possibly many more times in the middle of Midtown Manhattan NYC, where interference is not only possible, but probable with certain systems.

    Sennheiser XSW 1-835 (Band A)
    Shure BLX24/SM58 (H9)
    Electro-voice R-300HD (Band C)

    As a side note, I've spoken with technical support of each of these companies.

    Electro-voice (and I have many of their speakers, love them as a company) was the most uninformed of the bunch. They knew nothing of the FCC's auction of the 600 MHz spectrum, and while there are plenty of places in the US selling their BAND C version which is 516 to 532 MHz, they told me they don't sell it in the US and that I should buy their Band B, which is in the higher 600 MHz spectrum. Their Frequency Finder only shows frequencies in Band B that will work in Midtown Manhattan.

    Sennheiser told me that the only way to know if their mic would work in that area was to have the device scan and see.

    Shure's Frequency Finder gave me at least 6 channels that would (or should) work. Other musicians that I know routinely use the Shure BLX and it works for them.

    Out of these 3, what do you think?



  • #2
    According to Audio Technica's Frequency Finder, there are a lot of frequencies available for their ATW 3000 series.

    Bill Cronheim
    Entertainment Systems Corporation
    Back stage since 1965
    Equipment specialist since 1973


    • #3
      Bill, thanks for the reply.

      I think the Audio Technica stuff is great. I'm kind of caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to making this purchase. Like I mentioned, I don't sing, and if I did and the mic was for me, all my choices would change. I'm an instrumentalist who on occasion has to bring a small sound system and a mic for speeches. I always brought a wired mic, but now I need to carry a wireless for certain situations. No karaoke or anything like that. If anything, it will be a speech at a corporate job, a speech at a testimonial, etc...

      I might be overstating it, but I am scared to death of placing a $500 piece of equipment in the hands of someone who doesn't understand what it's value is, who may think that a "Drop the Mic" moment is funny (thanks to Obama's speech and Verizon commercials), someone who doesn't gently place it down on a table after using it, etc...

      I'm allergic to cheaply made equipment like Gemini, Pyle, GTD Audio, Vocopro, and can't bring myself to get any of those for my situation.
      Considering everything (including replacing the mic if damaged), I narrowed my choices down the the 3 that I mentioned. The EV mic that I mentioned is all metal, and the cheapest to replace compared to the others.

      I've even been thinking of putting a label on the mic so whoever gets it in their hands can read it:
      Do Not Drop. DETONATES on impact.



      • #4
        If I was in your shoes, I would pick up a Line 6 XD-V75 system. Preferably lightly used.

        You might also want to think about a damage deposit for your rentals.....
        Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?


        • #5
          I looked into the Line 6 series of 2.4GHz wireless mics. Everything about them appeared really great, until I read about all the interference with wireless routers and digital mixers that are controlled by iPads, etc..
          There are many places I go to that have that situation, and that makes 2.4GHz mics totally unusable.
          There are some youtube videos of what happens with interference using those Line 6 units.
          If you look for reviews of those 2.4GHz mics that are recent, you'll find many who say they constantly pick up interference.
          Right now, that entire line of Line 6 XD-V mics are on sale, no doubt to empty stock.

          Until I read all the negative stuff, I thought I was going to be a Line 6 wireless mic owner, but now I won't do it.
          This is from the Line 6 website forums.

          I don't do rentals, it would be my mic on my own jobs.

          The reason for those 3 that I mentioned is because of the lower 500MHz frequencies that I should be using.

          Thanks for taking the time to reply.

          Last edited by maestrosteve; 04-21-2017, 03:46 PM. Reason: Added the Line 6 Forum posts


          • #6
            FWIW - the Line 6 stuff is explicitly designed to work around WiFi interference is and is really clever about how it does it. The V75 is also better in this regard than the V35 series, as it can spread-spectrum across more channels. Search this forum for posts by Don Boomer if you're interested a better explanation. The only time I've ever had a problem (knock on wood) is when two Line 6 devices are on the same channel...but of course, nothing is perfect. I could see some of the serious WiFi hardware I have at work giving it grief..that stuff transmits on 8 radios simultaneously. $$$$

            My two favourite features of this mic are improved gain before feedback (due to delay) and the availability of the full dynamic range of the performance, since there is no compander in the way. It's a really good-sounding unit. In fairness, though -- we never use it more them 20 or 25 feet away from the receivers. I see no reason to tempt fate. Which is why I always have a wired mic standing by on high-profile gigs.

            Thanks for the lowered price tip. I'll have to see if it goes any lower...might buy some more.


            Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?


            • #7
              Once again, I thank you for your input.

              I find your comments interesting (and appreciated), because there is so much negative feedback, posts, and articles on 2.4GHz wireless mics in general, mostly recent since there are new electronics coming out all the time that broadcast on the 2.4GHz spectrum. I'm glad it is working for you. Like I mentioned, I liked everything I read about the Line 6 stuff until the google search of articles posted in the last few months turned me off.

              It also doesn't help that I live and work in the New York City area, where the entire city is loaded with free wi-fi, every venue has wi-fi, and every sound guy is using wi-fi to control their mixing boards from their iPads.

              Stuff like this is scary.
              That's just 1 of many.

              google search
              line 6 mic interference



              • #8
                I think that anyone who thinks that there is a wireless product that is immune to interference will be disappointed eventually. There is a reason why professionals have more than one option available.

                We had a club in town a number of years ago using Shure systems that would suddenly stop working mid-show for no apparent reason. After a while, they figured it out............local PD was jamming the area because they were doing drug raids around the corner.

                You should also be aware of trouble reporting bias. The number of user problems tends to go down with the size of the item's price tag, and up with total volume sold.

                I would be surprised if anybody in here is going to be able to tell you what frequencies will be available in your venues. The answer from Sennheiser is the best IMO.

                BTW, pursuiant to Bill's post, the times I have needed additional wireless coverage I have rented ATW3000 series radios and really liked them. Also zero issues, except for idiots turning off the microphone and wondering why it doesn't work anymore.
                Do daemons dream of electric sleep()?


                • #9

                  Of course I agree with everything you said. As far as trouble reporting bias, while I read and listen to it, I am always very suspect of many user reviews, mostly because I don't think many users (not the real pros) truly know enough about their equipment to make any adjustments. Here in NYC, I see singers coming in with their wireless mics, hooking it into the PA, turning them on and they never do anything else. They don't scan on every job for the best channel, and they would be the reviewer online who posts that their system gets big interference. Many think it's like a toaster, just turn it on and it should work, and if it doesn't, pan it in a review.

                  That's why I ask a lot of questions. I have downloaded at least a half dozen owners/operator manuals so I can read how each of these work. I don't expect a trouble-free system, but less trouble would be nice.

                  I've always used wired mics, so this subject is very new to me, but right now I feel I have a good grasp to make a decision. I need to have a wireless mic for an event coming up in 3 weeks. I wouldn't even make such a big deal about it, but these days mics are not returnable (for hygiene reasons), I can't try out different ones so I have to make a solid choice.

                  Again, thanks for the followup.


                  • #10
                    As it turned out, I ended up buying a Sennheiser XSW65, in the A Band, which is in the mid 500MHz range. That fact that it has 960 tunable frequencies pushed it over the end for me. I didn't want to buy something that might have been $100-150 less to save some money only to find I have more problems finding some clear space, and their 965 capsule (although I haven't used it before) is very highly rated.

                    Sennheiser's tech support over the phone was extremely helpful in convincing me that the lesser XSW 1 might not be good enough for me in the New York City area.

                    Thank you Bill and wesg for your posts and responses.



                    • #11
                      The number of tuneable frequencies has nothing at all to do with available spectrum and useable channels within that spectrum.

                      I have a dozen Audio Technica 3000 and 5000 series systems that get fairly intensive use and have very, very few problems. I also have some of their new 2.4GHz systems (pro not lower end) and those work very well too.
                      Former product development engineer: Genz Benz, a KMC Music/FMIC/JAM Industries Company, continuing factory level product support and service for Genz Benz

                      Currently product development engineer: Mesa Boogie