Need Advice for Purchasing Wireless Mics

SchalkHolloway's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/14/2017 - 6:48am

Hello everyone, small disclaimer, I thought I did post this content succesfully only to find it not there. Apologies if I'm posting twice. If the option is available keep this one, it's better constructed than the previous one.

We are starting a small filming venture. We are purchasing two Canon XA-30s, these have two XLR audio inputs. We would like to buy two wireless microphones that we can use with the setup but I have no idea what to base the purchases on. I've done some research but I'm not confident I understand what I need to yet.

Here are some questions I need help with. Would really appreciate it.
1. Can I buy only one receiver and two transmitters?
2. Are there transmitters that can run differwnt mics? Probably going to use lavs to start but would like the option of something else.
3. Someone said I need to get a receiver with a straight XLR jack and not to use a converter as this can cause problems. I don't understand what the problem might be and how valid this is.
4. I don't want to buy low quality, but it's a new venture so I don't want to overspend. Which good quality brand has an entry level range that can provide what we need in relation to the questions above?
5. What would I then physically buy? What would the mic setup look like?

Thank you in advance - really do appreciate it.


SchalkHolloway's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/14/2017 - 6:48am

Not sure what to post here.


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SchalkHolloway's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/14/2017 - 6:48am

Ok great. Thank you for the feedback.


Ed Merritt's picture
Last seen: 2 weeks 5 days ago
Joined: 07/03/2012 - 2:02am
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Audio, especially wireless audio, is one place not to skimp. We all have budgets but cheap audio produces noise and is generally unreliable.

You didn't mention if you need battery powered wireless or electric powered. Battery powered receivers are great for ENG or remote work, while electric good for studio or event work where your camera is more likely to be stationary.

In the battery powered line, Sennheiser is a favorite of many production companies. https://bhpho.to/2vZWsCK
For electric powered units that are supremely quiet, I own a Shure system https://bhpho.to/2f1BBbh. Shure's GLX-D system transmit a digital signal. The first time I used these, I was stunned how quiet they are.

Visit B&H Photo/Video https://bhpho.to/2bSpnjA They have a great website with lots of detail.


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paulears's picture
Last seen: 2 days 9 hours ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

To address your specific questions
Here are some questions I need help with. Would really appreciate it.
1. Can I buy only one receiver and two transmitters?
No - one transmitter on one frequency. You can have multiple receivers, but NEVER two transmitters sharing a frequency.

2. Are there transmitters that can run differwnt mics?
All the belt packs with a mic connector can have different mics attached - perfectly normal and common. The only issue being the different connectors, and the fact that a few do NOT provide the powering voltage condenser mics require.

3. Someone said I need to get a receiver with a straight XLR jack and not to use a converter as this can cause problems.
Connectors and converters really go together. The only technical issues are to do with the output being balanced or unbalanced. Balanced is best, and can be 'un-balanced' if required. In general the issue only impacts if you have a camera with an unbalanced jack input and the receiver has a balanced output. If you have this scenario, then a custom made cable, the right length, and wired correctly is the cure.

4. I don't want to buy low quality, but it's a new venture so I don't want to overspend. Which good quality brand has an entry level range that can provide what we need in relation to the questions above?
Shure and Sennheiser have products at the common end of the spectrum through to very expensive. Personally I'd avoid cheaper brands as what they need to cut out to get the price is often critical.
Remember that a £1000 radio mic system is nearly as good as a £10 cable. Radio systems need careful treatment, management and looking after, or they let you down. Decent ones do it less often. Cheap ones are simply horrible.

5. What would I then physically buy? What would the mic setup look like?
The video option usually consists of a battery powered radio transmitter pack, a cheapish mic (that can be ok, but improved on when you have funds) and then a battery powered receiver for a camera. Options are the kind of plug on pack you see in the F1 pit lane - where a handheld mic is converted to radio with a little square unit on the bottom. There are far more systems with main powered receivers than battery. Look at the Shure, Sennheiser, Audio Technical, Sony and Lectrosonics websites for more information. Cheaper brands like Line 6, JTS and others do make useful products - usually as good sounding, but a little less er, robust!


SchalkHolloway's picture
Last seen: 1 month 2 weeks ago
Joined: 09/14/2017 - 6:48am

Wow Paul! Thank you so much for the detailed answer. This is exactly what I've needed. Have a super week!