Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Sound › UHF vs VHF for wireless Lav system – opinions? › I’ve used both UHF & V
I’ve used both UHF & VHF wireless mics. I have used two Azden VHF wireless mics for the past couple of years and encountered no problems. But I live in Des Moines IA and I know it’s an area with fewer signals to cause interference. So my inexpensive wireless mics are able to work just fine with only two radio channels available. I used to do a lot of production work in the Minneapolis MN area and I’m pretty sure two VHF channels would be inadequate. Up there, we sometimes encountered problems even with our ten channel UHF systems.
So the moral of my story is that you need to assess your area. In low population areas, there is likely to be plenty of space in the VHF or UHF bands. But in populated areas, you’ll want to have as many channels available as possible. The main reason UHF systems are preferred by pros is the simple fact that UHF has a great many more channels available to begin with, so the likelyhood of finding a vacant channel is also much greater. (And if I recall the physics correctly, it takes less power to increase the strength of UHF signals. But I could have it switched around.) So you’ll generally find better electronics in the UHF systems, although they generally cost more.
And as a quick note, my Adzen wireless mics’ transmitters have a 1/4″ mono input. They came with both a corded handheld & lav mic so I could select what I wanted to use. So incidentally, I could use a mic cable to connect them directly to my camcorder.
And while I hear a lot about how the XLR connection is more professional, I’ve found that for the vast majority of prosumer uses, the advantages of the vastly more expensive XLR audio connections are totally irrelevant (i.e. a waste of money.) Since that’s not the topic here, I won’t bore you with the facts. I’ll just close by saying that the choice of UHF or VHF depends upon how many channels you can use (and to a lesser extent the local population density.) I would choose the cheaper 10 channel VHF system over a 5 channel UHF system. (Although it’s been years since I’ve seen such a low channel UHF system.)
Good luck with you choices! Just try to avoid making an uniformed decision.