How Do Wireless Microphones Work?

by Laura Stuart

How Wireless Microphones Work

Wireless microphones work by sending signals between a transmitter inside the microphone and receiver on the output device. The wireless microphone can be built into a wireless headset, but it can also be a seperate piece, such as a clip on. The microphone has an antenna built into the frame that sends the signal from the wireless transmitter in the microphone to the wireless receiver on the other end through electromagnetic waves or digital pulses. The wireless receiver collects the wave frequency or digital codes of 1s and 0s to translate them for the output source.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The biggest advantage of wireless microphones is the increased range of mobility they give users. With a wireless microphone, a person can move without cables or boxes or bulky audio equipment. Wireless microphones usually are more expensive than other types, but the elevated price tag is usually overshadowed by the range of movement. Another slight disadvantage of wireless microphones is that they require batteries because they are not hooked into a power source like cable microphones. Most use 9-volt or AAA batteries.

Types

There are two main types of wireless microphones: UHF and VHF. Ultra high frequency microphones transmit at a range of 470 MHz and 806 MHz. The U.S. government has sectioned this part of the frequency spectrum specifically for the use of wireless transmitters. At almost eight times greater than the very high frequency spectrum, the waves transmitted by ultra high frequency transmitters in wireless microphones cut through static and interference. Very high frequency wireless microphones transmit a frequency between 49MHz and 216MHz. This frequency range is subdivided into a low band and high band range. The low band range transmits between 49 MHz and 108 MHz. The high band range transmits between 169 MHz and 216 MHz. VHF wireless microphones are less expensive than UHF microphones because they use the same frequency as cordless phones and walkie-talkies.

About the Author

Laura N. Stuart is a writer. She has served as a newspaper reporter, photographer, copy editor, feature reporter, editor, entertainment reporter and freelance writer for multiple community and regional publications. She holds a Bachelor of Mass Communications degree in journalism from Louisiana State University.