Wireless Mics - A General Definition:
A wireless microphone is a microphone without a physical cable connecting it directly to the amplifying equipment.
A wireless microphone system allows the user’s voice to be transmitted “wirelessly” to its receiver, located in the sound system. The sound system amplifies the signal from the receiver and outputs it through the system’s speakers.
A wireless mic system consists of three main components that operate together as a low powered, individual radio station.
1. The Microphone:
The microphone is the piece of equipment that Fitness Instructors speak into. Although the first wireless mic systems were designed with handheld mics, nearly all Fitness Instructors prefer the hands-free freedom a headset mic allows. The mic connects to the transmitter.
2. The Transmitter:
Wireless mic systems used for fitness originally all utilised bodypack transmitters. The headset mic connects to a bodypack transmitter via a short cable. In the early 2000s, Samson Technologies designed the first “transmitter on the headset” wireless mic, the Airline 77. Both types of transmitters – bodypack and transmitter-on-headset are widely used for group exercise instruction today and are available from many manufacturers. Fitness Audio supplies both types of microphone transmitter.
The transmitter converts the audio from the microphone to radio waves and transmits them to the receiver.
3. The Receiver:
The receiver receives the radio transmission from the transmitter and converts it back to an audio signal so it can be amplified by the sound system. The receiver is typically located in the sound system or near enough to it to be connected by a short audio cable.
Q: Is a wireless mic system all I need for my class to hear me?
A: Wireless mic systems make no sound on their own. They must be connected to a sound system. Note: some ‘all-in-one’ portable sound systems have a wireless receiver built-in, so this connection is already made. You need a compatible headset and transmitter and you are good to go do your class.
Q: Is a headset mic all I need for my class to hear me?
A: Headset mics make no sound on their own. They are the first component in a wireless mic system. You need a complete wireless mic system connected to a sound system for your class to hear you.
Q: Will a Shure (for example) transmitter work with an Audio-Technica (for example) receiver?
- Different brands of wireless audio equipment are not compatible with each other due to the specific radio frequencies and methods of transmission each manufacturer uses.
- Generally speaking, a transmitter only works with the specific receiver it was designed to work with. Even if both pieces are from the same manufacturer, they need to be the same model and operate on the same frequency or frequency range.
- Fitness Audio is always available to help you figure out whether wireless components are compatible or let you know what components you need to make them work.
Q: Will an Audio-Technica (for example) headset mic work with a Shure (for example) body-pack transmitter?
A. Headset mics don’t transmit anything and aren’t frequency dependent. The bodypack transmitter and receiver are the “radio” components in the wireless system. The headset is simply the mic. In theory, any headset mic should work with any bodypack transmitter. However, each wireless manufacturer uses a different type of connector for their headsets and bodypacks. This makes them generally not interchangeable. For example, Shure uses a 4-pin connector configured in a 'Y' shape. Audio-Technica uses a 4-pin connector configured in a square shape. You can’t physically plug a Shure headset into an Audio-Technica bodypack.
A standard manufacturer’s headset can be re-terminated with a connector to match the transmitter you wish to plug into, but this is generally not cost-effective, and is sometimes technically-impossible. It’s usually best to simply get a headset that has the connector that matches your transmitter, or vice versa.
Fitness-Rated Headset Microphones
Fitness Audio are the experts in fitness-rated sound equipment, including wireless microphones. Our mics are designed specifically for Fitness Instructors. Most standard headset mics that come with a wireless mic system simply are not.
EMics and Aeromics are offered with different connectors for all major transmitter bodypacks. If you switch wireless systems to a different manufacturer and connector type down the road, we can change the connector on your EMic or Aeromic so it will work with your new system.
For more information, contact the Fitness Audio team today!