In the crowded and shrinking wireless spectrum, manufacturers are looking for any opportunity to provide customers with options. Recently, following some leadership from Line 6, there has been a lot of migration to 2.4 GHz, home to WiFi and Bluetooth. There is limited range, fewer channels, and total dependence on line of sight, but at the same time systems are pretty much plug-and-play, it works around the world, and quality has increased.
While 2.4 GHz systems will not be found on major tours, they have caught on with touring regional bands, and they have found a home in House of Worship, corporate and event markets as well. Here, then, are a few recent offerings.
AKG’s DMSTetrad digital wireless microphone system offers uncompressed audio transmission, superior RF performance and 128-bit AES standard encryption. The system features an integrated 4-channel mixer and an antenna front-mount kit. With 24-bit/48kHz audio coding, it provides uncompressed studio-quality transmission and a linear frequency response. Other features include the DSRTetrad Digital Stationary Receiver, the DPTTetrad Digital Pocket Transmitter and the DHTTetrad Digital Handheld Transmitter, available with AKG’s patented D5 acoustics or as DHTTetrad P5 with standard dynamic capsule. Two sets are available: the DMSTetrad Vocal Set, including the DHTTetrad P5, and the DMSTetrad Performer Set, including the DPTTetrad together with a C111 L earhook microphone and the MKG L instrument cable. The DSRTetrad receiver can work with up to four channels of audio in parallel which can be mixed down directly to its balanced XLR sum output. The dynamic frequency selection ensures that only the cleanest frequency bands are selected for the connection between receivers and transmitters automatically.
System 10 operates at 24-bit/48kHz and is designed for applications including houses of worship, live performance and corporate presentations. Frequency Diversity sends the signal on two dynamically allocated frequencies, Time Diversity sends the signal in multiple time slots, and Space Diversity uses two antennas on each transmitter and receiver to maximize signal integrity. Up to eight channels may be used together without any frequency coordination problems or group selection issues. System 10 receivers and transmitters offer an easy-to-read digital ID display. The single-channel System 10 includes the ATW-R1100 single-channel receiver and either a bodypack transmitter or handheld microphone/transmitter. The ATW-R1100 is a diversity digital receiver offering volume control along with AF Peak and Pair indicator lights. Multiple system configurations are available, with handheld vocal microphone/transmitters and UniPak body-pack transmitters designed for use with lavalier, headworn and instrument microphones as well as electric guitars.
Behringer offers several 2.4GHz wireless systems in the form of its ULM Series. The Ultralink ULM100USB 2.4GHz digital wireless microphone system comprises a dynamic handheld microphone with a microphone capsule for dedicated vocal applications, and USB receiver. The ULM’s receiver dongle is powered via a dual mode analog/USB digital audio interface with automatic sensing and can be connected directly to Behringer UFX, QX and Q Series “wireless ready” mixers, plus similarly equipped EuroLive active loudspeakers.
ClearCom states that its Tempest wireless systems feature Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum technology that does not compete with signals from other 2.4GHz wireless devices, minimizing frequency coordination. Further, with state-of-the-art Redundant Data Transmit (2xTX), which sends each packet of audio data twice on different frequencies, the system promises uninterrupted audio communications. Operating in the 2.4GHz band, Tempest2400 is available in 2- or 4-channel systems for indoor, outdoor and touring applications. The 2-channel Tempest2400 MasterBelt (CB-222) is designed for mobile production and offers advanced features, reliability and robustness of the Tempest2400 rackmount BaseStation. Embedded in the MasterBelt are the RF technologies available in the Tempest2400 family. Tempest2400 offers multiple modes of operations, with each mode providing varying level of communication flexibility and user capacity.
Line 6 XD-V Series
This series of digital wireless handheld, lavalier, headset and bodypack microphone systems (XD-V75, XD-V55 and XD-V35) feature sophisticated microphone modeling technology, promising to deliver the sound of the world’s most popular wired mics. With 24-bit/10–20 kHz, compander-free performance, XD-V series digital wireless systems provide full-range audio clarity and license-free operation worldwide. The products include signal encryption, dynamic filters, gain control, channel scanning and more to handle complex applications. System components include the XD-V75 handheld or lavalier transmitter; XD-V75HS headset; XD-V75TR bodypack; XD-V35 handheld; XD-V35L lavalier; Relay V75-SC 14-channel digital wireless handheld transmitter; and Line 6 V75-40V live microphone.
In January, RØDE Microphones in Sydney, Australia, announced the RØDELink Digital Wireless System. RØDELink uses a next-generation 2.4GHz, 128-bit encrypted digital transmission sent on two channels simultaneously, providing a 24-bit/44.1k digital audio signal at a range of up to more than 100 yards. The RØDELink system comprises a number of receiver and transmitter options, and will be available in kits for specific audio solutions across film, newsgathering, presentation and stage use. The first system to be released, the Filmmaker Kit, comprises a beltpack transmitter, on-camera or beltpack receiver, and RØDE’s broadcast quality Lavalier microphone. Using a series II 2.4GHz encrypted digital transmission that is sent on two channels simultaneously, RØDELink automatically selects the strongest signal and ensures your audio is as reliable and secure as a cabled connection.
Samson’s Stage XPD1 Handheld USB Digital Wireless System comprises a wireless receiver built into a USB stick and the HXD1 handheld dynamic microphone transmitter. The Stage XPD1 Handheld offers more than 100 feet of wireless range (depending on the environment in which it is used), operating in the license-free 2.4GHz frequency band. The RXD1 Wireless Receiver is USB powered and features plug-and-play operation with no driver installation required; simply connect the RXD1 directly to a computer via USB. It’s also compatible with iPads and iPhones (4S and later) using Apple’s Lightning USB Camera Adapter or Camera Connection Kit (30-pin). The Stage XPD1 Handheld can also be paired with Samson’s battery-powered Expedition XP106 P.A. system, as well as the larger Expedition XP1000 P.A. system.
Sennheiser’s evolution wireless D1 is a range of digital wireless microphone systems, offering solutions for vocals or for instruments. For multiple systems, receivers will synchronize themselves to accommodate up to 15 channels in an ideal RF environment. Transmitters and receivers automatically pair and select suitable transmission frequencies, while multiple D1 systems can automatically coordinate themselves. To allow co existence with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and other 2.4 GHz systems, the D1 receiver continually scans the RF environment and hop to another frequency if it detects any interference. Two channels are always available: the audio transmission channel and a redundant back-up channel, thus providing frequency and time diversity. Transmission reliability is further increased by fast-switching antenna diversity. evolution wireless D1 employs the aptX Live codec, and overall latency is said to be 3.9 milliseconds.
The Shure GLX-D Digital Wireless Systems offer LINKFREQ Automatic Frequency Management. GLX-D analyzes the RF spectrum, determines the best available frequencies, and automatically deploys frequencies to the transmitter and receiver. Additionally, in the presence of RF interference, the GLX-D receiver and transmitter will seamlessly move together to clean frequencies with no audio signal interruption. GLX-D Digital Wireless Systems offer an operating range of up to 100 feet indoors and up to 65 feet outdoors, and come in traditional bodypack and handheld configurations, including vocal, headset, and presenter systems, as well as a pedal-mounted guitar option. The durable Guitar Pedal Receiver features an integrated tuner and easily integrates into any pedal board. Each GLX-D transmitter is powered by a custom intelligent lithium-ion battery for up to 16 hours of continuous use at full charge.
Sony’s DWZ Series 2.4 GHz digital wireless systems provide 24-bit linear PCM digital audio and AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) 128-bit encryption. Packages include the DWZB30GB and DWZB30GB Digital Wireless Guitar Sets; DWZB50I Digital Wireless Instrument Set; DWZB70HL Digital Wireless Headset & Lavalier Set; DWZM50 Digital Wireless Vocal Set; and DWZM70 Digital Wireless Vocal/Speech Set. Using a space diversity reception system, the DWZ Series achieves stable transmission by drawing upon dual-antenna inputs/reception circuits. These units receive signal over two different paths and automatically select the stronger RF signal for output. Each DWZ series system receiver includes an XLR balanced output and two ¼-inch unbalanced outputs that can be used to output audio to three destinations at once.