You would think that buying a Wireless Microphone is easy right?
A few weeks ago, I had some challenges trying to buy a Wireless Microphone and work out the correct range.
It was really confusing.
It’s easy to buy a wireless microphone, but if you want it to work correctly in your area then that’s a different story.
This is my understanding of how these frequencies work, and the purpose of this article is to help other DJ’s identify the type of frequency they need when buying a Wireless Microphone.
So back in January 2015, the ACMA said that wireless microphones must not be used in the 694 – 820 MHz frequency range. The main alternative frequency ranges will be 520 – 694 MHz and 1790 – 1800 MHz, with some other frequencies also available.
To keep things simple, Microphones operate on different frequencies. Most common microphones that you buy are either;
1) MHz range
2) Ghz range.
The MHZ range are most Wireless Microphones you buy off the shelf, and there are different types of ranges. Much like the different freqencies on the radio FM, AM, etc.
So you will see it say what frequencies it uses on the box like 694Mhz, 820Mhz, 1790Mhz etc.
The Ghz range, are like routers, and Wifi Devices, they operate on 2.4Ghz frequency.
There are PRO’s and CON’s to the Mhz range and Ghz range. I personally myself use both depending on the application, and the type of setup I use. I find personally that the Mhz range is more reliable, where as the Ghz range does seem to occasionally get interference from other devices such as Wireless Routers, Mobile Phones, etc because they also run on the Ghz frequency.
A good article to read about Mhz VS Ghz is here: https://www.rfvenue.com/blog/2015/01/27/what-you-need-to-know-about-2-4-ghz-wireless-microphones
So what frequency do I buy for my Wireless Microphone?
So, if you buy a Microphone that operates in the Mhz range, you need to make sure that the frequency it uses/operates in is not going to be a problem in your area.
To do this, go here: https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/channel-finder
Using this map, it will tell you what frequencies your Wireless Microphone can operate in that area.
So for example, I travel to the Sunshine Coast, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Brisbane, and other areas. So i’ll pick a few venues using this map and enter in the address of the venue to work out if my Wireless Microphone that i want to buy will work using the frequency it uses.
So i’ll use Maleny Manor as an example, it’s address is: 894 Landsborough Maleny Rd, Maleny
So now that we have entered an address it will come back and tell you what frequencies are available.
You can see below it says that an available frequency is 520-526Mhz.
It’s a good idea to also check other areas & locations to make sure that that frequency is the same at other areas as well. So put in some other addresses and check what frequency is safe to use in that area too.
Once you’ve found the right frequency – now you need to check the wireless microphone your buying will match that frequency.
So let’s look at an example of one online that I bought recently.
So there you go. Now you understand a bit more about Wireless Microphone frequencies and how to find the right frequency in your area.
Of course, if your still not sure and need help, ask your local Audio/DJ/Shop that your buying it from and they can help you.
Quick Disclaimer: I dont claim to be an audio professional, or expert on this subject. I simply used the information provided to me by other professionals and people in the industry to solve a problem that I couldn’t work out, so this information is like any advice, general advice and you should do your own research before acting on any decision.
This post was contributed by Bradley Kjeldsen. Brad is an Accredited Member of the Alliance who currently serves on the DJAA Committee, is based in Brisbane, Queensland and runs DJ BRAD servicing Brisbane & QLD areas and beyond.