The Best Wireless Mics For Church

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Finding the best wireless mics for a church can be daunting, especially for pastors or leaders who are not musicians or sound technicians. Knowing which one will sound the best in houses of worship, work without embarrassing CB chatter, pops and hiss, and all the other problems that come with wireless systems can be a bit overwhelming.

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Hopefully, once you read this article, you will better grasp which wireless microphone system you need to get for your church or organization and which one will be most straightforward to use for your volunteers running the sound system.

Table Of Contents
  1. Sennheiser Vs. Shure
  2. Quick List Of The Best Wireless Mics For Church
  3. Types Of Wireless Microphone Systems
  4. Wireless Microphone Components
  5. Questions To Ask Yourself When Buying The Best Wireless Mics For Church
  6. The Best Wireless Microphones For Church
  7. Final Recommendations
best wireless mics for church featured image

Sennheiser Vs. Shure

In the early 1950s, the Shure Brothers developed the first wireless microphone system for performers. It was called the Vagabond. It had an insufficient signal distance of about 15 feet.

In 1957, a German company called Lab W, later to become Sennheiser, created a wireless system that could transmit 300 feet.

When I first started performing professionally in the 1980’s conventional wisdom was that Shure was the rugged workhorse in the music industry and Sennheiser was the choice of the elites. Sennheiser mics were high-end but not as durable.

However, as Sennheiser has delved into the medium and lower-end price points, the differences between the two are not as pronounced as they once were. If you go onto the different musician forums, you will see that the opinions about Sennheiser vs. Shure are as abundant as armpits.

The bottom line is that both Sennheiser and Shure will do an excellent job for your church. However, if you want to stay out of trouble with the musicians in your church, ask them which they prefer.

I will only recommend Sennheiser or Shure wireless mic systems for your church. There are other “cheaper” alternatives, but honestly, you don’t want to “out cheap” yourself in this area.

Nothing is more embarrassing than making a point about God communicating with His people, and suddenly you hear “Breaker breaker one nine. Can you give me the 20 on the Walmart distribution center?”

Quick List Of The Best Wireless Mics For Church

shure blx288 pg58 dual channel wireless handheld microphone system
Shure BLX288/PG58 Dual Channel Wireless Handheld Microphone System

Dual Mic System

shure blx14 pga31 wireless headworn microphone system
Shure BLX14/PGA31 Wireless Headworn Microphone System

Best Wireless Headset Mic For The Money

shure blx24 pg58 wireless handheld microphone system
Shure BLX24/PG58 Wireless Handheld Microphone System

Best Wireless Handheld For The Money

sennheiser ew 100 g4 835 s wireless handheld microphone system
Sennheiser EW 100 G4-835-S Wireless Handheld Microphone System

Best Overall Wireless Mic For Church

shure blx14r mx53
Shure BLX14R/MX53 Wireless Headworn Microphone System

Best Overall Wireless Headset Mic

Types Of Wireless Microphone Systems

VHF Vs. UHF Wireless Mic Systems

Almost every type of wireless microphone system operates using one of two frequencies. VHF (Very high frequency) or UHF (Ultra high frequency)

Remember the days of broadcast TV before cable? You had channels 2-13. Those were VHF. Channels 14-99 were UHF.

Historically, UHF transmitters were the higher price point transmitters, and the VHF was the lower end. They had a longer transmission distance and less TV interference. However, there are some caveats today about this advantage.

As our media technology is changing, so is how we transmit signals. UHF frequencies are being designated for public safety channels and digital television transmission. As a result, the UHF band is becoming more crowded.

Also, the higher end of the UHF spectrum (above 900Mhz) is used for garage door openers, Cordless telephones, and ham radios. This can cause much interference with your wireless mic system. However, there are some solutions to this interference which I will discuss when I go over essential features.

Analog Vs. Digital Wireless Mic Systems

Image of a boy screaming into a microphone

Most wireless analog systems use a process called “companding.” Companding (occasionally called compansion) mitigates the detrimental effects of a channel with a limited dynamic range. The name is a combination of the words compressing and expanding.

They compress the signal when transmitting from the microphone and then expand it back to the original signal at the receiver. Another circuitry is used to filter out the noise in the signal. This is why mixing and matching components from different manufacturers and possibly even the same manufacturer but older or different systems is not recommended.

Digital wireless microphone systems convert the audio signal picked up by the microphone into a digital bitstream in the transmitter and send that digital signal to the receiver. The receiver then converts that bitstream into an audio signal.

The main benefit of going digital is that it eliminates the need for companding and filtering out interference. The only thing the receiver is picking up is digital ones and zeros. I do not believe you will notice any difference in sound quality.

Wireless Microphone Components

Every wireless mic system has two components. They are the transmitter and receiver. What varies is the type of microphone you are using.

Handheld Microphone Transmitters

All handheld microphones have a transmitter built into the microphone. As with all microphones, you can also vary the type of microphone. You can have dynamic mics, condenser mics, unidirectional, omnidirectional, and so on.

There are even transmitters now that will attach to the end of a regular xlr microphone and convert that microphone into a wireless mic.

Bodypack Wireless Transmitters

These wireless transmitters clip onto your clothing or guitar strap or can even be put into your pants pocket or inner suit jacket pocket. They can be used with lav mics (lavalier, lapel) or instrument mics.

Lav Mics

Lavalier microphones are also called lapel mics. They will clip to your clothing. Many pastors and public speakers use this type of mic and TV personalities on news stations.

Headset Mics

Headset mics are typically used for vocals. Most musicians, lead singers, and worship leaders use these mics. More and more pastors are also using these mics since they give better audio quality than a lapel mic.

Wireless Handheld Vocal Mics

A wireless handheld vocal mic is exactly what it sounds like. Just like your normal handheld microphone, this microphone is designed for vocals. Primarily singing, but it can also be used for preaching or speaking.

Wireless Instrument Mics

There are also clip-on instrument mics that work the same way and instrument jack bodypacks that will plug into an electric guitar or bass guitar.

These are becoming the favorite of worship bands across the globe because of the freedom they bring.

Important Wireless Receiver Functions

A wireless microphone system aims to give you the same audio quality as a wired system but gain the freedom of not being attached to the wire. You also want it to be easy for your volunteers to use.

So you want to pay attention to…

  • Its dynamic range (the range between the lowest frequencies it gives your soundboard to the highest.
  • The distance that it operates without losing the signal.
  • Its ability to filter out interference and keep a steady signal.

With those things in mind, you will want to look at these features.

Diversity Circuitry

You want your receiver to switch signals without dropping the sound. You want it to have the ability to be “diverse.” One easy way to tell if a receiver has diverse circuitry is whether or not it has two antennas. This is not a hard and fast rule, so make sure it has two radio receiver modules.

What happens with diverse circuitry is that the receiver is always checking to see which signal is most potent. It switches between the radio receiver module that has the most signal.

Now, if you are going to use your system in one place, like a church or meeting hall, then this is not nearly as important as if you are going to be mobile with your wireless mic system. When you can’t control where objects are located, that might block the signal; this is important.

Frequency Agility

If you are going to use your wireless system in a city or town of any size, then this is important. You need to be able to choose a frequency that is not being used for other things.

The same is true if you are using multiple wireless microphones. You need to be able to choose different frequencies for each microphone.

Does this become unnecessary if you use your system in a rural country church or grange hall and use only one wireless microphone?

Displays

To make it easy for your volunteers, look at your wireless mic receiver’s displays. It should show the signal strength, the frequency channel used, and, if possible, the battery strength. (Not all lower-end mic systems have this ability)

It should be well-lit and easy to read. It should be big enough so that your sound crew can view it and get the information they need at a glance.

Questions To Ask Yourself When Buying The Best Wireless Mics For Church

Where Will Your Wireless Mics And Receivers Be Positioned?

Before you buy your wireless mics, look and see where they will be positioned. Are there obstacles like pillars, walls, or other equipment that will block the line of sight between your mics and your receivers? If so, then you need something with diverse circuitry.

Where Do You Plan To Use Your System?

For some, this might seem like a no-brainer, but not all churches are created equal nor will everyone be using the system exclusively for a church setting. Some churches are still in the planting stage and set up and tear down each Sunday at a rented facility. They need an easy setup. You never know whether or not you will be at that facility long-term or if you will move more than once before having a permanent location.

So you need to ask yourself if you will use this in one location only. If so, then your needs are simple. You need a system that can choose various frequency channels so you don’t get interference from the local TV stations. You may also consider a rack-mountable system. That way, it will take less room if it is rack-mount capable.

If you need to adapt because you may move locations, then you need a frequency agile system.

How Many Wireless Microphones Are You Going To Use?

If your answer is one, then you don’t need to worry about being able to receive more than one channel. If you plan on using more than one, you need something that accepts multiple signals from different microphones. You may want to consider a system that has automatic frequency matching.

Again I would encourage you to think about the future. You may only use one now, but can you see yourself switching to an all-wireless system in the future? That would be nice, and it is something that I am looking towards in our future as I see the day of wired systems slowly waning.

The Best Wireless Microphones For Church

Shure BLX288/PG58 Dual Channel Wireless System

shure blx288 pg58 dual channel wireless handheld microphone system
Shure BLX288/PG58 Dual Channel Wireless Handheld Microphone System

Dual Mic System

Shure is a well-known brand in the wireless microphone market. They are known for their quality and reliability.

The system includes a Shure BLX288 dual-channel wireless transmitter and two PG58 microphones. The BLX288 system has a BLX88 receiver and two BLX2 transmitters.

The receiver is a tabletop design, and it can fit into any space that you have.

These microphones can be used for singing and speaking on stage. The microphones operate at a distance of 300 feet (90m) and will only work if there is no obstruction, such as a wall or other large obstacles.

The microphones run on 2xAA batteries and can last up to 14 hours. The microphones have an LED indicator to indicate when the battery is almost empty. This activates once there’s been one hour of work so that you can change them at your convenience.

Shure BLX14 Headset Systems

shure blx14 pga31 wireless headworn microphone system
Shure BLX14/PGA31 Wireless Headworn Microphone System

Best Wireless Headset Mic For The Money

Headset microphones are very useful when you don’t have the time to use your hands. The Shure BLX14 microphone is a great choice, offering excellent quality at a very affordable price.

It contains a BLX1 transmitter and a receiver, which are great and easy to use.

Shure PGA31 wireless cardioid microphone headset microphone. It is ideal for singing and spoken word. The line-of-sight range is 300ft (90m), with obstacles as low as 100ft (30m). With 2xAA batteries, the battery lasts around 14 hours.

Single Shure Mic – Shure BLX24 Handheld Wireless Systems With PG58 Capsule

shure blx24 pg58 wireless handheld microphone system
Shure BLX24/PG58 Wireless Handheld Microphone System

Best Wireless Handheld For The Money

Shure BLX24 combines a BLX4 receiver with a BLX2 transmitter and a single PG58 capsule.

The transmitter has a 10dB pad, an ergonomic push-button switch, and a bi-color LED indicator. It allows you to control the mic easily.

The receiver supports 12 channels and operates on a frequency of 524-865MHz.

They are comparable to Shure’s previous models in terms of battery life and range.

Single Sennheiser – Sennheiser EW 100 G4-835-S

sennheiser ew 100 g4 835 s wireless handheld microphone system
Sennheiser EW 100 G4-835-S Wireless Handheld Microphone System

Best Overall Wireless Mic For Church

Sennheiser is another well-known name in the microphone industry. This set includes the EM 100 G4 receiver, which offers 1.680 tunable frequencies on UHF frequencies. It will always give you a clear reception.

Despite only having one microphone and one transmitter, this set can be expanded to include up to 12 transmitters.

It has a working range of 330ft (100m), and its batteries have a life span of around 8 hours when used.

Headworn Microphone System Shure BLX14R/MX53 Wireless Headworn Mikrophone System

shure blx14r mx53
Shure BLX14R/MX53 Wireless Headworn Microphone System

Best Overall Wireless Headset Mic

This list is completed with another Shure headset. It contains a BLX4R receiver and BLX1 transmitter, and an MX153 microphone.

This microphone is discreet and omnidirectional. This microphone is discreet and can be worn when the public doesn’t want it.

Final Recommendations

best wireless mics for church image

Both of these companies have great products. It all depends on whether your musicians and sound technicians choose to go with Sennheiser or Shure. I believe spending the extra hundred dollars or so to get the Sennheiser is advisable unless you are on a tight budget. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Well, there you have it. I am not an expert, but I am experienced. I hope I have been able to give you an easy-to-understand guide to buying the best wireless mics for church. Let me know what you choose. I want to see that I am helping people.

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