Anyone know anything about wireless microphones?

jhp64

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I'm looking for a wireless microphone system, probably the headset variety, for occasional use. My spouse and I give dance lessons every now and then, and so we would want one that can handle two headsets. I know nothing about these. Since we won't be using the system that frequently, I don't think we need the top-of-the-line. Any advice?
 

uncannymanny

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I’ve been out of the audio game for a while, but Shure, is always a good bet. Something like this: Shure SM31FH Wireless Fitness Headset Condenser Microphone
You’d need the rest of the gear too (body packs, receiver). If you go too much cheaper you’re just going to be frustrated or looking for another one before too long.
 

Boggs26

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The first question is what kind of audio system are you running these through? Do you teach your lessons in a studio with an installed sound system or do you need your own portable system - speakers, mixer, etc.? Shure and Sennheiser are my preferred brands for theatrical sound, but there are other decent brands that would likely work fine for what you're describing. What's your budget?
 

jhp64

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The first question is what kind of audio system are you running these through? Do you teach your lessons in a studio with an installed sound system or do you need your own portable system - speakers, mixer, etc.? Shure and Sennheiser are my preferred brands for theatrical sound, but there are other decent brands that would likely work fine for what you're describing. What's your budget?
I will be using it with an installed sound system. The typical situation is that there is a dance, either live music or a dj, and we do a short lesson at the start, so we would be plugging into the existing sound system. I'm a complete novice: this means I need two mikes and transmitters, plus one receiver (as uncannymanny said). Is that right?

My budget is unknown: since I'm a novice, I don't know how much I need to spend to get something usable. Can I get away with under $500?
 

jhp64

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I’ve been out of the audio game for a while, but Shure, is always a good bet. Something like this: Shure SM31FH Wireless Fitness Headset Condenser Microphone
You’d need the rest of the gear too (body packs, receiver). If you go too much cheaper you’re just going to be frustrated or looking for another one before too long.
Can I get an all-in-one system (mikes+body packs+receiver), or will I get a better deal, or better equipment, if I do it a la carte?
 

uncannymanny

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Can I get an all-in-one system (mikes+body packs+receiver), or will I get a better deal, or better equipment, if I do it a la carte?
That’s right. You’ll need 1x receiver, 2x transmitter, and 2x headset. Headset-transmitter is 1-1 and receiver-transmitter is 1-many.

The package for the one I posted is $329 (1x each): Shure BLX14/SM31 Headworn Wireless System with SM31FH Fitness Headset Microphone, J10
The extra transmitter goes for $139 and the headset for $99. That almost in your price range.

What you might do is look for well-cared for used ones, saving you that drive-off-the-lot cost. You could also probably walk into a Guitar Center and say “I want this and I can only spend $500. If you can do that right now, this will be your easiest sale all week.” I worked at GC ages ago and I loved these customers. I didn’t get the full margin on the sale, but the zero hassle made it free commission. Just don’t fall for the add on pitch (eg Monster Cables).

I’ll just re-caution about this kind of product. You almost always get what you pay for. That no name $80 set isn’t $329, but it will almost certainly be a complete waste of $80.

Btw, what kind of dance?
 
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Boggs26

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One note on this. Assuming you plan to both be speaking at the same time, you likely need 2 receivers. There are some units that contain 2 or 4 receivers in one package, but on the cheaper end it is usually 1 mic -> 1 transmitter -> 1 receiver. That appears to be the case with the Shure uncannymanny linked to as well.
 

Boggs26

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Based on that Shure line (which is probably a good quality/cost balance) you would need something like:

Blx88 receiver - $279.0
BLX1 transmitter - $139.00 (x2)
PGA31 microphone - $39.00 (x2)

For a total of about $635 at list price (if you dig around you might find it cheaper - you also might be able to save a couple bucks going with 2 separate receivers but it's more equipment to carry and set up)

That's about as low as you can really get for two wireless mics by any name brand.

If you're in MA, you could talk to a company like Parsons Audio in Worcester. You could also go through B&H Photo out of NY - that's who I use for quick turn around theatre equipment purchases. They aren't always the cheapest, but they tend to have everything in stock to ship quickly.
 

jhp64

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Btw, what kind of dance?
Swing, mostly.

If you're in MA, you could talk to a company like Parsons Audio in Worcester. You could also go through B&H Photo out of NY - that's who I use for quick turn around theatre equipment purchases. They aren't always the cheapest, but they tend to have everything in stock to ship quickly.
I'm in Seattle, so Worcester is not very convenient for me. Maybe B&H.

Thank you both for your suggestions.
 

uncannymanny

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One note on this. Assuming you plan to both be speaking at the same time, you likely need 2 receivers. There are some units that contain 2 or 4 receivers in one package, but on the cheaper end it is usually 1 mic -> 1 transmitter -> 1 receiver. That appears to be the case with the Shure uncannymanny linked to as well.
Good catch!
 

Boggs26

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Swing, mostly.



I'm in Seattle, so Worcester is not very convenient for me. Maybe B&H.

Thank you both for your suggestions.
If you're looking to talk to someone before ordering, ask some of the better DJs who they buy audio equipment through, or if there's a decent community or college theatre around all their technical director the same thing. B&H (as well as Guitar Center and the like) is great if you know what you want, but if you aren't sure exactly what you need it's nice to talk to a pro. Sometimes those other distributors have better deals too.