When you’re shopping for a new microphone, one of the most important factors to consider is the transmission range. But what does that mean, exactly? And how do you know which range is right for you?
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. In this post, we’ll explain everything you need to know about transmission range, including what it is, how it works, and which range is best for you.
What is a Transmission Range?
The transmission range is the shortest distance between any two nodes at which a signal from one node could travel without interruption and still have sufficient strength to correctly decode the information it carries.
A transmission range can also be defined as the maximum distance between a receiver and its transmitter. Because obstructions, metal, interference, antenna height, and orientation can all reduce this distance, it is also expressed as line of sight.
Simply put, line of sight denotes a distance where there are no obstructions separating two points in space. The transmission of a wireless microphone signal is greatly facilitated by having a clear line of sight between a transmitter and a receiver.
How is Transmission Range Measured?
The environment in which the transmission will happen is the most crucial factor behind a transmission.
For example, if you’re talking about a short-range transmission, like one that takes place inside a room, then you need to consider the walls and other obstacles that might get in the way. But if you’re looking at a long-range transmission, like one that takes place in the public, then you need to take into account things like crowds, tall buildings, and other terrain features.
So how is transmission range actually measured? There are two ways: Range Class and Range Factor.
Range Class is determined by the maximum distance the signal can travel before it starts to degrade. While the Range Factor is determined by the distance the signal can travel while still maintaining 95% of its original strength.
Range of a Wireless Microphone System
Most manufacturers of wireless microphone systems provide a “typical” range instead of giving an exact maximum operating distance. This is because the range of any given wireless mic used in a given application cannot be predicted with any degree of accuracy.
Therefore, the typical range of a microphone can be from 100 feet to 1,000 feet for wireless microphone systems.
While the higher frequency can be reached in the most ideal of circumstances, the lower frequency represents a moderately harsh environment. In extremely poor conditions, the range could be as low as 50 feet.
As a general rule, buy a wireless lav mic with a transmission range that is twice as far as the distance you think you will need it to be. Even if your operating space is only 300 square feet and has few obstacles, we’ve discovered that wireless mic systems with short transmission distances generally have interference issues.
Additionally, slight obstructions like pulpits, desks, doors, or sound booths typically interfere with the ability of short-range wireless systems to transmit well.
Microphones like the Hollyland Lark M1 with a very great wireless transmission range of 650ft (200m) are suitable for most users in different environments. With the Lark M1’s interference-free open space distances and its unique auto frequency hopping technology, you can easily produce professional audio with great quality.
Wireless Microphone Frequency Ranges
Let’s look at the different microphone transmission ranges used in the industry today.
- VHF Wireless
Without requiring a direct line of sight between the transmitter and receiver, VHF waveforms enable long-distance signal transmission. Audio can also easily pass through obstacles, corners, and walls. These systems are generally simple to use and cost-effective. Due to its limited frequency range and longer wavelengths, VHF has the disadvantage of being more susceptible to interference from electrical equipment.
- UHF Wireless
UHF wavelengths are much shorter than VHF wavelengths, allowing more continuous signals to pass close together without interference.
- 1.9GHz Wireless
Due to the small frequency range of 1.9 GHz, mics that do use this band typically only support point-to-point communication, which limits the signal’s path from one transmitter to one receiver.
- 2.4GHz Wireless
The 2.4GHz wireless range is widely recognized as the range over which Wi-Fi signals transmit. The 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands are almost universal for Wi-Fi routers.
Although 2.4GHz wireless microphone technology is still relatively new, entry-level and prosumer customers appear to use it the most. Many of these microphones are able to deliver audio signals of higher quality than VHF or UHF wireless microphone kits, like the Hollyland Lark M1 wireless microphone system, which typically transmits omnidirectional sounds.
- 5GHz Wireless
Because both 5GHz and 2.5GHz are used for Wi-Fi transmission, the 5GHz range is similar to the 2.4GHz range. However, because fewer networks are operating in the 5GHz band, microphone systems in this band are less prone to interference and crowding.
In comparison to 2.4GHz, one drawback of 5GHz is that it depends even more on line of sight for proper operation. Due to its short wavelengths, it reduces the maximum operating distance between the transmitter and receiver and the ability to overcome physical obstacles. As a result, 5GHz is less suitable for long-distance audio capture and more suitable for close-proximity interview situations.
When buying a new microphone, one of the most important things to consider is the transmission range.
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when shopping for a wireless mic with a long transmission range. First, you’ll want to make sure you know the transmission range. You’ll also want to consider the sound quality.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure the features fit your needs. Some microphones are designed for short transmission ranges, while others are built for recording in different places. One microphone with a high transmission range and sound quality is Hollyland Lark M1. With the Lark M1, you get a lightweight, affordable microphone with amazing sound quality that allows you to record in literally any environment.