How to Choose Between a Wired and Wireless Microphone: Musician’s Edition

One of the most common decisions facing musicians is the choice between a wired and wireless microphone. Owning a mic at all is a big step for a musician, and having to choose between a wired and wireless solution can be daunting.

While the simplicity of wired can be an advantage, a wireless microphone can benefit active performers. At the end of the day, though, personal preference should determine your choice.

Here are some factors to consider if you’re on the fence and not sure what you might prefer.

Context Is Key, Always

Do you like to move around a lot onstage?

Do you play an instrument that keeps you stationary, like drums or keys?

Are you comfortable with having multiple technology components to your microphone?

Are you lacking in grace, like me, and worried about tripping over mic cables?

These performance contexts are as important to consider as polar pattern, cost, dynamic vs. condenser, and other factors. The more you think about the physical part of stage performance, the closer you will get to choosing the solution that suits you.

The Microphone Cable: A Possible Burden

Do you just want eliminate the microphone cable? I ask because for some people, a Yes!response is reason enough to go wireless.

A wireless mic provides more freedom onstage as well as the ability to interact uniquely with the performance environment. If you’re an energetic performer who likes to move around the stage, the feeling of being unbound from a microphone cable can be freeing and exhilarating. On top of that, going wireless eliminates the fear of damaging or disconnecting a cable during a performance. (As someone who has been to his fair share of punk shows, I’ve seen many XLR cables bite the dust.)

6 Tips for Getting Better Audio for Video with VP83 and VP83F LensHopper™ Microphones

Over the past five years, DSLR cameras have become the preferred tool for quality video capture for a large portion of the AV market. Having the ability to create hi-def video with interchangeable lenses, whether for instant online publication or serious post-production, has allowed many pro, semi-pro, and enthusiastic amateur videographers to step up their game.

Only one thing is missing: sound quality.

Why Audio Matters in Video

There’s an old saying that all it takes to ruin a great video is bad audio. Unfortunately, camera companies are all about optics, and even the best DSLR cameras rely on tiny integrated microphones for sound. These suffer from a lack of directionality, high handling and wind noise, and a high noise floor. They are incapable of quality audio capture because they are essentially an afterthought. If you are shopping for a DSLR to shoot video, your best bet is to make sure you get one with an external audio input. This will open up your audio options considerably.

If you have a DSLR with an external microphone jack, then Shure has two superb solutions for you: the VP83 and VP83F LensHopper™ Camera-Mount Condenser Microphones.

These mics not only capture great audio, but also they do so with maximum ease and versatility. All you do is slide the mic assembly into your camera’s hot shoe, plug the integrated cable into the audio input of your camera (or other recording device), and you’ll be capturing sound with the same high definition as your video.