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best wireless microphone systems over 500

Best wireless microphone systems over $500

There’s no disputing the advantages that wireless microphone systems offer. They give you freedom to move around the stage and not worry about long runs of cabling. These are just a few of the true benefits of the technology.

We’ve run down some of our favorite wireless systems under the $500 price range. But you might have a little more spend to work with and be looking for something over that threshold. These include features like swappable capsules, hand-held condensers, and systems that can be compounded for large setups.

Best wireless microphone system over $500 overall: Shure GLX-D with BETA 87A

Shure GLX-D with BETA 87A
Best wireless microphone system over $500 overall
Shure GLX-D with BETA 87A
This handheld condenser offers less proximity effect, a pleasant boost in the upper midrange, and automatic frequency detection. It also comes in a SM58 version.
Pros
Cardioid handheld condenser
Less proximity effect than other models
Frequency response with peaks in upper mids
Automatically detects frequencies
Cons
None

Shure’s GLX series is a great line of wireless microphone systems that come in multiple models. This version comes with the BETA 87A capsule, a cardioid condenser microphone that provides the clarity and articulation of a standard condenser in a convenient wireless setup.

This type of mic design has a lot of benefits. Proximity effect is alot less pronounced than with standard dynamics, and mic technique plays more into getting a great sound out of it. The frequency response has some peaks in the upper mid range, letting the signal to cut through with minimal EQ. 

It’s got good battery life, running at around 16 hours on a full charge of Shure’s proprietary lithium rechargeable batteries. A real-time display lets you see the battery life within 15 minutes either way.

The mic is light and easy to perform with, but that’s not the best feature. The Automatic Frequency Management identifies open channels, taking the guesswork out of setting it up. XLR and TRS output connections add versatility, and it’s compatible with up to eight other Shure systems. If you’re not a fan of the Beta 87A sound, the GLX-D system offers a unit with the SM58.

Best wireless microphone system with swappable capsules over $500: Sennheiser EW 500 AW+

Sennheiser EW 500
Best wireless microphone system with swappable capsules over $500
Sennheiser EW 500 AW+
The EW 500 AW+ features swappable capsules, can stack with multiple systems, and offers control software for fine-tuning.
Pros
Capsules can be swapped for different sounds
Can stack systems up to 32 channels
Cons
Not rackmountable

The EW 500 is relied on by professionals all over the world. It stands out among alternatives due to the swappable capsules. This gives you the options to turn it into an e935, e945, or e965.

It offers up to 88MHz in bandwidth across a maximum of 32 channels. And if you’re using it in a multi-channel configuration the Wireless Systems Manager controller software gives you access to sophisticated ways to coordinate frequencies.

The mic itself is lightweight and comfortable to hold, and the receiver conveniently fits into a half, 1U rack space. It’s not directly rackmountable, but there are ways around that. It’s flexible, expandable, and with swappable capsules you can tailor it perfectly for the situation.

Best streamlined wireless microphone system over $500: Electro-Voice RE3-ND96

Electro-Voice RE3-ND96
Best streamlined wireless microphone system over $500
Electro-Voice RE3-ND96
This model is great for live use. It handles high SPLs, has low handling noise, and different EQ curve options.
Pros
Tuneable frequency response to EQ as needed for the source
Handles high SPLs
Low handling noise
Cons
Price range higher than other options

Electro-Voice has been around for decades, but their products don’t get as much respect as they deserve. This model offers a perfect balance of sound options, durability, utility, and ease of use.

The frequency response is tuneable to cut certain parts of the low-midrange and give a little lift to the higher parts of the mids. Handling noise is always a concern, but in this mic it’s reduced with a shock mounted capsule through a 4-point suspension system and pump.

It can handle high SPLs and its gain-feedback structure is top notch. Readouts on the mic and receiver are easy to read, even in the dark. Its price range is a little higher than most, but you won’t find the analog signal it offers  in other models very easily.

Best modeling wireless microphone system over $500: Line 6 XD V75

Line 6 XD V75
Best modeling wireless microphone system over $500
Line 6 XD V75
This Line 6 wireless mic system models 10 different mics and has a full frequency range, making it one of the most versatile options.
Pros
Models 10 different microphones
Full frequency range
Cons
Modeling adds more configuration decisions
Buy From

You’ll see Line 6 wireless units creeping up in a lot of artist’s setups. Their digital wireless systems have earned their reputation. One of the reasons is that their technology doesn’t use what’s called signal companding. This opens up the full dynamic range, one of the reasons a lot of people prefer wired mics. 

But the coolest part of what the XD V75 can do is that it models 10 different popular microphones like the SM58, Sennheiser e835, and more. The frequency range is 10Hz all the way up to 20kHz, and it operates in the 2.4GHz band, which reduces interference.

Modeling is a really innovative feature, and you can bet you’ll start seeing more models offering it as the technology continues to get better. 

Best condenser wireless microphone system over $500: Rode RODELink Performer Kit

Rode RODELink Performer Kit
Best condenser wireless microphone system over $500
Rode RODELink Performer Kit
The Rodelink Performer is a versatile wireless mic option that uses encrypted transmission for the best signal and comes with a variety of necessary accessories.
Pros
Good for a variety of industries
Encrypted transmission reduces chances of interference
Comes with a variety of accessories
Cons
Works best within 100m range

This all around wireless microphone system option is great for any application. Live music, speech, theater, even film. Most wireless mics are dynamics, but this unit from Rode is a handheld condenser.

The transmitter and receiver work right on setup without the need for channel selection. It pulls this off by running on a secured Series II 2.4GHz, 128-bit digitally encrypted transmission across a 100m distance. Sent on two simultaneous channels, and RodeLink chooses the strongest signal to ensure the signal strength is as secure as a wired connection.

A handy mute switch on the body of the mic adds to the versatility, and it’s a great complement to the inherent low handling noise. It’s powered with the included rechargeable battery for a max use of 10 hours, or dual AAs with a max of six hours.

Every accessory you need for it is included in the purchase. Other than the mic and receiver the kit comes with a rechargable lithium-ion battery, mic clip, micro USB cable, and case. If you buy it new you also get a 2-year warranty.

FAQ

What wireless mics do pros use?

Professionals use a variety of wireless mic systems, so it’s hard to narrow down a specific model. It depends on what sound and feature set they prefer, what the techs on the crew like to work with, even what part of the world they’re in. But they usually stick with the standard contenders like Shure, AKG, Sennheiser.

Which is the best wireless mic?

For live work, yes, generally a wireless mic system will only work if the signal is sent out to a sound reinforcement system. But if you’re recording the signal can be sent to the interface preamp.

Can a wireless microphone work without a speaker?

Yes. They’re best for live use where the signal can flow into a sound reinforcement system, but it’s a microphone so it just needs a preamp to increase the signal. This means you can run it in the studio into your interface.

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