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.)