The boom microphone is one of the most essential pieces in a filmmaker’s arsenal. They’re versatile, relatively easy to control and allow for the highest possible fidelity of sound when used properly by a professional boom operator. You’ve probably found your way to this page because you’re searching for a way to use a wireless boom microphone.
Fortunately, wireless boom poles aren’t usually something you need to buy. Rather, they’re formed by combining your existing boom pole with a wireless receiver that connects to your camera or mixer. We’ve compiled a list of the 5 best pieces of equipment to turn your boom pole into a wireless microphone. Some are cheaper than others, but if you’re looking to go wireless, expect to spend a lot more than you would with a corded setup!
At the end of the article we’ve also devoted a short section to help you understand why you might want to buy a wireless boom mic system. Let’s look at our choices!
- 1 Top 5 Best Wireless Boom Microphone Transmitters
- 1.1 What Do These Technical Terms Mean?
- 1.2 1. Best Wireless Transmitter & Receiver (High quality, High price)
- 1.3 2. Best Value/Well Rounded Transmitter And Receiver
- 1.4 3. A Cheaper Runner Up Transmitter/Receiver Combo
- 1.5 4. The Best, Cheapest Option
- 1.6 5. Best For Those With Sennheiser Equipment
- 2 Understanding Why Having A Wireless Microphone Transmitter Is Important
- 3 In Conclusion
Top 5 Best Wireless Boom Microphone Transmitters
What Do These Technical Terms Mean?
While you probably understand what battery life and distance mean, here’s what the rest of the terms on our comparison table mean.
This is a measurement of the difference between the absolute softest and loudest sound that a communication device can transmit. The higher, the better. The dynamic range of the human ear is around 120dB, so there would be no point in having a noise ceiling higher than that.
Transmitter and receiver kits can either use Low, or High frequency Bands for their communications. While higher frequency bands are becoming more prevalent, both varieties have their own benefits.
Lower Frequencies (MHz) can travel farther and typically penetrate through more objects. This is good if you’re going to have a lot of objects causing interference between you and your subject. Higher frequency bands (GHz) on the other hand. have a much larger bandwidth, and can transmit more information in less time.
1. Best Wireless Transmitter & Receiver (High quality, High price)
- Range: 300+ feet.
- Frequency Type: 2.4GHz
- Dynamic Range: 112dB
- Battery Life: 4+ Hours
- Eight available channels for multiple RodeLinks
- Two Year Warranty
The RodeLink Newsshooter system is just about the best bundle purchase you can make if you’re trying to get great audio quality and are willing to spend a bit more money.
Rode is a reliable industry titan, meaning your audio signal will be nothing short of professional. The warranty is strong and reliable, and the range is significantly larger than any of the other options we found. The 112dB dynamic range is by far the widest of all the microphones we reviewed,
We think the build quality of the RodeLink is absolutely fantastic. It has a premium feel, and is able to be powered by AA, NP-F, and USB.
The OneTouch pairing works well to simplify your workflow, and the OLED display is very clear and easy to read, even in bright environments. It even features 5-level gain control, an excellent addition to keep your audio levels in check.
We also like this option more than most others as it features a proper shoe mount, an absolute necessity if you’re not using an external audio recorder.
2. Best Value/Well Rounded Transmitter And Receiver
- Battery Life: 5 Hours!
- Dynamic Range: 110dB
- Frequency Type: 2.4GHz
- Indoor Range: Up to 90 feet, not accounting for interference.
- Broadcasting Channels: 6
Outside of the big brands, (Rode, Sennheiser, Shure), Xvive is just about as good as it gets when it comes to audio transmitters. If you don’t want to splurge on the RodeLink, the Xvive U3 is our recommendation as the best value you can get in a transmitter and receiver. The distance is much shorter than the Rodelink at only 90 feet rather than over 300. However, if you don’t plan on shooting from that far away, this option is much more affordable!
The build quality is excellent and ridged, and most importantly, the sound quality is very clear. The user reviews are more impressive than any other product in the price range, and it has some very impressive features.
One remarkable thing about the Xvive is that if you purchase more than one, you can set it up to transmit the same signal to multiple receivers. This is very important for those who host events where they would like one signal delivered to the camera, and another to an in-house speaker. It also comes in handy if you would like to transmit the same signal to multiple cameras.
They may not be backed with the big brand names that the premium choices are, but they work great, and a very high percentage of users are satisfied with them.
3. A Cheaper Runner Up Transmitter/Receiver Combo
- Battery Life: 5 Hours
- Frequency Type: 2.4 GHz
- Range: 100 Feet with no interference
- Available Channels: 6
- Dynamic Range: 108 dB
- Five Year Warranty
If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper than the Xvive but still want to get the job done right, the NUX B-3 Wireless System is a great alternative. Like our second suggestion, this is the choice for you if you’re willing to sacrifice operating distance to save money.
Some users have gone so far as to say that they were surprised to find that audio fidelity was just as strong as it was with a corded connection. The dynamic range is slightly smaller than the previous two recommendations, but if you aren’t recording audio for a high-end production company, it likely won’t matter much.
Finally, while cheaper products like this one are usually less reliable, Nux is confident enough to offer a 5 year warranty with their wireless system.
4. The Best, Cheapest Option
- Battery Life: 3 Hours
- Operating Frequency: 203-216MHz
- Modulation Frequency: 6 mV
- Input: XLR Output: 3.5mm TRS (cameras, recorders)
- Distance: 60 Meters
- Weight: 5.08 oz Transmitter, 2.8 oz Receiver
If you’re looking to get a great sound while spending the absolute least money, the Saramonic WM4CB wireless microphone system might be the right choice for you.
With such a cheap price tag, most users expected the audio quality to be sub-par, only to be pleasantly surprised. At close proximity, everyone agrees that they sound really great. One thing that was a bit strange to us was that we weren’t able to find the dynamic range of this device anywhere. However, if you’re just trying to get something that works, we’re guessing you don’t really care about dynamic range too much.
Previous buyers have reported that they have been able to get a clear signal at around 140 feet without any interference, however, if you are relying on having professional audio, we recommend going with a more premium option for anything above 30-40 feet, especially if there are obstacles between you and your subject.
The only drawback we noted was the plastic construction rather than metal, but that shouldn’t really be an issue for you unless you’re constantly dropping your sound equipment.
5. Best For Those With Sennheiser Equipment
- Frequency Type: 516-558 MHz
- Dynamic Range: 110 dB
- Distance: 300 feet
- 1680 Tunable frequencies
- Powered By AA Batteries
UPDATE: Upon review, we have found that there are several different types of Sennheiser Transmitters that correspond to various receivers. Here’s a list of them so you can find the right one for your equipment!
It is important that you understand that this is only a transmitter, and will require you to also possess a Sennheiser Receiver in order to make use of it. We’ve recommended the Sennheiser Lavalier system before, and if you already own it, this is the clear best choice for you. Users have reported an absurd line-of sight distance of 300 feet, far beyond the capabilities of any of the other transmitters we reviewed.
Unless you own Sennheiser equipment already, this is going to be the most expensive. But if you own equipment in the same family, this is the choice for you.
It’s a bit heavier, but that’s only because the sturdy metal housing is built like a tank. The range is great and the sound quality is nothing short of perfect. This is a great transmitter that we have no hesitation in endorsing.
Understanding Why Having A Wireless Microphone Transmitter Is Important
There are tons of great reasons to take your boom microphone cordless. They may not all be immediately apparent, so we thought we’d take the time to break it down. Here’s a short list of situations that you’d be grateful you thought to cut the cord ahead of time.
News-style Reporting, Interviews, and Journalism
Wireless microphone transmitters are also excellent tools for on-the-street interviews and other forms of journalistic content. If you’re running around and sticking the microphone in people’s faces, you’ll be a lot more agile if you’re not dealing with cords. Besides, when was the last time you saw a professional-looking news broadcast using a corded microphone? Add some legitimacy to your production!
Scenes On The Move
If you’re anything like us, you’ve found this article because you’re thinking about how this can apply to the independent films you make. The first thing that comes to our mind is dynamic shots with a moving character or camera. If the entire crew is moving with the scene, you not only have to worry about the cord being tripped on, you also have to worry about it dipping into the frame.
If your production team is on the smaller side, chances are you need all the help you can get, and you don’t want to waste manpower on a sound assistant to wrangle your cords. Having wireless capabilities will take your mind off of tripping yourself and the actors with your cables. Free up your attention to be placed towards operating the boom properly, or mixing sound.
This website is geared towards film aficionados, but wireless transmitters are also very important in the music and performance industry as well. Whether you’re giving seminars or spittin’ bars at your friend’s wedding, having a wireless transmitter can come in handy in many non-film scenarios.
While going wireless means you’ll have to invest a bit more cash, it doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. If you’re looking for maximum mobility, or are looking into a career as a filmmaker or boom operator, you’ll definitely want to purchase one of these products. Best of luck to you!