Well priced radio systems that produce a good result for their outlay.
There are a number of radio microphones systems out there for venues to choose from. These range from very expensive to the very cheap. Well the Audio-Technica range of wireless systems seems to sit in the middle and they have been in the market for quite awhile.
Now you buy these ATW 3000 systems with either the belt pack transmitter or a handheld microphone transmitter. The one I am reviewing is the ATW-R3100 receiver which can come with an ATW- T310 Transmitter with headset or a Hand held T341 mic with Artist Elite AE4100 capsule. You can also get it with an electret condenser capsule which is the Hand held T371 microphone.
First impressions of these systems are very good. The receiver unit is half rack unit wide and 1 rack unit high. It has a simple power switch, liquid crystal display, 2 up and down buttons and a mode/set button. The rear panel consists of two aerial connections, a ground lift switch, AF output level control, power connector and 2 outputs – balanced xlr and un-balanced jack socket. The LCD shows all the usefully information like AF level, RF strength, Frequency and battery level of the transmitter. This last one is a very useful tool for keeping on top of battery changes during a show. There is an alert LED as well and this is used to indicate certain situations such as – No RF, clipping, Mic is muted and very low battery. This is a very easy device to set up and use.
The Handheld T341 mic that you can get is comfortable in the hand and lightweight. It is probably not the most solid of handhelds out there but it should last. The power button for this mic is on the bottom and this is also the mute switch. You press and hold to turn on or off and press momentarily to mute or un-mute. This can occasionally cause a problem when the talent accidentally touch this switch and it goes into mute mode, you can off course disable this within the menu by setting the power/mute lock settings. If you don’t use this setting you need to make sure that all of the talent using this handheld are aware of this. To tune and make other adjustments you need to unscrew a section of the body and you will come across the up/down arrow keys and the set button. This is also the access to the batteries. The unit uses 2 “AA” batteries and you can get around 6 to 8 hours on a set of quality batteries. There is also a Liquid Crystal display that shows frequency, batt level and whether the mic is in mute mode. People with not such good eyesight might find that this display is a bit to small to read. In use this mic has a nice pleasant sound, with very little colouration of the source material. It handles all vocal types fairly well and seems to have a fairly good polar pattern. It also does not pick up much handling noise in use. I like the sound you get from this mic.
The ATW-310 beltpack transmitter with the Pro- 8HEcW head worn mic is the one I was using. The transmitter has all of the same controls as the handheld and similar features. The controls are accessed from behind a slide panel which protects them. The one extra feature that has been added is the input gain setting. Again on this unit the display is a fraction to small and can be a struggle to read. This unit is also powered by 2 “AA” batteries and again you get a reasonable life out of good quality batteries. Now the headset mic that came with the unit is rather ugly looking and to my ear is not as good as it could be. You can get a reasonable sound from it with some eq’ing , but I would suggest getting a better mic if you were going to use it for singing. But overall the unit is very good. These belt packs are very light and fairly small so they are easy to hide in costumes etc.. Again they are made from an impact resistant plastic that should survive reasonable knocks.
These are very good units to use, being easy to set up and operate. The manual that comes with them is pretty easy to follow and you will be up and running in no time. I am very happy using these mics and would happily recommend them. These are good for school and venues and they will last you well with looking after.
Audio Technica 3000Series
From : Technical Audio Group