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Best wireless microphones in 2022: cable-free mics for interviewers and performers

Best wireless microphone
(Image credit: George Cairns)

The best wireless microphones solve two of the biggest challenges faced by video makers: being audible and not creating a trip hazard with trailing wires underfoot. And sometimes your subject will be so from the camera that even the longest cable won't do. 

The further away that you get from your camera’s mic the quieter you’ll sound. You could attach a lavalier mic to your lapel and plug it into your camera via a cable, but this restricts your movement to the length of the cable. Things get even more complicated if you want to mic up an interviewee and connect them to your camera via a cable too. By clipping a mic (or mics) into a wireless transmitter and attaching a receiver to your camera (or smartphone) you can walk and talk freely and remain audible at a much greater distance than you could achieve using a cable.  

No wireless mic system is perfect. Most rely on the transmitter being in line of sight with the receiver, so the audio signal can drop out if you turn and block the signal with your body. However with a clear line of sight our recommended mics will provide a strong clear signal from up to 50 meters away (or 100 meters in the case of the Saramonic Blink 500 Pro!)  At that distance you can barely see the subject!  

Another factor we’ve taken into consideration for this guide is latency – the delay between the speaker’s lips moving and the sound that is captured by the wireless mic.  In the case of some mics latency is negligible, especially when viewing footage on a smartphone’s small display. Latency is also easy to fix. Using apps such as Premiere Pro or Final Cut Pro you can detach the audio track from the video clip and then nudge the sound by a few frames until both sound and vision are in sync.

We're featuring two distinct wireless microphone types:  the 'stick' mics used by stage performers and journalists recording interviews, and lapel or 'lavalier' microphones designed to clip unobtrusively to the speaker's clothing when there's time to set this up.

Many of the wireless mic kits featured in this guide come with a pair of transmitters and a receiver, but some boast extra features such a sound level indicator on both the transmitter and the receiver. This indicator reassures you that the sound levels are OK and that they are being received by the camera. Of course extra features like these come at a cost so we’ve chosen mics at a range of prices.  

As well as our run down of the best wireless mics we’ve also got links to more comprehensive reviews of the Saramonic Blink 500 Pro, the Boya BY-XM6-S2 and the budget friendly JOBY Wavo AIR. These reviews also videos that let you hear how those mics perform in a range of locations and conditions.

Best wireless microphone in 2022

Best wireless lavalier microphones

(Image credit: George Cairns)
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Professional sound quality and long range combined

Specifications

Polar pattern: Omnidirectional
Operating frequency: 2.4GHz
Weight: 1.13 oz
Range: 100m
Connection: 3.5mm jack
Output level: -60 dBV to -20 dBV
Battery life: 8 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Long distance transmitters 
+
Compact charging case
+
Professional quality sound

Reasons to avoid

-
Wind noise with transmitter’s built-in mic

The Blink500 Pro kit enables you capture strong clean audio levels up to 100 meters (if the transmitter mics have line of sight with the receiver).  Relatively large displays provide a waveform to help you set and monitor audio levels. The supplied lavalier mics help reduce wind noise in challenging locations. The kit is compatible with DSLRs or smartphones (though you will need to source a 3.5mm jack to lightning adaptor cable to attach the receiver to newer iPhones.) A handy storage case doubles as a charging station so the transmitters and receiver are equally charged. Therefore there’s less danger of a mic or transmitter going flat during a shoot (which can happen if you charge units separately). Highly recommended. Check out our full Blink 500 Pro B2 review which includes a video showing it in action.

(Image credit: George Cairns)
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A great budget wireless mic system with built-in audio level display

Specifications

Polar pattern: Omnidirectional
Operating frequency: 2.4GHz
Weight: 1.13oz
Range: 100m (without obstacles)
Connection: 3.5mm jack
Mic sensitivity: -39dB
Battery life: 7 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Clear signal from 100 meters
+
Clean crisp audio
+
Negligible latency

Reasons to avoid

-
Signal loss from close obstacles

The Boya BY-XM6-S2 mic system is a good place to start if you’re on a budget and it will certainly elevate the audio production values of your projects. The pre-paired mics and transmitter work straight out of the box too, so you don’t have a steep learning curve to climb if you are new to wireless mic systems. A close alternative is the JOBY Wavo AIR, but extra features such as onscreen displays and a cheaper price make the Boya BY-XM6-S2 an attractive option. Both transmitters record voice via a built-in mic so you don’t need to use the supplied lavalier clip mics if you’re in a rush (though the lavalier’s wind shields can come in handy). Check out our full review which includes a video demonstrating the Boya BY-XM6-S2  in action.

(Image credit: George Cairns)
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Capture high quality sound from two subjects with this budget wireless system

Specifications

Polar pattern: Omnidirectional
Frequency response: 50Hz -18KHz
Weight: 33g
Range: 50m (without obstacles)
Connection: 3.5mm jack
Mic sensitivity: Built-in Microphone: -42dB, Lavalier Microphone: -30dB
Battery life: 6 hours

Reasons to buy

+
Works straight out of the box 
+
Captures broadcast quality sound
+
Effective wind noise reduction

Reasons to avoid

-
Noticeable latency

The JOBY Wavo AIR enables you to capture broadcast quality sound with the freedom to wander wirelessly. The transmitters’  bright orange colours make it more likely to appeal to a vlogger who wants to show off their kit rather than record sound discretely. A magnetic pendant lets you snap the transmitter on in a flash so there’s no need to fiddle with clips and clothing. Unlike the similar Boya BY-XM6-S2 the receiver doesn’t have a headphone monitoring socket or a waveform display, so you’d need to monitor audio from your recording device to make sure there was no signal drop out.  The latency means the sound is offset from the video by 3 frames so you may need to tweak the audio in post.  Check out our full review which includes a video demonstrating the JOBY Wavo AIR in action.

Best wireless 'stick' microphones

(Image credit: Shure)
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4. Shure GLXD24R/SM58

An iconic live microphone turned wireless for fantastic performance

Specifications

Type: Dynamic
Pickup pattern: Cardioid
Wireless transmission: Digital
Operating frequency: 2.4GHz
Expandable: Yes
Range: 30m

Reasons to buy

+
Lithium-ion rechargeable battery
+
Excellent SM58 audio character
+
16-hour battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the cheapest option

Shure’s iconic SM58 is known around the world for its rugged construction, bulletproof performance, and excellent audible character, and now it’s wireless. Rock-solid connection via the 2.4GHz digital transmission but only operates at up to 30m which should be fine for most applications but falls short of some competitors.

The microphone has a lithium-ion battery that lasts up to 16 hours and there’s a useful charging dock on the GLXD24R receiver which alleviates untidy cable runs. The design looks a little dated but its simple operation means anyone can “unplug” and play.

(Image credit: AKG)
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5. AKG DMS100

A flexible option with up to four channels for small productions

Specifications

Type: Dynamic
Pickup pattern: Cardioid
Wireless transmission: Digital
Operating frequency: 2.4GHz
Expandable: Yes
Range: 30m

Reasons to buy

+
Inexpensive for the budget-conscious
+
Digital transmission reduces interference
+
AES encryption ideal for privacy

Reasons to avoid

-
30m operating range

Using a simple one-touch approach, AKG has designed the DMS100 for creatives that want a flexible wireless mic system but don’t need the high-end performance of premium models. Sure, it’s limited to just 30m but for most applications, this should be fine, especially if live streaming from a small studio.

There are two kit options available here at the same price, one with a cardioid microphone and the other with a bodypack transmitter ideal for lapel mics or hands-free headsets. It’s AES 256-bit encrypted for private or confidential productions and is compatible with up to four channels.

(Image credit: Sennheiser)
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6. Sennheiser EW 500 G4-935

High-end performance and premium quality for pros

Specifications

Type: Dynamic
Pickup pattern: Cardioid
Wireless transmission: Digital
Operating frequency: UHF
Expandable: Yes
Range: 100m

Reasons to buy

+
3520 selectable UHF frequencies
+
Up to 32 compatible channels
+
Great 100m operating range

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium price geared towards pros
-
Too complex for smaller productions

There’s a lot to like about Sennheiser’s wireless mic set up, the EW 500 G4-935. For starters, there are 32 compatible channels perfect for scaling up to larger productions and it has 3520 selectable UHF frequencies which are fully stable and tunable. It’s also built with professionals in mind, constructed in fully-metal housing.

This probably isn’t ideal for beginners or those with tighter budgets, but if you’re expecting your production to grow, or want the highest possible quality in terms of audio and data transmission, then you can’t go far wrong with this.

(Image credit: Røde)
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All the essentials for smaller productions

Specifications

Type: Condenser
Pickup pattern: Supercardioid
Wireless transmission: Digital
Operating frequency: 2.4GHz
Expandable: Yes
Range: 100m

Reasons to buy

+
10 hours of battery life
+
140dB max SPL

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited to 2.4GHz only
-
Not ideal for larger productions

This wireless microphone performer kit from Rode comes with a sensitive condenser microphone as well as a desktop receiver. Ultra-portable, the microphone is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery but can alternatively this can be swapped out for two AA batteries in a pinch.

Operating at 2.4GHz, the digital transmission between mic and receiver is encrypted so it shouldn’t have too many issues with interference, but some users (especially those who want to use it for larger productions) may need to upgrade. It does have a 100m range though, and an easy one-touch pairing option makes it a breeze to set up and use.

(Image credit: Line 6)
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8. Line 6 XD V75

Get 10 microphones in one with excellent in-built modelling

Specifications

Type: Dynamic
Pickup pattern: Cardioid
Wireless transmission: Digital
Operating frequency: 2.4GHz
Expandable: Yes
Range: 300ft

Reasons to buy

+
10 different mic models
+
Expandable for growing productions
+
Long 300ft distance range

Reasons to avoid

-
Only 2.4GHz frequency

Line6 uses its own encoded digital transmission signal to alleviate the frustrating audio interference some wireless mics get from external devices such as smartphones. A distance range of up to 300ft means it’s appropriate for use in just about any space.

The real wonder of this wireless microphone is that Line6 has injected its renowned modelling technology inside, so you can choose up to 10 different mic models to give different audible character to the sound. That’s great for those on a budget because while it’s possible to purchase further capsules/microphones, those seeking a different sound won’t have to fork out the money for another mic.

(Image credit: Behringer)
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9. Behringer ULM302MIC

The best budget wireless microphone option

Specifications

Type: Dynamic
Pickup pattern: Cardioid
Wireless transmission: Digital
Operating frequency: 2.4GHz
Expandable: No
Range: 60m

Reasons to buy

+
Incredibly inexpensive for tight budgets
+
Comes with two microphones

Reasons to avoid

-
Shorter operating range than rivals
-
Runs on AA batteries only

Anybody looking for wireless microphones on a tight budget should look no further than Behringer’s ULM302MIC. At the same price as a single microphone from other brands, Behringer has crammed the entire kit into an affordable package here and doesn’t stop there by including two microphones as well.

Of course, to keep costs down some features seen on competitor models have been omitted, such as a poor 60m line-of-sight range. There are no rechargeable lithium-ion batteries in the mics themselves so users will have to buy AA batteries in bulk. Overall though, it’s a massive load of kit for the price.

Read more:

Best microphones (opens in new tab) for vlogging & filmmaking
Best mic isolation shields (opens in new tab)
Best iPhone microphones (opens in new tab)
Best mic boom arms (opens in new tab)
Best audio recorders (opens in new tab)

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