Updated on Mar 14, 2023
Finding the best wireless mic can be challenging if you're not all too familiar with microphones in general. We'll often use wireless systems for live performances. As such, many of the options we'll be looking at today are the best vocal microphones on the market that work as cordless microphones. The options we'll be recommending typically come with wireless receivers (though it's best for you to make sure beforehand), and using microphone preamps never hurts either!
If you are familiar with microphones, you'll likely see some popular choices on here, as some of the leading microphones for performing include wireless systems. In this article, we'll run you through what we're confident are the best choices you could look at, no matter what your budget may be.
Our list contains options from low end to high, with the Shure ULXD2/KSM9 being the best option you could buy if your budget is limitless, while the Shure Beta-58 is our best overall choice as it suits most people's needs. By the end of this, you’ll have a good selection of choices to choose from, according to your own needs.
The Shure ULXD2/KSM9 is by far the best wireless microphone overall, but it comes at a hefty cost. For the average person, a microphone of this cost is not going to be necessary, but if you've got the budget for it & your focus is on quality above all else, this might be the one for you.
The ULXD2 is probably my favorite wireless transmitter, using AES 256-bit encryption for secure audio transmission & a whole other range of features. The proprietary Shure Gain Ranging optimizes the dynamic range, removing the need for transmitter gain adjustments, which saves you a ton of headaches.
The Shure ULXD2/KSM9 uses the Shure SB900A lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack, which boasts a high 12-hour battery life, with digital metering on the mic! The transmitter mute mode takes an on/off button and changes it to a mute button, which has the same effect while keeping the RF channel presence.
The last feature that I find outstanding is the backlit LCD display. The navigation menu & controls are among some of the most advanced in a wireless microphone. Hands down the best cordless microphone on this list.
The Shure PGXD24/BETA58 is one of the best wireless microphones on the market and our pick for the runner-up. For most of our readers, this will be the best cordless microphone for your needs & budget. This wireless system uses the beloved Shure Beta-58A dynamic microphone, a popular microphone for many vocal applications. While the microphone quality is important, the Shure PGXD4 wireless receiver that this system uses is also exciting.
The Shure Beta-58A is such a popular microphone and a favorite of mine to use. Thanks to the dominating vocal presence, it has a versatile range of uses, such as performing vocals, public speaking, or even streaming and videos. With a frequency response tailored for vocals, the beta-58 used a brightened midrange and bass roll-off, controlling the proximity effect.
Beyond just the beautiful sound, the Shure Beta-58 controls the sounds you don't want. Like other vocal mics from Shure, this cardioid microphone focuses more on your voice while blocking out other surrounding noise. The built-in advanced pneumatic shock mount system does a premier job at reducing handling noises so you can move around with it.
Just as important to think about is the Shure PGXD4 wireless receiver. The sampling rate is 24-bit / 48kHz, giving you the full potential to transmit advanced sound quality. It's practically plug-and-play, thanks to all the automated systems, offering one-touch sync for your transmitter and receiver. It'll also locate an empty frequency line for your microphone instantly!
And there's so much more going for the Shure PGXD24/BETA58. You can see why it's our best overall choice for cordless microphones, so check it out!
The Shure BLX2/SM58 is one of the most popular wireless microphones. Featuring the integrated SM58 microphone cartridge, you can have the confidence of using one of the best vocal microphones in the world. It offers many similarities to the Beta 58.
The Shure BLX2/SM58 is a timeless classic used by many, from famous pop singers to US Presidents and popular comedians. Whether you're big on the scene or just starting, the Shure BLX2/SM58 is just as incredible as it is accessible.
The pneumatic shock mount will help keep the sound free from vibrations & handling noises, while the windscreen reduces air noise & plosives. This is in big thanks to the spherical mesh grille & internal pop filter.
The durable construction ensures this wireless microphone will last through even the harshest conditions. It’s really easy to see why the Shure BLX2/SM58 is so popular amongst many crowds.
Wireless microphones are seldom cheap, as you have the cost of the mic and the cost of the transmitter. The Samson Go HXD2, however, is quite affordable and hands down the best wireless microphone for under $100.
The Q8 dynamic cordless microphone is very high quality for a relatively cheap microphone, with a low impedance design. The super-cardioid pickup pattern works exceptionally well, giving a lot of presence to your vocals while muting out surrounding noise. This is even more ideal in live settings to block feedback.
The multi-axis shock-mounted element within the Samson Go HXD2 capsule is protected from handling noises, and the rugged design can withstand most settings. The transmitter has massive battery life, with a whopping 20 hours of life on two AA batteries. Lastly, the transmitter can handle a distance of up to 100 feet.
For a wireless microphone that’s under $100, you’re getting a lot from the Samson Go HXD2. This is going to be a fine choice for most beginners and budget public events.
The Sennheiser EW 135P G4 is one of the best wireless microphones for live performance that I have ever used. I really like Sennheiser for premium vocals in live performances, and this one is just as great as I’d expect.
This microphone is very versatile, and I've seen it be used for both film & live vocals. The sound quality is among the best I've heard from a dynamic microphone like this, and the uni-directional polar pattern pickup helps reduce other unwanted noises.
The range is what’s most impressive, boasting a whole 330 feet. This is often much more than anyone will need but assures you that it’s a worthwhile purchase. The total operation time on a single charge is 8 hours, which is also very substantial.
Sennheiser is one of the best audio electronics companies, and I always have full confidence in their wireless microphone systems. If you want the best quality but don’t want to spend upwards of $1000, this is a great choice for you.
The Audio-Technica ATW-T1002 is another incredible wireless microphone that offers a healthy mix of quality, affordability & durability. The all-black design gives me a professional, slick look that is a personal favorite.
The advanced 24-bit operation from the digital transmitter ensures we're getting maximum quality out of our microphone signal, with a 2.4GHz range. We don't have to worry about common interference like TV or radio in this range. The three levels of diversity assurance, frequency, time & space, ensure clear communication.
On the microphone side of things, this durable mic offers incredibly clear quality. It offers great handling for wind & plosives, and the cardioid response pattern blocks out other unwanted noises.
Overall, we’re looking at a solid wireless microphone with top-of-the-line electronics and incredible sound. It is so simple to use and works so well.
The Shure ULXD2/B87A is another fantastic choice for a wireless microphone in the $500 - $1000 range. If you want high quality, you can rely on top-of-the-line electronics, this is a solid one to look at.
The ULXD2 is probably my favorite wireless transmitter; using AES 256-bit encryption for secure audio transmission & the proprietary Shure Gain Ranging optimizes the dynamic range, removing the need for transmitter gain adjustments.
The Shure ULXD2/B87A microphone is an amazing vocal microphone, delivering uncompromising audio quality & RF performance. The internal pneumatic shock mount & pop filter ensures your audio is going to be sounding as best as it possibly can. The frequency range gives a low roll-off effect with a crisp high end.
The cordless microphone itself is already great, but as we’ll talk about it even more in the next one, the ULXD2 is one of my favorite transmitters. Shure really nailed it with that one.
The Audio-Technica ATW-T1002 is a fantastic runner-up for the best wireless microphone system on the market. What you're getting here is a full system and microphone included with incredible quality. At the time of writing, I'm noting that not only did we have a great experience testing this product, it also has stellar ratings on Amazon.
The wireless system runs on a 2.4 GHz frequency range that ultimately keeps it out of the way of TV interference. Better yet, this wireless system has its own automated internal frequency selection tool that can detect interferences and stick to a safe frequency channel.
I've used this device quite a lot for public performance, and it's incredibly quick to get up and running with. They say you can use up to 8 channels together without any issues, though I've only tested up to 4.
The only downside I can think to mention is battery life. Across several tests, I found the average battery life to be about 4 hours. This is more than enough for most people, but you must factor it in for both performance & warm-up. Well worth it for me when you consider the sound performance.
The Sennheiser EW 500 is a fantastic wireless microphone, especially if you're looking for a high-end option. When I went to purchase one for myself, I was skeptical as there was only a single review with a one-star rating. Rest assured, that is very misleading, as I found this microphone to work without issue.
The microphone operates with up to 88MHz bandwidth & offers 3520 selectable frequencies. The frequencies are fully tunable in a stable UHF range, and you won't need to worry about interference. Furthermore, depending on your country's regulations, the system offers a high RF output.
For those of you looking to put on a large performance, you'll be happy to hear the Sennheiser EW 500 receiver is compatible for up to 32 channels.
While I chose the Sennheiser EW 500 for this review, I want to point out they have other similar wireless systems with different microphones and capabilities. It's worth looking into the multiple options. However, most people will be happy with this choice as we were.
As you may have noticed, a handful of these microphones were developed by Shure. They're one of the best microphone brands with some of the most well-known choices on the market, like the Shure SM7B or the SM58.
Hopefully, you can find the right choice for your needs here. The cordless microphones suggested here are used by many people, and we're very confident they'll excel for your needs. However, if not, let us know in the comments below what we can do better for you next time! And if you think our list is missing an essential choice, we're always looking for new mics to review!
Let us know below if you went with one of these choices and how it’s working out for you!
Posted on Oct 31, 2020
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