Improvements to Lavalier Mics

FAQ #394 Updated October 23, 2008

Question:

Our church is considering upgrading our pastor's lav mic. He currently uses an L series diversity with a WL83 element. Questions:

1) Are there significant improvements in the WL18x series elements over the WL8x series? If so, please identify them.

2) Given that this mic will be used for speaking, are there any drawbacks to using the WL184 (supercardioid) over the omni? It seems that the noise rejection and gain-before-feedback would be better. Is the supercardioid patter more sensitive to things like breath noise?

3) Strictly from a sound quality standpoint (*not* considering things such as freq availability, battery life, et al), is there a difference between the LX and UC series systems? Assume each system is using the same mic element.

Answer:

1) There are differences in sound qualities between the older WL83/84 and the newer WL180 series. We suggest you listen to them side by side. A local Shure dealer can help you to do a comparison.

2) There are advantages and disadvantages to using directional microphones. The advantages include more gain before feedback and less ambient noise pickup. The disadvantages include more wind noise, more p-popping, excessive proximity effect, more clothing noise, etc. For a more detailed explanation, see the following link:

Why should I use an omnidirectional microphone?

3) The audio performance difference between an LX and UT is negligible.

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