Wireless Lapel Mics
December 8, 2011 12:16 AM   Subscribe

I need a cheap wireless lapel microphone for a school musical. Give me your recommendations.

My school is putting on a production of 'Little Shop of Horrors', and we need a cheap option for a bunch of wireless lapel mics - 4-8 mics would be ideal.
The last production cost the school $300 for 3 wireless mics, to hire. I figure we could easily buy them outright for that price.
Needs to be cheap, but reliable. Purchase or hire.
Available either online or from somewhere in the Sydney/Campbelltown area.

Send me your recommendations for shops (online or other), brands and models.

(and yes, I have checked out previous asks)
posted by robotot to Shopping (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can't "easily buy them outright for that price". Buying a single halfway decent wireless lav costs about $400 to $500 (USD, but the exchange rate between AUD and USD is about 1).
posted by likedoomsday at 1:10 AM on December 8, 2011

contact your local audio technica rep. they have a free education loan program.
posted by chasles at 1:16 AM on December 8, 2011

The magic word is, "lavalier."
posted by rhizome at 1:24 AM on December 8, 2011

Never ever buy a cheap mic. Ever. They will fail at the worst time, they will sound bad, etc. There's a reason that everyone rents good gear, rather than buying bad gear, and it usually has, at the root, a performance that went horribly wrong because a cheap lighting controller fried, an amplifier failed, or a mic started to crackle at a dramatic moment.

Oh, and the best thing about rental from a good company is that if one of them isn't working, you call them up and a working one appears quickly.
posted by eriko at 8:02 AM on December 8, 2011 [1 favorite]

I agree, never ever buy a cheap wireless mic, ESPECIALLY for a live event. If it were for a video project, and something goes wrong, you can film it again to get it right, but for a live event, the last thing you want is to have bursts of static shooting through the speakers during a quiet moment, or to start hearing the local rock radio station coming through the PA.

When I did AV rentals, we would charge $100-200 a day for wireless mic rentals. The mics we rented out cost $900 or more to purchase.

Generally, for something reliable, I would not suggest anything less than the Sennheiser g3 systems, or the comparable systems by Shure. They are true diversity systems (which helps to prevent dropouts and interference), and the mics that come with them actually sound pretty decent.

If you are investing in mics for the long term, you need to buy something good. This is one of those areas where you get what you pay for, and a live event is the last place where you want to take chances.
posted by markblasco at 8:48 AM on December 8, 2011

I suggest you check with theater groups in the area. I've worked as quartermaster for one, and have been involved with a few others, and the theater community is usually pretty responsive to sharing equipment if it's not being used.... at least here in Ohio.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 12:09 PM on December 8, 2011

The magic word is, "lavalier."

Not in Australia.

Emphatically agree with those suggesting rental. Cheap radio mics are a hideous disaster waiting to happen.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 1:33 PM on December 8, 2011

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