Batteries for the Wireless Mics - Do they matter

  1. #1 by Scott Kennett on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Batteries for the Wireless Mics - Do they matter

    I'm not sure if this is true, but I believe part of the reason why our pastor's sound is different from one Sunday to the Next is due to the batteries we use in the pastor's LAV mic. Either my ears are playing tricks on me (hey, it's totally within the realm of possibility given my age and past hard-rocker lifestyle), or there IS a difference in the NiMH batteries we use. It is my belief that the 2300mAh batteries maintain a better, smoother consistency in the mid-range compared with a 2000mAh or even 2500mAh battery for the duration of his sermons. The 2000mAh seem muddy throughout the entire sermon, while the 2500mAh seem tinny at the beginning and then 'even out' near the end of the sermon.

    I have tried using Duracell vs Energizer batteries, and there seems to be a bit more tinny sound with the Energizers, but again, are my ears playing tricks on me because I'm conscious of the change? Using alkaline batteries do tend to have a more consistent sound from the beginning of the sermon to the end (approximately 50 minutes ON time), but it gets expensive changing them out every service at 3x a week.

    My theory on this is 'how the diaphragm is being held in place with energy' is different depending on how much current each battery type is capable of holding, and at what level. The 1800mAh's aren't strong enough to place the diaphragm more in the middle, and therefore start off sounding muddy (and get worse from there). And the 2500's place the diaphragm further away from the 'cup' of the microphone and therefore put a strain on it, thus reducing the frequency response to the upper end of the spectrum, making it tinny at the beginning, and after some energy has been used, it softens to a better 'middle ground' area. The 2300's put the diaphragm in the middle and can hold that position longer (perhaps its just the way that brand of battery is made??). I haven't tried a different brand of 2300's yet.


    Does any of that make any sense, and do I have a case for specifying the battery type and power?
  2. #2 by Paul Vannatto on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Hi Scott,

    I moved this post to a new thread. Having it included with your other is going to become quite messy in responses, since the topics are so different.

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  3. #3 by Anthonie Hunter on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Hi Scott,

    Could you please specify the Make and Model of that Lav mike?
  4. #4 by Scott Kennett on 2 Weeks Ago
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    - Paul Vannatto wrote View Post
    Hi Scott,

    I moved this post to a new thread. Having it included with your other is going to become quite messy in responses, since the topics are so different.
    Thank you, Paul. I wasn't sure about creating a new thread or to leave it tied to the other one since it may have an impact on why we were having sound problems. I reckon that I could place a link to that thread here in case anyone is interested in seeing a tie-in.




    - Anthonie Hunter wrote View Post
    Hi Scott,

    Could you please specify the Make and Model of that Lav mike?
    I'm not sure what microphone comes standard, but this is the LAV we're using (Shure BLX1 Bodypack Transmitter, H10).
  5. #5 by Kevin Maxwell on 2 Weeks Ago
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    - Scott Kennett wrote View Post
    Thank you, Paul. I wasn't sure about creating a new thread or to leave it tied to the other one since it may have an impact on why we were having sound problems. I reckon that I could place a link to that thread here in case anyone is interested in seeing a tie-in.






    I'm not sure what microphone comes standard, but this is the LAV we're using (Shure BLX1 Bodypack Transmitter, H10).
    I have been wanting to switch to rechargeable batteries for a while now but my main wireless usage is for musical theater with from 20 to over 30 bodypacks in use at a time. And that is a big investment in all of the rechargeable batteries and the proper chargers that we would need. My research (so far) has pointed to the best NiMH batteries are the ones (Panasonic eneloop) that you indicate sound the best for you. But the sound shouldn’t be a factor unless the batteries are dying quickly.

    The Shure BLX is a very low end wireless system so I am not sure how the batteries act in those units. The wireless that we use are about $2000 a channel and they always seem to work just fine up until the batteries die. I am saying we either have sound coming from the wireless or not, there is no in-between point where it doesn’t sound right. And we do all that we can to ensure that we don’t have batteries dying during a show. I have the ability to see the receivers on one of the computers at FOH and can see the battery levels during the show. We use Duracell Procells and we get at least 7-8hrs of use with no problems and we can still use them for longer but not for another whole night. I try to give away our used batteries to any crew that wants to use them in their flashlights. Have you called Shure wireless support and asked them if this is the kind of behavior that should be expected from different batteries in the BLX wireless?

    Do you have a meter to measure these batteries to see how they seem to be working? Most rechargeable batteries are lower in voltage then Alkaline batteries. I don’t know how sensitive the BLX are to that lower voltage. And the discharge curve is very different. From my research a lot of the chargers that are sold for these don’t really treat these types of batteries the way they need to be to get the most from them. That is one of the things that has inhibited me from making the change.

    What microphone do you use on the BLX1 transmitter and how are the mic and the transmitter placed on the person using it? Is the Mic a clip on or a head worn mic? Where is the wireless receiver in relationship to the person wearing the transmitter? How may wireless mics are you using and are you using any wireless IEM systems?

    Have you done any kind of frequency coordination with the wireless in use and anything that might be on the air in your area?
  6. #6 by Anthonie Hunter on 2 Weeks Ago
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    Hi Scott,

    Your theory that 'the diaphragm is being held in place with energy' is wrong.
    Any mic is a mechanical device, of which the diaphragm is by default in the neutral position, without any current needed.
    Think of it as a miniature loudspeaker, also by default in neutral position.
    If the diaphragm moves inwards (higher airpresure) there is a positive voltage at the output.
    If the diaphragm moves outwards (lower airpresure) there is a negative voltage at the output.
    Hence your alternating voltage, analoge to the sound in the mic.
    This goes both for dynamic and condenser mics.

    Beltpacks have an internal miniature PSU that converts the battery voltage into the needed (stabilized) voltages to operate that pack, including phantom power for a connected condenser mic.
    It is common that this PSU delivers the needed voltages as long as the batteries maintain a certain voltage level. It just shuts off if the batteries get below that specific level.

    So my best guess is that your ears are indeed playing tricks on you.
  7. #7 by Scott Kennett on 2 Weeks Ago
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    - Anthonie Hunter wrote View Post
    Hi Scott,

    Your theory that 'the diaphragm is being held in place with energy' is wrong.
    Any mic is a mechanical device, of which the diaphragm is by default in the neutral position, without any current needed.
    My bad. I thought the voice coil had a DC offset so that the energy produced by the coil's movement over a magnetic coil wouldn't return to zero volts. Perhaps I'm thinking of something else.

    Ok... moving on. Thank you.
  8. #8 by Richard YClark on 2 Weeks Ago
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    As Anthonie alluded to virtually all wireless mics use condenser capsules which require some phantom powering to energise them. So no voice coils involved at all these days.