UHF VS VHF Wireless Microphone System

A wireless microphone is a convenient gadget introduced for professional speakers and a comfortable option for daily use. But do you know how it works?

Have you ever thought about how a handheld accessory can transmit your voice notes clearly to the other end without the use of any wire or cable?

Many of you would already be aware of this concept of delivering voice notes through the air.

But for the new ones, I will explain this complex phenomenon. Such wireless microphones work by communicating frequency.

You can understand frequency as the number of sound waves hitting the diaphragm of your microphone at a particular time and then reproduced by the receiver.

It varies in range and purposes. The most common use frequencies for wireless microphones are UHF and VHF.UHF is also known as ultra-high frequency.

Its custom use is in the field of communication. We use this particular frequency band in WI-Fi, satellite communication, Global Positioning Systems, and personal radios.

Wireless microphone and its receiver also serve as a form of radio transmission by transmitting signals by converting them to frequency and then encrypting them to radio waves. Then we have another band of frequency which we call VHF or very high-frequency band. It is a digital signal transmitting frequency band.

You can use it for digital audio and video signal transmission, television broadcasting services, and a broad range of communication services for both personal and professional use.

Countries have their regulations over the safe use of these frequencies. They use licensed and unlicensed tags to keep a check. The licensed frequency range extends the ideal range of authorities of that particular country, and you need prior permission to operate your device on the desired frequency.

On the other hand, the unlicensed frequency range represents the safe range that has any authority to function in the territory without the need for early clearance from the concerned department.

You have to be careful while deciding either you need VHF or UHF because both of them serve entirely different objectives.

Here is a quick shot comparison between the two accessories.

  • Both differ in frequency. VHF carries a frequency between 170 to 210 MHz. On the other hand, UHF transmit a frequency range between 450Mhz to 952Mhz.
  • Choose VHF if you have to use the microphone for outdoor crowdings, and UHF stands ideal for indoor communications and recordings.
  • If you want a budget-friendly wireless microphone, then choose VHF.UHF is a bit pricy.

For a detailed insight, stay tuned till the end.

What is UHF Wireless System?

UHF systems get their name from Ultra-high range frequency. This frequency range serves communication purposes.

As the world is progressing by leaps and bounds, microphones also underwent certain advancements. To facilitate its user’s microphone industry introduced some comfortable options by picking up frequency transmission ideas.

UHF wireless system is the name among those advancements consisting of a wireless mic and a receiver. A user adds extra gadgets as per the requirements. It operates by transmitting frequency between a range of 450 to 950 MHz.

The transmission process is like a personal broadcasting system. Sound waves convert to radio waves. The receiver receives the radio waves and performs the necessary processing to convert the radio waves back to the sound signals to deliver the output. Output can further go the editing.

Technical Specifications of UHF Wireless Microphones

Highlighting your requirements and then looking at the technical specifications of a microphone saves you from backbreaking and chaotic research.

Under this subheading, I will highlight some technicalities of the UHF wireless microphone. It will enhance your understanding of the product and help you choose the right product for your studio.

  • The available UHF microphones in the market have a wide frequency range to choose between frequency lies between 450 to 952 MHz.
  • As XLR and USB microphones UHF, wireless microphones also use different polar patterns. Various models have labels such as the condenser, dynamic, unidirectional, etc. To help you choose between the range.
  • Some UHF microphones operate on AA battery cells, while the other use rechargeable batteries with USB cables for charging. Stand-by battery life is 13 to 10 hours.
  • 126 dB is the maximum input that the UHF microphone can accommodate, and the audio frequency response lies between 100 Hz to 15kHz.
  • It has a PLL synthesizer oscillator.
  • UHF microphones have built-in antennas.
  • Sixteen to sixty-four different switchable channels are introduced for UHF microphones to meet the compatibility between the microphone and the receiver. Digits may vary across the countries.
  • UHF microphones have built-in antennas eliminating the need for a transmitter.
  • RF carrier power for UHF microphone is less than or equal to 50mW.
  • It weighs about 180 to 400 grams, and dimensions may vary from model to model.
  • It comes with a very matte finish, usually black or gray.

Pros and Cons of UHF Wireless Microphones

Pros
  • The main advantage that the UHF microphone gets over the XLR or USB microphone is the comfort and flexibility that it offers to its users.
  • Highly portable and easy to carry.
  • Better than other microphones in the area with higher chances of interference.
  • You can switch between different frequency ranges that are the advantage that you get with UHF microphones only.
  • UHF microphones can operate in overcrowded places and large distances without any external intervention.
  • They stand a good battery life.

 

Cons
  • UHF microphones are expensive.
  • You may face a problem while adjusting the frequency of your device, which is compatible with your microphone and the receiver.
  • Some frequencies are available on your microphone may not work in certain countries due to the imposed restrictions on that range.
  • High voice notes require more power for transmission over the UHF wireless system. Higher will be the voice notes, more power they will consume, which will degenerate the lifetime of your microphone.

What is VHF Wireless System?

VHF wireless microphone, as the name indicates, operates under the very high-frequency range.

This band falls between the 49 to 216MHz frequency range. It is a flexible and affordable option for beginners.

Just like the UHF wireless system VHF wireless system also consists of a wireless microphone and a receiver. You can add a transmitter or an amplifier, but often VHF mics have their built-in antennas.

VHF encrypts sound waves to radio waves, and once the receiver receives it from the wireless mic, it decodes radio waves back to sound waves.

Technical Specifications of VHF Wireless Microphone

Every wireless microphone set gathers its specifications. In this subheading, I will help you with the spec of the VHF wireless microphone. So here you go.

  • The frequency band lies between 49 up to 300 Mhz.
  • It supports up to 6 different channels to meet the compatibility between the wireless system.
  • VHF wireless microphones come with different polar patterns, such as omnidirectional, cardioid, etc. You can choose between diverse models according to your needs.
  • Supports an AA battery, and some models also support USB cable charging. Stand by time of this microphone is up to 10 to 11 hours.
  • RF output is 10mW, and its dynamic range is 90 to 100 dBA.
  • Consists of an on-off switch and a low battery indicator.
  • The maximum input level which VHF can bear is between 120dB to 125 dB.
  • Weighs about 120 to 400 grams.

Pros and Cons of VHF Wireless Microphone System

Pros
  • VHF microphone is an affordable option that promises quality.
  • Goes best with broadcasting.
  • Provides a better bandwidth.
  • VHF provides its users with interference-free audio quality.
  • Has smaller antennas that make it easily portable.
  • Perfect for indoor environment.
  • VHF wireless microphone has a long life irrespective of the operating power.
  • Easy to use.
Cons
  • VHF microphone has a limited frequency range.
  • The surrounding environment immensely affects the quality of audio output.
  • The receiver may be hard to match.
  • VHF signals can not pass through solid objects such as walls and porous surfaces.
  • Can not work over large distances.
  • Some frequencies may not be allowed in your region.

 

Conclusion

VHF and UHF are both different frequencies wireless microphones.UHF wireless microphones cover a range of 450 to 952 MHz. On the other hand, VHF covers a band of 49 to 300 MHz.

UHF microphones are suited for outdoor events and crowded places, but some people may find them expensive.

UHF microphones have a broad range, and the users pay for the legit quality. The compatible and adjustable frequency of the UHF wireless system makes it unbeatable. But as the practical devices come up with some limitations, so does the UHF system.

The limited lifetime of the UHF system restricts users from buying it unless they are not professionals. Coming to the VHF wireless system is an affordable and flexible option for the majority of microphone users.

You can not switch frequency channels in VHF wireless system. But the majority of the microphones users tend to compromise on this downside of VHF microphone.

It is best for outdoor open environments as it causes problems when solid objects such as walls or other obstacles are in the way. Its extended lifetime and good audio quality persuade its user to buy this product. It is a good option for beginners.

But again, it depends upon your requirements for why and how you want to use the device. In the article, I tried to explain the fundamental differences between the two wireless systems. I hope it would help my readers to identify the best-suited microphones for them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the UHF microphone better than VHF?

UHF and VHF are wireless microphones that operate on different frequencies. Both the microphones more or less serve the same purposes, making it very hard for a user to pick one. But some factors make the VHF microphone superior to the UHF microphone. These factors include good audio quality, a more suitable frequency range, and reliable signal quality.

Which frequency is best for a wireless microphone?

Different areas have different controls over the wireless frequency operations, which are regarded as licensed and unlicensed frequency ranges. If you are using the microphone under an unlicensed frequency range (which usually lies between 902-928 MHz band), that licensed frequency lies between 653-657 MHz. But the best frequency range for the wireless microphone is regarded as 2.3 to 2.4 GHz.

Is 2.4 GHz a UHF or VHF?

2.4 GHz is a different wireless frequency system from UHF and VHF. The frequency for UHF lies in the range of 470MHz and 698MHz. On the other hand, the frequency range for VHF is 30 MHz to 299 MHz. But 2.4GHz wireless system gives tough competition to UHF in terms of quality and utilization.

Which is stronger VHF or UHF?

UHF is a strong frequency as compared to VHF. VHF lies in the range of 30 MHz to 299 MHz. UHF has a reliable frequency range and offers decent output.

Is VHF or UHF better for long distances?

VHF is a better option if you are considering long distances. How far a frequency can travel is inversely proportional to their frequency ranges VHF is at a lower range than UHF so, it offers better outdoor coverage. However, UHF is a better option for indoor use. It can penetrate through buildings and obstacles easily.

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