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Microphone Selection Guide:  Wireless Microphones

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Entry Level Microphones
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Wireless Microphones
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View Entire Guide (all categories)

Although all of the wireless microphones are high-performing and are discussed in the section above on microphones for the advanced user, we separately review them here to provide further comparative information for those contemplating purchase of a wireless microphone.

Comparison of Wireless Microphones

Price
Performance
Comfort
Stability
Talk Time
Range
Warranty
Accuracy
Noise Cancellation
Sennheiser DW Pro-1 $379
12 hr
180 m
2-years
Sennheiser DW Pro-2 NA
12 hr
180 m
2-years
Sennhseisr SD Pro-1 $349.95
12 hr
180 m
 
Sennheiser SD Pro-2 $369.95
12 hr
180 m
 
Andrea WNC-1500 $99.95
8 hr
30 ft
1-year
VXI Xpress  
    2-years
VXI Voxstar                
Samson Airline Micro  
10 hr
  2-years
Samson Airline Micro Camera $299.99
No mic
No mic
NA
NA
     
Samson Airline 77  
14 hr
2-years
Plantronics CS50-USB  
8 hr
200 ft
1-year
Plantronics CS530  
     
350 ft.
 
Revolabs Xtag  
8 hr
60 ft
90-days

Comfort: This parameter is obviously extremely subjective and variable from user to user. In general we weight headsets with typical over-the-head mounting arrangements a bit higher than ear mounting (BW900) given that most users are accustomed to the feel of a typical over-the-head arrangement.

Stability: This refers to the tendency of this microphone to remain in place in reference to the user's mouth during movement of head and potentially when assuming a supine (laying on back) position

Price: Prices represent current prices for the microphone, with basic additional hardware if required (both the Plantronics CS55 and Sennheiser BW900 require the GN Netcom rocker switch in order to work with a PC and prices include this). With the exception of the VXI and Revolabs mics, all of these microphones work best when used with an external USB sound adapter. The cost of this is not included in the prices listed above.

*The VXI Xpressway does not come with a base station and must be used with a Bluetooth equipped device or pc.


Sennheiser SD Pro-1 and SD Pro-2

This is the newest wireless offerring from Sennheiser and is the evolution of the previous DW Pro- series but with a different outer form. Functionally this system provides the same excellent results, whether using it with your computer with speech recognition, or with your corded phone.

Features:

  • Iconic design– crafted for best comfort
  • Single speaker (SD Pro-1) and dual speaker (SD Pro-2) versions
  • Sennheiser HD voice clarity – wideband sound for natural listening experiences
  • High comfort wearing styles - perfect adjustment to your ear for a full day wearing comfort
  • Ultra noise-canceling microphone filters out unwanted background noise
  • One touch on the base station to select the channel you wish to call from -between desk phone and softphone
  • Pairing for desk sharing and phone conferences – intuitive and easy to set up
  • Microphone mute and volume up and down – intuitive user interface
  • Full workday talk time – 8 hours in wideband sound mode and 12 hours in narrowband sound mode
  • Re-charge 50% of your battery in 20 minutes – intelligent fast charging
  • Long distance wireless range – in typical office building: up to 180 ft and in line of sight: up to 590 ft
  • ActiveGard™ technology – protects your hearing against acoustic shock
  • DECT for US: DECT 6.0 (1.920 to 1.930 MHz)
  Sennheiser SD Pro-1   Sennheiser SD Pro-2  
  Sennheiser SD Pro-1   Sennheiser SD Pro-2  
         
  MSRP $349.95

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  MSRP $369.95

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Sennheiser DW Pro-1 and DW Pro-2

Sennheiser DW Pro-2It's been a long time since we've been as impressed with a product. Until now we have considered the Sennheiser BW900 the best wireless microphone for use with Dragon. While we loved the convenience of the Sennheiser DW Office, which allowed seamless movement from the phone to PC, we never felt the speech recognition accuracy nor external noise rejection was quite at the level of the BW 900. Now things have changed.

For any user wishing to go wireless, either for VoIP or speech recognition, and especially for the user wishing to use the same set-up for wired telephone use, this is the perfect product. This DW Pro has all the features of the DW Office and betters the quality of the BW900. It is, in our opinion, an amazing product.

Features:

  • Ability to move back and forth between a wired telephone and personal computer with a single button push
  • Outstanding accuracy and external noise rejection with speech recognition software
  • Integrated USB sound adapter for use with a pc
  • Sennheiser HD Voice Clarity – Wideband sound for a more natural experience
  • Protected hearing – ActiveGard™ technology protects against an acoustic shock and sudden sound surges
  • Total charging time from 0% to 100% - one hour! 50% charge in just 20 min.
  • Talk time: 12 hours in "narrow band" mode and 8 hours in "wideband" mode
  • Standby time: 4 days
  • Range: 180 m in range of sight; 55 m in office buildings
  • Microphone type: electret, ultra noise canceling

Included in the box:

  • Base station and headset
  • AC adapter
  • Modular cord for attachment to telephone
  • USB cord for connection to personal computer
  • Quick Guide (Quick start-up guide)
  • CD with full User Manual and "HeadSetup" software (for communicating with a variety of softphones)

Links:

  Sennheiser DW Pro-1   Sennheiser DW Pro-2  
  Sennheiser DW Pro-1   Sennheiser DW Pro-2  
         
  MSRP: $379

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  MSRP:

Current out of Production and not in stock

 

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Andrea WNC-1500 Wireless Headset Microphone

Andrea WNC-1500The dream of a high quality and comfortable wireless headset microphone for Dragon users has finally come true.  This recent offering by Andrea Electronics, a pioneer in the manufacture of products for speech recognition users, will be welcome news to the serious user needing to be untethered and hands-free while dictating. 


From Andrea:  “Andrea Electronics has combined the benefits of a Wireless headset with our PureAudio USB digital audio which includes Andrea’s complete PureAudio™ Voice Solutions software Suite (including Audio Commander, Voice Center and Pure Audio Technology). The WNC-1500 wireless noise canceling computer headset delivers a high fidelity audio enhancement, noise reduction and EQ with an excellent 5 Dragon voice recognition rating awarded by Nuance.
Andrea’s Pure Audio Wireless USB Soundcard solution bypasses your desktop or laptop computer’s integrated sound system, providing increased intelligibility and performance of microphone input and stereo speaker output for all of your digital audio applications including VoIP and speech recognition programs on your Mac or PC.”

Features:

  • Wireless computer headset with noise canceling microphone and digital audio enhancement software
  • Uses Andrea’s noise cancellation microphone technology for exceptional speech recognition performance
  • Pro-flex wire microphone boom for accurate and stable microphone placement
  • Windscreen to minimize breath-related “popping”
  • Hi fidelity 40 mm speaker drivers with acoustic bass enhancement
  • Wireless USB soundcard with digital sample rates for high definition audio
  • PureAudio digital noise reduction for enhancing both the microphone and speaker communications
  • Folds flat for storage (see images)
  • Includes carrying case for protection while on the go
  • Headset can transmit and receive continuously for up to 8 hours and can also be used when recharging
  • 30 ft. maximum operating distance

Links:

Specification Sheet from Andrea

Included in the box:

  • WNC-1500 headset
  • Wireless USB sound card
  • Carrying case
  • Recharging cable

Comments:  We consider this an excellent product for the Dragon or Windows Speech Recognition user needing to go wireless.  The microphone is not particularly hot, so we recommend placing the mic element between ¼ and ½ inch from your mouth.  In terms of functionality this product is similar to the Logitech H600 although the dongle full sized, rather the “nano” dongle that comes with the Logitech mic.  It is built and packaged in a more quality manner than the H600, although is a bit more expensive.  If you don’t mind the extra $30 bucks, we recommend this mic, but if you go with the Logitech mic you will also be getting a well functioning wireless headset microphone.


MSRP: $99.95

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BlueParrot Xpress/Xpressway II

VXI XpressThe VXI BlueParrott Xpress is the latest product from the company that has been on the forefront of speech recognition micropones for more than a decade. If you need the best quality and don't need to connect to your wired telephone, this is the product we recommend.

Features:

  • Xtreme Noise Suppression, together with wind suppression technology eliminates background noise from any source (the Xpress eliminates 94% of all background noise).
  • Wideband audio sounds clear and natural, for better communication and fewer misheard words.
  • A2DP to use with GPS, music players, laptops and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.
  • Multipoint pairing lets you use both your work and personal cell phones or connect to a Bluetooth-enabled PC.
  • Over 7 hours of talk time on a single charge means the BlueParrott Xpress is ready when you are.
  • 128-bit data encryption keeps your calls secure.
  • Wireless range of up to 66 feet gives you twice the wireless freedom of most other Bluetooth devices.
  • One-touch multifunction button controls on/off, call answer/end and pairing.
  • Voice prompts mean no more wondering what the coded “beeps” mean.
  • One-year warranty.

VXI XpressIncluded Items:

  • BlueParrott Xpress Wireless Headset
  • Ear Hook Wearing Style
  • Round Ear Tips
  • USB Cord
  • Auto DC Charger
  • User Guide (not shown)

More Details:

VXI BlueParrot Xpress Microphone

MSRP: $99

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VXI Voxstar Wireless Bluetooth Microphone (with BlueTooth Dongle)

Coming soon ...


Jabra 9470

Jabra 9470This is a relatively new addition to the Jabra line-up and is the first offering by Jabra that we consider to be serious competition for our favorite wireless microphones made by Sennheiser. Unique to this set-up is:

  1. Three available interfaces: Computer (for softphone or voice recognition), wired telephone, and Bluetooth cell phone
  2. Three wearing styles
  3. Color touchscreen
  4. Extremely long range

Features:

  • Touch screen& touch sensors for easy call control
  • Triple Multiuse connectivity: desk phone, softphone and mobile phone
  • Easy installation with SmartSetup wizard
  • Superior sound and Noise Blackout™
  • Choice of 3 wearing styles for greater comfort
  • Up to 450-foot wireless range
  • Future-proof investment through feature upgrades via Jabra PC Suite

Additional Information and Links:

Comments: No system is perfect and this system has its minor issues, but we feel that this is the best "all-in-one" system for the busy professional that wants a single system for use with the telephone, computer, and cell phone. We consider this somewhat similar to the Sennheiser DW Office, but with notably better external noise rejection. In fact, what we most love about this system is the extremely high quality performance with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Be aware that the Bluetooth interface with your cellphone involves pairing your phone with the base station and not the actual headset. Although we love the look of the color touch screen, in some respects we also appreciate the simplicity of simple button pushes and the touch screen can actually be a bit distracting. Wonderful about this system is the way that instructions provided through the touchscreen walk you through the set-up with your pc, wired telephone and cell phone. Any way you look at it, though, we think this system provides superb performance and we highly recommend it. It has replaced the Sennheiser DW Office on our own desk.

If you need a headset lifter, consider purchasing the GN 1000 lifter shown below.

Overall Rating: rating
Warranty: 1 year

Price: $399

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Revolabs Xtag

Revolabs XtagThis unique device is revolutionizing the way we use microphones. It is a wireless microphone which communicates with a small base station which connects with and draws it's power from your PC or Mac computer using an available USB port. The microphone itself measures only 2.5 inches x 0.9 inch and weighs only 0.05 lb (less than one once). It has a range of 20 meters, and uses a rechargeable lithium polymer battery with an 8 hour talk time. The big advantage of this microphone is extreme comfort - you will forget you are wearing it - and a surprising high level of accuracy. The only disadvantage (other than price!) is the relative lack of noise cancellation resulting from its positioning relatively distant from your mouth. This is an outstanding microphone to use in a quiet environment but will provide disappointing results in settings with anything other than mild background noise.

Overall rating:
Warranty: 90 days

Price: $224

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Samson Airline Micro

Samson Airline MicroWe continue to test this unit, but our preliminary impressions are very favorable. It is amazingly small and lightweight and yet attaches so securely that use by a fitness instructor is entirely feasible. On the other hand it seems to have the accuracy to allow practical use with speech recognition software. We have not yet formally evaluated the external noise rejection qualities of this microphone, but in preliminary testing it seems to do fine and was minimally affected by our babbling 8-year old son, a fairly loud air conditioner and other household noises. The external noise rejection is clearly well above average.

We recommend using this device with a monaural USB adapter such as the Andrea USB adapter since it does not have sound out capabilities. This product is packaged for use with professional sound equipment and not a personal computer. The audio output cord has a 1/4 inch plug. We recommend that you purchase a double male stereo 1/8 inch cord if you plan to use this with a pc. We list both the USB adapter and 1/8 inch double male cord below.

Overall Rating: rating
MSRP: $359.99
Price: $ $249.99

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Samson Airline Micro - Camera Edition

Samson Airline Micro - CameraIf you don't depend upon headset speakers and want to convert any microphone into a convenient wireless microphone, this is the perfect solution. Although made for use with a video camera and bundled with a simple lavalier microphone, there is nothing about this unit that prevents it from being the ideal means of making your favorite speech recognition microphone a wireless microphone. The transmitter features a standard 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) jack which will accomodate any wired microphone with a 3.5 mm microphone plug. Although the transmitter is equipped with a removeable belt clip, it is so small that it can easily fit in a breast or coat pocket (the transmitter weighs just 1.5 oz and is 1/2 inch thick). Unique to this system is the ability to choose one of two transmitter output strengths and the ability to export the signal from the receiver at either mic- or line-level.

AirLine Micro Camera Wireless System

  • Wireless system with micro-sized AL2 transmitter, AR2 receiver and double dock
  • Tone squelch and auto mute for clear operation
  • Includes a system carry case, hot shoe mount, 3.5mm and XLR camera connectors, AC adapter and charging cables
  • Working range 300m (100 ft.) - in line of sight.

AL2 Transmitter

  • Beltpack transmitter and LM10 omnidirectional lavalier microphone
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (7-8 hours of operation)
  • USB DC input for recharging
  • Single button operation for power, mute and volume
  • Multi-color LED displaying RF, low battery and power

AR2 Receiver

  • Low-profile wireless receiver (2.36” x 1.67” x .51”)
  • Lithium-ion rechargeable battery (7-8 hours of operation)
  • USB DC input for power and recharging
  • 3.5mm balanced mic/line level output
  • Multi-color LED displaying RF, low battery and power

Price: $299.99

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Airline 77

Samson Airline 77 Wireless Microphone

This is a unique and highly accurate wireless microphone that provides the best accuracy in the wireless category. It does not include speakers and the transmitter sits on the back of the microphone, essentially near the base of your skull. This includes a good sized transmitter which, in turn, is connected to your PC with a supplied cable. The advantage of this microphone is the freedom from wires and the high accuracy. The disadvantages include 1) It requires daily replacement (or recharging) of the AAA battery in the head-worn transmitter and 2) it is a bit rigid and not the most comfortable microphone we have tried.

This system comes in two version:

  • The QV10e or "vocal" version which is best for users of speech recogntion
  • The Qe or "fitness" version which has a more moisture-proff microphone element and which is intended for fitness instructors and similar users

Overall rating: rating
Warranty: 2 years
Cost (with needed cable for PC):

Vocal Version: $299.99
Fitness Version: $349.99

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Plantronics CS50-USBPlantronics CS50-USB

This is a comfortable, ear-mounted, wireless microphone which communicates with a base unit which, in turn, is attached to your computer via an available USB port. Although we were skeptical that this microphone would perform so well, it is truly outstanding in both noise cancellation and overall accuracy. The main advantage of this microphone over its rival, the Sennheiser ME3, is the freedom of the wireless connection. It has a 200 ft range and the battery lasts a full 8 hours. The disadvantage, if any, is that it attaches to the ear and based on your ear shape, it may or may not be comfortable. It includes a variety of different ear-pieces and the option of using it as a typical over-the-head headset microphone (follow some of the links below to see options). The battery in the mic unit charges when in the base unit which in turn receives it power either via the USB connection or the supplied AC adapter. Overall, we find this to be an extremely good, albeit pricey, microphone.

Overall rating:
Warranty: 1-year
Cost: $239.95

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Plantronics CS530

Plantronics CS530This is the latest addition to our line of Plantronics wireless microphones and the replacement for our old favorite, the CS70N. This wireless product uses DECT frequency, and features an ear mounted headset that weighs only 29 gm, so it is ideal for all day use. With optional connecting devices, this microphone can interface directly with your personal computer and performs extremely well with speech recognition software.

Features:

  • Range up to 350 feet away for maximum mobility
  • Premium wideband audio quality
  • One-touch call answer/end, vol +/-, and mute
  • Adaptive power management system optimizes for range and talk time
  • Conference in up to three additional CS500 or Savi headsets for enhanced collaboration
  • Guest headsets can subscribe to a base by simply docking the headset
  • Use with Electronic Hook Switch Cable or Handset Lifter to remotely answer/end calls
  • Use with a PC using the Sennheiser Modular to PC adapter, the Zoom Switch USB or the Zoom switch analog

More Information:

Plantronics CS530

MSRP: $329
Our Price: $224

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