Handheld VS wireless interview microphone: what makes them different

Wireless interview microphone is commonly used in different types of interviews. Besides it handheld microphone is also popular. Since interview microphone can either make or break the quality of your interviews, it is one of the most significant pieces of equipment you should take into first consideration. So when talking about wireless mic for news reporter, what are their differences?

What are they: hands free or not is the biggest difference

A wireless microphone is a microphone without a physical cable which connects it to the recording or amplifying equipment. It transmits its audio feeds via radio frequencies directly to a receiver. Wireless microphones used for interviews is Lavalier mic in most cases, which means you can attach it to body or clothing.

Use of professional wireless microphone system G1(A2)

As the name suggests, handheld microphone is designed to be held in the hand. If necessary, they can also be mounted onto a microphone stand.

Other differences between wireless and handheld microphone

Directionality

Basically, directionality explains just how sensitive your mic is to any incoming sound waves delivering from varied directions. It refers to from which direction a microphone records its sound. Microphones are different in pickup directions, some pick up sound from one direction while others can pick up sound from all around it. When you see words like polar pattern or pickup range, be aware that they also refer to directionality.

Wireless interview microphone is typically omnidirectional. It captures sound from all directions. No matter which direction you are to the mic, it records the signal with equal strength. Since it get sounds regardless of the directions, there is no need to line it up with the mouth.

In most cases, handheld microphone is usually cardioid microphone, which is named for the fact that it picks up sounds in naturally heart shape. This wireless mic picks up sounds with high gain from the front and sides but poorly from the rear, which leads to less background noise pickup.

Flexibility

With interview mic wireless, interviewers can get flexible with the rigging, mounting to a collar, shoulder straps, hats, eyeglass frames, etc, according to different aims. You don’t need to take the angle into consideration. The only limitation is distance.

Handheld interview microphone is flexible in another aspect. Because the mic is in your hand and controlled by you, the distance to mouth can be physically altered at will and with ease, meanwhile the volume and fidelity can also change. Hence, you are able to give a higher emphasis on certain key words. And other special audio effects can be achieved as you like.

Portability

In most cases, wireless interview microphone is small and light. The great thing about mics is that they allow you to record hands-free. While for handheld microphone, you are supposed to hold the mic all the time, which causes trouble in long-time interview.

To know more about these microphones, just read this article Something you need to know about wireless mic system.

Use: What interviews they are suitable for?

There are various ways of conducting interview: outdoors or indoors, video or audio, and more to satisfying different aims. So what microphone should you choose in different situation?

Wireless - number of users tops the listing 

G1T/L Mini Microphone Wireless for Interview Use

From the above we know that wireless interview mic is omnidirectional, flexible to mount and hand-free. It needs time to set up the connection between transmitter and receiver, which would take time when having multiply connection. In addition, the transmission signal may be affected when there are several kits being used at the same time. As a result, it is ideal for interviews like this: 

  • The sofa interview
  • Live versus pre-recorded interviews
  • TV green screen
  • Radio studio

Handheld - the choice when directional pickup is necessary  

As for directional handheld microphone, it is good at recording without background noise, and flexible since it records exact audio as you like. But it should be still in your hand or mounted on the mic stand. Therefore, following types of interviews are in need of it:

  • The doorstep interview
  • Outdoor broadcast interviews
  • Sound bite interviews
  • Multi-guest interviews

If you have interviews beyond the above types, just consult to the table to choose the suitable microphone.

Table: keys to consider when choosing interview microphone

Types of microphone

Formality

The number of interviewee

Is interviewee fixed?

Need for background sound

Requirement for hand free

Wireless interview microphone

Informal

<3

Yes

Yes

Yes

Handheld microphone

Formal

≥3

No

No

No

Conclusion

Wireless interview microphone offers much convenience to interview conducting. But interviews can go under various situations, be planned or sudden, done indoors or outdoors, and the list goes on and on. Each scenario requires one specific microphone to get the best effects of the interview. It is important to know more about microphones so as not to get lost in them.