It is sometimes possible, but not advisable, to transmit from a wireless audio transmitter designed by one manufacturer, to a wireless audio receiver made by a different manufacturer.
Cross-manufacturer compatibility is much, much more likely to succeed when both transmitter and receiver are analog wireless ("FM"), and much less likely to succeed when both transmitter and receiver are digitally modulated ("digital"; "FSK"). And impossible to succeed if either one of the transmitter-receiver pair is analog and the other is digital.
Let's assume both transmitter from manufacturer(A) and receiver from manufacturer(B) are wide-band analog FM wireless. There needs to be precise or loose equivalence of the following parameters in the following features/ways for cross-compatibility to succeed:
- Both Tx and Rx must have an overlapping tuning range, or bandwidth. In audio pro terminology this often is described as being in the same "block," "band," or "frequency range." Here's an example of what doesn't work: if Tx.A tunes in-between 530-540 MHz and Rx.B tunes 550-560 MHz, you will NOT succeed, because neither device shares spectrum (airwaves) with the other. The tuning range must overlap.
- The tuning step frequencies must overlap. A simplified example, if Tx.A can only tune to a single frequency, say 550.125 MHz, and Rx.B only tunes to three frequencies, say 520.050 MHz, 523.050 MHz, and 529.125 MHz, then the receiver has no way of "tuning in" to the carrier frequency of the transmitter. Even with receivers that can tune "manually" into the same tuning range as the transmitter, the steps between frequencies in pro audio are course - 25 kHz - and may not overlap perfectly. Stated another way, if you want to listen to a broadcast radio station on 93.9 MHz, but for whatever bizarre reason your car's radio only tunes to 92.1 MHz, followed by 92.7 MHz, followed by 94.5 MHz, the transmitter frequency you want (93.9 MHz) ain't on the dial! and you're out of luck.
- If using analog, AND, the tuning ranges overlap, AND the tuning steps align, you'll probably hear something, and it's totally possible you'll be able to understand every single word that's spoken into the transmitter on a receiver of the same tuning range. But will the audio sound good? Er. Maybe. Probably not. Why not?
- Because good sounding wireless has almost nothing to do with the abstract mathematical matching of frequencies between Tx and Rx, even though tuning to the same frequency is an essential pre-requisite for wireless to work and there's no way around it. A large amount of engineering and creativity goes into pro-grade wireless audio that one effectively destroys when crossing manufacturers. In particular, audio compression, gain structures, AF or RF pre-amplification and amplification, and/or companding parameters and de/modulation signal chains are mismatched between one manufacturer and another. And as a result you'll rarely hear the same quality with different manufacturers vs. using TRx pairs from the same manufacturer. You might get lucky, or, maybe you don't mind crappy sounding audio. Guess that's a personal choice.
- Oh, and essential things like squelch tones and subcarriers probably won't make it across
Refrain: All of the above ONLY works if BOTH Tx and Rx are analog.
(Source: thousands of conversations with wireless audio pros)