Just wanted some advice on what wireless system would be best when recording on a reality TV show. They want to go wireless on the exterior locations and some interior so that the boom operator has the freedom to move about. My concern is not all wireless systems are insulated properly against RI.I want a system that will be well insulated and stable with a good reach. What would you guys recommend for this?


6 Answers 6


I'd go with Lectrosonics or Zaxcom wireless. Can't go wrong with them. They get a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for.

The Lectro and Zaxcom stuff will run you $2500+ per channel, but it's outstanding. I won't do a gig with anything less than that. There's just too much danger (getting hits and dropouts) with anything less.

I like the Zaxcom wireless because of the built in micro-sd cards on the transmitters. If you run into any issues, you can pull the original recording. This will save you big time in critical situations...

Never been a huge fan of Sennheiser wireless, but as long as you get a high end set (as in $1500+), you'll be fine.

Anything less than $1500 or so, you won't find to be both mobile and stable at decent distances. You'll have to fork out good money for that.


Forgot to mention this:

Whatever you do, make sure to get a diversity system (receiver has two antennas). This DRASTICALLY reduces the number of dropouts, making your system more reliable. This is especially important when you have people moving around a lot. So whatever brand you decide on, make sure it's diversity (all your high end stuff is going to be diversity anyways).

Sweetwater has a mini article about diversity here.


Any of the pro sennheiser systems are a safe bet. The main thing is to make sure that you can change channels. Also ask everyone to switch their mobiles off on set.


It's definitely nowhere near perfect, but the Sennheiser G2's that I use get the job done. The ME-2 lavalier microphone that comes with the unit doesn't have a very good frequency response, so I replaced it with a Sanken COS-11 microphone that sounds much better, much less handling noise/cloth rustle generated from the cable. The other thing that I like about the G2 is that the battery life is fantastic - I've left the transmitter and receiver on all day without any problems. When I used to use the Lectro 100 series, the receiver would chew through 2 9 volt batteries in 3 to 6 hours or so.

If you do a frequency scan before you start rolling and are able to find a clear band, dropouts aren't as much of an issue. I've been able to get around 75 feet or so away and still have a clean signal, but that was in an isolated lecture hall environment. On reality where you don't have the flexibility to start and stop often, having the Lectro 411 or Zaxcom unit will make the difference.

My advice is to think about what you'll want to be doing in the future. Getting a solid production sound kit together, especially for large scale reality work which can require 6 or more wireless running simultaneously, is definitely pricey. If you're going to be doing production sound long term and regularly, invest in the best equipment you can - Zaxcom or Lectrosonic units. If it's going to be periodic work, you may want to hold back and buy something cheaper like the Sennheiser G2 that well get the job done but not break the bank.

Also, check out Jeff Wexler's forum which is devoted exclusively to production sound recording issues. You'll be able to find a lot of useful information there.


I have been using the Sennheiser EW100 range for the last two years and for your typical interview situations and corporate shoots and even on commercials they have been fine, but if I were to do a drama or feature, I think I'd go with the lectrosonics, they are expensive, but you get what you pay for!

  • Yes. Lectrosonics really to make the cream of the cream of the crop when it comes to this kind of thing.
    – Kurt Human
    Commented Jan 19, 2011 at 13:21

What about Micron Explorer 100 Wireless systems? Made in the UK? What do you guys think? I'm thinking about buying a couple, heard some good things, but the information is scarce... You may want to check those.


I agree on the Lectrosonics, great if you have the money. Another option is to hire them if you cannot afford to purchase them outright. Some audio production outfits will do that. In regards to the Sennheiser's the new EW100G3 range is quite good. Especially handy with the infra-red sync for channel programming. Makes pre-production on set a lot faster. The issue with them is that they are still big an bulky compared to the Lectro's. Not great for hiding on costumes at times. The other option to think about is also what Lav you want to put on the actors. If you working on a small set without a huge amount of distance from your cart and don't have the option to hire or the money for the Lectro's, grab the Sennheiser system and purchase some Sanken lavs, or my current fav is the new Rode lavs. Have fun with it.

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