Recently I purchased a wireless microphone from Dak Industries. This is the "camcorder special" wireless unit with the lapel mic from Nady™. The unit comes in two parts, the receiver and transmitter and both take a 9V battery. I own two FM microphone systems and both work but only under ideal conditions and have little range. The FM frequency is simply too congested for a wireless system these days. So I was looking for a VHF or UHF system.
Most of the UHF systems on the market are very expensive. For good reason, they give you range and crystal clear reception. But my budget was a bit less so I went looking for a good unit in the VHF frequency range and priced right. I found it at Dak.
NADY 151VR-LT Professional Wireless Lavaliere Microphone System for Camcorders:
* Easily connects to most camcorders
* Provides excellent sound up to 250'
* Receiver On/Low battery LED
* RF carrier frequencies: selected frequencies between 169 MHz and 216 MHz
* 20Hz - 20kHz frequency response
* Operates with two 9v batteries
* Includes mic and bodypack transmitter
Playing around with it I found it gives very good audio and clear reception, up to about 150 feet. At that point some noise will get introduced into the receiver. Moving around introduced some noise too as I turned the mic transmitter away from the camera and was between the transmitter and receiver. This occurred at the 100 foot mark and not when closer. The range will be clear at a greater distance if the transmitter & receiver are in line-of-sight.
The sound is clear and sharp but a bit on the bass side for me. As for the performance of the wireless mic, for the price it was flawless. However I was not without some issues.
The unit is poorly made, especially the transmitter. When I opened the package to insert the 9volt battery it fell apart in my hands. I would discover that the entire front of the transmitter comes off to insert the battery. It does not latch and close well. The battery does not attach to a 9v wire connection, instead snaps in to a battery compartment like a AA battery would. The pins to connect the battery will allow the battery to seat only in the proper way (- & + aligned).
This is good in that you don't have a wire to mess with, bad in that the battery must seat firmly and the enclosure must be on tightly. If not, the battery will lose connection and you will lose audio! The second issue I encountered with the transmitter was with the belt clip on the back. It popped lose and the transmitter and I learned that gravity does indeed work. After picking it up off the floor, and a bit of reassembly of the cover and clip I was back in business. The fall did not affect the performance of the unit.
The third issue with the transmitter I have is the microphone. The mic is attached and part of the lapel clip. It is not removable. And the Mic is seated in a housing around the clip. It had come lose in shipping and I had to gently put the mic back in the housing, all the while fearing it was busted. Luckily it was not and went back in easily. But, it still should have been glued or better seated. The mic cable will unplug from the transmitter so a different mic can be attached. I'm sure in time I will replace the mic that came with it.
The Receiver is built a bit more sturdy. Its battery housing is a traditional compartment with cover but attaches the battery by dropping it in and seating it against the connections. The battery will only go in one way so you can't cross connect the battery terminals. It has a traditional wheel on-off-volume control. It also has a headphone terminal. Rather than a cheap plastic belt clip, the receiver has a metal clip. It has a battery level LED (red) and a receive LED (green). Plus it has a long wire to act as antenna.
Though the metal belt clip is good, I would perfer a shoe mount so I can attach the receiver to my camcorder. If you have a little hand held camcorder with no shoe mount you will probably love the belt clip though. However the cable from the receiver to your camcorder is only about 2 1/2 feet long so you may find it cumbersome. The unit is sold as a "Camcorder Special" and one would expect a shoe mount.
The receiver also has controls to adjust the output level, but it is accessible from inside the unit. The wheel volume control should be enough though. It has a mute control too, accessible from inside the unit. The receiver comes with a mono plug so if you have a stereo mic input on your camera you will need a mono adapter. Otherwise your camcorder will only record in one channel.
The receiver is bigger than the transmitter, almost twice as tall. The wire that hangs from it is a necessary evil. It's needed for good reception but will dangle and could get in your way depending on where you put it.
Though the units have some manufacturing issues, the performance of the system was very good. The sound is clear and the microphone, though cheap, picked up me talking and some surrounding sounds but none of the distant traffic and other sounds that plague my backyard recording.
I recommend if you buy the unit be prepared to wrap some tape around the transmitter to keep the battery seated and the cover from falling off. You may want to get another lavaliere microphone too and replace the one it comes with. It has a standard mic jack so any lapel or hand held mic will jack right in. You will also want to keep it in a case or some place you can put all of it's wires and parts in so nothing gets lost and it does not get damaged.
Plus do not trust the plastic belt clip on the transmitter, put it in your pocket or in a pouch on your belt. I can imagine your horror if you put the mic on a groom at a wedding and the transmitter popped off. Get a cheap Ipod, cell phone case, or something and keep it in there.
Am I happy with it? Yes, even though I had issues. I have a couple of lavaliere microphones so replacing the cheap one will not be a problem. And the one that comes with the unit is fine, I just do not like how it was made. For the price, it is a good performing wireless microphone system that will work well. Just handle it with care.