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access_time September 30, 2013 at 8:49 AM in Reviews by Ramon Aranda

Tech Review | MXL FR500WK Wireless Audio System

FR-500WK-displayConducting interviews can be a bit of a drag, when doing so from behind the camera, especially if the subject matter has to shout or hold his/her own mic.

Fortunately there is a solution for such a quandary, specifically by using wireless microphones.  I recently had the opportunity to test out MXL’s FR-500WK wireless audio system, which includes both a transmitter and a receiver. The receiver can be mounted on top of a DSLR camera, or a camcorder, provided that the camcorder has a hot shoe mount of course.  With 64 channel selections, there are plenty of options for when any particular channel gets any interference from other audio signals.

Having mounted the receiver onto my camcorder, I setup the transmitter on my belt, while clipping the mic on my collar.  I was happy that the transmitter was pretty lightweight and that the transmission range was solid, as I tried out the audio from a few feet away, to upwards of about 50 yards, while still being able to get clear audio. MXL says the transmission range can go up to 280m, so long as there is a direct line of sight.  That should be great for anyone doing any type of field work and can’t be close to the camera.

On both the transmitter and receiver, there is also a dial for changing groups and channels, while LED lights indicate the different groups.  The two units use two AA batteries and I found the battery life of each one to last me anywhere from 9-10 hours on various tests.

I also tested out the system at a press event, to see if any loud ambient sound would be an issue when recording and I found that it did in fact pick up quite a bit of dialogue and music, though it wasn’t so overwhelming that it took away from what I was trying to record.  Still, the further you move from being in the center of background noise, the better.

Being sold for $399 via various online retailers, this UHF wireless system is definitely a formidable option that works well, isn’t obtrusive and is of great help when a standard microphone just won’t do.

Final Score: 4 out of 5


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