How Many Wireless Microphones Can Be Used Simultaneously?


Wireless microphones offer unmatched flexibility for your conferencing needs, whether you're meeting in a boardroom or a larger space. However, if you're a technician putting together the conferencing systems for an entire office, you might be wondering how many wireless microphones can be used simultaneously. What are the limitations of wireless technology when you have multiple conferences occurring at the same time? Can users share microphones between conference rooms?

In this walkthrough, we've done a deep dive on wireless microphone technology, so that you know what's possible when building a conference system. By the end, you'll understand the limitations of today's cutting-edge wireless mics, as well as how to troubleshoot if you ever experience technical issues.  

Wireless Microphone Basics

There are three main components that work together to create a functional wireless microphone system: an input device (i.e. a microphone), a transmitter, and a receiver.
First, the input device can be any microphone or pickup (ex. an electric guitar) that captures audio. By itself, the input device doesn't have wireless capabilities. For that, you'll need a transmitter and receiver. 

A transmitter takes the captured audio signal, converts it into a broadcast signal on the radio spectrum, and then transmits it wirelessly via an antenna. Today's wireless microphones have transmitters built into the handle, so that users can carry the mic without worrying about another device.  

Finally, a wireless microphone receiver picks up the transmitted radio signal, converts it back to audio, and sends it to your sound system. The receiver's output is the same as a microphone signal, so you can connect it to your mixer's mic input and experience crystal-clear audio. 

Using Wireless Microphones Simultaneously

So, what are the limitations of a wireless microphone system? Let's start by looking at a single conference room. When using a wireless system like the Executive HD, you can connect up to eight microphones to the unit, with the ability to link multiple Executive HDs together as well. Technically, the limit is 32 (Americas) or 40 (International) microphones per system. That's a lot of wireless mics!  

On a larger scale, you can also have multiple wireless systems running independently in different conference rooms. For instance, you might have a dozen Executive Elite systems in various configurations that make sense for each room. To ensure that these systems work to their full potential, we recommend configuring them to a distance setting that's only slightly larger than the room dimensions. That way, you won't experience conflict between wireless systems. 

Wireless Microphone Receivers

To configure each system's transmission distance, you'll need to adjust the wireless microphone receiver settings. It's also important to locate each receiver/base station in the room so that every wireless mic can connect to it, but the wireless radius doesn't overlap with other receivers. However, you can also "bus" multiple systems together to expand the total wireless radius, while avoiding conflicting transmission frequencies. Yamaha UC offers a proprietary BUS technology that makes the process easy. 

Wireless Microphone Problems/Troubleshooting

Wireless mics can run into a wide range of issues, especially when you're sharing input devices between rooms. Here's how to solve the three most common wireless problems: 

Too Much RF Noise: There are so many electronic devices in our lives that emit radio frequencies. These frequencies are transmitted in the air and inadvertently picked up by other devices, which can interfere with their signals. Fortunately, wireless microphone systems like the YAI-1 have built-in noise protection and encryption, so that your signal stays strong. 

Signal Dropouts: When RF segments reach the wireless microphone receiver at different times, it can create signal dropouts (a.k.a. dead spots). This usually happens indoors, when the RF waves bounce off various surfaces before reaching the receiver. To deal with this issue, we recommend testing your system by walking around the full conferencing area with a mic, feeding it a continuous signal, and hearing the results. If you experience dropouts, you may need to move the receiver to a new location. 

Intermodulation Distortion (IMD): When multiple signals pass through an amplifier, you may experience distortion at certain RF frequencies when using a wireless microphone. To avoid this, you can adjust the wireless mic to operate on different frequencies so that interference doesn't occur. Some wireless receivers and software tools will do this for you automatically.  

Ready to experience the joy and convenience of wireless conferencing? Learn more about our YAI-1 Conference Ensemble, or use our Product Finder to discover the best unified communications technology for your needs.