Could Your Mobile Be Eating Your Mic?

From live performance to big events, corporate conferences to your local house of worship, wireless microphones and in-ear monitor systems are now standard for production values in 2015. This much is obvious; what is less well known, is that the production values we now accept as standard throughout the audio industry could be under threat from the phone in your pocket.

Why Mobile Phones?

The last 15 years have seen a staggering growth in the use of mobile phones, and then, in rapid succession, the increasing demand to have ever faster and reliable wireless internet access available on these devices. We only have to look at the graphic below to see just how much things have changed in recent years.

phone statistics infographic

Why does this affect wireless microphones?

For wireless microphones to work, we need access to good quality, clean RF (radio frequency) spectrum. In simple terms, wireless microphones have been subjected to a whole host of changes brought about through the reallocation of spectrum to the mobile phone sector over the last few years. To put it bluntly, your mobile phone is eating up the very space in which we need to operate wireless microphones to current production levels. If the trend continues, there may soon be insufficient amounts of spectrum available to reliably operate wireless microphone systems in the UK. (The GIF image below should make things pretty clear!)

Pac-Phone

How Does This Affect Me?

The recent changes to RF spectrum affect everyone from conference audio and systems integrators, to live performers and organisers of commercial and non-commercial events. Ironically, it even affects the mobile sector as a distributor of HD content produced, in part by wireless microphones using the very same spectrum they’re increasingly lapping up.

In a nutshell, if wireless microphones do not have clean spectrum to operate in, the audio will be interrupted, and the production values of UK events will be significantly diminished.

Learn More and Be Ready

We all use and love our mobile devices, and clearly we’re not out to paint mobile technology as some kind of enemy. However, it has become increasingly clear that something needed to be done to raise awareness of the widespread types of pro and semi-pro wireless microphone users in many different markets. Enter – Losing Your Voice.

losing your voice graphic

 

Losing Your Voice is a Shure UK led initiative to develop a greater understanding of wireless technology and the ongoing changes. We would like to invite wireless microphone users of all levels to broaden their understanding of the current landscape by visiting the website and downloading your free guide to wireless frequencies in the UK. Together, we can help ensure the future of wireless in a world where mobile technology is equally important.

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Marc Henshall

Marc forms part of our Pro Audio team at Shure UK and specialises in Digital Marketing. He also holds a BSc First Class Hons Degree in Music Technology. When not at work he enjoys playing the guitar, producing music, and dabbling in DIY (preferably with a good craft beer or two).

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