In the future, our descendants will look and laugh at pictures of equipment bound together by wires and cables. Some might argue that this day isn't too far away. There's plenty tech out there right now that has long since abandoned the need to be physically linked to its source. Phones, game controllers, even the internet itself just sort of floats around in the form of wi-fi. But why do microphones seem to be lagging behind in an increasingly wireless world?
What's the Deal With Wireless Microphones?
The good news is that there are a lot of good wireless microphone systems out there these days. But, there are also a huge volume of quality non-wireless mics on the market, too.
It'd be unfair to put that down to some sort of archaic traditionalism of the audio industry, too. Simply put, most people don't need their microphone to be wireless.
Wireless mics come with the extra risk of unstable signals and interference. As most mic-users (podcasters, audiobook narrators, musicians) are recording in a stationary position, a cable or two isn't going to cause them any problems.
So, Who *Would* Use a Wireless Setup?
Wireless setups are already popular with a lot of content creators. From the YouTuber who teaches yoga classes, to the podcaster who records episodes whilst trekking up a mountain. Basically, anyone who's not tied to one static recording area for the duration of a session.
For these folks, cables and wires are an unnecessary complication. They can get in the way, get tangled up, and even break through repeated bending, flexing, packing, unpacking, and untangling.
Cutting the Cord: What're My Options?
So if you've got your own reasons for going cable-free, what are the best wireless microphone options out there right now?
As with any “best of” roundup in technology, there's rarely one single “best” option. The best wireless mic for you will depend on your own needs, wants, and budget.
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With that said, here are our top picks, split into categories, which aims at helping you choose the best fit for you.
A quick heads up: we use affiliate links in this article, which means we may earn a small commission should you choose to buy through them, though at no extra cost to yourself.
Best Wireless Headset With Microphone for Laptop
If you're looking to go hands-free, then one of the best options is to wear a mic on your head. This is type of mic is otherwise known as an “audio hat”. No, I'm joking… they're actually called headset mics. But audio hats would be a much better term, I reckon.
You'll find our top recommended audio ha…er, headsets in this roundup. But looking specifically at wireless headset options, I want to spotlight the popular Mpow Bluetooth Headset V5.0, available on Amazon for $46.99. Mpow gear, in my experience, has a good value-quality balance. This model promises a range of up to 33 feet: you'll have the freedom of the room when it comes to recording your next episode.
Best Wireless Lavalier Microphone
Rode make some of the best podcast gear on the market, from the Rodecaster and Smartlav+, to the Procaster and Podcaster dynamic mics. The Rode Wireless Go is… would you believe it… a wireless mic option. A lavalier one at that, which means it pins to your clothing, just like the mics they use on TV. This means it's another hands-free option and has a range of up to 230 feet. You can pick up the Rode Wireless Go, brand new, for about $210.
Best Wireless Handheld Microphone
One of the world's most famous mics is the Shure SM58. The 58s legendary status comes in part from that fact that it's practically invincible. The SM58s spiritual home is the world of live music, but podcasters have been using them to great effect for many years, too. The Shure SM58 itself isn't a wireless microphone. But, it does have a cable-free sister version in the form of the Shure SLX2. You can use this as a handheld mic, or with a mic stand or boom arm. The system cost around $200 and promises a range of up to 300 feet. Try fitting a cable that length in your bag…
Best Wireless Earbuds With Microphone
If you're looking for an amazing level of audio quality recording into wireless earbuds, then you might be pushing your luck a wee bit. There's a whole host of reasons why you won't get an optimal sound with such a setup, but a key one is simply mic placing. Mics sound better when they're right next to your mouth, and your ears… probably aren't right next to your mouth. In any case, if you're set on recording through wireless earbuds, the Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2s might be worthy of your consideration. They usually come in at around $80.
Best Mobile Wireless Microphone System
Want to go wire-free and record directly into your smartphone whilst cruising the streets on your hoverboard? Okay so maybe the hoverboard technology needs a little work yet, but you can certainly achieve this setup whilst riding your Penny-Farthing. The Samson Go Mic Mobile takes both cables and podcast recorders out the equation, giving you loads of flexibility and freedom. It tends to cost around the $170 mark, brand new. Just be sure to use a good smartphone recording app too – here are the best options for both Android and iOS.
Best Budget Wireless Microphone System
The cheapest option I've mentioned here is the Mpow Bluetooth Headset V5.0 (sub-$50). The best value system in my opinion, if I had to commit to one, would probably be the Samson Go Mic Mobile ($170-ish) because you likely already own a smartphone (and thus, won't need to buy a digital recorder).
Summary: Should You Go Wireless?
There are plenty of good wireless mic options out there these days, but I'd only recommend getting one if you've got a good reason to go cable-free. Call me old-fashioned, but wires aren't really a problem in most recording setups. That said, my rabbit Lucy literally chewed through my headphone cable a while back, so maybe I need to re-evaluate that statement.
In any case, you'll know your own needs, wants, and pets best. If you do opt to travel a cable-less path in future, hopefully this roundup has given you enough options to find an ideal pick.
If you need any more help with choosing equipment, or setting it up, or with any other aspect of podcasting for that matter, then be sure to check out The Podcast Host Academy. In there, we run weekly live Q&A sessions and you'll find all of our courses, downloadable resources, templates, and checklists in there too!