There are a number of important factors to consider when choosing between UHF (ultra high frequency) and VHF (very high frequency) wireless microphones, including where and how the system will be used, the number of systems needed, and the price. There are also several application issues that can affect the choice between UHF and VHF.
UHF and VHF have different names because they operate in different bands of the FM spectrum. UHF systems do not hold any large technical advantage over similar VHF systems. However, interference due to electrical equipment, digital devices and other electronic equipment is generally lower at UHF frequencies. This is because noise from these sources becomes less intense as the frequency increases.
UHF wireless systems operate in the 470 mHz to 698 mHz bands. The so-called 700 mHz band — between 698 and 806 mHz.
These systems have strong output and they may also be preferable if high-performance antennas must be used to extend range. Using UHF allows you to have more frequencies to choose from, and this system is recommended if the wireless equipment will be used in situations where several other wireless systems are present e.g. radio stations, concerts. This is because more frequencies are accessible, reducing the chances of interference.
The VHF band spans 150 – 216 mHz, roughly the same frequencies as the old broadcast TV channels from 7 to 13.
There are a great many situations where VHF systems will provide excellent performance at an affordable price. VHF systems have good sound quality and have a better battery life. They are most suited to an outdoor environment in comparison to the UHF which gives a more professional experience indoors. However they do have larger “dropout” zones (areas where your mic won’t work), meaning the user will need to move the transmitter long distances to adjust to interference-free operation.
Depending on what you use your wireless microphone for will impact your decision. UHF wireless microphones can be an expensive option for churches and conference rooms where sound quality isn’t a prime consideration.
Overall is UHF is always a better choice than VHF? Not necessarily. Your needs and your budget still take priority.
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