Are the folks at your church finding it difficult to hear the sermons? Maybe your churches preacher is very active, moving up and down the stage?
Or you recently decided to form a church band? Well, then it might be time to invest in a quality wireless microphone system for your church.
But which systems are good and what should you look for in a wireless system? Let’s take a look at some of the best wireless mic systems that will be perfect for your church.
Best Wireless Church Microphone Systems
1. Shure BLX288/SM58
The Shure BLX288/SM58 wireless system is quite straightforward. It features a fairly simple wireless receiver and two SM58 microphones. But just because it is basic, doesn’t mean it is bad by any means.
The simplicity of the system makes it incredibly easy and hassle free to setup and use. This makes it perfect for using in a church setting.
The system is pretty much just a ‘plug-and-play’ situation. You simply turn on the receiver, set each mic receiver to a specific group and channel, and then set the mics to the same group and channel.
As for the mics themselves, the SM58 is basically the industry standard for live vocals. These are crisp and clear mics that work great for both speech and singing.
That means that you don’t have to swap out mics or use different ones to go from sermon to band. All you need to do is just adjust the levels and EQ on the mixing desk.
SM58s are also known for being quite durable. These mics can take a beating, so you don’t have to worry about being careful with them. And since they are SM58s, they are fairly cheap and easy to replace.
The mics are also easy to use. Unscrewing the bottom section of the mic will allow you to set the group and channel, as well as replace the two AA batteries.
Since you are getting two mics with this system, you don’t need to purchase a second mic. So, you can set up one mic for speech and one for vocals, have two singers, or just have a backup mic.
2. Sennheiser EW 100
Sennheiser’s new EW 100 G4 is not only the latest version of their popular wireless system, but a big improvement over the old G3.
The receiver is extremely well-built, and doesn’t feel like it will break easily. Setup is also fairly straightforward, with preset frequencies to quickly connect any devices.
The G4 system does only come with one mic, but it is a very good one, at least. Speech is clear and vocals are crisp and responsive.
The great thing about the G4 system is that you are also not limited to using just the included mic. The receiver can have up to twelve different devices connected at once.
That means that you can have both microphones and wireless systems for guitars and bass connected to it. In other words, you can have the entire church band, apart from the drummer hooked up to the G4 system.
The system is a bit on the pricier side, but I think Sennheiser makes up for that with all the included extras. Apart from the rack mounting kit, Sennheiser has also included multiple different power adapters. That means that you can use it overseas without having to worry about the different power plugs used in other countries.
The only real downside of this system is its range. The receiver only works up to a maximum of 100 feet which means you have to keep it fairly close to the stage to ensure no drops in the signal.
3. Phenyx Pro
The Phenyx Pro 4-Channel Wireless is perhaps the best wireless mic system for a church at such a low price point.
For its relatively low price, the Phenyx Pro is a surprisingly good wireless system. The receiver itself is very solid and well-made. It also has a rack mountable design for easy installation in a standard 19-inch rack.
However, you are a bit limited in terms of frequencies. The receiver only has four fixed UHF frequencies to choose from, and you can’t simply switch if you encounter noise.
This does make the system very easy and straightforward to set up. And it shouldn’t be much of an issue for smaller venues like churches.
As for the mics themselves, I was very impressed with them. Firstly, you are getting six mics with this system: two lavaliers, two headsets, and two handhelds. There are also two wireless receiver packs included to use with either the lavaliers or headsets.
The quality of the mics is also quite good. Both the lavaliers and headsets are clear during speech, while the handhelds are responsive while singing. The headset mics have some noise during singing, so they are definitely better for speech.
To be clear, these aren’t the best mics in the market, but they aren’t bad either. This system is certainly a great value, but if audio quality is your top concern, I would definitely go with one of the other systems on this list.
As a bonus, the system also comes with eight AA batteries. So, you can pretty much power the entire system right out of the box.
4. Shure QLXD124/85
Another Shure wireless system, the QLXD124/85 is quite the step above the BLX system.
The first difference you will notice is that it has only one SM58 mic instead of two. In place of the second SM58, the QLXD comes with a WL185 lavalier mic and bodypack.
As I mentioned with the BLX, the SM58 is a great mic for both speech and vocals. The WL185 is also a fantastic mic for speech. It sounds crisp and clear, but being a lavalier, it isn’t made for vocals.
On the other hand, having a handheld and a lavalier means that you can easily switch between the two mics. This does of course mean that the system doesn’t come with any backup mics.
You are also limited to having only one mic for vocalists. But again, SM58s are affordable and easy to come by, so you can easily add a second one to the system.
And since the system can handle over 60 channels, you are not limited to using just one or two mics at a time. This is another system that can be used for the entire church band, apart from the drummer.
As for the receiver, it is a very lightweight and compact system. Making for an easy to set up system that you can just throw in a backpack to take to and from venues.
The receiver also has an operational range of around 328 feet, meaning it can also be set up in a control booth or at a mixing desk without fear of the signal dropping.
5. Sennheiser XSW
The second Sennheiser system on this list, the XSW 1-825 is another fantastic wireless system by Sennheiser.
This is also the most straightforward system on this list, featuring just the receiver and a single 825 mic. But it is still an excellent value, delivering great quality at a very affordable price.
The receiver is very straightforward to set up. It can also be used with up to ten devices at a time, so you can have multiple mics and bodypacks connected simultaneously.
The receiver does feel a bit plastic, but not necessarily cheap. I would, however, still be careful when packing it into a backpack.
The mic is surprisingly good as well. It is very responsive, with a rather warm and smooth sound. Singers with a bit of a lower register voice sound particularly good through this mic.
Its feedback rejection is especially (and pleasantly) surprising. You can almost point the mic directly at a monitor without getting any feedback.
Something that I did notice, however, was the handling noise on the mic. The mic is quite sensitive with picking up any sort of rubbing or movement on its plastic exterior.
You will definitely have to be careful not to shift your grip to much while using the mic, because it will be audible through the PA.
The XSW might be my choice for smaller churches and wedding ceremonies. Its small size, ease of use, and affordable price make it perfect for simpler setups.
It is also nice that Sennheiser still includes multiple power adapters, even with one of their cheaper wireless systems.
6. AKG WMS470
The AKG microphones have always been known for their amazing, pro-level sound quality and sheen. They're also designed with top-level specs that, in my opinion, make European mics better than other brands.
The WMS470 is one of the best wireless mic systems for churches. When choosing the right mic, one of the most important things to consider is how well it handles high sound pressure levels (SPL), whether you're amplifying the band or individuals.
This mic is great at handling high levels, which is ideal for covering the wide range of sounds that can happen in a church worship setting. It also has a well-designed spring steel wire mesh grill that acts as a fantastic pop and wind noise filter.
I'm sure many of you have experienced those annoying popping sounds when a pastor accidentally holds the mic too close to their lips.
Another awesome feature of this mic is its special cardioid pickup pattern, which is narrow and focused enough to prevent feedback.
If you've ever been in a church where feedback happened because of multiple mics or speakers being too close to each other, you know how jarring that can be, especially in spaces with lots of echo.
The WMS470 also has one of the best receivers in its class, supporting up to 20 wireless channels at the same time. This means there won't be any RF interference or signal loss, even in crowded areas like a church.
The only downside of this mic, in my opinion, is its relatively short battery life of 14 hours. While it may not be a dealbreaker in a church scenario, I think it could be improved.
Which Wireless System Should You Choose for Your Church?
This is really going to depend on what you are planning on using the system for and how many devices you want to connect at once.
Fortunately, most receivers these days can easily have ten or more devices connected at the same time.
Therefore, this is likely won’t be something to consider, but you should keep it in mind and make sure that the receiver can do what you need it to.
When choosing the best receiver, it is important to consider its ability to automatically engage multiple bandwidths without RF interference. Brands like AKG, known for their high-end products, excel in signal-proofing the transmission.
So, the only big consideration will be the audio situation in your church. This is all about acoustics.
Is your church one of those traditional Catholic-style cathedrals with super high ceilings and marble everywhere? Or is it more of a modern room with carpeted floors?
The number of reflections from the reverb also makes it trickier to get the best microphone sound. Carpeted rooms also present their challenges in that the space is more dead and absorbed, so a brighter microphone would be clearer.
Feedback can be a real pain, especially if you have a band rocking out with a PA system right next to the podium where the lecturer is speaking. Luckily, there are some special microphones that have narrow cardioid patterns specifically designed to prevent feedback.
Then there's the mega-church scenario, where it's almost like being in a rock auditorium. In this case, the focus is on power and SPL (Sound Pressure Level) levels.
Many of these large churches also feature concerts by country and pop singers, so you should opt for a microphone that also has studio-level frequency response to deliver a nice, powerful vocal.
If you only need a mic for the person performing the sermon, in other words they are only talking, then any mic will do with a fairly simple receiver.
This means that you can use a lavalier, headset, or handheld mic. The best would be to ask the person talking what they are most comfortable with, and use that.
If they are just standing at a podium, a handheld mic on a stand should be fine. If they like walking around on stage, a lavalier or headset mic might be a better option.
For the best results when using a handheld microphone, consider getting a microphone that has excellent built-in pop filters in its mesh wiring. The thing is, many speakers aren't really experts at holding handheld microphones; for some, it’s their first time and they’re nervous.
Many of them end up dealing with the awkward proximity effect when they first get close to the microphone. As a result, they tend to pull back too far to compensate for it, which then makes it hard for them to hear themselves.
Just keep in mind that the speakers don't have direct monitoring, so they don't really know for sure what the audience is hearing or if they're being too loud or too quiet. Most regular churches don't have a sound engineer upfront adjusting the levels of the different speakers.
Backing Band, But No Singing
Some churches have backing bands, but don’t have anyone singing. Rather, it is just a sermon being performed over background music.
In this case, both headset and handheld mics will work just fine. Lavalier mics aren’t a good choice in this case, because they aren’t very good at rejecting background noise. Using a lavalier will result in unwanted noise over the PA.
I always recommend getting the microphone with the narrowest pattern and best off-axis rejection so that the least amount of the band's PA system interferes with the sermon mic.
Especially in big, echoey churches, once the band starts playing and the pastor begins speaking, the chances of feedback go up a lot.
Band With Singer
Here, a headset or handheld mic will still be good options.
Handheld mics are a bit better for singing than headset mics. Their frequency response is better.
Regardless of which one you go with, just make sure that the mic sounds good for both speech and singing. A mic might sound good with one, but bad with the other.
A great option would also be to have a mic set up for speech, and another for singing. This is just to avoid having to adjust the mix while someone is singing or talking, causing less-than-ideal audio quality.
If you're planning to grab a regular handheld singing mic and pop it on a stand for the singer, then think about getting a mic with the crispiest highs and the least amount of low-end among the options.
One common issue with church band singers is that things can get pretty messy if you end up with a mic that has too much low midrange. Especially for male vocalists.
In rooms with a lot of echo, low mids seem to multiply like crazy. The brighter mics also do a better job of cutting through the instruments in a more contained, carpeted space.
Since most church bands don't really have access to fancy compression and EQ gear, it's worth keeping in mind that a mic with a top-notch integrated pop and mesh filter design will serve you better.
There are many wireless systems out there on the market. This can make it extremely difficult to know which system to go for.
In my experience as a regular church attendee and also a sound engineer, a lot of the issues I've noticed and heard during the service are caused by the way acoustics work.
Sometimes, I even volunteer to play the piano or speak, and when I compare how the sound is perceived by the audience to how it's perceived by people near the altar, it just makes more sense.
Luckily, many of these microphone companies are constantly adding new features to improve the sound. They have things like anti-feedback capsule designs, automatic cutoffs to control the sound when it's not being used, and overall smoother frequency levels.
These improvements have really made a difference in creating a better sound experience for churches.
My experience recording orchestral players and choir in various churches has also taught me that there isn't a one-size-fits-all microphone. If your church can have a few different microphone designs for specific tasks, it can really make a difference.
And, of course, the most important microphone choice is for whoever is doing the sermon. I always suggest using a handheld microphone for the pastor or lecturer.
Hopefully this guide has given you an idea of some of the best options available. And hopefully, it has also given you some valuable tips to know what to look for when selecting a wireless system for your church.