Question: What type of batteries should I use in my wireless system?
Answer: All wireless microphone transmitters (and some receivers*) rely upon batteries for their power. There are plenty of different batteries available, from traditional alkaline batteries to various types of rechargeables, but they don’t necessarily provide the same level of service. Selecting the correct battery will help ensure reliable wireless performance and satisfactory battery life.
Alkaline batteries are the preferred battery type for Audio-Technica wireless systems that require AA batteries (excluding SpectraPulse®**). AA alkaline batteries typically measure around 1.5V when brand-new. Alkaline batteries are convenient, offer an excellent balance between cost and operating life, and are reliable. In addition, they are widely available, hold their capacity well in storage, have a predictable discharge rate, and usually do not begin to leak for several years. However, it is recommended that you remove the AA batteries if the product will not be used for an extended period of time.
Using quality alkaline batteries will help your wireless system perform at its peak. Some rechargeable batteries may also be used, but be aware that not all rechargeable batteries are created equal. Currently, the only type of AA rechargeable battery Audio-Technica recommends is nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) with a milliamp-hour (mAh) rating between 2000 mAh and 2700 mAh. It should also be noted that NiMH batteries are approximately 1.2V when fully charged. Although NiMH batteries will work, they will not perform as well as 1.5V AA alkaline batteries, nor give the performance to the wireless device that alkaline batteries will provide. Lithium batteries (Li-ion) are generally not recommended for Audio-Technica systems requiring AA batteries, because a single AA lithium battery can have a voltage as high as 3.8V, which is more than double the recommended single battery voltage.
The amount of battery life experienced depends on the battery type and usage pattern. A battery tester is a useful tool to help determine how much life your battery has left. AA alkaline and AA NiMH batteries are generally considered dead at 1.1V. It should also be noted that most Audio-Technica transmitters feature a low-battery indicator. Please consult the owner’s manual for your product to see how your transmitter indicates a low battery.
As always, sticking to the recommended products/components will allow you to get the most out of your Audio-Technica product. For a more in-depth explanation of batteries and Audio-Technica wireless systems, please visit: http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/site/202338e1136ff9a9/index.html
As always, please feel free to contact our Audio Solutions Department to get more information on which batteries to use, and be sure to join us next time for another “Question of the Week”!
* 1800 Series receivers (ATW-R1810 and ATW-R1820) also operate on AA batteries; System 10 Camera-Mount has a built-in lithium-Ion rechargeable battery. The PRO88W and ATR288W receivers and transmitters operate using 9V batteries.
**SpectraPulse microphone transmitter units operate on NiMH batteries with a 2700 mAh rating. Although alkaline batteries can be used, quality NiMH 2700 mAh batteries are recommended for this system.