Question: Which wireless systems do you recommend as replacements for 600 MHz equipment?
Answer: Audio-Technica has been at the forefront in helping wireless users navigate the 600 MHz changes resulting from the FCC’s spectrum auction. The Audio Solutions Question of the Week blog post about the 600 MHz auction, the Audio-Technica 600 MHz Wireless FAQ, and the Audio-Technica 600 MHz Trade-In Rebate Program are public resources to assist everyone during this transition. Most importantly, Audio-Technica has a wide range of wireless options to replace systems that operate in the recently sold-off spectrum. But there are a few factors to consider when deciding which system may suit you best.
As the FCC has allocated the 600 MHz band for wireless broadband use, you will, obviously, need to find a system that operates in a different frequency spectrum. Audio-Technica offers systems that operate in the VHF, UHF, ISM, and UWB spectrums, but, depending on your needs, one may be preferable over another. VHF wireless systems such as the System 9 are tried-and-true workhorses. The VHF spectrum has been used for a long time and has favorable “blast power,” meaning that signals can travel great distances and may even be able to pass through objects, such as people or walls, that stand between a transmitter and its receiver. This spectrum, however, does not allow for a high channel count and is used for unlicensed broadcast, which limits the potential for uninterrupted signal transmission.
The 600 MHz band is within the UHF spectrum, and while the upper end of this spectrum is no longer available for unlicensed broadcast, the 400 MHz and 500 MHz UHF ranges can still be used. A logical move when transitioning to new equipment is to stay within this familiar range, as other UHF systems will perform similarly to what you are used to. The higher channel count, good range, and plentiful coverage of UHF systems explains their popularity. (This is also why the data manufacturers and cellphone companies want this spectrum.) Because of the popularity, manufacturers have also created antenna distribution systems and other accessories to help users get the best receptive in various situations. Audio-Technica’s 5000 Series 3rd Generation, 3000 Series 4th Generation, and 2000 Series are great choices for replacement systems that fall within a similar price range and have similar feature sets as many commonly used 600 MHz systems.
The System 10 family of products (System 10 PRO, System 10 Camera-Mount, and System 10 Stack-Mount) operates in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. System 10 transmitters and receivers are in constant communication with one another and automatically change between transmission frequencies to avoid interference. With its hassle-free frequency coordination, System 10 is a great wireless option. But with the ever increasing use of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices operating in 2.4 GHz range, the spectrum can get pretty congested. As with ANYTHING wireless, you are limited by the finite amount of spectrum available. Remember, we are dealing with physics and not magic. But if your wireless environment allows for clean 2.4 GHz operation, System 10 may be the ideal choice for replacing your 600 MHz equipment.
While changing over to a different traditional frequency band may be a solution for some, others may ask about the longevity or life span of such systems given the possibility of future spectrum auctions. If your budget allows for such long-term solutions, wireless systems with new technology may better suit your needs. Audio-Techinca has developed the 6000 Series high density wireless systems to make use of non-traditional wireless spectrums. The 6000 Series operates in the STL-licensed broadcast frequency range of 944-952 MHz, and features advanced IMD suppression to enable the use of 31 simultaneous channels within a tight 4 MHz tuning bandwidth. While you must obtain a wireless license from the FCC to operate this system, for those who qualify, the 6000 Series can provide hassle-free operation that won’t be affected by future UHF auctions.
After considering the wide scope of options Audio-Technica offers for replacing your 600 MHz equipment, feel free to contact the Audio Solutions Department with any questions. Whether you need to replace your wireless systems for a meeting or presentation space, live music festival, house of worship, or music for worship, Audio-Technica systems will ensure you get quality, dependable wireless audio.