Wireless Microphone Interference

By Matt

Line 6 Product Specialist

I asked a few performing musicians what their biggest fear was when using wireless mics or wireless guitar devices and they all said the same thing: dropouts and interference ― rightfully so. Many wireless microphones and instrument devices are very susceptible to interference from television stations, radio stations, cordless phones, microwaves, bluetooth devices, WiFi networks... the list goes on.

Traditional wireless audio devices transmit actual audio waves across the air. Even minor interference to the audio wave will alter the sound that comes out at the other end. This could result in unwanted artifacts such as noise, static, or even a local radio broadcast coming out of the PA.

So, how do we avoid radio interference? Line 6 X2 Digital Wireless systems don't need to avoid it, they outsmart it. X2 wireless systems convert the audio into binary code before it gets sent to the receiver. The receiver is smart enough to tell the difference between a one or a zero, even if the signal is a little noisy.

Now, let's imagine that the amount of interference is significant enough to disrupt our binary signal. X2 systems use data correction to reassemble the corrupted audio data. This technique is also used on compact discs and DVDs, which is why you can still play a disc that has been scratched.

X2 units are also equipped with multiple antennas and receivers. The unit compares the data received from the antennas, detects which signal has less errors, and chooses the signal with the fewest errors detected.

As if that weren't enough peace-of-mind, X2 units also offer frequency diversity. Frequency diversity uses several RF carrier frequencies to carry different parts of the audio data. This significantly reduces the impact of other RF signals, since the interference is not likely to be present on all of the frequencies being used.

Ok… so what if aliens invade and they blast a super-strong signal across all frequencies? X2 Digital Wireless units make use of a pilot tone and a squelch circuit to mute any unwanted noise or interference, so you will only ever hear the intended audio signal.

So fear not, friends. The future is nigh, and it is good.