Fast FactsApplications: Live sound, installation
Key Features: UHF system; 200 frequencies; handheld and beltpack transmitter systems; true diversity reception; phase locked loop
Price: starts at $799
Contact: Audix at 503-682-6933, www.audixusa.comAudix is the purveyor of many fine microphones, many of which my company uses on a day-to-day basis. Our current stable of 250 microphones features at least 75 Audix products. For quite some time I had made the comment, “if only they made a cool wireless.” My wishes have come true, and Audix now offers their wireless mic system, the RAD-360.
The RAD-360 is a UHF wireless microphone system, offering a lavalier with beltpack transmitter, as well as a handheld transmitter that additionally offers the OM series of microphones as available capsules. The OM series mics are well known to the industry as solid dynamic mics with great sound and durability. The RAD-360 that we sampled was supplied with an OM6 capsule, which I had asked for since I have many OM6 wired mics. I felt that this would give a proper comparison, pitting the RF path against the wire path.
The RAD-360 operates in the UHF band of radio frequencies, around the 700 to 800 MHz range, with 193 available channels or frequencies, providing plenty of latitude to find an unused frequency. The RAD-360 is also a true diversity system, which allows for constant antenna conversation with the receiver to the transmitter and vice-versa, as well as being a PLL system (Phase Locked Loop).
Audix makes this model fairly easy to tune, with a backlit menu on both the handheld and belt pack transmitters and the base receiver. The receiver is a single rack space tall and half of a rack space wide. The green backlit menu window also shows signal and battery strength through use of two separate bar graphs. The rear panel is home to the power supply connection, the XLR balanced output and the quarter inch unbalanced output.
All three components (both mic systems and the receiver) are constructed of steel housings to facilitate many years of rugged use, as well as proper shielding of unwanted RF signals. Both the beltpack and the handheld units feature a battery strength meter and a frequency readout, allowing for constant info monitoring by both performer and console engineer.
I used the handheld microphone with an OM6 capsule for four months. I had this system in every location imaginable… from locations heavy with RF traffic, to 110 degree days in the sun. I remember one RF-heavy concert with Vertical Horizon was at the Dodge Theatre in downtown Phoenix, located directly across from two TV stations and the Phoenix Police department headquarters. I fully expected to have a difficult time finding a useable frequency. Much to my surprise, however, I needed to only adjust to the third of the UHF frequencies listed on the receiver/handheld combo.
The entire day went perfectly, with NO interference of any kind the RAD-360/OM6 system. No “fuzzes,” no “fritzes,” no pops, just good clean RF path. The RAD-360 exhibited excellent adjacent channel rejection, and showed excellent RF filtering.
We used the Audix wireless on at least 60 more occasions. Many times it was used as a tool for the monitor engineer to walk the stages with communications to the FOH console, but most of the time it was employed in performance scenarios.
In all the times we used the RAD-360 system, I had complete confidence in the unit. The OM6 had a clean, succinct sound, excellent feedback rejection due to its tight supercardioid pattern, and an astonishingly clean RF path. If you are in the market for an excellent wireless mic system that won’t completely blow the budget, I highly recommend the Audix RAD-360.
Audix OM6 mics; Yorkville TX2 monitor speakers, A-Line Acoustics AL10 line array speakers; Soundcraft Series Five FOH console; various Atlas microphone stands.