I get asked for tips for low-cost mics so I thought I’d compile the information in one place.

Standard microphones

Low-cost for decent sound quality – the Behringer XM8500 Ultravoice – you can find it for about £20 online. I use it and it’s very decent for the price – that’s me using it in the pic above.

Wireless Headset microphones – a low-cost hack!

A couple of years ago, I discovered this information and have tested it out and found it to work extremely well as a lower-cost option for a wire-free / light-weight mic option. I initially looked into it for busking as it saves me having to carry not only a standard microphone but also the stand and the cable – all of which add up in weight.

Anyone that knows me well knows that I design much of my life around avoiding having to carry anything heavy, so frankly, this suits me for most occasions! But joking aside, the other advantages are that this set up allows me to move my head around freely (rather than hold my mouth near the microphone) which works well in a bhakti bhav. Also, I’m not the most competent guitarist and if I look down to find a chord, the mic comes with me, rather than my vocals getting temporarily lost.

The sound is definitely less wonderful than with a standard mic but IMHO it’s a good-enough quality. And the better the headset mic you buy, the better the sound (that’s something I’m still experimenting with).

So you need two things:

1) A JOYO Rechargeable Digital Wireless Guitar Transmitter Receiver

I have the JW-01 (which you can find for under £60 at time of writing if you search on google) but there is a newer model the JW-02. I haven’t tried this but it looks like the units are more streamlined and put-in-pocketable.

You don’t need a guitar for this set-up (but you can use it to amplify an electro-acoustic or electric guitar if you want). On the transmitter unit (which you wear or put in your pocket) there is a standard 3.5mm input socket for a headset microphone. The receiver unit gets plugged into the amp (in the same way a standard microphone cable would).

You can read more about the set-up here – which is where I got the information: http://www.busker.me.uk/wireless.htm

2) A low-cost headset mic with a 3.5mm mono connector

Check this link to see the kind I mean – get one with decent reviews and the only thing to watch out for is that it is a standard 3.5mm mono connector (not a threaded or locking connector which Senheiser and other brands use).

I guess you could also use a clip-on lapel mic but I haven’t experimented with those.


– Vaishnavi

I offer 1-1 coaching online
kirtan, harmonium, voicework
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