Reviews are certainly fun to write because I enjoy experimenting with new products and…at my church, I have plenty of places for test runs. Turns out that this review was quite timely and this mic turns out to be more than just a trial, it’s a solution!
My pastor has pretty much sounded awful for months (don’t tell him I said that)! We had a popular head-worn wireless microphone that would sporadically “blink” off and on while he spoke (I would cringe each time). While the congregation will always blame the sound guy, pastors most often look to the worship leader! After changing frequencies, cables, and receiver positions, I determined it had to be the mic. So, I asked him to switch to a mini-lavaliere mic that we had previously retired. He agreed and he would just thread the mic through a buttonhole to be inconspicuous. It worked alright…at least it did not blink off and on, however, it had that proximity problem where every time that he turned his head, the volume changed and when he read at the podium, it got really loud! In a setting that I truly work hard at removing distractions, it’s really frustrating when I ADD them!
On the exact day that I was going to order a new microphone, the Audix Performance Series Wireless System (AP62 VX5) showed up at my door. Opening the box, I found a 2-channel wireless true diversity system in a single rack unit. It came with two handhelds (VX5 Condenser Mics) and also included the optional body pack (B60) with head-worn Audix mic (HT7). The rack unit has two antennas that route to the rack ears and includes a built-in antenna combiner eliminating the need for two pair of antennas.. The handheld microphones have a metal housing, a very balanced and comfortable feel, and are controlled by a soft-touch button at thumb level for power and muting. The body pack has a rugged metal housing as well, and a soft-touch button on the top of the unit for power and muting.
Now, I’m serving in my fourth church, so I’ve used many different wireless systems and mic options over the years. My goal, as with any other worship pastor, is to be careful with my budget and be mindful of church members’ tithe. Currently, we’re running mostly digital handheld mics, seven wireless UHF in-ear systems, as well as the pastor’s mic and mine both being UHF systems. I’ve been fairly pleased with my personal handheld mic, with the exception of the power button being completely miniscule and hard to reach (there is also no mute button). However, switching to this Audix was a real treat. The overall feel and response is a noted improvement. The barrel is smaller and feels better… speaking and singing into the VX5, to my ear, it’s more responsive and natural. The soft touch button is super easy to use and the white LED on black screen is easy to read yet discreet. As far as the pastor’s mic, I’m completely pleased with the design of the Audix head-worn microphone. It has a soft rubber “C” shape that wraps around the back of the ear. The mic then comes from below the ear leaving nothing to be seen in front of the ear. This is a great design compared to others that I’ve used (and broken).
If you look up the Performance Series Wireless on www.audixusa.com, the first thing you’ll see is the phrase, “Scan. Sync. Play!” They trademarked that phrase because it is truly that simple. After plugging in the system, I turned on all of my current equipment so that the used frequencies would be visible (in frequency world) and I pressed the “scan” button. Within 8-10 seconds, the receiver landed on a frequency. I powered on the transmitter (mic) and pressed the “sync” button on the receiver while holding the mic in front of it. Ready to go in all of 2-3 seconds. Honestly, I’ve had systems in the same building actually give up after scanning for a good frequency! For those, I had to select my own by trial and error (and error and error). Both of the channels the Audix auto-selected are right on and have had no interruption. I give this double unit a double-thumbs-up for ease of use, thumbs up for quality, and thumbs up for clarity (I suppose that’s really a triple-thumbs-up). The rack unit system with two VX5 handhelds has a list price of $1800 and street price below $1500. The body pack and head-worn mic together list at $550. I really consider this a wise use of the church budget!