Road Test: Audio-Technica System 10 PRO

Checking out a new 2.4 GHz digital wireless microphone system with a unique design...

The new Audio-Technica System 10 PRO digital wireless system (not to be confused with the System 10, released a couple of years ago) offers numerous advanced features, including dual channel units, the ability to remotely locate the receivers/antennas, rack-mounting, and a total of 10 units that can be used together.

A durable metal body, half-rack-sized chassis unit can house two receiver units, and the receivers can also be located up to 328 feet away from the chassis, linked via standard Ethernet cable. Each receiver comes with a remote housing that also allows it to be securely wall mounted. Because the antennas are located on each receiver, this allows the user to place them in an optimal position while securing the chassis in a rack.

In addition, up to five chassis (10 receiver units) can be linked using an included RJ12 cable, creating a multichannel system with simultaneous use of up to 10 channels without the need for frequency coordination or group selection issues.

See it in Action- View the System 10 Pro Video from Audio Technica

The System 10 PRO operates in automatically selected frequencies in the 2.4 GHz ISM band, providing digital 24-bit/48 kHz wireless operation. Every time a receiver/transmitter pair is powered on, they automatically select clear frequencies and also have the ability to change transmitting frequencies automatically during power-up or performance if interference is encountered.

A closer look at the receiver, with antennas attached.

Three levels of diversity assurance are provided: frequency, time, and space. Frequency diversity sends the signal on two dynamically allocated frequencies for interference-free communication. Time diversity sends the signal in multiple time slots to maximize immunity to multipath interference. Space diversity uses two antennas on each transmitter and receiver unit to enhance signal integrity.

Plenty Of Options
Systems are available configured as either single- or dual-channel, and with handheld and belt pack transmitters (or one of each). My test unit was the ATW-1312 package, which includes two ATW-RU13 receivers, and one ATW-RC13 chassis, ATW-T1001 UniPak body pack and ATW-T1002 Unidirectional handheld. Also included are receiver mounting brackets, a joining plate (for dual-channel systems only), an RJ12 cable, an AC adapter, and an AT8456a Quiet-Flex stand clamp for the handheld transmitter.

Out of the box the first thing I noticed is the ruggedness of the dual-receiver chassis. Because it’s a half-rack unit, up to four channels of wireless can now be had in a single rack space. If you’re constantly running out of rack space (like me), that’s a great feature. The receivers easily plug into the chassis, and pop out by pushing a button.

The receivers easily slide in and out of the half-rack chassis.

And as noted earlier, the receivers and their antennas can be remotely mounted with the included holders that are designed to mount to a flat surface like a wall, but I’m sure the more resourceful types among you will have no trouble adapting the housings to fit on a microphone stand or other support. The bottom line is that it’s no problem to mount them for line of sight with the transmitters.

Operating in the 2.4 GHz, there’s no concern about TV station interference or other production wireless systems. Note, however, that routers can generate interference, so it’s best not to locate the receivers within about 30 feet of a wireless access point. 

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The ATW-T1001 body pack is light but the plastic body is rugged, taking a pair of AA alkaline batteries. My system was supplied with an MT830cW omnidirectional condenser lavalier mic, with headworn, instrument, and guitar cables also available from A-T. The ATW-T1002 handheld transmitter is also powered with dual AA alkalines. I really like the recessed single switch at the base of the mic in helping to thwart inadvertent muting or turn off.

More Information About the System 10 Pro is Available for Download from Audio Technica
System 10 PRO Literature (pdf 2.83 M)
System 10 PRO Manual (pdf 901.35 KB)