Road Test: Audix Performance Series Wireless In Review

Evaluating a new series of UHF wireless microphone systems in the shop and in the field.

The new Performance Series of UHF wireless microphone systems from Audix includes two series, the R40 as well as the R60 that’s utilized in this evaluation. The receivers in both series are available in single-channel/half-rack and dual-channel/full-rack versions, accompanied by a choice of handheld and/or bodypack transmitters. All models operate in the 522 MHz – 586 MHz frequency band.

Both series offer one-touch auto scan searches for clear channels as well as one-touch sync that links the transmitter to receiver via infrared beam. Receivers also include RF and AF indicators, high-contrast LCD channel displays, intuitive menus, and balanced XLR and 1⁄4-inch outputs.

Dual-channel models also carry an internal antenna combiner that allows for dual-antenna operation as well as the ability to front-mount antennas. Both transmitters and receivers are housed in durable metal chassis.

The 40 series offers 32 MHz wide spectrum tuning, 106 pre-coordinated frequencies, a stated 300-foot operating range, and up to 16 systems can be used simultaneously. Meanwhile, the 60 series has 64 MHz wide spectrum tuning, 207 pre-coordinated frequencies, a specified 450-foot operating range, and up to 24 systems can be used at once.

Both handheld and bodypack transmitters provide user-selectable transmit power settings of either 10 or 40 mW, a choice of three output gain settings (0, -6 and -12 dB), and a soft mute switch. Stated run time is 14 hours on a pair of AA batteries.

Handheld transmitters have removable capsules, with OM2 and OM5 dynamics as well as the VX5 condenser as options. Bodypacks can be utilized with lavalier, headworn, and instrument mics as well with electric guitar and bass.

Getting Acquainted

Upon opening the box I was pleasantly surprised to see that the single receiver system ships with a padded carry case, handy for working musicians and sound companies that aren’t going to rack-mount the receiver. Opening the case I found a H60 handheld transmitter with an OM5 capsule and a R61 single-channel receiver.

The two R60 receiver options — R61 single-channel/half-rack and R62 dual-channel/full-rack. A kit is available for rack mounting the R61.

The handheld feels quite comfortable in hand and includes a power/mute button and an easy-to-read screen that displays assigned frequency, channel and group number, battery life, and the word “MUTE” when the unit is muted.

A quick press of the button powers up the transmitter in addition to providing mute/unmute. To power down, push and hold the button for a few seconds.

The battery compartment is accessed by unscrewing the lower portion of the transmitter handle. And this is cool: there are two plastic clips that hold the lower portion cover, keeping it from falling when it’s unscrewed. The cover can also be removed easily if the user prefers. Overall I really like the transmitter, and the OM5 capsule is also a personal favorite for vocalists.

The easy-to-read LCD screen on the front of the R61 receiver is flanked by power and sync buttons on the left and menu select and set buttons on the right. The rear of the unit offers both XLR and 1/4-inch outputs with a ground lift switch, DC power in (provided by a wall wart cable), and the connectors for attaching two antennas.

A rack-mount kit is also provided, and optional accessories include a kit to rack-mount two single-channel receivers side by side, an antenna distribution system, and wide-band active directional antennas.

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