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How To Conceal Wireless Gear

December 27, 2018

By Joel Guilbert, Dale Pro Audio

How to conceal your wireless transmitter or receiver: an ancient challenge. Talent is being wired up more and more, and these additional narration choices are being presented to a great deal of positive reaction. Even when people don’t know exactly what they are positively reacting to.

A good example of this is to observe the great reaction to curling in the past Winter Olympics. What was the difference between this and all of the other years curling has been broadcast? With this recent Olympics, all the curlers were miked up with lavalier mics. It was a very interesting phenomenon - even when presented with commentary in a language we don’t understand, it just felt more intimate and immediate. Hearing the dialog between players really brought a lot of people into the matches.

Expect to see a lot more of this in the sports world - and beyond. The recent Tiger Woods/Phil Mickelson “The Match” featured the players and their caddies miked up and providing commentary throughout the proceedings.

So now comes the challenges:

  • How do you get microphones onto the athletes/talent, turn them on and off, check battery life and adjust levels without causing a big scene?
  • How can you ensure the microphones aren’t causing any performance issues to the athletes/talent - the mics can’t add any additional weight or cause discomfort.
  • How do you make sure the microphones and transmitters don’t get destroyed? 

It’s a big challenge. Make it light/tiny, at the same time, be really tough and water resistant.

Lucky for us that a couple of recent products have been released that can make this a lot easier:

Zaxcom's new ZMT-3 Flex weighs only 3 oz, is constructed of silicon rubber that allows the transmitter to bend and flex to help it from being destroyed by the rigors of being strapped to an athlete. Included with the ZMT-3 Flex are features that are standard to Zaxcom (not to your normal wireless gear) like timecode support and internal recording. The unit also has a unique dual output for either stereo operation or for redundancy to protect from dropouts.

Shure's Axient Digital ADX1M micro bodypack is a mini-sized transmitter, at 2.4 in. × 2.7 in. × 0.9 inches, featuring waterproof membrane buttons and a recessed LEMO connector and an internal antenna - less to get snagged or broken.

Both the Zaxcom and Shure allow remote control and monitoring of various features. You can check battery life, adjust gain, power on and off. Gain access to the remote control features using ZaxNet transmitter with Zaxcom, and ShowLink access point for the Shure.

And to keep the remotely controlled transmitters securely in place: Viviana Straps has a line of hypoallergenic & breathable "no-slip" models for waist, thigh, and ankle.

These products help address this seeming conundrum of tiny, light and durable.

Joel Guilbert is Dale Pro Audio's Technology Development Manager, and assists with technical support inquiries, system design and integration, and much more for our company. He can be reached at

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