How to Connect a Wireless Mic to a Camcorder

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Going wireless for camcorder microphones makes sense to many videographers. Wireless mics eliminate cable clutter and are relatively straightforward to connect and operate. Wireless mic systems are composed of three parts: microphone, transmitter and receiver. Note that only camcorders that accept external microphones can be used with these units, and the mic system you choose must have the proper jack to suit your camcorder, commonly 3.5 mm (1/8 inch) plug or professional 3-pin XLR. A check of your camcorder external mic jack will yield the proper type required; XLR jacks are circular and about one inch in diameter with three female pin-holes arranged in a triangle, while 3.5 mm jacks are approximately 1/8 inch around with a single hole for insertion of the jack.

Things You'll Need

  • Batteries, as required
  • Headphones
  • Insert batteries into the transmitter, receiver and microphone (if required) according to the instructions in the owner's manual. Ensure that the power on all three mic components and the camcorder is off before connection..

  • Locate the external microphone jack on the camcorder and plug the transmitter into the jack using the cable provided with your wireless microphone system.

  • Connect the microphone to the transmitter using the cable provided. With some wireless systems, the microphone is integrated with the transmitter and requires no separate connection.

  • Turn the camcorder power on and scroll through the audio menu to enable use of an external microphone if necessary. On some camcorders, external mics are automatically enabled upon insertion of the jack.

  • Plug headphones into the camcorder and turn the mic, transmitter and receiver on. If connected and adjusted correctly, you will hear the audio signal from the microphone through the headphones.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some wireless microphone systems incorporate switches or volume controls to adjust volume up or down, and some camcorders offer this feature as well. Adjust the volume accordingly on one or both units until clear sound without distortion is heard through the headphones.
  • Place the wireless mic as close to the audio source or subject as possible for best sound results. This technique will eliminate or limit background noise on your video.
  • If the sound through the headphones is distorted, adjust the microphone level or sensitivity on the camcorder (if featured) either in the audio menu or external microphone level controls. Alternatively, or in addition to camcorder audio level adjustment, the volume switch or knob on the microphone receiver or transmitter will also eliminate distortion. Failure to perform these adjustments will result in poor audio quality upon video playback.

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