Speech Reinforcement: General Notes

By: Owen T. Heisler
Updated: 2019-10-06
Published: 2016-08-05

This article is part of a series; see Speech Reinforcement.

Hardware

When selecting hardware, look for quality first, then look for a feature set close to what you need. Often a well-designed device with a limited feature set will work better than a poorly-designed device with an extensive feature set. Do not make the mistake of looking for the cheapest product with the features you need: likely those features are poorly implemented.

If price is a concern, consider buying used equipment. Generally, used high-quality hardware will serve you better than new low-quality hardware. But remember to test used hardware thoroughly before using in an important event!

Here are some brands I have at least some experience with. You can learn more by testing devices and doing research.

  • TOA: recommended. TOA’s products, while often more expensive than competitors’, are more reliable and have (sometimes radically) better performance. I have had excellent experience with TOA’s warranty/repair service.
  • Williams Sound: recommended. Their assistive listening systems provide high quality audio transport. This opinion is based mostly the experience of other people with some of their 72 MHz systems.
  • Telex: of interest. Decent 72 MHz assistive listening systems.
  • Revolabs: of interest. Revolabs has some nice-looking wireless microphone equipment.
  • Peavey: not sure.
  • Rane: not sure. Rane has some excellent RaneNotes reference material.
  • Galaxy Audio: not recommended. I have used some Galaxy Audio equipment that was usable but not high-quality.
  • ART: not recommended. I have had problems with both ART products and their repair services.
  • Behringer: not recommended. Behringer’s products are designed to provide as many features as possible for the least cost.
  • Nady: not recommended. I have seen major quality problems on Nady portable products.

Other resources

See the following external links for more information.

Telephone