Wireless Microphones Update - (December 18, 2009)

As of June 12, 2009 performing arts organizations were to have discontinued use of wireless microphones in a specific portion of the broadcast spectrum – channels 52-69, between the 700 and 800 MHz frequencies.  The FCC is currently considering an enforcement plan (with accompanying penalties) that could take effect as early as June 2010.  If you have not already done so, you are urged to discontinue use of this frequency range immediately. 

Performing arts organizations using Shure microphones may be able to re-brand their equipment with a new frequency range. Through the end of this month, Shure Manufacturers is offering a rebate plan to assist their customers in moving out of the 700 MHz band. Please visit http://shure.com/ProAudio/Rebates us_pro_rebate_wireless   to learn further details and determine if your equipment’s make and model is eligible.


The wireless microphone technology in use by orchestras and other performing arts organizations is undergoing changes.  As TV made the transition to digital, the FCC re-examined the use of the broadcast spectrum.  The wireless microphone devices used in backstage communication and performance amplification operate in the “white space” that exists between broadcast television channels.  Auction of the “white space” resulted in a reorganization of the broadcast spectrum, a re-examination of the allowable uses of the spectrum, and the development of new devices to be used in the same part of the spectrum currently used by wireless microphone technology.

The League, in partnership with our colleagues in the Performing Arts Alliance, is in ongoing communication with the FCC regarding this issue.  We are encouraging the FCC to find a solution that is affordable for nonprofit orchestras and that will guarantee that migration to new technology and a new location on the broadcast spectrum will be free of interference during performances.


Please direct any related questions to Heather Noonan, Vice President for Advocacy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Najean Lee, Government Affairs & Education Advocacy Manager, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

The League is a member of the Performing Arts Alliance, a coalition of national performing arts service organizations dedicated to advocating for national policies that recognize, enhance, and foster the contributions the performing arts make to America.