Wireless equipment is becoming more and more popular among musicians everywhere. There is an active resistance movement which is refusing the give this not so new tech a chance. In their eyes, a cable is the ultimate way of delivering signal from an instrument to an amp.
That being said, there are many reasons to go wireless.
Your freedom of movement is enhanced, you don’t have to worry about tripping over a cable, and most importantly the quality of sound is nearly as good with modern wireless units.
One company which is really pushing the limit of affordable wireless segment is Audio-Technica. They are known for packing some pretty advanced features into models which are considered affordable. One of their more popular and reliable wireless receivers is the ATW-R3100.
Engineers from Audio-Technica really did a great job at designing a unit which is both practical and reliable. Our goal today is to review the ATW-R3100, and see what makes it so good in the first place.
Every wireless system consists of a receiver and a transmitter. The receiver is usually placed on a rack somewhere in the background. The transmitter is the part of the system which is carried by the musician, and is usually worn on a belt. The best way to use any wireless unit of this type is to maintain constant line of sight between the transmitter and the receiver.
With some models, this isn’t a requirement, but it ensures that the signal gets from your instrument to the amp in most efficient way possible. With that said, the quality of the receiver is more important than the quality of the transmitter. The receiver is the part of the system which is tasked with making sure that the signal is established and maintained.
What makes the ATW-R3100 great is its ability to automatically switch from one frequency to another. Since it’s a UHF band wireless receiver, there can be some interference due to traffic depending on where you live. This unit comes with two independent antennas. Each one of these is active and the receiver chooses to use the one that is receiving the better signal.
ATW-R3100 features a well built body which is suitable for professional use. The the whole unit can be mounted on a rack if that’s the way you want to use it. The LCD display on the front is easy to read, and generally the controls are pretty intuitive.
There are 200 channels at your disposal, so the chances of signal interference are slim to begin with.
ATW-R3100 gets the signal through with a very little amount of distortion. We are talking less than 1% impact. Having two independent antennas combined with frequency hopping capability allows ATW-R3100 to always have you on a clear channel. The range on this thing is rather impressive. Audio-Technica claims you can go as far as 300 ft, but 200 is probably going to be a more realistic range.
The only thing that is really an issue with this receiver becomes apparent when you decide to mount it on a rack. The antennas are in the back of the unit, which puts them in a position of little to no use when mounted on a rack. To solve this problem you will need to get an adapter which allows you to move them to the front. With that said, this issue is present with almost all wireless systems.
What we like
Great performance guaranteed by advanced features is what makes ATW-R3100 a solid receiver. It’s well priced and you can get a decent range from it.
What we don’t like
The only issue we have with the ATW-R3100 is the fact that you need to purchase an adapter to move the antennas to the front of the unit.
Mid range wireless receivers such as the ATW-R3100 are the true sweet spot of the market. When paired with a capable transmitter, you get at great wireless system that can be used in all kinds of settings.
Quality of sound is great, and the price is more than reasonable. If you are looking for a great wireless unit, but you also have some financial constraints to worry about, you should check out this receiver.