Well built, technologically advanced, and a great performer – at this price, and despite a couple of tiny niggles, we can thoroughly recommend this Samson wireless mic for any DJ looking to add one to their gear.
First Impressions / Setting up
It’s quite a substantial package: In the box is a 1/2 19″-sized all-metal receiver unit with two screw-on aerials, the mic itself (again, all metal, housing a Samson Q8 mic module), plus 19″ mount brackets, a 1/4″ mic jack, and a mic stand clip, plus a power transformer. It gives a feeling of quality from the off.
The mic unit has an on/off/mute button and a small display that shows frequency and battery level, and unscrewing the housing reveals where you slot 2 x AA batteries (for 15 hours’ use), and also where you can set the gain (three settings), lock the mic for performance, and finally access the IR sensor, for linking it to the base unit.
The base unit has on the front a power on/off, a nice, clear colour display, and a rotary encoder that can be pressed to select functions and menu items. Round the back is the DC power-in socket, plus a 1/4″ output jack socket and an XLR balanced output too, for plugging into a mixer (or possibly the mic in of your DJ controller).
The unit is pretty flexible; for instance, you can set up several units and group them for optimal performance, which is a high-end function indeed. But for most DJs, setting up is going to be pretty simple: you select “frequency setup” from the menu, click “scan spectrum”, and the unit cycles through all the available frequencies, choosing the best one for where you happen to be for trouble-free use. By selecting “IR setup” in the same menu and holding the mic IR sensor close to the base unit, you transmit that info to the mic, and… you’re ready to go.
There are other settings, such as base unit audio level in addition to the gain on the main mic, a low-frequency roll off, and technical settings to do with the unit’s built-in squelch and tone key facilities (that cut the audio when “mute” is pressed on the mic, and try to deal gracefully with poor signal situations, respectively), but you’re unlikely to need to mess with these – it really is pretty simple to set up.
We tested it at a big corporate event out of doors, with the receiver sat at the front of the DJ booth and the mic in the hands of a CEO, who wanted to roam the terrace of the venue giving his annual “big up the troops” talk. It sounded clear and sharp, and despite the guy being in front of the PA and with the volume quite high, there was no feedback, so it certainly performed well under those circumstances. Apparently its range is up to 300ft, whereas out test was probably more like 25 or 30ft.
If you’re a wedding DJ managing “father of the bride”-type speeches (where the “top table” may be a long way from your DJ booth), or a corporate DJ where the companies you work with expect a professional wireless system, or just a festival organiser or rave DJ who wants his or her MC to be able to roam free from wires, then a wireless mic is a good idea. Trouble is, in my experience, they are unreliable, at least at the lower end of the market… and brides and CEOs are not people you want to let down.
We like this Samson unit because although it’s more expensive than bargain-bucket wireless systems, it appears to be both technically and build-wise far superior to such entry level units, and the performance suggests that its quality is also far better. Indeed, it reminded us of more expensive systems from names like AKG and Sennheiser, but not at those elevated price levels.
Overall, if you’re a pro wedding or corporate DJ, an event organiser, or have other reasons why you need a high quality, reliable wireless microphone as part of your DJ gear, you should definitely consider the Samson Synth Seven.
The supplied jack lead was a bit short, and as always we’d have liked to have seen the transformer built in to the unit rather than separate… but these are small niggles indeed. Apart from those, we couldn’t fault it, especially at this price.