REVIEWED: Q-Audio QWM 1950 HH+BP
First of all I would like to say a big thank you to Q-Audio for allowing me to do this review on their QWM 1950 HH + BP (Handheld + Belt Pack) UHF wireless microphone system. They have a QWM 1950 HH version too, which is a dual handheld system, but it was good to test and review the HH + BP system as it means I could test both the handheld and belt pack transmitters.
Let’s start with the outer packaging. The QWM 1950 comes in a very nicely designed outer cardboard box with great quality pictures detailing what is inside, it also lists all of the technical specs as well as the box contents. Once you open the outer packaging, you will pull out the rugged ABS plastic carry case that is supplied with the QWM 1950. This case is brilliant as its foam insert has slots for each element of the kit, which keeps all of the system together and protected as well as easy to carry. Now comes the best part, unwrapping the equipment!
First the QWM 1950 receiver. It features a nice sleek design with twin fixed antennas on the back, these are not removable though. The outputs on the QWM 1950 are 2 x balanced XLRs, which are independent, meaning one does one channel and the second does channel two. There is also a 1/4” jack mixed output. This combines the signals from channel one and channel two so they both come out of this one output, which is really handy if you only have a limited number of microphone inputs on your mixer or controller. Power is supplied to the unit via a low voltage DC socket from the supplied mains adapter.
Coming round to the front of the QWM 1950 receiver, you’ll find two very smart TFT colour displays and two control knobs, one for each channel. The knobs are how you control the unit, you twist the knobs to navigate through the screen’s options and press the knob inwards to select an option, it’s a really easy to use system! There is also an IR button and a lock button for each channel. The IR button is what is used to sync the transmitter to the receiver – it’s all done wirelessly, you just need to put the transmitter near the receiver, making sure the IR label is facing the transmitter, and press the button, that’s it!
The receiver also has two fixing holes on each side so that the QWM 1950 can be fitted into a 19” rack mount with the rack mounting kits that can be bought separately. I was told that Q-Audio can supply two different rack kits; one to mount a single receiver in the middle of a standard 19” rack or another to mount 2 x receivers side by side in a 19” rack. Both are 1U high, so really compact. Q-Audio also said that it uses the same rack mount kit they have for the QWM1960 V2 model, which is handy to know!
The receiver also boasts an Auto Frequency Scan feature, where the unit searches through all of the available frequencies to see which is the best channel that has the least interference so you avoid any nasty interruptions or dropouts. Speaking of frequency, it is worth mentioning you can buy the system on either channel 38 (606.5-613.5MHz) or channel 70 (863-865MHz).
The handheld microphone has a nice solid black shaft with a small but smart LCD display. Its On/Off button doubles as a Mute button if you press it quickly (you use a long press to turn it on and off).
The LCD display shows everything you need to know: the channel and group it’s on, along with the frequency, the mute status, the battery level and also an indicator to see if the transmitter is transmitting in ‘Hi’ or ‘Lo’ Power mode. In Low Power mode you’ll get reduced range but better battery life and the opposite for High Power mode. The handheld transmitter takes 2 x AA batteries that last approximately 6 hours on good branded batteries. There are 4 x standard AA batteries supplied in the box when new. I must say, I’m very impressed with the handheld microphone; it’s smaller than many wireless handhelds but it feels nice in my hand and it sounds great too.
The body/belt pack is also a nice little transmitter! Like the handheld, it sports a nice little LCD display showing the same level of detailed information. On top you’ve got the small aerial and also an on/off/mute switch alongside the adjustable volume knob. The input socket on the belt pack is a 4-pin mini XLR, which is a welcome feature, as it allows the input to be interchangeable between the included head worn mic, lapel mic and guitar cable. Since this is a standard connection type, you can also use microphones from other manufacturers with the belt pack too!
All in all, the belt pack is great for a variety of different applications. The lapel mic has a good pickup so it would be ideal to use at a wedding for the speeches (as an example). The head mic is comfortable and it would be fantastic for a children’s entertainer or fitness instructor, as it fits snuggly to the head and allows you to adjust the microphone arm for the best fit.
To conclude, there is nothing I can really say is wrong with the QWM 1950 system. It is competing with some of the big brands, but the price it retails for is fantastic (£139) so you’re getting a lot for your money! I’m sure this will be a great addition to my setup and I’m looking forward to using it for many years to come.
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The full review can be found in Pro Mobile Issue 102, Pages 76-78.