Wireless mics: are you using the right frequency? | ACMA

Wireless mics: are you using the right frequency?

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If you’re one of the thousands of wireless microphone users around Australia, it’s important you check that you’re using the right frequency.

Using a wireless microphone outside of licensed frequency ranges can have serious consequences.

If you’re not using the correct frequency, you can significantly disrupt or stop other services (such TV reception), or others who are meant to be on that frequency can cause your wireless microphone to stop working—which is why it’s important that we all know what frequency to use.

What frequency should you be using?

Since January 2015, the main frequency ranges authorised for use by wireless microphones are 520–694 MHz and 1785–1800 MHz. However, the specific frequency you can use depends on your specific location and the particular device or devices that you are using.

As set out in the Radiocommunications (Low Interference Potential Devices) Class Licence 2015 (the LIPD Class Licence), wireless audio transmitters can use spectrum in the following frequency ranges:

Available frequency range (MHz)
(lower limit exclusive, upper limit inclusive)

Notes
(Unless otherwise stated, all frequency ranges listed can be used from 1 January 2015)

520–694 Television broadcasting services are the primary users of this range. Wireless audio transmitter use is limited to the unused television channels located throughout this range. This means the availability of spectrum is different on an area-by-area basis. Use our Channel Finder to find available spectrum in your area.

Within this range, 520–526 MHz is available in all areas (metropolitan, regional and remote).
1785–1800 This is the main frequency range for wireless audio transmitter use. Spectrum in this frequency range is available in all areas (metropolitan, regional and remote).
174–230 The 174–230 MHz frequency range is available in many regional and remote areas. Use our Channel Finder to see if these frequencies are available in your area.

Any transmitter:
915–928

2400–2483.5

5725–5875

88–108

Digital transmitters:
915–928

2400–2483.5

5725–5850

These frequency ranges are used by a wide variety of devices including Wi-Fi and may also be used for wireless audio transmitters. 

The 88–108 MHz frequency range is limited to wireless audio transmitters and auditory assistance transmitters.

Further information, including any operating limits and conditions, for each frequency range can be found in Schedule 1 of the LIPD Class Licence.

Frequency ranges between 10 and 400 MHz have also been used for wireless audio applications such as wireless intercoms, headsets in fast food outlets, hearing aids and toy microphones. However, little equipment is available that is suitable for these applications. Details of these frequency ranges can be found in items 1–21 in Schedule 1 of the LIPD Class Licence.

What do you need to do?

  1. Read your device user manual to find its operating frequencies, or speak with your supplier.
  2. Use our Channel Finder to find which frequency you should be using in your area.
  3. If your wireless microphone is operating on the wrong frequency, retune it to the right frequency or speak to a professional if you need help.

What are the rules for using wireless microphones?

Rules for using wireless mics are set out in the LIPD Class Licence, as well as what spectrum can be used for wireless audio transmitters.

Operation of a device authorised by the LIPD Class Licence does not require the registration of individual devices or the payment of licence fees. The use of devices in accordance with the LIPD Class Licence is not individually coordinated. They are operated on a ‘no interference’ and ‘no protection’ basis, which means users must ensure their devices don’t cause interference to other radiocommunications devices; and they also have no protection from interference caused by other class-licensed devices or licensed radiocommunications services.

Unauthorised operation

It is an offence to operate a radiocommunications device other than as authorised by an apparatus, class or spectrum licence issued by the ACMA. The ACMA takes a graduated approach to investigating complaints of interference and the unauthorised operation of radiocommunications equipment. Most non‑compliance is inadvertent or unintentional and most users will quickly rectify the cause of any interference.

However, there can be circumstances such as continued or wilful non-compliance or negligent behaviour where stronger action is warranted. In these cases, ACMA Inspectors may issue administrative penalties (fines) by way of an infringement notice or, in very serious cases, prepare a brief of evidence for criminal prosecution by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions. Other offences and penalties may also apply depending on the nature and extent of non‑compliant behaviour.

Need more information?

Download this page as a fact sheet.

Last updated: 28 March 2018