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Making Peace with the Headset Mic

Yeah, yeah, yeah….we know what you’re thinking.  I can hear you screaming now, “Using a headset mic will make me look like Britney or Garth or Justin!  I’m not THAT kind of artist”.  

Well, we doubt if you’re making the same judgement when you see someone playing a certain kind of guitar…ie: “Oh, she’s playing a Telecaster…she’s just like Nancy Wilson”.  Or, “He’s singing into a Shure SM-58…he must think he’s Bruce Springsteen”.

 Ridiculous, right?

But, Tom and I get push-back almost every time we bring up the idea of incorporating a wireless headset into a show.

You’re afraid of what your friends and other musicians will think of you, right? Well, THEY aren’t the ones showing up at your merch table, buying shirts and CDs anyway!

Our job is to help you keep your audience captivated, and we want to give you the tools to do that…in turn, making more fans and selling more stuff after the show. You’ve GOT to start thinking of a headset mic for what it actually is; a tool that enables you to be hands free to do something else. 

Now, we don’t suggest it for everyone for sure, and certainly not every song, but if you have a song where you grab a drum for a rhythmic breakdown or something, it’s perfect!

If you’re a guitar player and want to be able to work the stage with your guitar or go out in the audience to make a connection, NO ONE is going to compare you to another artist….They’ll be focused on how cool it is that you walked out into the audience to play and sing close to them!

Pink uses a headset to allow her to soar above you on silks and wires, AND SING WHILE SHE’S DOING IT! I guess if you were to do that as well, there would be a comparison to her show.

Let’s look at some other ideas for when to use this mic.  Maybe you’re the type of artist that could create a piece of art (a painting maybe?) during the show while you’re singing.  Or some of you that are more theatrical, would be able to express yourselves more fully with 2 hands free.

A fun moment song – where you want the audience to participate – is a good time to use it if you’re trying to get them to sing or clap along.

We realize that some of these mics might not be as quality as your hand-held mic, but most people in the audience won’t be able to tell the difference. And in most cases, we wouldn’t recommend it for your entire show, and especially for songs where mic presence is vital.  

We’re simply suggesting maybe once or twice in your set, only on the songs where it would make sense. Yes, it will take a little extra effort to set it up, and put it on and off, but taking the time to work with it will be worth it.

So be creative and take the risk! These mics are used in nearly every genre. Remember, the headset mic is just a TOOL. It doesn’t DEFINE you or who you are. YOU wear the mic…the mic doesn’t wear YOU.

Amy Wolter

As a trained Live Music Producer for Tom Jackson Productions, Amy Wolter brings her years onstage as a lead singer & keyboardist - along with her experience as a producer, arranger, and songwriter - to singers and bands who won’t settle for ‘good enough’. She’s worked with artists at all levels, and genres ranging from Rock to Celtic, empowering them to have confidence and authority onstage, and put on memorable live shows, a few of whom have been on two of the largest US tours in recent history. Some of her clients include Grammy award winners The Band Perry & Lacrae, CMA and ACM –winning country acts, Gloriana & Thompson Square, 2016 The Voice contestant Mary Sarah, CCMA (Canada) winners High Valley, Jess Moskaluke & Chad Brownlee, and Winter Jam Tour veterans Sidewalk Prophets & Love and The Outcome.

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Greenroom Comments

  1. El Bob Oh says:

    What’s a cost breakdown for something that will work for quiet listening rooms to noisy sports bars, about 200-300 people max room?

    • I spoke to Ryan Smith at Shure here in Nashville…Here are 2 packages – you can read the specs on both and see what’s best for your situation: GLXD14/SM35 – $ 549.00 Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) QLXD14/SM35 -$ 1,073.00 (MAP)
      Good luck El Bob Oh!!

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