USING THE NUVOICE PL-2 WIRELESS MICROPHONE PLUG -ON TRANSMITTER
In the course of a rehearsal, recording session, or live performance I occasionally find myself thinking wouldn’t it be nice if I had an __X__. Letter X being fill in the blank for whatever toy/tool/widget that could potentially make your life easier at that given moment in time. New player to the wireless game NuVoice has come up with something that could be the something to fill that gap. Ever wished you could convert whatever wired mic you had lying around into wireless. Are you short a cable or two? I introduce to you the NuVoice PL-2 Wireless Plug -on.
NUVOICE: THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK
Upon opening the box and given the inherent newness of NuVoice, I was initially unsure of what to expect. To my surprise however the PL-2 which currently lists on amazon.com for $239.00 comes quite complete – right down to the rechargeable batteries that are used in the wireless units. Being the PL-2 is a two channel system: along with the receiver unit two transmitter units with wall adapters and charging cables are included. Given the trend of an increasing amount of small devices being chargeable off a computer USB port I was happy to see the transmitter units are capable of this as well. The PL-2 microphone plug -on also arrives with two 1/4″ unbalanced cables all enclosed in what looks to be a fairly sturdy plastic carry case.
The receiver itself is a relatively compact unit not much more than the size of two decks of cards however the solid metal construction alleviates some of my durability concerns. On the face are twin antenna screw on connects along with power and channel select micro switches for each respective channel. Three red leds indicate power and channel status. The back contains 1/4″ channel outputs, mini plug 12vdc power and a custom connector input for using the PL-2 in an open port of a VocoPro PA product. While overall the packaging is fairly clever the diminutive size when used standalone seems to potentially lend itself well to becoming the perfect object to be used as a foot propelled projectile. An optional standard rack mounting would be nice.
The PL-2 transmitter units continue the theme of robust construction and actually appear to be fairly well thought out. The XLR connectors features a safety screw type design to ensure the transmitter firmly locks to the base of the microphone. The face features power, volume up/down and channel select switches along with power status led. Nice touches include phantom power support via side mounted switch and requiring the power button be depressed for 1 second before powering on to prevent accidental turn on. Unfortunately this does not apply to the reverse. The back cover plate slides off for quick battery replacement using two AA-style batteries. As a bonus when attached to a microphone the transmitter also doubles as a club to whack your bandmates with. In fact, I’d wager that the PL-2 transmitters bear strong resemblance to whack-a-mole paddles and ultimately this kicks what otherwise is a clever design down a notch. The square boxy design is ultimately a bit bulky and shows a bit less creativity than the rest of the design. It’s almost as if someone got bored halfway through designing it and gave up. When NuVoice decides to come out with Version 2.0 I can only hope they can figure out how to improve and perhaps reduce the size of the form factor.
THE PL-2 PLUG -ON IN TEST
Interestingly I had two completely different experiences with the PL-2 microphone plug -on. The first was nearly a non-starter. It’s a known fact my rehearsal spot has a questionable grounding situation. Generally speaking it’s manageable with strategically placed ground-lifts but some devices just won’t play nice. Combine that with unbalanced 1/4″ cables and the PL-2 came nearly to the point of being unusable with the amount of 60 cycle hum. It just wasn’t going to work. Test 1 concluded – no dice.
After a few emails back and forth between the helpful guys at NuVoice I fired the PL-2 back up in my home studio and ran a couple test vocal passes. Verdict? Silence. Line noise resolved I could get down to business. After running through a few test vocal tracks using some of my material it became pretty clear the NuVoice sounds pretty darn good. While not a diversity setup like on some of its rather more expensive brethren the PL-2 does admirably well. As a moved around the receiver held onto the signal rather well – definitely good enough for a small-medium sized venue or rehearsal. Signal quality was equally pretty good as I heard only faint traces of diminished “digitalized” signal quality thancan occur with less expensive wireless units.
Although NuVoice isn’t the first to the party with the turn-your-wired-mic-into-wireless concept they arguably have built a solid little system. Fortunately for the PL-2 the signal quality and thoughtful bonus features like on-board phantom power and USB charging make up for its whack-a-mole form factor. What the PL-2 does best is to make an excellent utility tool for those occasions where for whatever reason cabling isn’t in the cards. Should you be looking to cut back on your cable count you should check them out.
WHAT WE LIKE ABOUT THE PL-2 MICROPHONE PLUG -ON
– Instant wireless for all microphones (condenser & dynamic)
– Thoughtful solid construction
– Great value! Make all your wireline microphones instantly wireless!
– Ready to go out of the box
NOT SO MUCH
– Transmitters resemble the box they came in
– Non standard size receiver
– Non balanced outputs
– Can be noisy with less than ideal power conditions
Review by Travis North
This product review is a courtesy of www.TheVocalistStudio.com and is endorsed by Robert Lunte