The Lectrosonics SMDWB is a wireless beltpack transmitter that can also act as a recording device, capturing audio onto microSDHC cards. Paired with a lavalier or dynamic microphone, the transmitter is suitable for ENG (Electronic News Gathering), EFP (Electronic Field Productions), interviews for broadcast TV, and more. It provides Digital Hybrid Wireless technology, combining 24-bit digital-audio processing with an analog FM radio link to give you the benefits of both worlds, such as fewer dropouts and audio artifacts while maintaining a robust range of operation. The transmitter is housed in a machined aluminum case, lending the unit a rugged and dependable shell. Its water-resistant control panel adds to its usability.
Operating in the B1: 537 to 614 MHz band, the transmitter offers selectable outputs to bolster its operating range, specifically among 25, 40, and 100mW. At lower values, the transmitter’s battery life will last longer; at higher values, the operating range is increased, though at the expense of battery life. Lightweight at 3.7 oz, the transmitter boasts settings making it compatible with dynamic microphones, electret lavaliers, and even line-level sources—so long as they can plug into the TA5M 5-pin input connector.
Input gain adjustment is possible in 1 dB increments for a total range of 44 dB. You’ll also note the low-pass filters, which can be switched to roll off at 30, 50, 70, 120, or 150 Hz to mitigate low-end disturbances. This input section also boasts servo-bias input circuitry proprietary to Lectrosonics, as well as an analog limiter controlled with DSP that, sitting ahead of the mic preamp itself, protects the audio path from overload. With its dual release envelope, it maintains acoustic transparency, even though it can achieve over 30 dB of gain reduction.
The SMDWB utilizes DSP that renders it suitable for use with all Lectrosonics Digital Hybrid receivers, though it is also backwards compatible for use with 100 and 200 series transmitters, IFB receivers, and various analog receivers from third-party manufactures. The unit is powered with two AA batteries, making use of switching power supplies to offer consistent voltages to its internal circuitry throughout its battery life.
Expanding the SMDWB’s functionality is its built-in recording capabilities, for use when transmission is simply not possible due to the conditions of the environment. The recorder operates at 24-bit/44.1 kHz, recording WAV files to microSDHC cards. As a transmitter, the SMDWB supplies an audio frequency range of 35 Hz to 20 kHz, though during recording, that lower value extends down to 20 Hz. You cannot use the transmitter and the recorder simultaneously, but it’s nice to have the option to select between the two. The transmitter includes a flexible steel-cable antenna.
Key Features at a Glance
- Selectable output power to maximize battery life or operating range
- Lightweight, corrosion-resistant housing
- Water-resistant seals for use in damp environments
- LCD interface with lockout option
- Programmable compatibility modes for use with a wide variety of different receivers
- Servo-Bias input circuitry
- IR (infrared) port for fast setup
- Covers three standard frequency blocks
- Update firmware in the field via microSD card reader
- Can also be used as a recorder on internal microSDHC memory card