Manufacturers Step Up With Replacement Deals on Wireless Mics
Offers on new-product purchases help with a confusing, costly spectrum transition
The window on the 600 MHz range of RF spectrum is closing a bit faster than some expected. Wireless-systems manufacturers have been proactive about offering trade-in/trade-up offers to help move wireless-microphone users into alternate frequency ranges.
This month, Lectrosonics announced its 600 MHz Trade-In Special Program, which will allow equipment owners in the U.S. and Canada to trade in their older wireless transmitters, receivers, and IFB units and systems when purchasing new Lectrosonics products. Dealers will deduct up to $250 per unit (transmitter, receiver, transceiver, etc.), depending on trade-in value, as an “instant credit,” instead of customers’ having to mail in forms and wait for a check. This offer is good only for new end-user purchases of wireless-microphone transmitters, receivers, IFB systems, and IEM systems (no B-stock or factory seconds are eligible) in blocks 470, 19, 20, 21, 22, and 23 and bands A1 and B1 from an authorized U.S. or Canadian Lectrosonics dealer. Qualifying purchases must be made on or after Oct. 1, 2017 and on or before Aug. 30, 2018.
Shure’s 600 MHz Wireless Rebate allows users to exchange eligible systems for a rebate on the purchase of a new system. This rebate offer is available for purchases made from April 17, 2017, until April 30, 2018. The program applies to up to $500 per channel on the purchase of new Shure wireless microphones and personal monitor systems accompanied by the trade-in of wireless systems operating in the 600 MHz frequency band (614-698 MHz). Products from Shure and other manufacturers are eligible for trade-in. Customers may submit rebate forms after the purchase of the following new Shure wireless products: BLX; GLXD, and GLXD Advanced; PGXD; PSM300; PSM900; PSM1000; QLXD; ULXD; and Axient.
Audio-Technica’s Trade In On Your Terms program extends from Aug. 15, 2017, through March 31, 2019. For each 600 MHz wireless system brought in, regardless of manufacturer, a user will receive a rebate on an eligible Audio-Technica wireless system.
Sennheiser will also let users trade in old 600 MHz gear from any manufacturer toward new wireless products. Customers can also purchase new Sennheiser products from an authorized dealer, then send a copy of a sales receipt dated between June 14 and Dec. 31, 2017, along with the UPC codes from the sides of the new Sennheiser product boxes (no photocopies accepted), and complete a form.
The eviction of professional wireless users from the 600 MHz range has been somewhat traumatic. New spectrum owners like T-Mobile have been lighting up their airwaves sooner than expected, catching some existing users off guard. And users deploying dozens of channels of wireless are looking at tens of thousands of dollars in costs.
Manufacturers, which did most of their scrambling ahead of the spectrum auction, between developing new products and trudging to Washington to lobby the FCC and Congress as the auction process progressed, could see a healthy revenue boost as broadcast and event producers replenish their wireless stocks.
But those manufacturers are helping customers even as they use the disruption to jockey for market share. Expiring wireless systems from any manufacturer qualify for most promotions, and some manufacturers are adding value via additional services. For instance, Lectrosonics will continue to offer a reblocking service through its Parts and Repair department for users wishing to change the frequency range of older units in order to comply with the new regulations without purchasing new equipment. And these promotions extend as long as 24 months from the time the auction ended last March. They’ve been making a bitter pill a bit easier to swallow.