The classic walk test is to see how far away you can get with the transmitter before dropouts are bad enough to make the system unusable. You can walk until a count of 8 to 10 dropouts occur, for example, and define that as the limit of the range. Or, walk until the dropouts or hiss buildup is objectionable according to your own assessment. When comparing two or more different wireless systems, it is very important to repeat the same exact path for each walk test, position the receivers and the transmitters on the body in the same location with the same interconnections, and apply the same criteria to define the limit of the range, or it will not be a valid comparison. Even if the maximum range of the system is well beyond what you would normally need, this test will demonstrate the sensitivity of the receiver and how well the system handles weak signal conditions in general.
Before conducting these tests, the wireless mic system should be set up exactly the way it will be used. The microphone and transmitter must be in the exact postition on the talker’s body where they will be used, and the receiver must be connected to whatever equipment it will feed, with power and antennas connected and positioned as in actual use. Unless the wireless system is set up this way, the results of the walk tests will not be realistic. Do not remove antennas on the transmitter or receiver to try to simulate extreme operating range, as this will alter the way some receivers work, such as Lectrosonics models that use SmartSquelchTM and SmartDiversityTM circuitry.
If you have a frequency selectable system, try the walk test using at least 3 different frequencies since even tiny amounts of interference can radically change the results. If you are comparing two systems, try to select identical frequencies of operation thereby comparing apples to apples. If the receivers have scanning functions, check test frequencies that are free of interference As little as 1 uV of interference can reduce a good systems range by one half.