How Do They Mic Up NBA Players? (Here’s How)

Have you ever wondered how the NBA gets clear audio from players?

The stadium is filled with thousands of screaming fans. So how do they do it?

The NBA mics up players using a small microphone pack called QT-5100 PlayerMic which they insert inside their jerseys. Then they edit the audio from the player before being broadcasted.

But what exactly is the purpose of this and what can you hear from players? We found out the reason.

What is ‘Mic Up’ in the NBA?

Mic Up is a term used in a lot of sports nowadays which means that a player has a mic in his jersey.

This technology is used a lot in the NBA where they mic up specific players in certain games to hear what they say.

Before they do this though, the NBA will ask for permission from an NBA player so that they can insert the microphone into their jersey.

How do They Mic Up NBA Players?

If you’ve ever wondered just how we can hear NBA players talk during a game, then it’s because they’re mic’d up.

For this to work, they use a small microphone called the QT-5100 PlayerMic which is specifically designed to be used by athletes.

This mic from Q5X is the only approved mic to be used for micing up players since it was designed with these features:

  • Sweat-resistant
  • Rubber made
  • Flexible
  • 0.43 inch thick
  • Can pick up most sounds

In one video that the NBA released which is backstage during one All-Star game, we could see how they prepared the mic in the jersey. Here are the steps:

Step 1: They would get the jersey which the player would use and install a pouch inside the jersey

Step 2: Carefully place the body pack in the pouch and tape the mic at the top of the jersey

Step 3: They would carefully hide the pouch to ensure that it would not interfere with the player

Step 4: The audio they receive from the player will then get edited before they go live

This is just one way that they mic up NBA players. In one video, Paolo Banchero was seen being mic’d up using a belt pack and the mic being clipped inside his jersey before the game.

Why do They Mic Up NBA Players?

The main reason why NBA players get mic’d up is to hear what they’re saying during a game.

Because unless you’re in the front-row seat in the arena, fans have no way of hearing what players have to say. You probably know they say a lot during a game, but we previously didn’t have a way to hear it on TV or the internet.

But thanks to players getting mic’d up, we can hear what they’re saying in a game which are:

  • Greetings
  • Words of encouragement for their teammates
  • Random banters and jokes
  • A bit of trash talking (kid-friendly)

Of course, not all that they’ll be saying during a game will be aired. The NBA staff will still edit it heavily especially curses to make them TV-friendly.

Also, not all players are getting mic’d up, and they also don’t do it all the time. But they like to mic up superstars, rookies, and players who agree to do it.

So, even though the NBA might edit some of the things they say, at least we get a rare glimpse to their thoughts aside from interviews.   

Are There Mics in the Stadiums?

Aside from the players themselves, the NBA also has an abundance of microphones situated in various places inside stadiums.

They’re mostly around:

  • Backboards
  • Below the rim
  • Near the commentator’s area
  • Player’s bench
  • Mic from the cameramen courtside

An NBA stadium may have more microphones in different places other than the ones listed here. In fact, during the NBA bubble in 2020, there were a lot of mics installed from the floor to the ceiling of stadiums.

This allowed for a more immersive experience for fans since they were all watching at home. Plus, they also have giant speakers that allowed the players to hear virtual crowd sounds to pump them up.


The NBA uses a special microphone that’s inserted in the jerseys of players to hear them talk.

This way, fans like you can get up close and personal with what they have to say during a game.

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