You’ve probably seen some of my other posts where I talk about the importance of good audio for your videos. I’m always looking for a better microphone solution. I may have found one.
I’ve recommended wired lav mics like the Audio Technica ATR-3350 [aff] because they improve your audio by getting the mic closer to you when you’re on camera. And having a 20-foot cord means you can get pretty far back from your camera. But that long of cord creates other issues and it’s always getting in the way.
Shotgun mics like the Azden SMX-10 [aff], lets you avoid tripping over the cord. But I find the audio typically isn’t as good if your far away. And if you’re using a small camera, like an iPhone or a Kodak Zi8, there isn’t a way to attach the microphone to the camera because they don’t have a “hot shoe” attachment like regular video cameras. So even these are a bit unwieldy to use when you’re out and about shooting.
In my perfect world, I’d like to find a WIRELESS solution that would let you get a mic on your subject but still be small enough so you can carry it with your iPhone or pocket digital camcorder. Most of the solutions I came across are actually LARGER than the cameras themselves. The receiver and antenna would literally dwarf an iPhone. Oh, and you still have run wires on your subject because they have a transmitter pack and a wired lav mic they have to wear. It was beginning to look like more of hassle to try to take a wireless mic set and pocket digital camcorder out.
That is until I found the Sony ECM-AW3 Bluetooth Wireless Microphone. [aff]
This little unit has 2 small silver capsules. You wear the transmitter (more on this in a second) and then plug the receiver into your 3.5mm jack on your camera. They each operate with a single AAA battery. They’re very small and light weight. And most importantly, I think they sound good enough. Make sure you watch the video above to listen to the quality.
What I’m not crazy about is the fact the transmitter is like a baby Coors beer can in the fact it’s a “silver bullet.” I wish Sony would have made these units black in color so they’d be a little more discreet. In the video, I’m wearing mine inside my shirt and I’ve placed some black electrical tape on it. Tacky I know. I suppose you could take a Sharpie pen to it. That’s definitely more permanent and maybe even tackier. But I digress…
I like the fact that it improves my audio even when I’m pretty far away from the camera. It’s small, light weight, and is compatible with my iPhone (if you use a kVConnection cable), a Kodak Zi8, or my Canon Vixia.
If you’re looking for a way to avoid the wires, you may want to check ‘em out. And if you want to learn more about shooting great pocket digital videos, check out Pocket Video Power [aff] by Jules Watkins. It’s a great video course that’ll help you shoot better pocket videos.
*** Updated 1/11/12 with transcript ***
Hey, everybody. Scott here. You know, one of the things I’m always looking
for is a good audio solution when we’re shooting iPhone 4 video. It’s the
piece that’s really missing in so many videos with the iPhone. What I’m
using for this video is the Sony ECM-AW3 Bluetooth Wireless Microphones,
and I’ve got to tell you, I really do like this solution. It is so small,
so compact, and so portable. So many of the other solutions I was looking
at, the transmitter and the receiver are so big. It’s actually bigger and
it’s a pain to schlep and carry and all that.
Let me show you what’s going on on the iPhone side that I’m talking to
right now. You’re going to see here, this is the Sony transmitter. It’s
very small and it’s powered with one AAA battery. I have it connected to my
iPhone 4 with the KV connection cable. This is a must if you’re going to do
any type of audio. This is the receiver and I am wearing the transmitter on
my shirt. You can see it right there. So that’s the actual set-up I’m
I’ve got to tell you, this is a great portable solution. The one downside
that I see to this is that, “Sony, what are you thinking? Are you out of
touch with what we need again?” That large silver bullet, you can’t hide
it. I actually have mine turned around on my lapel and I’ve put some black
electrical tape over it. I know, kind of tacky, but it least it covers it
up a little bit more.
If you wanted to, another great solution would be to conduct interviews
with this. You can literally hold this in your hand and [inaudible 02:12]
just like that. I’ve got to tell you, I think this is a great solution. I
really do like this. I think it sounds pretty good, it’s completely
wireless and it’s Bluetooth. It operates with a single AAA battery in both
the transmitter and receiver, and the quality is good. You may want to
check this out. I’m pretty pleased with it.
Until next time, I’m Scott. Take care. Bye-bye.