Today’s topic is the best Sony microphone for recording vlogs. In addition to video and photo cameras, the Sony lineup traditionally has many accessories that make life easier for content creators, for example, microphones. I have already written about them more than once on the pages of the OrigaZoom. This article has collected several microphone models that are well suited for recording vlogs. Each of them is good in its way, and some even have a unique set of properties. I will tell you how they differ, and I will pay special attention to the possibilities of working with cameras from other brands.
1. Sony Wireless Microphone ECM-W2BT – The Best Sony Microphone
Wireless microphones are widely available for sale today: from professional solutions for television studios to numerous budget solutions from the middle range. To compete in such a complex market, you need to come up with something exciting.
The Sony ECM-W2BT radio loop has proven to be a very clever solution for real-world use cases. Traditionally, it consists of a receiver mounted on the camera and a transmitter hung on the presenter.
The transmitter itself is relatively small, with a strict design. And in the best tradition, it is already equipped with a built-in microphone. That is, it can be hung directly on the lapel of the person in the frame.
The transmitter has a switch, an attenuator selector for 0, 10, and 20 dB, and a Micro USB through to charge the device. The microphone is very sensitive, so it is best to use an attenuator as appropriate to avoid overdriving.
The windproof cover fits directly onto the transmitter housing. It works very efficiently. Of all the microphones in this article, it provided the best protection.
If the transmitter looks too bulky in the frame, you can hang it on the presenter’s belt and use a regular wired lavalier microphone in the frame. Remove the windproof cover from the transmitter and find a standard 3.5mm jack.
I used a Sony ECM-LV1 in my test. It is a stereo lavalier microphone with a 1-meter cable and 3.5mm plug. It comes with a windproof foam cover that allows you to use the microphone outdoors.
I saw something similar with competitors. And now about what is interesting in Sony ECM-W2BT. First, it is the ability to work with Sony cameras without additional wires. The microphone fits into the camera shoe and communicates with it using the Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe. With the latest models, both analog and digital audio transmission interfaces are supported.
Secondly, the microphone will also work with cameras from other manufacturers. For this, the receiver has a 3.5 mm microphone output. Nearby is the Micro USB socket, which is required to charge the receiver.
Another unique feature is the additional microphone on the receiver. It helps record a voiceover, operator comments, or even an interview that the person with the camera is filming himself. The microphone is identical to the one on the transmitter, giving the same sound level. Both microphones can be used separately or simultaneously together.
The range of the radio system is declared at 200 meters. But we live in a world of radio interference, especially in the 2.4 GHz band. Therefore, the actual range is likely to be shorter. In practice, one hundred percent confident reception was obtained at distances of up to 30 meters. Wi-Fi control must be enabled in the camera.
Some competitors from the middle range in such conditions “gave up” already at a distance of five meters. But for shooting vlogs without an operator, Wi-Fi control is a very convenient function, which definitely should not be abandoned.
You can buy it on Amazon for $200 – Product Link
2. Sony ECM-XYST1M For Multi Interface Shoe – The Second Choice
The Sony ECM-XYST1M is an on-camera stereo microphone, but, as is often the case with Sony products, it’s a tricky one but a secret. Its stereo capsules can be rotated to different positions, spreading up to 120 degrees: the same microphone can be both narrow- and omnidirectional.
With Sony cameras, it works via the Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe, that is, being installed in the shoe, without any wires. And yet, it has an audio output and even a wire in the kit, so it will also work with cameras from other manufacturers.
The microphone is mechanically decoupled from the base and almost does not pick up the sound from touching the camera. Of the controls on the body, there is only a low-pass filter switch, which helps to fight low-frequency extraneous noise.
The ECM-XYST1M does not require an external power supply, making it extremely easy to use. It is a very compact and simple model.
It comes with a windproof cover. It cuts off the overwhelming amount of noise, but a combination of sounds is still possible in a strong wind.
This Sony ECM-XYST1M records what is happening in front of the camera: events, dialogues, etc. It requires a little more attention to sound. It is better to use headphones to understand how a particular scene sounds and choose the optimal angle between the stereo microphones.
You can buy it on Amazon for $129 – Product Link
3. Sony ECM-B1M – Best Sony Microphone for Outdoor & Events
The most interesting of all the microphones presented in the review, in my opinion, is the Sony ECM-B1M. Its main feature is the ability to work with variable directivity.
Three microphones coexist in one very compact body: omnidirectional, unidirectional, and super directional. The first setting is suitable for recording a broad soundstage, while unidirectional and super directional modes are used to cut out ambient noise.
To realize this feature, the manufacturers used eight capsules in the Sony ECM-B1M at once. And still, in size, it turned out to be more compact than most super directional counterparts.
Additionally, the microphone allows you to manually adjust the recording level, use an attenuator of 10 and 20 dB, turn on a noise reduction or low-frequency filter.
Separately, I note the ability to work with the digital interface with the latest Sony cameras. Older models use an analog interface. Mounting on the camera is only possible with the Multi-Interface (MI) Shoe. No batteries or USB charging is required. Installing a microphone on cameras from other manufacturers will not work. Apparently, Sony decided to make this device a unique advantage of the system.
Sony ECM-B1M comes with an adequate windproof cover. And you can make your conclusions about the sound quality of this model by reading my extensive test of digital microphones.
You can buy it on Sony Official Website for $399 – Product Link
In my selection, the Sony ECM-B1M plays on the same pitch as the Sony ECM-XYST1M. It is, first of all, the recording of the sound of the scene taking place in front of the camera. The ECM-B1M can provide more flexibility in the choice of the directional pattern; that is, it is suitable for completely different scenes, has a built-in noise reduction system, and convenient manual level control. But unlike the ECM-XYST1M, it only outputs a mono signal and is also not compatible with third-party cameras.