I have been using a Lav mic from day one almost, they’re easy to set up, use, cheap to buy and offer some very good results. I’ve been using the BOYA BY-M1 for nearly a year now, without any complaints from viewers on the channel but now I have the Pro version, so let’s see if it’s worth upgrading.
- Suitable for smartphones, DSLR’s, audio records and PC’s
- Omni-directional electret condenser mic
- Freq range 70HZ – 18KHz
- Signal/noise = 78dB or more
- Sensitivity -30dB +/- 3dB / 0dB=1V/Pa, 1KHz
- -10dB sound attenutation option
- 3.5mm (1/8″) 4 pole gold plug
- Cable legnth @ 6m
For those who don’t know what a Lav mic is, it’s a small microphone that you can clip to your top, inside or out and then plug into your audio device. You may have seen news reporters use them before, YouTubers use them a lot while out at exhibitions etc.
Out of the box, everything comes within a nice black tie bag, which is ideal for keeping everything safe and minimising cable tangles with that 6m long cord. So we have 6m of cable, one end includes the 3.5mm jack, while the other has the small microphone. In between, are the controls, a small device that is powered by a small LR44 battery, which allows you to switch between cameras and off/smartphones (cameras require a powered mic) and also the option to go from 0dB to -10dB. The distance between the jack and the controls is about 4.5m, while the controls to the microphone 1.5m. The controls include a clip, which means you can slip it onto your trousers quite easily. There is also a 3.5mm headphone port, for monitoring/playback audio to headphones, which would be good when shooting at press events etc.
The microphone itself does not include a clip, just in case you wanted to tape the mic to your chest, just like in the movies when someone goes undercover. Instead, a clip is provided as an attachment, allow you to clip the mic into it, then onto your top. There is also a foam windscreen provided if you want to use that to help reduce some external audio.
The microphone is very lightweight, with both the mic & controls easy to clip onto your clothes. There is ample cable which is great too.
Set up was very straight forward for me, I just simply plugged it into my mirrorless camera, which the control up to DSLR and away I went. I need not do anything else on the camera to get this working. A 1/4″ adapter is included in the box, if you need it to plug into an internal audio recorder, like a Zoom or something.
As for performance, the M1 Pro works very well and delivers a very promising base level for your audio recording. The audio is clear, it’s very crisp, the volume is good and it picks your voice up very well. I say base level, as I always edit my audio slightly within videos, adding some bass and tweaking the gain and EQ’s, but the M1 Pro’s raw recording could be good enough for you if you didn’t want to edit it. Check out a raw audio sample below:
-10dB is interesting, I did use it a few times and If I’m honest, I didn’t notice much change in recording performance. I mean, we are still in lockdown, I’m not going to any events or anything so the best kind of loud background noise is my children running around and I can’t say I notice too much attenuation. I’d be keen to try this option out at an event, where the background noise is loud, due to everyone trying to speak over each other. If the battery life of the Pro is anything like the original, it will last for ages and I’ve not yet had to change the battery yet.
The recording of the M1 Pro is noticeably better than the original M1, it’s got a bit of extra bass and clarity to it, although for me, I’d still edit the recording to give it that final lift. What’s the best part about this mic? It’s a mere 20 bucks on Amazon, so it’s dirt cheap and I have no problem with recommending it to you at all.