We’re always striving to make our videos on the TechNuovo YouTube channel sound as good as we can, with the budget we have – which isn’t huge. We’ve tried and tested everything from onboard shotgun mics from Rode, condenser microphones off camera and even lavalier microphones. But the one thing we haven’t tested yet, which I must say do come highly recommended, and that’s shotgun microphones. Saramonic reached out to us and offered to send us one of their Saramonic SR-TM1 shotgun mics, which is an 11-inch microphone with several features, not usually found built into the microphone itself.
So, in the box, you get the microphone itself, and an included foam windshield. Not quite dead cat level for blocking wind, but does a decent enough job of cutting out plosives. You get a small XLR cable, a USB cable, which we’ll come back to in a moment and a mount that can either be hooked up to a microphone stand or a hot shoe on a camera.
So, let’s get the reason the USB cable is included. The Saramonic SR-TM1 has a built-in battery that can last up to 150 hours worth of use which is absolutely amazing. It requires charging, hence the USB cable, but to connect it to an audio source requires the XLR. There is no phantom power, hence the need for a battery, but it doesn’t mean you can’t plug it into sources that have phantom power. You absolutely can. The power button will even change from blue when using the built-in battery, to green to indicate it’s receiving phantom power. To give you an example, I have mine right now at the time of making this review, plugged into my GoXLR on my gaming setup.
There are four buttons on the microphone itself. The first is for power to turn the mic on and off and making my way down the tube, you can find a button to toggle a -10dB PAD that allows you to record loud audio without clipping, a +6dB high-frequency boost which lifts high-frequency details and a 150Hz high-pass filter which cuts low-end noise like traffic noise if you’re shooting in a public place.
Now, for the most part, we’ll be using this microphone in a studio setting, although shotgun microphones are usually the go-to if you’re out in the field shooting interviews or even movies. I’ve got mine placed just off-camera, about three feet away, or an arms-length away from me, and it’s pointing directly at my mouth to pick up the clearest audio possible while I talk to the camera. To give you a bit of technical info, the microphone has a 40Hz to 200kHz frequency response, with a cardioid polar pattern.
And for the most part, I’m very impressed with the results. Now admittedly, controlling sound where I film our videos is quite easy, as we’re inside, so background noise could be kept to a minimum. However, if you are in the field, noise rejection from audio coming from the sides and rear of the Saramonic SR-TM1 isn’t the best, and for me sitting at my PC playing games, it was quite hard for me to reject the clicking sound from my keyboard that has Cherry switches. It could be done, but every time I spoke to interact with my live stream, or spoke in Discord, you could still hear the clicks from my keyboard, if only quiet. Still, filming the TechNuovo videos in a studio on the YouTube channel, it’s wonderful, and definitely worth the £200 price tag for sure if you’re wanting to improve your audio for videos.
To give you a heads up if you’re new to the world of shotgun microphones like we are, it’s sensitive for sure! It took me a bit of time to get my audio sounding great, and me being used to my Rode Podcaster mic that needs a big boost to gain to get anything out of it, the Saramonic SR-TM1 doesn’t. I had to turn my gain right down on my GoXLR to get a usable sound without clipping or distorting. I also turned on the high-frequency boost, to give my voice a bit more clarity. I do edit my vocal audio after recording, but I do like working with a clear canvas for my edits, and add some bass in later.
So, would I recommend the Saramonic SR-TM1 shotgun microphone! Absolutely! For the quality of audio you’re going to get, and the fact that shotgun mics are usually fairly expensive, the SR-TM1 at £200 is a pretty great bargain. It’s definitely going to be a permanent microphone in our videos in the future. And if you would like any more information on the Saramonic shotgun microphone, you can head over to their website.