Wireless microphone system for video!

In this video, we’re going
to be talking about this guy, the Pro-XR wireless
microphone system from Azden. I’m going to test this guy extensively. I’m going to find out everything that
you possibly could need to know about it, so hopefully it will help you
make a decision on whether
or not this will be the right microphone system
for you. Let’s do it. Greetings, fellow human. I hope
you’re having a fantastirifical day. My name is Barron. Let’s talk
about wireless microphones. So let’s get this out of the way before
we get any further into the video. Azden sent me this for
free to review for you, I did not pay a penny
for this system. However, they told me I could
say whatever I want to. So I’m going to try and be as unbiased
as possible and since I didn’t spend any money on it, I technically have no stakes into it
and I don’t need to rationalize my purchase. So hopefully that will make
me be more objective. Let’s find out. Alright, now that we
got that out of the way, let’s go open up this box
and see what’s inside. All right. The first thing we
got here is the instructions. I should probably read these so I
know what I’m doing and Hey look, it’s a phone holder. That’s, that’s
pretty cool. They included that. Here’s the plug. Where’s
the rest of it? Okay, here’s the rest of it
and you see USB thing. I guess I have to put it together
myself. That’s weird. I’ll do that later. Hey, it’s a TRS to TRRS. That’s an
adapter. That’s awesome. It’s an antenna. There’s a lightning adapter. That’s
awesome. They put that in there for us. There’s another antenna. And
this is, is this a mini USB? This is for the charger. That’s weird.
Here is the lapel mic and the clip. Oh, they included a clip. That’s cool and here’s my cable so I
can plug it into the camera. Awesome. And check it out. There is
the receiver, that is so tiny! The smallest thing! Look at the
transmitter. It’s so tiny. That’s awesome. Okay. I am very, very curious about this system
because it is so ridiculously small. This is very, very tiny and this is supposed to be a
professional system and is supposed to perform ridiculously well. It is supposed to compete
directly with a system like this. This is the Rodelink system
from uh, well from Rode. And look at the size of it,
I’ve had this for years. This has been my go-to for a long time. I have used the 2.4 gigahertz wireless
systems for a while for my own reasons. Now, like I said, the Rode system is
fantastic. I’ve used it for years, but the size of this thing, this
is the transmitter unit right here. Sometimes this is hard to hide on the
talent if we don’t want it to be in the shot. However, like look at the, look at
the transmitter from here. Look at the, it’s so tiny. And even with the,
even with the antenna on there, I mean this would be, Oh this,
this could be really cool if this, if this performs the way
that Azden claims. Yeah. So I’m actually really excited
to try this system out. I’m going to go run a whole lot of tests
and we’re going to look and see what the results are with those. See
how it sounds, what the range is, what the reliability is. I’m actually gonna use these guys on a
couple of shoots that I’ve got coming up. I don’t know if I’m going to use them
as primary or if these are going to be backups. We’re going to see how the test goes
on how I choose to use them on those shoots, but I am going to use them on those
shoots to see how they perform in the real world and then we’re going to come back
to the studio and we’re going to pick apart all the tests and I’m going to
share what my thoughts are about the other shoots and we’re going to
determine whether or not I
can actually recommend this system to anybody. So far it looks
promising, but I haven’t tested it yet, so let me get to it! Now because they have included the dongles
in order to hook the whole system up to a smartphone, any smartphone, you
can hook it up to an iPhone and Android, Blackberry. Do Blackberry’s do video?
Do they still make blackberrys? Anyway. So you can plug it up to everything. I have it right now plugged
into my incredibly old iPhone. This is a three year old
iPhone and in technology years, are kind of like dog years, so
this is like a 50 year old iPhone. It’s got crutches and stuff. But having the ability to plug this
thing in there still, you know, this is a good representation of what
you can expect if you plug it into your phone, even if it’s newer and then this
could be useful. You could actually, you don’t even have to do this with video. You could plug this in as and
use it as a field recorder. Use your phone as a field recorder and
then sync this to the camera later. I mean that would be super. All kinds
of stuff you could do with this. So it’s super nice that they
included this in the box. I mean the other competitors, they don’t include such awesomeness
in their box, but you know. Okay, so for this test we’re going to see what
kind of range this little device can do. I’m going to walk about 700 feet that way
and I’ve been using it for awhile so I know it’s actually going
to perform pretty well. But I am curious to
see how far it will go. Now this is not the busiest area
as far as Wi-Fi kind of stuff goes. The 2.4 gigahertz, you know,
systems and stuff out here. I did count 15, I just
checked on the phone. There are 15 different
wifi networks out there, so it’s got a little bit of stuff. Now
I have this set to the highest setting. The milliwatts is at a hundred.
So that’s the highest setting. And I am using the long
range, more heavy duty, transmitter antenna thing. So I’m
gonna put this in my back pocket. Now, what that means is as I’m
walking away from you, I am going to be talking so
you can hear what is happening. But as I’m walking away, it’s going to
have direct line of sight to the camera. And as I turn when I
turn around to come back, my body will be blocking and that’s
probably going to cause a little bit of interference, especially when we’re
farther away. So let’s find out. Alright, here we go. And now this particular area
that I’m out in right now, you might not be that interested
in this, but I find it interesting. This is a hundred feet by the way. So this area out here was actually
used recently for the television show, Doom Patrol, which is one of those superhero things
that has a Timothy Dalton in it. Ok here is 200 feet. I am at 700 feet. Now
I’m going to turn around. I don’t know how this is going to be, I have a feeling that we’re going to
get some, get some signal dropping here. Dropping, droppings, like a
rabbit. Here we go. Turning around. And now i’m headed back. Um, but yeah, that’s not the first time that locations
that I use often were actually used on the show Doom Patrol. There’s also, um, if you saw my vintage
lens video, all right, we are back down to 600 feet. If you saw the vintage lens video that
town where I’m always filming and doing tests. All right, we’re back to 500 feet. I do a lot of tests there and I actually
do a lot of shoots there because it’s kind of a picturesque sort of
place with a lot of options, lots of different kinds of
environments you can pick out there. We’re down to 400 feet. And they used town that in the
Doom Patrol show as well. In fact, I think that was in one of the earlier
episodes and that entire town….. 200 feet and we’re coming back. And for all of you people that are not,
you know, don’t measure things in feet, you might use meters. I will put the
conversion on the screen for you. We’re down to 100 feet. I’ll put the
conversion on the screen for you. So you don’t have to do the math because
you know I like to be helpful like that. But anyway, that was,
that was the entire thing. We went 700 feet that way. I am curious to see
myself how well that did. So we’re going to check that out. And now the next thing that I’m going
to do is I’m going to switch this to the actual, the lowest setting. I want to see how far it can go on the
lowest setting in the same environment. So I’m going to switch it down to
20 milliwatts. Let’s do that now. Okay. So for this last test I have now changed
it to and swapped it out to the lowest transmission setting on the transmitter
here, the 20 milliwatts setting. I still have the high range antenna on
it cause I didn’t feel like switching it over to the floppy one
because as you can see, there’s almost no light left. So I’m going to get this started cause
I’m curious to see what the results are. Now what I’m doing right
now is, uh, I’m just, again, it’s the same as the last test that we
did right now there’s a direct line of sight because it’s right
here on my butt….. Now I am at 500 feet and just like
before I’m going to turn around, my butt’s going to be blocking it. Let’s
see how the signal goes. Here we go. And I do apologize. I’m pretty sure that you are smart
enough that you can tell the difference between, you know, the rustling
of my clothes over the microphone, and the signal dropping out, right? 400. So I do apologize. I should
have planned better. Kids, don’t do what I do, you know,
plan, execute that plan. Don’t wait till the last minute. Don’t
stop to get food. I’m at 300 feet. But you know, in my
defense I was hungry….. Hopefully that was a good test because
there’s absolutely no light over there. There is like, just like a tiny glow. Hopefully you can see me if you
can’t see me. I’m right here. I just, look for motion, I don’t know. So hopefully that will let us all know
exactly what we can expect from this system as far as range goes. So some time has passed. It is now several weeks later and
I have been using this quite a bit. Uh, you saw all the tests, we’re going
to talk about that in just a second. I’ve also used it on three different
shoots in conjunction with gear that I am also more familiar with and I have used
for a long time and kind of to see how it was going to work and to see if
I could rely on it. And uh, yeah, the short answer is
yeah. So as far as range, this guy does a fantastic job going
ridiculously far away by setting it to the higher, the 100 milliwatts. You can get up to 700 feet with
line of sight, which is ridiculous. There’s no reason that you would
really ever do that. Well, I mean, you might find a reason to do that,
but it’s not common. But you can! And even if you have it hidden on
the talent, you’ve got 500, 450. I think, uh, I think I worked up
that I can use this, you know, just hidden on the talent up to 450
feet consistently in most environments, even ones with a lot of different
wifi networks interfering. It was actually, that
was pretty impressive. I only use the a hundred milliwatts
settings once when I was testing it with some of my other stuff.
I didn’t need to use it. I just used the regular 20 milliwatts
and it was more than okay and performed exactly as expected. Now, towards
the end of that first range test, as I got quite a bit closer to the camera, you started hearing a lot
of crackling and noise. And what that was from is my main
complaint on this entire system. This is just a standard, you know,
little microphone input thing. This is not a locking input. Now, other systems that I’ve used in the past
and that I currently use in addition to this guy is this, which
has a locking input. These, those all have locking inputs and I’ve
never run across issues like that before on shoots because of the locking input.
I can actually screw the mic… Here, I’ll show you. So on the Rodelink system, they’re actually threads
right here and you can, and they’re actually matching threads on
the end of the microphones and you can actually screw them into the transmitter, so that’s secure, you can
yank on this thing hard, it’s not coming off, it’s not
coming off. But with the Azden here, it’s just a standard input. And if I wanted to use a microphone
that has the locking things on it, I might have to get an adapter because
it doesn’t actually go all the way in, which I mean it does go in and it works, but it’s very loose and
can just easily pop out. And that’s actually what you heard in
that test because I wanted to use this microphone because I like this
microphone. So that was kind of a bummer. Now the included microphone that
Azden provided in the system, it doesn’t have the locking
stuff on there obviously, and it clicks in and it
has a right angle on there, which actually helps a little bit
because you’ve got this sort of tension, and that, so it is fairly secure that way. But if you are going to use a
different microphone with it, that’s something to be aware of. I didn’t really want to use the Azden
microphone and there’s nothing wrong with the microphone that Azden provided
here. See it’s, it’s actually, it’s actually fine. It’s
just not my favorite. So I wanted to use a different microphone
and because I really wanted to use this other microphone, I
had to resort to gaff tape, which works. It’s not the most elegant
solution, but I can tape it down, you know, maybe put a little bit of
the cable under there and uh, you know, it does the job. And this is actually what I was using
when I used it on the other jobs. It doesn’t look great,
but it gets the job done. Maybe I’ll get an adapter for some of
these microphones that’ll make it so it’s a little bit more secure. But I really wish that Azden
had put a locking input there. That would’ve made me
feel a whole lot better. It does have an insanely cool feature
that I didn’t notice when we first pulled it out of the box. And when I figured
this out, I was all like “Whaaaaa”. On the side of the transmitter here, there is an auxiliary input
that is a line level input. And you have a switch where you can choose
just microphone only auxiliary input only or right in the middle. You
can have them both at the same time! At the same…. Now you could do ridiculously silly things
like plug in your phone and play some music and like maybe do
wireless karaoke or something. You could do that if you wanted to, but what I got excited for is that I
could actually use this when I’m shooting events. Like weddings or corporate
events when they have a soundboard. So because it is a line level input, you don’t need any weird adapters
to take the signal straight from the soundboard right into this device
and then send it to a camera. I almost always have a just wide angle
camera on some sticks in the back of the room so I can send this to that and
have a backup high quality backup source directly from the board as well as
have like my primary one at the board! And you can sync it up
super fast that way too. So that is a super cool feature that I
can use. Redundant audio is important! I cannot stress enough how
important redundant audio is! And having this feature, that’s awesome. That input alone is worth
it. It’s worth the price! That is awesome! That’s peace of mind! Mind pieces saved because of that! And while we’re talking
about peace of mind, if you’re shooting events or you know, conferences and things like that
where there’s a lot of wifi, you know, traffic going on, having the ability to crank this thing
up so that you still get a reliable signal. That’s peace of
mind. It’s amazing and again, that’s not something that that the other
systems that I’ve used in the past, they don’t offer that.
It just is what it is. It should have the locking thing
Azden! make a locking version! And I really appreciate the fact that
Azden has included so many of the connection options in the
box because as I said, the more expensive systems don’t
include this kind of stuff. This is really cool and I really,
I really love this little guy. This little phone mount has
become my favorite phone mount. It’s just got a little quarter 20 on the
bottom and it has a cold shoe adapter on the top and this is the simplest
version of any phone mounting thing I’ve ever seen and it’s the
one that I use the most! And I have a more expensive
one that does tilty things. This one’s awesome. That on the top with
the cold shoe is great. I thank you Azden for including that as
well as all of the other little adapter cables so that I can plug it into a phone
and a field recorder and all kinds of things. So yeah. Now as far
as build quality goes, it is, I just threw it onto the ground. So I hope the build
quality was really good. Now as far as the build quality goes, it is made out of a hard
plastic kind of thing. It is a little textured and it’s
got this rubbery stuff on the side. It feels strong. I don’t
feel like this is cheap, I just dropped it a second ago
and it survived quite well. So as far as build quality goes, I think that it is adequate and
it will definitely do the job. It’s not something that I feel
like I need to baby or anything. I mean it’s really no different than
the competitor, the Rodelink here, this is made out of plastic as well and
you know, this same sort of thing. So, I mean it’s, it’s, it’s on par. And so why am I holding it by the antenna? Another thing I’m not super excited
about with this system is the battery, how it is powered. They are internal rechargeable
batteries and that part is okay. I would actually prefer them to be
removable so I could have extra sets if I need to. But it does give you the option to run
this off of a USB power bank if you do run out in the field and they are rated
to last like 20 hours or something ridiculous like that. So I can’t imagine that I would
ever really run out of batteries. But it does depend on me remembering
to charge them before the shoot. But just like I noticed in the unboxing, it does not use a USBC
or even a micro USB, it uses this mini USB or I think
that’s what it’s called, mini USB. I haven’t seen that in a long time.
That’s, I mean that’s a weird choice, it’s just another cable that I got to
keep with me and I not super excited about that. I wish that it was USBC so I could limit
the amount of cables that I have in my bag. So I’m not digging for the right
one, but it’s not that big a deal. But it’s still weird. I mean,
why did they use that one? I guess it was cheaper.
Maybe. I don’t know. And like I said earlier in the video, I am impressed on how small this system
is and I do know that there are smaller systems like the little tiny Rode
wireless GO system or the Pico system or I think even Saramonic makes one now. But those are not systems that
are made for professional use. This is actually made for
reliable professional use
and this is the smallest of those systems that I’ve seen. And it’s not that much bigger
than the Rode wireless go. In fact, this is not that much more
expensive than the Rode wireless go. And I think this gives you more options. The selling point on a system
like that is the convenience. But the selling point on a system like
this is reliability and just robustness. This thing works fantastic and
it’s only $50 more I think, than the Rode wireless go. So if you are a content
creator and that sort of thing, if you want to take an extra,
I don’t know, three seconds, four seconds to set up your shot, then this is a fantastic option that
will probably give you a lot more use and grow with you as a filmmaker than
something like the Rode wireless go. Not knocking on that
system. It’s really cool. I mean that tiny thing is really cool, but this guy I think is
well worth the option. I mean check it out, yo! Check it
out. And since I brought up price, you can get this entire system
from Azden for about 250 bucks, which is about $50 more than the road
wireless go system with that little tiny thing and that doesn’t
come with any accessories. This guy comes with all of those things
so you can plug it up to everything. It comes with the microphone,
the whole thing. In fact, the Rodelink system that I’ve had
for years, this is an older system, has been around for a long time. This is almost a hundred dollars
more than the Azden system here. And it doesn’t come with
all of the additional stuff. It does come with a microphone and the
microphone that it comes with is quite nice. But the Azden system is almost $75 to
a hundred dollars cheaper right now and you get a whole lot more
bang for your buck this way. So what’s the final verdict? Is this
a good system for you? I think so. I think that this is definitely a system
that you should consider when you’re looking into a wireless system. There’s
a lot of different options out there. Some of them are small, some
of them are much larger, some of them are made for completely
different purposes. But for general, just every day professional use
or even just content creating for, you know, YouTube, this kind of thing. This is a fantastic option because of
what comes in the box and the reliability so far of this system. Now, I can’t say for how long this is going
to last as opposed to other systems, but it does have a two year warranty. So at least you know it’s going to last
you two years. You know what I mean? Now, like I said at the beginning of the
video Azden sent this to me for free to review, but if I had paid $250 for
this, I would not be disappointed. I think this performs fantastically
and all the stuff that comes in the box makes using it really easy. So if you’re making videos of any kind, this is definitely something to
check out. So if you like this video, do the thing where the thumb goes
up. If you did not like this video, do the thing where the thumb
goes down and then, you know, that’s on you man. Um, you know, why are you being so hard to
please seriously come on cheer up! And if you want to see more videos like
this one in the future, or tutorials, or pretty much anything
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whatever camera it may be, take it into the world and go
make something awesome. Yeah.

One Reply to “Wireless microphone system for video!”

  1. Thx Baron. Great to start the day with a smile. I’m fairly new to the video game but want to get into it seriously for my nature shooting here in Colombia. I’m looking at the Rhode Go because as you say it’s dinky and the microphone/transmitter just clips onto your shirt collar or wherever and no issue with the mic jack ! But this system for the price looks very attractive with the accessories provided and I like the aux input facility for attaching a hand held shotgun or parabolic mic in the future. Perhaps the mic/jack provided by Azden is built to a different tolerance than the one you used and fits more tightly ? Did you check that ? I agree that a screw down connection would be a better solution

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