Sony ECMCS3 Clip Style Microphone Review / Test

Today we are talking about a stereo 3.5mm lavalier microphone; the Sony ECM-CS3. For the majority of this video, I have connected the microphone to my computer using a new Sabrent USB Soundcard which provides approximately 3.5v to the mic. If you connect this directly to your computers motherboard, you will likely not get similar results.

If you are interested in this gaming headset, it will set you back $18-$20 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone (w/ 1m 3.5mm cable attached)
  2. Documentation
  3. Warranty Card

Specifications

  1. Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
  2. Frequency Response: 50Hz - 15kHz
  3. Sensitivity: -38dB

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone does not feel that good. It is an all plastic construction and it has a standard rubber cable. The connection point of the cable and the microphone does not appear to be reinforced, so over time I would worry about stress being placed on this joint. However, this is a $20 microphone, so I can't really fault it for having a subpar build.

The frequency response of 50Hz - 15kHz seems absolutely sufficient for this use case, and my voice did not seem artificial or hollow like some other lavalier microphones.

The omnidirectional polar pattern is also fairly forgiving. I could hardly tell a difference between the audio when the microphone was clipped to my collar versus when the mic was clipped to my lapel. On other microphones, this change in placement is clearly apparent in audio. This is both a good and bad thing. On the good side, it affords you greater freedom for microphone placement on yourself or your talent. On the downside, this means it will likely pick up more room noise/ambient noise.

Pros

  • Cheap
  • Decent sound quality for price
  • Forgiving polar pattern (mic placement)

Cons

  • Poor build quality
  • Unforgiving polar pattern (ambient noise)

Conclusion

Given the $20 price tag, I cannot fault this microphone for having a less than stellar build quality. On the other hand, I absolutely can praise the mic for sounding better than I was expecting.

I do not think I can recommend this for gamers because it does have an extremely large pickup pattern, meaning it will pick up all your keyboard, mouse, and computer noise. On the other hand, for vloggers who are trying to improve their audio, I think this is a great budget option. Keep in mind that it will still pick up plenty of ambient noise, so if you're in a room for the majority of videos, I do recommend picking up some audio treatment to dampen the reverb.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the ECM-CS3 on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2g0ctQm
UK: http://amzn.to/2h86H4e

Buy the TRRS Splitter on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2gW3v8R
UK: http://amzn.to/2h38a7D

Buy the Sabrent USB Soundcard on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2fX6yAn
UK: http://amzn.to/2g8KxNn