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

 

BSP-022: Dynamic vs. Condenser Mics & How to Improve Your Audio

On episode 22, I talk about running into a crazy hippy in the desert, as well as how incredibly stressed and busy I have been the last few weeks. 

Then as the main topic, I discuss one of the most frequently asked questions, the difference between dynamic and condenser microphones, and then what are some of the best ways to improve your audio quality that most people don't do.

On this episode, I answered questions provided by ZacIsDolan, Super Sapp, Ahmet Kahraman, NerdCharacter, and Jay Snippety.

On episode 22, I talk about running into a crazy hippy in the desert, as well as how incredibly stressed and busy I have been the last few weeks.

Then as the main topic, I discuss one of the most frequently asked questions, the difference between dynamic and condenser microphones, and then what are some of the best ways to improve your audio quality that most people don't do.

On this episode, I answered questions provided by ZacIsDolan, Super Sapp, Ahmet Kahraman, NerdCharacter, and Jay Snippety.

Follow BSP on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/bandrewsayspodcast
Follow BSP on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bandrewsays

http://www.geeksrising.com

00:00 - Intro
00:50 - Stressed Out
08:58 - Comedy Bang! Bang! Tv Show is BACK!
10:27 - Podcast Recommendations
QUESTIONS
11:11 - ZacisDolan-Road to 50 Subs: Why did my old mic pick up radio waves?
12:03 - Super Sapp: How mandatory in your opinion is it to get audio treatment? Does it effect the sound a lot?
14:52 - Ahmet Kahraman: How you buy lots of microphones
20:25 - NerdCharacter: What is the difference between dynamic mics and condenser?
25:25 - JaySnippety:  What are some of the simplest ways to improve audio that most people don’t do?
31:45 - Outro

BSP-010: Why Does Your Audio Suck!?

In this episode of BSP, Bandrew provides a brief review of the Netflix Original: Love. He also gives his first impressions on some new tech that he has been testing out. Lastly, he discusses how to improve your audio if you're having problems with excessive noise.

  1. Keep Gain Low
  2. Place Mic Close to Sound Source
  3. Control Recording Environment

Don't forget to Rate/Review/Subscribe in iTunes, and Subscribe to the Geeks Rising Youtube Channel. If you have any additional questions, leave them in the comments on youtube or here on the site and we'll get back to you ASAP. Thanks for the support.

Can Phantom Power Improve Your Cheap Mics Audio?

This is my third video of the week because people keep asking good questions, and I can't wait to answer them. Over the past few weeks, I have received countless comments asking if adding a phantom power supply to your cheap mic setup can improve your microphones audio. To put it simply, yes and no. Let's look more at this.

The Test

For this test, I ran the Excelvan BM-700 directly into the Sabrent USB Audio Adapter as well as the Gino Stereo USB Audio Adapter for a base quality test. Then as a comparison, I ran the microphone into the Neewer Phantom Power Supply, and then ran the output from the phantom power supply into each adapter. I include comparisons of me talking, and then samples of the background noise. 

Results

The initial audio from the Sabrent Adapter was pretty good. My microphone input gain was set at 7% on my computer and there was very little background noise. When I added the phantom power supply to this set up, I was able to drop my input gain from 7% down to 4%. You can hear a slight bump in clarity and high end once phantom power is added, but you also hear a slight increase in background noise (a new hiss).

The first test with the Gino Stereo USB Adapter is horrible. The audio sounded digital, quiet, and I had to set my microphone input gain to 72% which yielded a ridiculous amount of background noise. Once I added the phantom power supply, the audio for this adapter improved considerably! The sound was clearer, crisper, and less digital sounding. We were able to drop the input gain from 72% down to 35% and this led to a significant decrease in background noise. 

Conclusion

If you have a Sabrent audio adapter, or an audio adapter that gives you plenty of gain, and you don't have much background noise, I do not think that it's justifiable to purchase a $20 power supply. On the other hand, if you have a cheap piece of crap USB adapter that forces you to crank your input gain, causing ridiculous background noise, the phantom power does seem to improve that.

However, keep in mind that regardless of what accessories you get, you are running a microphone into a cheap USB Adapter. Your audio quality will always be limited by this. The pre amps in these USB Sound Cards are nothing special, and quite frankly, kind of suck. If you really want to improve your audio, I recommend looking into an audio interface that was designed to record microphones. An audio interface that has real preamps in it. But if that option is out of your price range, this solution seems to work just fine.

Neewer Phantom Power Supply: http://amzn.to/1llLK3a
Sabrent USB Audio Adapter: http://amzn.to/1llLGR6
Gino USB Audio Adapter: http://amzn.to/1IkwCIQ
BM-700: http://amzn.to/1InMPgb