Sennheiser HD429s Over Ear Headphone Review

Today we're looking at the Sennheiser HD429s; a pair of mid level wired headphones that are designed to work with your smartphone.

If you are interested in this microphone kit, it will set you back $80-90 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Headphones (1.2m Cable)
  2. 3.5mm Adapter (Required for some Smartphones)
  3. Documentation

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 18Hz - 22kHz
  2. SPL: 112dB
  3. Impedance: 32-Ohms

Performance / Features

The build quality of these headphones is decent for the price. The construction is all plastic, but it maintains a decent amount of flexibility and adjustability which means they should fit on most peoples heads. The cable measures in at 1.2m which is plenty long enough for your smartphone, and it offers an inline control and microphone.

The sound frequency response of 18Hz - 22kHz provide the headphones is natural and provides a nice amount of low end without becoming overwhelming or hindering the higher frequencies. Since they are closed back headphones, they do not have the greatest sound stage, and 

Pros

  • Natural sound
  • Full frequency response
  • Good amount of low end without sacrificing high frequency clarity

Cons

  • All plastic construction
  • Didn't come with a carrying case or any protection

Conclusion

Even though the sound of these headphones doesn't fit my personal preference, I can admit that they sound good for the price. These are a HUGE improvement over your cheap in ear headphones, as well as the majority of headphones on the market. This is mainly because the majority of headphones on the market are marketed has SUPER HYPER BALL BUSTING BASS, and these just have a nice full low end without overwhelming every other frequency response.

If you have been stuck using stock apple earbuds, or cheap in earbuds and are looking to upgrade to a higher end pair of headphones, I highly recommend these. Sennheiser, is well known for their great audio quality and these headphones allow you to dip your toe into the audiophile market without killing your bank account.

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

Buy the HD429s on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2kl8nbP
UK: http://amzn.to/2jx1ShF

Rode smartLav+ Smartphone Mic Review/Test

Today I am talking about a lavalier microphone that plugs directly into your smartphones 3.5mm jack; the Rode SmartLav+ Smartphone Lav Mic

My main concern with purchasing a 3.5mm TRRS microphone, like the smartLav+ is the potential for 3.5mm jacks disappearing from more smart phones in the future. If you are planning on upgrading to an iPhone 7 or any phone that has removed the 3.5mm jack, then this is not the microphone for you.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $80 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Lav Mic
  2. Windscreen
  3. Microphone Clip
  4. Carrying Pouch
  5. Quick Start Guide

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 60Hz - 18kHz
  2. Polar Pattern: Omnidirecitonal 
  3. Mic Sensitivity: -35dB

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic feels pretty nice. The majority is plastic, but it has a nice reinforced joint where the cable meets the microphone, so I wouldn't be too worried about the cable shorting out. The windscreen is sufficient, and the microphone clip feels really nice, and provides a really nice option to route your mic cable to avoid unnecessary strain. 

The microphone only sounded decent when it was attached to my lapel. When I placed the microphone on the center of my shirt, it sounded much clearer, but still a little dull. This could be easily remedied with a quick EQ. When comparing it to a similar lavalier microphone that is only $40, I heard almost no difference, but this could be attributed to the fact that both mics were being run through the Rode Rec app. 

Pros

  • Reinforced cable joint
  • Provides wireless functionality w/ relatively low price tag
  • Nice mic clip

Cons

  • A bit expensive for sound quality achieved

Conclusion

This is only a decent microphone. It has a decent build quality but the audio quality leaves a bit to be desired. I also plan on upgrading to a new phone that has done away with the 3.5mm TRRS jack, so this mic will be obsolete if this trend continues.

I would only really recommend this if you are a Rode mic purist, or if you want a mic that plugs directly into your smartphone with no adapters needed. Other than that, I don't think it performs at a level that justifies the $80 price tag. You can pick up a microphone for half the price along with a TRRS adapter and have the same quality audio.

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

Buy it on Amazon
US: http://amzn.to/2dChCT5
UK: http://amzn.to/2dnFJ4M

Aspen Mics HQ-S (HQ-SPK) Lavalier Microphone Review

This time I am back with a review of a stereo Lavalier mic as well as a complementary piece of gear that allows this mic to function as an extension of your smart phone. I am testing out the Aspen Mics HQ-S & Aspen Mics HQ-SPK

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back between $45-$50 and it is available through the links at the bottom of the article.

WARNING: This microphone will has a standard operating voltage of 2.0 - 10.0 volts. This means it requires a minimum of 2.0 volts to work, and if you exceed 10.0 volts, you risk damaging your microphone. 

What's In the Box

  1. Stereo Lavalier Mic (w/ 54-inch cable)
  2. Lapel Clip
  3. Two Foam Windscreen's
  4. TRRS Adapter (if you purchase the SPK kit)
  5. Metal Carrying Case
  6. QA Check List
  7. 5-year Warranty

Performance / Features

The build quality of this lavalier microphone is fairly standard for a lav mic. It has a rubber cable 54-inch cable, a metal microphone capsule, and a metal lapel clip. The lapel clip is significantly smaller than most cheap lav mics which is helpful when attempting to conceal it on your clothing.

The metal carrying case is also a nice addition as I have not received a Lav mic that included a way to carry/store the microphone. 

The frequency response of this microphone is 20Hz - 20kHz. Even when clipped to your shirt, far away from the sound source, you get very nice presence unlike some cheaper mics I have tested.

As per usual for a Lav mic the polar pattern is Omni-Directional which means you will pick up a bit of ambient noise. So just keep that in mind when planning out your shoots or recording environments. 

As I mentioned, the standard operating voltage is 2.0 - 10.0 volts. So you need to stay with in this range in order to get good results out of the microphone.

Pros

  • Very nice sound
  • Smart Phone Compatible
  • Full frequency response
  • Small Lapel Clip
  • Metal Carrying Case
  • 5-Year Warranty

Cons

  • Standard Rubber Cable
  • Omni-directional polar pattern picks up ambient noise (but is required for a lavalier mic to work well, so it's not really a con)

Conclusion

This is a pretty rad little lavalier microphone. I think the sound reproduction was great, and the smartphone capabilities are a huge plus because it essentially provides you with a wireless microphone. I was also able to use this microphone across every single platform I tested with very nice results.

I should note that just like most other lavalier microphones, this is omni-directional, so it will pick up a bit of ambient noise. Therefore, it is important to take into account when planning where you will be using this microphone. 

I would basically recommend this to anyone who is looking for a lavalier microphone for interviews, or vlogs. It is a great price, and it works very well on the smartphone, camera and computer. 

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Aspen Mics HQ-S: http://amzn.to/1TgdJAG
HQ-SPK: http://aspenmics.com/col...
TRRS Adapter: http://amzn.to/1TgdSUH