Good audio is pretty important.
Viewers will tolerate some video issues (shake or poor exposure) – but if your audio is bad then they won’t stick around.
Improving Audio Quality
We recently purchased a set of new video gear to improve the quality of our audio.
Along with a new video camera we purchased some new wired mics: Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Condenser Mic
In this post, I cover them in detail, including the review video below.
Audio-Technica ATR-3350 Mic Review(Video)
Watch on YouTube.
Setting: The test was shot in my office, with both the door and windows closed. There are 2 full bookcases and lots of work gear so there is almost no echo. It is a pretty ideal audio recording setting.
This is the first video I’ve produced with this camera. The mics on the Canon Vixia HF R500 are decent. They record better sound than expected. Using the “Audio Scene” option “Speech” improved it over the default setting.
When I connected the mics it initially produced a slightly muffled sound when compared to the on-board mics. The initial contrast made me think that the quality wasn’t as good as the built in mics. But as I listened it seemed to improve.
For $18 mics, these aren’t bad. While the on-board mics pick up the audio better, they are limited in situations where there is an echo or other distracting noises. I looked into some higher-end wireless mics that also work with some of the basic Canon camcorders. Something for the future…
Price update: Although I only paid $18.25/ea on Amazon, the current pricing is showing at $29.99 (with a regular price of $39.95). It seems that there is some significant fluctuation in the pricing. Either way, the price is worth it. The next price level begins around $150-300.
Where We’ll Use External Mics
The mics will be especially useful both outside and in a large room where either echos or other ambient noises could affect the audio quality. In a closed room I plan to record without a wired mic. But when we are shooting outside or in a room with echo, I think these will give us better sound quality.
I am eager to take these mics on our first trip and create some great travel videos. To see our Ecuador-based videos subscribe to our GringosAbroad channel.
Tools used in this post:
What audio / video setup are you using? How do you ensure quality audio in your videos?