The Sennheiser g3 wireless mic set, is it the most cost effective way to get broadcast quality dialog in your videos today?
Released in 2013 these almost six year old wireless mics are still sold new today for around £500 or if you’re in America $500. Now that may seem quite steep and for some newer filmmakers it is quite a lot of money, but when compared to the like for like alternatives, these wireless mics represent incredible value. Slso if you’re willing to look on the pre-owned market you can sometimes find these for around sub the 300 mark and at that point these represent the unbeatable value.
The kit comes with the me2 sub miniature lav microphone, that is a small diaphragm condenser microphone, with an omnidirectional pickup. That may sound confusing but all it means is that it’s perfect for picking up and isolating the human voice, even in noisy environments. The transmitter and receiver work by a 3.5mm audio jack and transmit your audio over UHF frequencies, again this all sounds very technical, but essentially it’s as close to a plug-and-play wireless mic set as you can get.
These transmitters will also work at a range of up to 100 meters which is absolutely insane, if you’re working a hundred meters away from your camera and trying to get the dialogue for an interview or something; well then good luck because that’s just a ridiculous distance to be working over. It’s put there for a level of accessibility and ease of use, you know that it’s going to work within that hundred meter range perfectly it, so anything within a realistic distance say 10 meters is definitely perfect for this wireless mic set.
The Good Bits
The build quality is always the first thing you’re going to notice and the build quality of this set is absolutely superb, it’s a metal and plastic construction that feels incredibly premium in hand. Now we’ve had these for around five years and barring the odd war wound and little scratch, they are as good as new and have never missed a beat in that whole time. The build quality is that good in this set, that it feels like it’s from a price point at least twice what you would pay for the g3.
The ease of use is a huge factor with this mic set. It’s incredibly important when you’re working on a fast-paced set, or something like a documentary that you need equipment that is gonna work quickly and easily and it’s not going to be something that’s going to hold you up and the g3 from Sennheiser definitely fits within that. It’s as close to a plug-and-play wireless mic set as you’re likely to get and for that, it is incredibly easy to use even for beginners. The noise rejection of the me2 microphone is also really good. To be fair that should be what you say about any good lapel mic wireless or wired, they are very good at isolating background noise. So if you’re working either outdoors or in a slightly more noisy environment a wireless lapel mic, like the g3 will save you time and time again.
The Bad Bits
First up in the bad points is the build quality now… before you hit the comment sections and say you’ve already listed that in the good points, bear with me. The build quality is absolutely incredible, yes, but the me2 microphone is so small and so delicate you will be nervous of it the whole time, especially if you’re interviewing or filming with someone that isn’t used to working with camera equipment. They are very likely to be heavy-handed with this tiny little condenser microphone and it is obviously very easy to break.
The other point about the build quality is that people are quite likely to pick up the transmitter with the microphone cable. When you see it happen it’s like nails scratching down a blackboard, it is the most horrendous thing to see, but people do it all the time and it is such a teeny tiny cable that it is very likely to break, so just bear that in mind if you’re with anyone that’s heavy-handed or unfamiliar with the equipment. The EQ is a little on the dull side. To be fair you would say that about any lapel or lavalier microphone, they do tend to be a little bit duller, they do tend to have not so much happening in the top end. that sibilance, that brightness and that’s just because of how they’re designed, they do sound a little bit duller than something like a shotgun microphone. So more than a bad point, it’s just more of a word of caution if you’re looking at buying any lavalier mic set
So in summary, this is my all-time favourite microphone and transmitter set and we get to use a lot of microphones. But this is one that is always in my camera bag and always gets used, even five years after we first bought it. It stood the test of time, has never missed a beat and has saved us more times than I can count. It truly is one of the best purchases we have ever made here!
So if you’re in the market of trying to take the production value of your videos up to the next level but don’t quite have the budget to match, then I would definitely recommend the Sennheiser g3 wireless mic set. It performs at a level of the lavalier mics that cost twice this and for around £500/$500 you’ll easily double the production value of your videos.
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