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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2011
Even when using consumer-grade video cameras, sound makes a big difference in the professionalism of a video. A lavalier is an easy and inexpensive way to mic an individual in a relaxed environment. I actually ordered an Audio-Technica ATR-35S Lavalier Microphone and received an ATR-3350. I paid (literally) a few extra bucks to get a 35S because other reviews seem to favor the 35S over the newer, more "cheaply-made" 3350. So before returning it, I decided to test it to see if it was worth the trouble. I wound up keeping it.

I'd love to do a side-by-side with the ATR-35S, but I'm not going to attempt to buy one again. I have a feeling that most of what sellers still have listed as 35Ss are really 3350s. But hey, that's just my guess.

The ATR-3350 works fine given these considerations:
- A $20 mic will not sound like a $200 mic. Even if the 35S *is* better, I would be surprised to hear a drastic improvement.
- You have a basic understanding of mic placement. If this is unfamiliar territory, hit up youtube for examples
- Lapel mics are noisy by their very design. They pick up the slightest brush against the mic or the cable, and though it's directional, condensers are very sensitive and will pick up more ambient noise than a directional dynamic mic. So why are they made so sensitive? Because they need to pick up articulated speech 12-18" away from the mouth, perpendicular to the direction of vocal projection.
- Expect to do some level of post-processing. Even most of the very best recordings in the world have some level of processing (inline or post). Granted, you want to start with a good take, but effects processors do wonders for recordings that were done in less-than-ideal situations. Again, hit up youtube if you are unfamiliar with sound processing.

I used the 3350 for both indoor and outdoor video interviews, worn anywhere from the very top of the collar to the middle of the chest. The indoor interviews had people talking in the background and the outdoor interviews had wind and cars. I used a Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder to record in 16-bit/44.1`kHz WAV and at edit time I used the usual set of effects (gate/EQ/compressor) and it sounds great. The interviewees are clear and the ambient noises are not distracting.

Pros:
- Inexpensive. My philosophy is, at this price, if it lasts a couple years, I'm not heartbroken if I have to replace it.
- Adequate SPL for speech. I wouldn't have someone yell into it, but it handled bursts of laughter without distorting.
- Comes with essential accessories (battery, clip, windscreen, 1/8" -> 1/4" adapter)
- Long cable

Cons:
- No battery indicator. It's easy to accidentally leave it on and the only way to tell if the battery is dead is to test it.
- Uses expensive button cell batteries. Would I rather have a AAA at the expense of a larger enclosure? Yes. I could at least use rechargables in that case.

Neutral:
- It's mono. This is good if you are using an external recorder and/or you will be editing the audio. Stereo sources are cumbersome to work with when all you really need is a mono track for close-miked speech. If you are plugging the mic into a device that records in stereo (most consumer camcorders do this), you will need an adapter or else the audio will be in the left channel.

Unfortunately, because I've only used this mic for a grand total of about 2 hours:
- I can't speak for the battery life, but it at least seems to NOT drain the battery when switched off (as some electronics seem to do).
- I can't really speak for the durability after such light use.

I'll update my review with any new findings.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2011
I've only had this mic for a few days. I wanted the mic to plug into a DSLR to conduct video interviews. Specifically, I am using a Canon EOS Rebel T2i 18 MP CMOS APS-C Digital SLR Camera with 3.0-Inch LCD and EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS Lens, with Magic Lantern installed. Magic Lantern is a software hack for a few specific Canon DSLR cameras. For others who may have a T2i with ML, I was hoping to get clean enough audio by plugging this mic directly into the camera that I would not need to record to a separate source and sync audio in post-production.

As mentioned in at least one other review, if you are hoping to use this mic with a DSLR as a one-stop solution, you will need a 3.5mm stereo male to mono female adapter. This way it will record dual mono to both the left and right audio channels. I got mine at Radio Shack for under three bucks, but you can get one on Amazon too: Cables To Go 40634 3.5mm Stereo Male to 3.5mm Mono Female Adapter (Metallic Silver)

This review may only be applicable to those running Magic Lantern. ML disables the horrible Audio Gain Control present on the T2i (and most DSLR cameras), enabling for much cleaner audio recording. At first, I was not getting loud enough recordings. I turned up the default analog gain via magic lantern from 23dB to 32dB, which helped a lot. I also experimented with a tiny bit of digital gain. Thanks to the incredible adjustability of magic lantern, I was able to dial in a sweet spot for this mic.

I also own a Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder, and connecting this stereo recorder directly to the DSLR produced far superior results. You can adjust the input levels directly on the Zoom, so there is no need to make any changes to my camera's gain levels like there is with the Audio Technica. The audio is noticeable cleaner from the Zoom H1 as well and it is more versatile because it can be used to record in many types of situations, rather than just one person who is wearing the lav mic. Yes, it costs about five times more than this lav mic, but at $99, it is still pretty cheap. Plus, it can also be used as a stand-alone recorder. It also has a battery indicator level. As mentioned by lots of reviewers, the Audio Technica has no battery indicator and in fact, no lights at all, so you must remember to turn it off when you are finished.

For those trying to find decent audio to go along with the stunning video produced by DSLR cameras, this is not a bad choice, and certainly very affordable. For those with more money to spend, I would consider the Zoom H1 at $99, or even the Rode Videomic Pro, which comes out in April for $229. But for the price, this is a huge upgrade over the onboard sound recording captured by most cameras.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 5, 2011
** VERY IMPORTANT: If you purchase this microphone and you don't get ANY sound, you need to purchase a MONO to STEREO adapter (a few bucks from Amazon or local retailer). These adapters are so cheap that I would suggest picking one up at the time of purchase just in case.

I ordered this product after seeing good reviews and because I own other Audio-Technica products and have been extremely happy with them. I ordered from Amazon and it came a couple days later. I opened it up and started taking getting it ready. This mic requires the LR44 batteries so I'd suggest picking up a few of those when you purchase the headset too because they last about a dozen hours before dying.

I plugged it into my camera, no go. I tried another mic and it worked fine. I plugged it into my PC, no go. I tried the other mic and it worked fine. I thought it was a loose connection, bad sound card, maybe I put the battery in wrong? Nothing I did would fix it so I ended up starting a return on Amazon, frustrated that it didn't work. I went to lunch, came back and as I'm looking at the plug for the microphone I realize that it's a mono plug. I ran down to a local electronics store and purchased a 3.5mm Stereo Male to 3.5mm mono female adapter.

I plugged in the adapter and lo and behold it works perfectly with my PC as well as my camera. I have a feeling a lot of the 1 star reviews and returns on here have been because people didn't know that they needed this for their application (note that some people may NOT need this, especially with more professional equipment).
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29 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2012
I bought four of these, and they're great. However, one of them has a considerably lower gain than the others, and another one hums if you're not connected to a properly grounded AC supply. They must have some quality control issues at the plant where they make them. Who cares, though? The price is right, and the quality is good.

I connect all four to an audio mixer board. If you plug them in with the 1/4" jacks, you cannot get the gain up loud enough to hear them. You need DI boxes. The least expensive (and actually best) solution is Radio Shack's 1/4" female to XLR male adapter/transformer. At $18, it's a great and unobtrusive DI box. The part number is 274-017C (search on their website using "274017" and it will come up).

The combination of this mic and the DI allows me to interview four people at a time on camera with pro results.

Except for the occasional dud, I have no complaints and would highly recommend these mics for videographers on a budget.

UPDATE:
I needed more, so I bought four more. One of them bursts into white noise intermittantly after awhile. It ruined an interview I did.

All in all, the quality control on these is terrible, and you have a 37% chance of getting a dud - or one that turns out to be a dud when you need it most. I'm going to spend more money and get four decent mics that I can depend on. If you buy one of these mics, good luck.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 23, 2010
I used this microphone with a Kodak Z18. The camcorder was on a tripod, my subject was sitting on the couch and giving an interview. The playback is loud, crystal clear and I was very pleased with the end result.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 16, 2010
A friend and I shoot sketches and short videos on his Canon 7D and we use these lav mics for the sound. Their long cords are perfect for situations in which we want to hook up directly to the on-board audio on the camera and their frequency response is pretty stellar as well. The only issue we had was a shielding one, we had to make sure cell phones were a solid 10-15 feet away or else we'd get interference noises. Something to keep in mind, but overall, great product for the price!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2013
I have bought 3 of these and they are amazing. You can use it to record audio on smart phones, DSLR's and video cameras. I have used this with an iPhone, Samsung Note 2, Flip video camera, Kodak Zi-8 and my Nikon 5100, all with AMAZING audio results. I edit all my videos on my Mac with iMovie. They will take your audio from barely audible, to LOUD and crystal clear! It will make you sound like you are recording in a studio, especially when recording outside where there is a lot of background noise. It will eliminate all that. I own a social media/SEO company and have used this for 100's of videos, my client videos as well as all my own video marketing videos. I HIGHLY recommend this mic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2013
I tried to create iPad videos indoors in a quiet area just using the iPad microphone but the sound was too quiet on the resulting video. I asked friends about it and they recommended this lavalier mic. This does the trick, now I get professional sound quality for my videos. I also needed to get an "iPhone 1/8 inch microphone adapter - 3.5mm 4 conductor TRRS Male to 3.5mm Microphone Input Jack" to connect it to. It has a nice long cord and is easy to use. The battery is easy to put in but I haven't quite figured out how to remove it when I need to replace it. I figure I will take it to the battery store and have them do it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2012
Longevity.

Its a key performance measurement people.

ATR 3350 worked like a charm, used it about 3-4 times a month, for about a year. I used it professionally for small business vids and it pulled its weight. Then, it just took its ball and went home. It stopped working so I thought for sure it was the battery. So i replaced it, it didn't work. Then I thought it was perhaps the wrong battery, so i bought one of each that size - none ever got the thing to work again.

Its just one of things i suppose when you're dealing in the cheap electronics gamut.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
Works reasonably well--I use it with the Zoom H1. The mid-range (1-2K) is a little harsh, with slight distortion once you get your levels to where you'd like them. I also do a little EQ to cut the mid range. So, this isn't a great tool for pros aiming for high production values.

BUT...

This is way better than the built-in mics for just about any video camera mainly because you can get it up close to your actor or talent. For ~$20 for this mic and ~$99 for a Zoom H1, you can really step up the audio quality in your videos. Just be sure to keep your expectations realistic.
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