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Works for my purpose, might not for yours
on July 19, 2015
I was in the market for a lavalier microphone to provide better sound then the internal microphone on my Sony camcorder CX260. There were a couple of informative reviews of this unit on YouTube. The reviews were not uniformly positive but the reviewers were professionals looking for a lavalier for business use. The defects they pointed out, I could live with. Especially since the alternatives after this price range moved right up to $80 plus.
Got the unit, popped in the supplied 1.5 V battery, plugged it into the Sony and got nothing. Actually, got a constant low grade hum. No volume, no words. Two days of research and try this or that helped nothing. I did see another you tube review where the fellow got a unit that didn't work and got a replacement that did. Returned this unit and reordered.
Got the second unit, popped in the battery, plugged it into the Sony and got the constant low-grade hum and very low volume. But it worked. Just not satisfactorily. While I was waiting for this second unit to come I saw another review where the fellow very casually said that the manufacturer was having ongoing problems due to old cheapo batteries. Could that be it? Purchased a two dollar replacement from the supermarket battery rack. Energizer 357/303. Replaced the original battery with the Energizer. Works perfectly. Makes me wonder if that's what was wrong with the first unit.
Been using the microphone for about three days. I will still occasionally get that low grade hum but I found that I can make it go away with just reseating the battery. It's also easily removed by any audio editing software.
The sound from this lavalier microphone is a definite improvement from the Sony onboard mic. An overall richer sound. Also no volume loss due to distance from the camera. Overall a satisfactory purchase for my light duty purposes. If my usage was to be several days a week for a couple hours each day or even constant outdoor use in a variety of conditions, I would spend some more bucks and go in a different direction.
One final point. One of the things I tried to research after the failure with the first unit was whether this was the proper microphone for a camera with an input labeled "plug in power". Plug that phrase into Google in 10 different iterations and you'll get almost complete unintelligible gobbledygook. I'll pass on what I think I learned about microphone power as a public service. Fine with me if anybody wants to correct.
Obviously, all microphones need power to work. My Blue Snowball USB microphone gets its power from the USB port on the computer. My XLR microphone gets power from its own 9 volt battery as is necessary since everybody knows that the microphone in port on your sound card supplies no power. This lavalier microphone needs external power. I don't know the purpose of the 1.5 V battery supplied but I do know that's not enough voltage to power a microphone. The Sony camera supplies an additional 8 V through the "plug in power" port. It is my understanding that almost all camcorders supply power to the microphone plugged into them.