IN THE WORLD OF AUDIO Saramonic might not be the first name to spring to mind when one is considering a pro-spec audio kit to invest in for your filmmaking but, if you take a closer look, you could find yourself surprised by the quality of the products they’re offering and the value for money their kit is delivering.
I’ve just been given the opportunity to test out the Saramonic UwMic9S outfit to see what I thought about this exciting new system and I have to say that I’ve come away impressed. However, before I even begin to talk in detail about the product and the way it handled I should first give an honorary mention to the way it’s presented, which was a positive before I even got properly started.
The system arrives snugly contained within a solid and well-made watertight case, which includes a selection of adapters for plugging into either your camera or external recorder via XLR. It even included spares of almost everything you could need, including antennas, windshields, dead cats and USB cables. It even includes belt clips and a cold shoe adapter.
As for the UwMic9S components themselves, these are constructed primarily of metal and they feel solid and robust. In terms of finish, they’re the equal of some of the top-tier mic systems that are out there, but at a fraction of the cost. So far so good, and now I couldn’t wait to try the kit out!
Saramonic sells two versions of the UwMic9S. Kit 1, which costs £285, comes with a single transmitter and dual receiver while Kit 2, priced at £427.50, comes with an extra transmitter, providing a highly cost-effective and versatile wireless audio solution for vloggers, filmmakers and mobile journalists who want a little more
flexibility in their operation.
The dual receiver that comes with both packages features headphone out, mic or line-level inputs, together with two dedicated outputs and four output cables. The belt pack transmitters meanwhile feature dedicated microphone and line-level inputs plus 9-step input gain control.
Along with the opportunity, in tandem with the extra transmitter, to record two subjects at once, another key advantage of the dual receiver is that you could use it to give yourself a handy backup solution. For example, you could have one output going straight into the camera for easy editing, while the other is linked to an external audio recorder or, potentially, a B Cam. I really appreciate this opportunity to take audio more seriously, since it’s something too many content creators tend to overlook. You do this at your peril since, while you can sometimes get away with good audio and poor visuals, you can’t wing things if they’re the other way round.
One of the biggest upgrades with the new UwMic9S system concerns power options. The previous product utilised AA batteries but now both the transmitter and receivers feature rechargeable Li-Ion power, while there is also the option of USB charging/ powering. From my own testing, it took me under two hours to charge these units fully, and from here I had approximately seven hours of continual usage had I needed it. If you found yourself running out of power then the facility provided to keep going using the USB input would be invaluable.
The OLED screen through which you control both the transmitter and receiver looks modern and bright, and it’s easy to read even when you’re working outdoors. The buttons feel nice and are easy to press when navigating through the menu, and overall working with the devices is very straightforward and a good experience.
The included DKM3 lavalier mics produce a flat sound, which can be tweaked in post. I’m a Premiere Pro user and use the parameter equaliser to adjust the high and low frequencies to achieve a more well-rounded sound. It took me less than a minute to get the sound I was achieving to a level I was happy with so no headache here, and I would likewise put high-end microphones through the same process.
Overall the mics do an excellent job of cutting out background noise compared to others I’ve tested. This is due to the Lo FI (low frequency) mode they feature, which effectively cuts out anything below approximately 80Hz. This is great if there’s something like a radiator, boiler or fridge nearby that’s producing a constant hum, and it can be a lifesaver.
Perhaps the biggest plus point of the UwMic9S, however, is the fact that it’s wireless, meaning that you don’t need to worry about trailing cables. But what distance can you travel before you lose signal? I managed to go an impressive 120 metres away from the camera before running out of space, and the signal showed no sign of cutting out, with latency unaffected.
TO ROUND THINGS UP, the Saramonic UwMic9S is one of the best ‘bang for your buck’ dual transmitter mic system you’re likely to find on the market today. As soon as I opened the box and saw the case I knew it was going to be a great product. I love the fact that Saramonic includes so many additional adapters for various different recording units as well as all the spare parts, and it’s a sign that things are being done properly.
The built-in rechargeable batteries are also a big plus for me, especially with the USB option
to charge the units while I’m using them. Having a dual transmitter system is perfect if I need to do interviews on my YouTube channel or make use of the extra output to back up the recording in case the inevitable happens: let’s face it, we’ve probably all been there at some point in our working lives!
Overall, I would say that if you’re looking for an affordable and easyto-operate wireless mic system to up the quality of the audio in your content, I would highly recommend taking a serious look at what the Saramonic UwMic9S can offer. You won’t be disappointed!
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