While so many brands are producing wireless microphones patterned after one specific brand, this different approach definitely stands out. Would you use a microphone with a customizable display?
Wireless microphones are some of the most logistically versatile and convenient tools for creators, no matter how big or small the productions are. As camera gear is being developed to be more portable and easier to use in non-ideal situations, so have other accessories greatly evolved to enable the users to do more and go further. Content creators, through the diverse platforms, are now able to reach audiences to talk about and show people about the most interesting, most exotic, and most distant things in the world that we are all yet to see. Part of what makes this possible is the development of convenient tools for photography and filmmaking.
Audio recording equipment for video content have one major crossroad in terms of determining what to use. On-camera microphones often offer the best quality and seamless wired connection to the camera, but only works when the source of the sound is within a short distance to the microphone. On the other hand, wireless microphones give more flexibility in terms of distance and positioning. This is exponentially more convenient in instances when working solo or with a small production team. Wireless microphones allow you to record clear audio while moving around, especially when exploring a certain place or demonstrating a process. The down-side of it would be the rare but still existent possibility of losing connection or getting interference between the transmitters and the receiver.
The Saramonic BlinkMe B2 Wireless Microphone
The BlinkMe B2 come together as a single block with the three pieces magnetically connected together. In the middle is the receiver module with a 0.96” touchscreen on one side, a 3.5mm TRRS port, a 3.5mm headphone monitoring port, and a USB-C port for charging. The top and bottom surfaces act as magnetic receptacles of the two circular transmitters, both with communication pins to meet the transmitters for both data and charging.
The transmitters come as two over-sized-coin shaped pieces with a 1.3” touch LED display in front, charging pins at the back, a power button, a programmable noise reduction shortcut button, and an omnidirectional microphone module. Each of the transmitters come with 8 GB of storage for independent on-board recording and a battery life of up to 8 hours each that automatically recharges from the 24-hour capacity battery of the receiver module that doubles as the charging hub.
The Saramonic BlinkMe B2 definitely does not follow the typical design and form of most wireless microphones in the market. Common variants either come as square or rectangular clip-on pieces with screens just for basic utility and adjustments, while this one offers a customizable touch screen with its own user interface. This screen can be made to display any image that the user wants to use and can be configured to display important utility information such as gain levels, battery information, audio channels, and noise reduction status.
There are various unique approaches that were taken when it comes to the functionality of this wireless microphone set. The receiver module doubles as a charging hub for both transmitters and allows the system to instantly adapt depending on which transmitters are currently docked and charging. When recording with just one transmitter, the other transmitter automatically powers down and recharges once latched onto the receiver. In the same way, all three pieces activate once the transmitters are removed from docking and automatically power down once all of them latch.
Aside from having full access to all settings and options through the touch interface, each of the transmitters have a customizable shortcut button that is by default configured to activate noise reduction. Alternatively, these buttons can be programmed for quick access to other modes with different functions assigned to a single press, long press, and double press respectively.
In addition, the BlinkMe B2 offers two ways to record audio that can be done either separately or simultaneously. Like all other wireless microphones, on-camera recording can be done by connecting the transmitter to the camera either through the supplied adaptive TRRS cable for most cameras, through the TRRS to USB-C cable for smartphones, laptops, and some vlogging cameras, or through the TRRS to lightning cable for older iPhones. As an alternative, each of the two transmitters have 8gb of memory that can store up to 22 hours worth of on-board audio recording. This can either be used instead of recording on camera or serve as a duplicate copy in case any signal interference messes up the audio in the footage. As a bonus, since the transmitters record independently, this gives the user more flexibility in mixing and balancing the sound inputs from each microphone when put together in post-production.
Lastly, the BlinkMe B2 easily connects to the Saramonic smartphone app that requires just a one-time pairing process. Once connected, the app can be used to access any on-board recordings as well as change the images displayed on the screen. The app currently has no access to other settings that are already on the transmitters such as screen brightness and gain control, which would have been convenient to have so that they can also remotely be adjusted even while recording. Hopefully, this feature becomes available through firmware updates that are easily accessed through the app as well.
Using the BlinkMe B2 definitely offered a unique approach to using wireless microphones. Generally, wireless mics are the accessories that we either have to find a way to hide under clothing or we just let them be. This unique variant instead allows you to customize it if in case it is acceptable to be seen so that it can display an image that either represents your brand as a creator, channel, or business, or at the very least display something that could be an instant icebreaker to get a conversation going.
The unique shape and form of the transmitters and magnetic attachments are also convenient in such a way that they reduce the chances of the microphone shifting while the speaker is moving and keeps it relatively stable and flat on where it was mounted. This also potentially reduces the possibility of getting scratch sounds when the microphone touches any rough garments.
It would have been more versatile if the transmitters also had ports for connecting wired lavalier mics in case the user preferred to keep the microphones low-key, though this would probably mean making the transmitters bigger and that may or may not be an issue to other users.
Most importantly, the on-board recording offers better assurance that everything is recorded properly depending on how the user intends to record. Using the microphone offers great convenience and minimizes the task of keeping the pieces charged and setting up for recording.
In my personal opinion, audio quality and finding the best sounding microphone is an individualized process. Different brands and models usually have different sound profiles, and it is up to the user to find which one fits their voice the best in order to minimize adjustments in post. Nonetheless, if the Saramonic BlinkMe B2 matches your personal preferences in sound, this uniquely designed product offers a lot of convenient ways to smoothen your production workflow.
What I Liked
- Unique customizable screen
- Straightforward user interface
- Magnetic mounting and efficient charging
- Multiple recording options
What Can Be Improved
- No input ports on transmitters
- No remote setting adjustments on the app
You can purchase the BlinkMe B2 here.