The Saramonic Blink900 B2 is a Great Wireless Microphone For Newbies and Pros Alike

The Saramonic Blink900 B2 is a Great Wireless Microphone For Newbies and Pros Alike
Photo: Eduardo Marín / Gizmodo

Saramonic is a company dedicated to producing professional audio and recording systems, from microphones to mixing consoles. For a few years now, more affordable wireless microphone systems have hit the market, aimed at beginners or enthusiasts who can’t afford to pay for thousands of dollars worth of equipment. The Blink900 is a wireless mic that represents the next step in the evolution of those systems.

But why do you need a wireless mic for your camera, especially if it comes with its own internal microphone? The answer is that not all microphones are good for everything. Even if you have a USB microphone connected to your computer, you can’t use it for everything. And in the vast majority of cases, a camera’s internal microphone, regardless of the brand, does not offer the best results. An unwritten rule of video-making is this: how good a video sounds is almost as important as how good it looks (and it is even more important in some situations). Hence, external solutions like Saramonic’s.

Saramonic Blink 900 B2

WHAT IS IT?

A wireless microphone system for cameras and mobile devices.

PRICE

$US400 (around $555)

PROS

Is a really complete kit with lots of accessories including the charging case and even lav mics. The audio quality is really good and it has a great design.

CONS

It would have been even better if it also included an internal recording system that could be used as a backup.

While it is true that the microphones in smartphones can deliver decent results, nothing compares to having a microphone dedicated to making videos, vlogs or interviews. Microphones that are placed on top of a camera or phone, called shotgun microphones, can deliver the results you’re looking for in some cases. Without a doubt, though, a wireless microphone system is probably the most versatile and multi-purpose tool to have around. Not all microphones are good for everything, but this is as close as you’re going to get to an all-purpose recorder with professional level sound.

The Blink900's wireless transmitter. (Photo: Eduardo Marin / Gizmodo)The Blink900’s wireless transmitter. (Photo: Eduardo Marin / Gizmodo)

What is the Saramonic Blink900 B2?

The Blink900 B2 is a wireless microphone system comprising two transmitters (that is, two microphones) and a receiver, as well as a case that acts as a charging base, in the style of earbuds such as AirPods or Galaxy Buds. Each transmitter includes an internal omnidirectional microphone that picks up the sound around it and deliver very clear results when capturing one or two voices. This is especially useful for filmmakers and journalists, as having two transmitters means we can record the voices of up to two people, which is ideal for an interview, a debate or a video podcast, just to mention a few examples.

During my tests, each transmitter delivered up to 6 hours of battery life. The receiver, on the other hand, lasted a bit longer, reaching 7 hours. The case, which can be charged via USB-C, recharges the battery of these devices up to 3 times, so the roughly 20 hours of battery life should not be an issue for long recording sessions. You’re much more likely to run out of space in your microSD memory card or your phone before you use up 20 hours of charge in a single day, especially if you’re recording in 4K.

The Blink900 is compatible with any device that supports an external microphone. In my tests, I tried it with my camera, but also with my smartphone, an iPad and a laptop. I was able to use it for recording in all of these cases, and the box even includes a TRS to TRS cable (for cameras), a TRS to TRRS cable (for phones with a 3.5mm port), one cable with a USB-C connector and another with a Lightning connector (for Android devices and iPhone or iPad, respectively).

The Blink900 is designed as a small shiny black square with a hook on the back, so you can attach the transmitter to a shirt, or the receiver to a camera or recording device. But should you prefer to be more subtle about the transmitter, a lavalier (or lapel) microphone can be attached to it, allowing you to hide the transmitter in a pocket or clip it to a belt. The kit also includes lavalier microphones, which helps make it one of the most comprehensive systems of its kind on offer today, especially when compared to its main competitor, the Rode Wireless Go II.

Photo: Eduardo Marin / GizmodoPhoto: Eduardo Marin / Gizmodo

What can the Blink900 do?

In addition to its design, the charging case and all the other accessories included here, the Blink900 boasts some very interesting features. Its frequency range or response is between 20 and 20,000 Hz, essentially covering the full range of frequency of the human voice, a standard this type of microphone is expected to meet. As I mentioned a few lines back, the transmitter microphones are omnidirectional, meaning they will pick up audio from everything around them, not just from one side. This is a common feature in lavalier microphones, for example, which is why they are usually placed as close as possible to the source of the audio (i.e. the mouth), although not too close. The shirt collar, or a little lower, is and has always been the ideal spot.

As to the sound quality, it’s clear and crisp, providing enough means to allow dialogue to be well understood with little background noise, although this will depend, of course, on the device where the audio is being sent. When recording indoors, such as in a room, it delivers a minimal amount of echo or reverb, as opposed to recording with a shotgun microphone in a room not set up to record audio (especially when considering cheaper and lower quality shotguns). When recording outdoors in very noisy places, it still delivers clearly understandable dialogue.

The Blink900 also boasts a low cut filter (also known as high pass), which allows you to filter out frequencies starting from 80 Hz, 120 Hz or 160 Hz, based on user preference. This type of filter allows you to cut off part of the sounds from lower vibrations and frequencies, such as the background sound of an air conditioner, or the footsteps of the people living in the apartment above yours.

The Blink900 provides both mono or stereo recording capabilities. When recording in mono, the sound of both transmitters will be mixed into a single channel (this is ideal when recording using a single transmitter, that is, a single person). When recording in stereo, both transmitters will separate into two channels, left and right, which will allow you to edit the volume or anything else you may need in post-production.

Is it possible to record in mono using two transmitters? Yes, of course; as mentioned before, this will cause both transmitters or microphones to get mixed into a single channel and will allow for faster use of the audio, without requiring any editing or other work in post production. But I don’t recommend doing that. Should one person talk much louder than the other, there is no way -or at least no easy way- to fix that through editing. Recording in stereo may take one more step, but it could save an entire interview. This applies to this system as well as any other that records two channels in stereo.

Should I Buy the Saramonic Blink900 B2?

Overall, the Saramonic Blink900 B2 is a great option for a full wireless microphone system that can do just about anything. Or almost everything, because the only thing I would ask of this system is the ability to record tracks directly on the transmitters as a backup. This is something that the Rode system, for example, can do. However, the well-stocked kit, the quality of audio- which is crisp and clear- and other features, such as each device boasting its own LCD screen (that shows the recording level) and being able to record voice from up to 200 meters away (as long as the transmitter is in line of sight of the receiver), make it a great tool for content creators, journalists and vloggers, and even video studios.