The usually high-flying company DJI brings its tech closer to Earth with a super-nifty pair of microphones. DJI Mic packs five hours of recording mojo into a minuscule package using a form factor we typically see for wireless earbuds. Two microphones and a receiver vanish into a nifty charging case when you’re not using them for a great on-the-go recording solution.
DJI Mic claims to deliver “crystal-clear audio at long distances”, with an impressive 5.5 hours of battery life, which extends to 15 hours if you can find time for charging breaks where the units live in the charging case between takes in your shooting schedule. I’ve done oodles of on-location shoots and impromptu video conference things over the years, and I can’t tell you how long I’ve been longing for a solution exactly like this. I haven’t had a chance to test it out myself yet, but if it lives up to the hype, I can see DJI selling these kits by the boatload.
The full system consists of two microphone transmitters, a receiver and a pocket-size charging case that fits easily into your bag or pocket. It works with smartphones, cameras and action cams that support a line input. The system is paired at the factory, so all you need to do is fish the various components out of the charger case, and it all pairs and is ready to go. The microphones have a clip and a magnetic plate, and the receiver has a little touch screen to give you info about volume settings, channel selection and the other settings you’d expect.
The transmitters themselves weigh in at 30 grams — heavy for a lav mic, but light for a transmitter. It may be a little too chunky to stick on a lapel in practice, but if you’re wearing a reasonably sturdy jacket or sweater, it should stay in place beautifully.
The real magic DJI adds here is not relying on crappy radio tech — through its drone tech, the company has learned a thing or two about long-range real-time transmission tech, and DJI claims 800-foot (250 meter) range for its microphones. That’s more than most wireless microphones, and — given that most cases that you’ll use a lav mic is less than 30 feet, it gives you plenty of wiggle room.
Another neat feature is that each of the microphones has 8 GB of storage built in, and a USB-C socket to copy locally recorded audio off the transmitters. Boom, separate audio files to make your audio editing easier. The files are 48kHz 24-bit WAV files for maximum audio quality goodness.
The receiver supports Lightning, USB-C and 3.5mm sockets, so you can plug and, er, record to your heart’s desire.
The kit went on sale today with a $329 price tag. It isn’t pocket-change, but based on specs alone, I’d expect the company to see these flying off the shelves. If the reviews match the promise, they may just have a serious winner on their hands.