Welcome back, everyone, for another installment of Tech Gems where I share some of my favorite technology devices, gadgets, and apps. This week I’m sharing an affordable audio gadget that has become invaluable when filming YouTube videos. Who says you need expensive equipment to film videos?!
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Like many YouTubers starting out, I began filming videos with whatever modest equipment I had: an old point-and-shoot camera and an old iPhone. The video and sound quality were just ‘okay’ but I knew there was room for improvement. A year later, I graduated to a Canon EOS Rebel T5i DSLR camera that was gifted to me by my family—love you guys!!!—and that greatly improved the visual quality of my videos. The camera also has a built-in microphone but in order to get the best audio quality, I had to film sitting very close to the camera and in the middle of the night when everyone, including the pets, were sleeping while the house was quiet. That’s when my search began to find a good, affordable microphone for my DSLR camera.
Tech Gem Search
There are many microphone options for a DSLR cameras but they tend to be big and bulky as well as expensive. I was looking for an inexpensive microphone that was small, could clip onto a shirt, and enable me to record from a distance. After two tries, I finally hit the jackpot! Allow me to introduce the Vidpro XM-L Lavalier Condenser Microphone. This little Tech Gem is designed to work with DSLR and video cameras, camcorders, audio recorders, smartphones, and computers. It’s small, can clip onto a shirt, has a 20 foot long cable, and connects via the standard 3.5mm jack as well as a large mono audio jack using the included adapter to enable you to connect to other devices.
The first time I set this up, I didn’t realize there was a switch to toggle using it on a camera versus a computer (I was VERY excited to get started). I did a test video, “Testing, testing…1, 2, 3!” and when I played it back…no sound. 🙁 I was so disappointed. Then I looked at it more carefully and noticed that on the body—which had a metal cylinder section where I had previously loaded a coin cell battery—had a switch. Hmmm. I moved it to the ‘Camera’ position—duh!—and tried again: “Testing, testing…1, 2, 3!” This time when I played it back, I heard a nice, loud, clear voice—finally! I went on to record a 25 minute video that included an excellent audio track and I’ve been using it to film my YouTube videos ever since. 🙂
Tech Gems Verdict
So, what do I like about it and what features did I not care for? I love how small and discreet it is, that I can clip it on a shirt to remain hands-free, how clear it records the sound, and the flexibility of being able to use it with multiple devices. The features I didn’t care for—there’s only one, at least for now—is the overly generous length of the cord (my ‘hands videos’ are filmed in a small area so I have to wrap up and tie the excess cord to keep it out of the way). If I had to nit-pick one more thing, I wish it came with a little pouch for storage (I currently keep it in a ziplock bag).
Now for the best part. 🙂 This little Tech Gem costs a whopping amount of…wait for it…less than $20 dollars! (as of the time of this writing) So, yes, you can record professional quality audio at an affordable price. 🙂
What about you? Do you have a favorite audio Tech Gem either for recording or listening? I’m always on the lookout for great Tech Gems on the market so please share in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe.
Until next time, 🙂
♥ LilD ♥