Comica BoomX-D2 2.4G Wireless Microphones Review
Posted on 20th July 2020 by Mark Tiddy.
Read on for the written review or watch the video review on my YouTube channel.
A week ago I picked up the Comica BoomX-D2 microphones with the hope of improving the sound quality of my YouTube videos and I haven’t been disappointed!
Retailing at £225 these are very much a premium product and feel like it as soon as you open the box. Included in the box you get two microphones, a receiver, external lapel mics, ‘dead cat’ windshield accessories, a USB C cable, 3 connectors (for various phones/cameras) plus instructions.
Getting them set up is as simple as charging them, turning them on and plugging them in and the controls are nice and simple.
The transmitters have mute buttons, show you their current volume level and show their battery levels whereas the receiver shows its battery level and the volumes on the two receivers…which you can adjust by up to 12DB…great for balancing audio.
The design of these is something that has been really thought through, they’re nice and small and work exactly as you’d hope they would.
Comica claim they have a 50m working range (although this will depending on whether you’re indoors or outdoors) and whilst I don’t think I’ve been 50m from the receiver the range is certainly impressive and audio is clear. They also say they have 5 hours battery life which is about right.
But…what about sound quality?
In order to really put these through their paces I tested the sound in 4 scenarios (each time contrasting it with native phone recorded audio) and they excelled…here are my tests.
- Outdoors – Using the wind-shielded lapel mic and just the built in mic I tested these outdoors at various distances. The quality was great in both cases but (obviously) better with the lapel mic.
- Wind – Rarely, we have nice weather at the moment so I made use of our electric fan and recorded some audio with the built in mic and then a lapel mic with the ‘dead cat’ on. The lapel mic with the wind shield performed incredibly well with great results (you could still hear the wind but it was no where near as bad).
- Indoors – Spoken – Testing the built in mic and lapel mic for indoor spoken audio with limited background noise gave me very similar results…both sounded great but there wasn’t much difference in quality between the two.
- Indoors – Music – For this, I connected the 2nd wireless mic and attached one mic to me and one across the room. I then played some guitar and sang…the results were crisp and clear.
So…what’s the verdict?
Sound is usually a subjective thing but in this case there is very clearly a difference in quality between a phone mic and these and these will certainly be my go to mic for all future videos!audio, microphones, reviews
Zoom IQ5 Lightning Microphone Review
Posted on 2nd May 2019 by Mark Tiddy.
The Zoom IQ5 is a few years old now but still a great option for improving audio quality on your iPhone/iPad videos.
Watch the video review here or read on…
I picked one of these up for £35 (bargain!) after looking at the other options out there (including the Zoom IQ6 and IQ7). It’s no longer available so you’ll have to search for eBay where they typically sell for £60-70.
However…it’s still a great option so here’s a review to see if this piece of tech is still worth picking up 5 years after its release.
In a nutshell, the IQ5 is a stereo condenser mic designed to help you get a better quality sound from your iPhone or iPad videos. I’ve had mine a couple of months and have been using it for every YouTube video I’ve created since and really think it improves the sound.
Design & Specification
It’s not the prettiest design out there but I think it looks pretty cool. The microphone itself is this spherical shape which rotates and twists to allow you to adjust it depending on where you are in relation to your recording device.
The front has two sets of switches. One for adjusting gain and one for width.
One side has buttons for adjusting gain, the other side is a mini USB port for charging your phone during use (no idea why they didn’t go with lightning!) and a headphone jack for monitoring the sound.
You can set the gain to auto, limited (which lets you use the gain slider to adjust it) and off and there’s width settings for 90 degrees, 120 degrees and a MS setting.
Let’s unpack what that means
90 degrees is a direct recording…the sort of thing you’d use for a video where sound is coming from one place.
120 degrees catches more width…you’d probably use this if you were recording a larger area such as a band playing. It captures more of the sound of the review. (There’s examples of all of these in my video review)
MS – This option records both 90 and 120 degrees and let’s you choose and mix in the Zoom Handy Recorder app. (more on the app later)
Using the IQ5
Using the IQ5 is super easy, you plug it into your iPhone or iPad and you’re away…it fits so snugly to your device you’ll have to remove any cases first!
Then to record you either use the Zoom Handy Recorder app or the video/audio app of your choice. I just use the native camera app to shoot videos and it automatically uses the Zoom IQ5 for audio.
There’s not much else to say. For me the audio is loud enough, clear, crisp and free of background noise*
*As long as you put your phone in aeroplane mode otherwise your video is a set of buzzes and crackles!!!
The Handy Recorder App
This app is meant to be (and advertised as) the comparison app to the IQ5 (and indeed IQ6 and IQ7) however I’m not the biggest fan of it!
The app feels it’s long overdue an update and looks dated…on newer iPhones it doesn’t even fill the screen. I’ve also found that you have to set your recordings to AAC format in the settings as WAV files refuse to export.
I do however like there’s options to upgrade firmware, make the auto gain settings more specific to what you want to record and all sorts of other extras.
The ability to monitor the sound is also really handy.
When you export audio you do this via Soundcloud or via Email…two functional options but updates to add other options like iCloud and Dropbox would be nice.
If you want something small and compact that improves the sound of your video shot on your iPhone or iPad then I’d really recommend this…I think it’s improved the sound of my videos and made them clearer.
I like that it sits on your phone without the need of clamps and I like that it’s adjustable, it does however feel a little plastic-y and I wonder how easy it is to break.
Do comment with any questions and checkout the posts on the rest of this site and my YouTube channel.Tags: audio, ipad, microphone, tech
Mixcder E9 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones Review
Posted on 25th March 2019 by Mark Tiddy.
A week ago I was sent a pair of the Mixcder E9 wireless noise cancelling headphones to review and so for the last 7 days I’ve switched out my Apple AirPods for these. This is my review.
First up, in the box you get a load of extra things: a aeroplane adapter, a microUSB cable, 3.5mm jack-to-jack cable and a sturdy (but a little large) carry case.
These headphones come with a matt-black finish all over apart from the sides of the headphones which have a glossy effect that looks like a vinyl record. They have physical buttons for switching on the ANC, play/pause/power and volume up/down. In my opinion, they look pretty good, sit comfortably on your head even for long periods of time and at 270g they’re pretty light too.
Inside these headphones you’ll find bluetooth 4 which gives a reasonable range (although not great through walls), a microphone for making calls, a 3.5mm jack port to enable you to use them as wired headphones and a microUSB port for charging. They also have indicator lights for when they’re charging and when the ANC is switched on.
Finally, for spec, they have a 500MaH battery which gives you (Mixcder say) 30 hours wireless running time (going down to 24 hours if you use ANC) and, if you use them as wired headphones they work for up to 80 hours. After using them for a week I was blown away by the battery life…it’s incredible!
Day to Day Use
As I said, I’ve been using these every day for a week for everything from commuting to working at the desk to running and I really like them. They sit really comfortably and have a pretty good sound.
I listen to lots of music (there’s literally everything from Taylor Swift to Slipknot in my collection) and overall the sound from these is really good. I personally found them quite bass-y (probably because I usually use AirPods) but you can adjust things like this to suit your preference in your devices audio settings.
In terms of volume they’re not the loudest headphones around but I’ve found 3/4’s volume is about the right level for me (and they don’t distort). I did try making a call with them and found that speaking with your ears covered feels really unnatural but also that the microphone was particularly effective meaning I repeated a lot of what I’d said!
I also found that they have relatively little lag so I’ve even been able to use them wirelessly to edit some video and watch some YouTube.
Finally, let’s talk about the noise cancelling. You can use this feature with or without music playing and it’s not the strongest ANC out there but for a budget pair of wireless ANC headphones it’s pretty good and it does make a noticeable difference, allowing you to listen to music at a quieter level whilst travelling without hearing loads of background noise.
Here are my pro’s and con’s…
- Great pair of headphones for the price
- Nice design
- Good sound
- Incredible battery life
- ANC isn’t as strong as it could be
- The shiny part of the headphones is a little prone to scuffing
If you’re considering some wireless headphones these are certainly worth checking out!
Save 20% when you sign up and buy them through this link: https://www.mixcder.com/mixcder-e9-wi…
© Mark Tiddy 2020