As the technology for wireless audio continues to advance, our transmitters and receivers are getting smaller and smaller all while delivering better sound quality than ever before.
These seemingly microscopic devices from Rode, Saramonic, Hollyland, and others offer a grade value for their cost. In a lot of ways, clean, clear audio is even more important than a perfect image, and new technology like this puts that invaluable asset into everyone’s reach.
But as everything keeps shrinking, could the smallest, cheapest wireless transmitter really be good enough for you to use on your next shoot? Momentum Productions put the Synco G1, the smallest wireless audio transmitter/receiver yet, to the test.
Synco G1 Key Features
- Transmitter with Built-In Mic + Lav
- 2.4ghz All digital transmission.
- Connects to 3.5mm Input on Camera
- Easy to Use, 1-Button Pairing
- Adjustable Gain on Receiver
- USB-Rechargeable 5-Hour Batteries
- 3.5mm Cables for Camera & Mobile Device
- 164′ Range
- Available with two transmitters / dual channel receiver
- Price $99 ($150 dual channel version)
What sticks out the most about the Synco G1 is the insanely low price. Spec-wise, these look-to-be almost exactly like the Rode Wireless Go, Hollyland Lark 150, or Saramonic Blink 500 Pro – all of which come in at about double the price.
All of these new wireless systems work about the same way, can work with a built-in mic or a 3.5mm lav microphone, charge over USB (except the Hollyland), and contain an internal battery. A neat feature that the Synco G1 shares with the competition is that built-in belt clip that doubles as a cold shoe mount.
To my ears, the internal microphone of the Synco doesn’t seem to have as much dynamic range as the external mic which makes the voice sound rather muffled. The performance I’ve heard from the Rode Wireless Go is much better, but all of these system’s built-in mics fall a bit short of their external counterparts.
But as far as audio quality and the noise level from this system, it seems very clean and there doesn’t seem to be much noise present.
According to the reviewer, the Synco G1 is rated to have an unobstructed, line-of-site range of about 230’, and about 130’ with some obstruction. The official, advertised range of the system is 164’.
Going by the test conducted here, the Synco G1 really seems to live up to that promise. Since this test was done in a residential neighborhood where it doesn’t seem like there would be much interference, it is hard to say how it would perform in an office building or a city street; but he gets a good distance away from the transmitter and I only heard the audio cut out once.
In real world use, the Rode Wireless GO is said to have reliable range of around 6’ line-of-sight. I’d speculate that if these were being used around a small crew with mobile phones in their pockets the results might be a lot different.
Just like the Rode Go, Saramonic Blink 500 Pro, Hollyland Lark 150, and likely all the others in this price point, the Synco G1 has a delay of about 12ms or .012 seconds. In 24fps, 1 frame is 0.0417 seconds – so there is less than a 1 second delay with this transmitter.
For its cost and size, that is a fantastic latency. You’re likely to only notice it in your final footage if you’re using this in tandem with a wired shotgun mic or other, analogue wireless system.
There are a lot of these systems out there now, and determining which is the best value for the money is a tough call.
The Synco G1 is very similar to the Rode Wireless Go, and if you’re looking to save some cash you probably wouldn’t notice a difference between the two.
The Lark 150 has physical knobs on the receiver for adjusting volume, but the lack of USB charging means you can’t plug them into a small bank for longer runtimes.
Overall, investing money in audio equipment is never a mistake and at this price point it is a no-brainer. For your message to get across to your audience, they need only to hear what you’re saying and this microphone system should keep everything nice and clear.
[source: Momentum Productions]
- Synco WAir-G1-A1 Ultracompact Digital Wireless Microphone System (B&H)
- Saramonic Blink 500 Pro B2 Wireless Microphone System (B&H)
- Hollyland LARK 150 Wireless Dual Microphone System (B&H)
- Rode Wireless GO Compact Digital Wireless Microphone System (B&H, Amazon)
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