One thing there is certainly no shortage of today is wireless audio for video. Everyone seems to have come out with their own version in the past couple years.
Competition is great though and most of these fall in the very affordable range. With so many options and some coming in at suspiciously cheap prices you do want to know which ones will work well and which you might want to skip on.
For a closer look at one such solution, NigelBarros has a hands-on review of the SmallRig Forevala W60 Wireless System. It seems to mimic a lot of great features from competitors, so let’s see how it performs.
When looking at all the wireless audio options out today, Nigel is looking at three main points:
Price and features are obvious, but efficiency is the interesting bit. Looking at wireless systems, even though a lot seem to do the same thing they are not all equally efficient.
In this scenario, efficiency refers to ease of use and how quickly you can get it up and running.
Being able to simple turn on your device and have it ready to go is a lot better on set then waiting for a slow boot up, checking all your settings, doing pairing, etc. before you are able to start rolling.
The Forevala W60 looks very quick and easy. Turn it on and it’s basically ready to go.
You still need to dive into the features. SmallRig added some nice features to the W60. One example is a magnetic clip system so you can just pop it on your clothes nearly anywhere. It has a built-in mic on the transmitter so you don’t even need to hook anything up.
The recommendation for a cleaner, more professional setup is to pick up a lavalier and wire it up properly.
Charging up all the pieces here is an important consideration and there are three ways to do it:
- Plug directly into each unit via USB-C
- Put them all in the charging case with integrated cable and use one USB power adapter
- Plug separate USB cable into the charging case
SmallRig gave it a decent 2.4GHz system with a range of up to 328’/100m. That’s par for the course these days and it seems to be decently reliable based on the performance in the video. It also sounds pretty good even outdoors with the wind cover on.
Let’s look at price now.
The SmallRig Forevala W60 2-person kit will run about $200. This is cheaper than something like the RODE Wireless GO II which is around $250 on sale. You’ll get the receiver, two transmitters, TRS and TRRS cables, two magnet clips, two wind covers, a charging case, and a bag.
There is no lavalier mic included, but you can add whatever 3.5mm mic you would like.
Other features missing compared to competition include a safety track and internal recording. It’s going to be focused purely on delivering audio to the camera system or separate audio recorder. For the price this is to be expected.
Overall, the SmallRig is a compelling option if you are looking to pick up your first wireless audio system. It supports two people and is cheaper so it should be worthwhile for a lot of people.
What do you think about the SmallRig option?
- SmallRig Forevala W60 Compact Wireless Microphone System (B&H)
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