Who Is The Sennheiser XS Lav Mobile Kit For?
- The Sennheiser XS lav mobile kit is ideal for those who want to make vlog-style videos on their phone
- The Sennheiser XS lav microphone is incredibly easy to use and just needs to be plugged in to start recording
- The included Manfrotto tripod and Sennheiser cell phone clip are surprisingly high quality
Smart phones are capable of producing some incredibly high quality content, from music to photos to videos. The equipment required to make great videos used to take up an entire room in a studio, but now can fit into a pocket. Keeping this push for cell phone video production going is Sennheiser, who has created a lavalier microphone that can plug right into a cell phone via a USB-C cable. It's easy to use, easy to carry around, and most importantly, works great.
The Easiest Thing To Use
The best part of the Sennheiser XS lav mobile kit is that it is the easiest product in the world to use. It's so simple, you really don't even need to check out the instructions. To start, get the microphone connected to the included clip. Once that's done, simply plug the other end of the microphone into a cell phone via a USB-C port.
Boom! You're done. From there, all you need to do is get the Sennheiser XS lav microphone into a good spot to pick up audio and start recording. There aren't any special apps that need to be downloaded, hardware that needs to be paired or any settings that need to be adjusted on the connected smartphone. There aren't any batteries to charge or connection issues to worry about either thanks to the wired connection. That's just great to see.
But How Does It Sound?
A simple microphone is only as good as the audio quality it can pick up, and that just solidifies the Sennheiser XS lav as a great microphone. The audio quality from this little lav microphone is surprisingly powerful.A close-up look at the Sennheiser XS lav
Overall, the Sennheiser XS lav microphone does a great job of recording audio. It can easily pick up audio from someone who has the lav microphone clipped onto their shirt, and because it uses an omnidirectional pattern the microphone can also easily record audio from someone who may be standing next to the person with the microphone clipped onto their shirt. This makes recording interviews easy, as the person getting interviewed doesn't need to have their own microphone.The whole Sennheiser XS lav mobile kit in action
That said, there are a few minor issues with the Sennheiser XS lav. The most noticeable is the noise from the microphone. When talking about audio recording, "noise" means all of the sounds the microphone records that aren't intended. This usually results in a slight "fuzzy" sound in the background. All microphones deal with noise, but the high quality microphones can do a decent job of filtering it out.
The Sennheiser XS lav isn't the best at filtering out noise. That "fuzzy" background layer is definitely noticeable. That said, the recordings using the XS lav are much more comprehensible than using the microphone built into my phone, so the XS lav is a vast improvement there.The microphone with windscreen and clip attached
Similarly, because the Sennheiser XS lav is omnidirectional, that means it picks up audio from all angles around the microphone. While that isn't an issue in a quiet environment, using the XS lav in a loud space like a busy street or a crowded convention hall could be difficult. The audio will still be better than using the on-board microphone on a phone, but isn't going to be a perfect isolated recording of the person wearing the microphone.
Additionally, I noticed that the XS lav got a little peaky when I started talking more loudly. This is a pretty avoidable issue so long as the person wearing the microphone knows to talk at a normal volume and not to shout.
As if the microphone wasn't enough, the included accessories in the Sennheiser XS lav mobile kit are all incredibly sturdy and well-built. First up is the phone clip. This holds on to phones and can connect to a tripod or other stand by screwing in at the base of the clip. This clip holds phones securely, making it easy to wave a phone around without concern. The clip has a 360-degree swivel on it, allowing users to easily get their phone into whichever position they want. Additionally, there is a lock on the swivel to help phones hold their position and stay even more secure.This cell phone clip is made of metal and feels incredibly strong
The tripod that is included in the Sennheiser XS lav mobile kit is actually made by Manfrotto. This tripod is incredibly stable when put on a flat surface, though I do wish the legs allowed for more flexibility when it comes to height positioning. While the legs don't have much mobility, there is a button that, when pressed, allows the top to be swiveled into position. The top then locks into place once the button has been released. Additionally, the legs of the tripod can be folded in to use the tripod as a handheld device.The button on the tripod makes it possible to reposition the phone clamp
There is also an included carrying pouch for the XS lav microphone itself and a tiny foam windscreen that can be put on the microphone. Both of these are convenient and thoughtful inclusions, especially the windscreen.
The Sennheiser XS lav mobile kit isn't going to offer professional-quality recordings, but that's okay. The microphone was made for quick and simple videos shot on cell phones, and for that purpose the Sennheiser XS lav microphone is great. It works the second it is plugged into a phone and the included accessories make recording a much easier process, especially when on the go.
At only around $100 for the Sennheiser XS lav mobile kit, there's a lot of value here. The microphone alone is worth around $60, and the included phone clamp and tripod are the most secure and stable versions of those two devices I have used. If you're looking to upgrade your mobile video recording gear and production values, the Sennheiser XS lav mobile kit is the perfect place to start.