WIRELESS MIC GROUPS
Firstly, apologies for the slightly longer review but I figure that if you’re looking to spend over £400 on a mic, you might want a bit of context and detail.
Wireless mics are more common than ever, but they’re still a reasonably specialist device. If I randomly asked 500 people about wireless mics, the majority probably wouldn’t even know what they are, let alone use them regularly. As they’re still a specialist product, I think we can safely categorise wireless mics into four segments without missing too many out.
1. Budget. Limited channels. Poor build quality. Usually, poor audio quality. Sub £50.
2. Vlogger. Quite a few ‘consumer’ 2.4GHz variants have appeared recently. They offer average build quality, decent audio and an attractive price but have limitations in other areas such as range. £100-£300.
3. Professional. These are industry standard workhorses in corporate and broadcast work. Solid build, full range of channels and excellent audio. £400-£1000
4. Money No Object. These are the Lectrosonics packs with Sanken or DPA mics or similar. Stunning audio quality and build but also eight times the price. £3,000 upwards.
The Comica CVW-WM300(A) is undoubtedly a professional kit and slots very nicely into the third category above. Below is my review of the pros and cons after a few weeks of use and testing. I’m reviewing the ‘A’ variant here which is 2 wireless lav packs and 1 receiver. There are a few different options.
COMICA WM300 PROS
• Outstanding value for money. £430 gets you a complete kit with 2 transmitters, 2 mics and a dual-channel receiver (i.e. you can use these on 2 people at the same time with just the one receiver). You also get audio cables, charging cables, foam windscreen and dead cat windscreens. If you choose to put the Sennheiser name on this, you’ll pay £700.
• Audio quality of sets that are twice the price. All compander based wireless mics systems have limitations, but these are up there with the best. Vocals sound crisp and clean, which is what matters most with a wireless system.
• Build quality is excellent. The packs are metal housing with robust, flexible antennas and retention screw 3.5mm ports (similar to Sennheiser packs). Mic cables are thick enough but not cumbersome.
• Clear, sharp blue LCD screen with good information.
• Menus are straightforward and easy to understand. A device with just 4 buttons to navigate everything is always a bit fiddly, but these are as intuitive as they can be.
• USB chargeable with built-in Lithium Polymer pack. The ability to use any power bank, USB charger or car charger with the Comica devices is convenient.
• Supplied in a decent ‘PeliCase’ style waterproof protective case with foam cutouts. Very nice.
• The range is just as you would expect from a lav mic system of this type. 50m without a glitch but much further with the odd possible flutter.
• Battery level for each transmitter can be monitored from the receiver.
• Mic level for each transmitter can be monitored and adjusted from the receiver. Functionality like this simplifies the process of getting your talent mic’d up.
• Full channel range (make sure you order the right version for your country)
• Decent battery life. You should easily get a full 10 hour day out of these.
COMICA WM300 CONS
• The packs are a little heavy due to their robust construction. This could be a problem when attaching to lighter clothing.
• Built-in batteries are very convenient, but this is also a built-in point of failure. Sometimes you just can’t beat a simple set of AA batteries. Easy to replace and high capacity.
• It would be nice to have a stereo 3.5mm to dual XLR cable included.
The Comica CVM-WM300 is a 5-star product. As you can see, there are a few niggles, but they really are just that. Everything works as well as you would expect, and the value is superb. You may not get the bragging rights of a Sennheiser but who cares. This is an excellent product at the right price.