Some time ago, I stumbled across this interesting piece of equipment for sale: a Sony ECM HW2 wireless (bluetooth) microphone. Wireless mics are commonplace, you say? Well, this one is a little different than most: it uses bluetooth technology to achieve a 100 meter range, and it allows two-way communication with the wearer – for example, to give instructions and cues.
What’s the point of that? Well, say you’re filming one of your kids doing a really cool stunt, or at a sporting event, and you want to hear the sounds at the point of action for more realism. This is perfect for that. And I have a few wireless microphones that advertise a maximum range – this one actually WORKS at the advertised 100 meters – and the sound is crystal-clear, unlike wireless mics using other technology.
The mic consists of two pieces – one that sits on your Sony hot shoe, and another that clips to the subject. The smaller piece is about the size of a half-smoked cigar. I convinced my daughter to attach the wearable portion to her hockey pads under her jersey, so I could hear the action from her perspective. At the same time, I was able to monitor via a headphone plugged into the base unit.
Watching the video below, it may not be obvious what the difference is – you can still hear the (small) crowd and it isn’t immediately apparent that there’s anything out of the ordinary. But what was interesting was that when I shut off the camera briefly to preserve battery power, I felt like I was completely cut off from the game. And the banter on the bench, tips from the coach, instructions from other players – it was fascinating to be completely “in the action” (although I don’t show that part on this video). You do hear the sound of the stick hitting the puck, skates on ice, grunts and bangs, and the occasional congratulatory comment after a goal. As a side note – this is a Dutch youth team…
Depending on the kind of filming you’re doing, I highly recommend this product as something that completely works as advertised. I do suggest however that you resist the urge to use the two-way feature – the advice from the stands is not always appreciated! My daughter quickly talked me out of that option.