POINT SOURCE AUDIO CO7 EARWORN MIC
An ultra lightweight ear-worn microphone.
Review: Christopher Holder
Shure and Sennheiser should be all over this, but for some reason they’re not. The first names in headset mics are still DPA and, to a lesser degree, Countryman. Musical theatre led the way, with its all-singing, all-dancing antics, a micro capsule taped onto the cheekbone would allow the performer freedom without sacrificing audio quality. The likes of DPA cottoned onto the fact its bud mics were being used in this manner and designed products that would attach securely to the ear. Broadcasters followed. Including the likes of the Channel 9 cricket commentary team. When Heals or Tubs are showing you the finer points of a stumping or a forward defence, they’ll be sporting a headworn mic.
Anyway, if you’re a broadcast engineer or a audio pro in theatre you’re unlikely to need convincing of the benefits of headworn mics. But there are still plenty of regular clip-on lavaliers out there and most should probably be swapped out for a headworn alternative.
I recall a couple of years back switching our church from a lav to a headworn and the difference was night and day. The hours spent trying to coax a few more dB out of presenters, and riding the fader as they looked up and looked down, or the regular accidentally thumping of the capsule — a real chore. Meanwhile, the headworn, in our case a Da-Cappo set, had gain for days and sounded incredibly natural in comparison to the lavalier that had been hacked to pieces with remedial EQ. It was like handing a lumberjack a chainsaw.
I recall being a little reticent to introduce the headworn, fearing a ‘can I take your order please’ backlash. Not so, just about everyone I’ve dealt with has been perfectly cool with a low-profile headworn mic. Chances are they’ve seen Anthony Robbins or a TED lecturer using one, so it must all be okay, right?
These Point Source Audio microphones performed very well. There’s plenty of gain, they’re comfortable to wear, and easy to adjust (thanks to a bendy boom) to fit on any noggin.
These mics fit over one ear. Anthony Warlow may insist on a model that hangs off both ears for extra security, but most presenters will be perfectly fine with the single ear approach. These Point Source Audio mics are so lightweight you hardly notice them on (other Point Source Audio models hook over both ears).
The mics I had for review used a mini XLR output, most commonly seen on Shure wireless system, but there are models for all the other flavours, such as Sennheiser, Audio-Technica and AKG. In fact, if you head to the Point Source Audio site you’ll find a whole host of variations, including waterproof versions.
I wouldn’t hesitate to use these Point Source Audio mics for any presentation. And if you’re still stuck in the world of chasing your lavalier tail, then I suggest you look into it. It’ll be the best $300-odd you’ve spent.