In general the closer a microphone can be placed to the talent, the better audio quality you’ll end up with in post. Field recorders do a great job but it can be hard to hide in frame, adding a boom microphone helps, but if you’re working by yourself it might be hard to get the microphone positioned correctly. That’s where wireless microphones really come in handy. You can place them in the sweat spot right in middle of the talents chest and even with a lower end system you can get much better audio then a microphone that’s placed 4 or 5 feet away.

One of the lowest priced wireless systems that still performs well enough to use is the Audio-Technica Pro 88w VHF transmitter. The price is really the biggest positive about this device, at around $100 to $120 you get a wireless transmitter/receiver combo, a low end Lav mic, a cold shoe adapter, and a few extra cables and Velcro to round things out.

On the downside the Pro 88w is made of gray plastic, you only have 2 VHF frequencies to choose from, it’s noisy, and the output level is very low for DSLR use. There is a work around for the audio quality (see video for the how to) but the 2 frequency VHF selection is something you might want to think about. If you live in a rural area, only having 2 VHF frequencies to choose from probably wont be a huge problem in many cases. If you live in a major city with lots of stray frequencies floating around or cover large events with lots of people this could end up being a huge negative.

The Audio quality of the Pro 88w isn’t amazing at the base price, but if you look on Amazon you’ll notice that there are a few different models to choose from. Basically the more you spend the nice Lav you get with the kit, but if you’re planning to spend $200 on the nicest versions of the Pro 88w you may as well spend a few more dollars and get a UHF unit.

A few people mentioned the camera gain in this video could be the source of the noise. In testing I found that the noise from the Pro 88w was strong enough that any noise from camera gain was over powered.

Basically with a little bit of DeNoiser work, you can make the audio from this unit very usable for the price. Just make sure you test out the VHF frequencies in your area before the return window closes.

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