Aspen Lav vs JK lav (1 of 1)

On the left we have the JK MIC-J lav mic and on the right we have the Aspen lav mic. They both look very similar and from a distance it’s hard to tell them apart. The included foam filters are the same for both, as are the tie clips, but there are slight physical differences between the two. I’ll start with those before we get to the audio tests.

First, look at the capsules. You can see that the Aspen lav mic on the right has a slight pinch in the capsule before it tapers off and the mic is slightly longer than the JK MIC-J lav mic. The Aspen lav mic has a slightly thicker cable which makes sense, as it’s wired up a bit differently.

MIC-J (2 of 3)

The JK MIC-J lav mic comes with a Sennheiser style “screw in” sleeve adapter, while the Aspen lav mic comes with a plain jane 3.5mm connector. The cable that comes with the JK MIC-J lav mic is a bit longer, but feels slightly cheaper than the Aspen lav mic.

Most of these are minor differences, but the wiring is notable. The Aspen lav mic and JK MIC-J lav mic are both equipped with a stereo plug, but the Aspen lav is wired so that the audio is fed to both the tip and the ring (left and right channels), while the JK MIC-J lav mic only feeds audio to the tip (left channel).

This isn’t an issue when using a wireless system like the Sennheiser G3, but if does mean that if you are recording audio directly into a Zoom h1, the JK will only supply audio on a single channel, while the Aspen will provide audio to both channels. On the flip side, the Aspen lav has a slightly weaker signal than the JK MIC-J lav mic. I suspect that the slight difference in output level is due to the wiring difference.

Above is the recording from the Aspen lav mic fed directly into the Zoom h1.

And this is the JK MIC-J lav mic fed directly into the Zoom h1.

Aspen Mic monoprice wireless (1 of 5)

I’ve listened to these two mics numerous times and other than the slightly weaker output from the Aspen lav mic, they sound basically identical to my ear. The JK is $29 and the Aspen is $54, other than the tin case and wiring difference, these mic’s are pretty much the same.

So if you want the tin case and find the wiring difference beneficial, spend an extra $25 on the Aspen lav mic, otherwise you may as well by the cheaper JK MIC-J lav mic for $29. Take a listen to the audio samples above and let me know if you disagree/agree with my conclusion. My ears are a bit older so I could be missing something, but I doubt it.

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