In a world of poor audio on far too many Internet videos, the Audio Technica ATR3350 lapel microphone proves that there is simply no excuse. An absolute bargain at around £20 GBP – and $25 USD apparently – this little marvel may be basic in many ways but at less than a tenth of the price of many “pro” mics, it’s a must-have for every camcorder user (providing their camcorder can accept a 3.5mm mic jack of course).
Powered by a single watch battery of type “LR44”, it is therefore entirely self-contained, not requiring power from the camcorder. The sound is perfectly pleasant and clear though some users have reported preferring to add a little audio equalisation to sweeten it during editing.
It comes with a cable that is really far too long at six metres; the output is unbalanced so longer cable runs should be avoided in order not to pick up stray electrical interference. Thus most of the cable should probably end up being coiled and slung below the camcorder.
Although a foam cover is included, no ‘fluffy’ windshield is supplied so using this mic outdoors will require careful placement and monitoring on headphones, or the addition of a third-party windjammer but in the overall scheme of things these too are cheap and should be considered an essential accessory.
Tieclip mics tend to have a rough time, being clipped on to interviewees and presenters, shoved up various items of clothing, and frequently stepped on because they’re so small. Given the price of this beauty, it’s easily replaceable in the event of damage which is much more than you can say about higher-priced mics.
Would you get ten times the sound quality and resilience out of a £200 mic? We doubt it. And that is why the Audio Technica ATR3350 omnidirectional lavalier microphone takes the Tubeshooter Bargain Basement Tieclip Mic award.