Boya BY-XM6-S2 Wireless Microphone System Review

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Your smartphone or DSLR can do a great job of recording audio from a subject if it’s near the built-in mic. However, as soon as they move away from your device, the sound quality will decrease and unwanted background noise will begin to obscure the subject’s dialogue. A wired microphone will improve sound quality, but the subject’s freedom of movement will be limited by the length of the microphone cable.

The Boya BY-XM6-S2 Wireless Microphone System gives two subjects the freedom to walk and talk up to 100 meters away while their sound is transmitted to the recording device, making it a perfect choice for vloggers, YouTube content creators and documentary interviewers.

Features

Transmission Type: 2.4 GHz digital frequency
Modulation: GFSK
Operating range: Up to 100 m (328 ft) without obstacles
Microphone sensitivity: -39dB
SNR: 84dB
Battery life: About 7 hours
Mass: 32g (1.13oz)

Main characteristics

Supplied lapel mics clip onto subject’s shirt for more discreet recording (Image credit: George Cairns)

A plush windshield clips directly onto the receiver’s built-in mic for quick setup. (Image credit: George Cairns)

A welcome key feature is the fact that both transmitters are paired with the receiver straight from the box, so squinting at the tiny font of a manual is necessary to get them to work.

Both transmitters in this Boya kit have built-in mics, so if you’re in a rush, you can simply attach a transmitter to the lapel of your subject’s shirt or jacket and start recording their voice. This non-intrusive mic technique is great for vox pop style interviews where you don’t know the subject and they don’t know you.

If you’re making a documentary and you know your interviewer better, you can clip the supplied lavalier microphone to their shirt, then tuck the cable inside their shirt and attach it to the receiver, which is clipped more discreetly to their belt. Then only the small lapel mic will be visible (rather than the larger transmitter). The lavalier mics are omnidirectional, so you can clip them down and they’ll still pick up the subject’s voice (without the risk of “popping”).

The Boya BY-XM6-S2 kit has several useful features to help the sound recordist avoid some of the many pitfalls they face. Both the transmitters and the receiver have a small screen that displays an audio waveform when the subject speaks. If you can see the waveform on the receiver, that reassures you that a signal is being received.

Unlike some similar budget wireless mic kits (JOBY Wavo AIR, we’re looking at you), the Boya receiver also has a built-in headphone jack so you can monitor the sound while recording. This is very handy as it helps you detect distracting background noise or loss of signal.

One thing missing from all the wireless mic kits we tested is a 3.5mm jack to Lightning port adapter. This short but essential adapter cable allows you to connect the transmitter to a newer iPhone model such as the 13 Pro Max. Be sure to connect the Boya-provided 3.5mm to TRRS cable from the transmitter to the adapter (it has a handy “smartphone” label). For our test video, we chose a UGREEN Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter from Amazon.

Build and manipulate

Both transmitters and receiver display a reassuring waveform graph on their integrated displays. (Image credit: George Cairns)

In order for the receiver to talk to an iPhone, you will need to purchase a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone jack adapter separately. (Image credit: George Cairns)

Like most devices these days, the Boya’s two transmitters and receiver are made from a lightweight plastic, so you won’t even notice their weight in your kit bag. The belt clip on all three cameras has a strong spring to keep them securely attached to the subject (or if attached to a tripod). The only metal component is the heavy-duty alligator clip that secures the lapel mics to the subject’s shirt.

Optional soft windscreens can be clipped directly onto each transmitter’s built-in mic. These windshields are a fiddling to attach to transmitters because their two plastic pins are obscured by lint and it can be hard to tell if the windshields are fully clipped on. To be fair, this insecure windscreen phenomenon applies to other wireless mics we’ve tested (including the JOBY Wavo AIR) as they all share a similar design when it comes to removable windscreens. .

Performance

The official specification of the Boya BY-XM6-S2 states that it has a transmission range of up to 100 meters (without obstacles). As you will see in our test video, the presenter’s body can be seen as an obstacle. Sound sometimes dropped when the subject turned away from the camera and the transmitter lost line of sight with the receiver, even when the subject and camera were quite close.

However, facing the camera, we could indeed still hear the presenter loud and clear, even though we could barely see him in the distance.

Wireless mics can suffer from latency, where the sound is slightly out of sync with the subject’s lips. Although it was around £50 cheaper than the similar JOBY Wavo AIR, the latency of the Boya BY-XM6-S2 kit was negligible so we didn’t need to move it a few frames in our editing application to synchronize it (as we had to do with the Wavo audio track).

Verdict

As long as you face the camera, you can transmit your voice wirelessly up to 100 meters. (Image credit: George Cairns)

For a budget wireless mic kit, the Boya BY-XM6-S2 does a good job, transmitting crisp, clear audio from the presenter to the recording device. There is a problem with signal loss when the presenter turns away from the camera, but most of us tend to talk facing the camera anyway, so the Boya gives us the freedom to move around and still be heard from a considerable distance (as you’ll hear from our test video).

The waveform display on the transmitters and receiver reassures us that a signal is being transmitted, and we can hear the signal through the headphone output of the receiver (key features that are absent in the JOBY Wavo AIR similar but more expensive).

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