It’s something a little different today, a Bluetooth microphone. But what’s so different about it? It’s tiny, it’s designed to be used on the go, and it should be embraced by Vloggers and lifestyle influencers. Say hello to the Razer Seiren BT.
What is that?
We have already mentioned that this is a Bluetooth microphone aimed at Vloggers. It has a number of features that make it remarkably useful in a variety of environments. It’s physically very small, in fact, small enough that you can wear it all day (without a bag) and probably forget you’re wearing it.
Once connected to your phone, you can use the microphone to capture audio with much higher quality than your phone’s microphone (environment dependent). The Seiren BT has noise canceling capabilities, it also has an impressive connection range. We’ve tested and found that inside buildings you can maintain a connection within about 10 meters, even through walls. Line of sight, we saw the connection pretty solid at distances over 20 meters.
Some of the specs worth noting include:
- Omnidirectional microphone: ideal for capturing everything that happens around you
- 140 mAh battery providing approximately 6 hours of use
- Adjustable noise cancellation options: Off, Low and High
The hardware itself is very simple, measuring roughly the length of a little finger with a spring-loaded hinged clip on it. In the box you get very little else, just a charging cable and two windsocks: a foam and a “fur” both have their own strengths – foam being great for general noise cancellation, the The fur option is best for higher wind situations.
How does it work ?
In what could be considered normal “everyday” use, the Seiren BT performs exceptionally well. Background noise in a variety of environments through the use of the previously mentioned windsocks and noise canceling technology.
We tested it in a number of settings and managed to find its limit along the way. Road noise, environmental background (restaurant, shopping malls, outdoors with a light to moderate breeze, or other generally noisy environments) are no match for noise cancellation.
It was when we put him on a small plane that we found the limit of his abilities. As you can clearly hear, the noise cancellation works well in a light breeze and on board the plane at low rpm. However, once we were airborne, the noise in the cabin – higher rpm and wind noise – meant that my voice was simply not detected and nearly all sound was canceled out, resulting in only a few ” blips” on the audio but a video devoid of background noise otherwise.
In all fairness, this is an extremely loud environment and far beyond what the mic was designed to accomplish.
There are still some problems!
Although there are many factors that make it an attractive option for producing video content, there are a few issues that need to be mentioned.
The first issue we noticed during testing is that once connected and used the mic, turn it off and then reconnect it for later use: the mic doesn’t always connect and when it does, you need to change audio capture input to bluetooth as default camera app does not do it for you.
There is also a bit of weakness in the supplied wind socks. They are easily dislodged and can be lost if you don’t notice it at the time. I suspect Razer could make a bit of money on replacement windsocks – but I’ve found (assuming you’re happy to do so) that a small piece of tape helps prevent this dislodging accidental.
The other issue noted in our testing is how easily you can trigger the physical button to mute the microphone, which could ruin footage you only have one real chance to capture. Unfortunately, there’s no way to see if you’ve done this outside of the Razer streaming app. A software update requiring longer, more deliberate button presses would easily fix this issue, and we’ve provided this feedback to Razer during our testing.
For what it offers, the Seiren BT is quite affordable
In writing this I fully accept that this is not a product that everyone will need, want or use. The potential market is huge if marketed and sold well, as it could improve the quality of so many videos, from home movies shot on mobile to lifestyle vlogging for YouTube content creators. If your camera has Bluetooth, this device has the potential to enhance your video content.
The $169.95 price tag is a very affordable way to up the quality of your video production over the hefty cost of a DSLR camera or even add something like a Rhode microphone to your already expensive setup. This is not a criticism of Rhode, more an acknowledgment that they are widely used and respected by content creators.
It really is an impressive little device that’s packed with features and if you’re planning on creating video content, it’s well worth the investment.