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Audio-Technica BP896cW and BP892cW Review

Nov 9, 2009 12:00 PM, By John McJunkin

Two tiny mics that effectively capture the entire frequency spectrum.


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Audio-Technica BP896cW

Audio-Technica BP896cW

I do have a complaint about the earpiece, however. A-T touts in its literature an "ultra-secure" fit. Perhaps it just takes more sculpting of the flexible earpiece or perhaps I just have extra-large ears. Either way, I was never able to get the mic solidly secure so that the boom did not swing, nor could the other people I asked to wear the mic. Fortunately, because the omnidirectional pattern is very forgiving, it was not a huge issue.

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The AEW-4110D wireless system I evaluated with these mics is not the central focus of the review, but it should be mentioned in some detail. It is composed of an AEW-T1000 UniPak transmitter and AEW-R4100 receiver. The system operates on 200 selectable UHF frequencies in two bands (541.500MHz to 566.375MHz and 655.500MHz to 680.375MHz). It features A-T's IntelliScan, which automatically finds and sets the best available frequencies on all linked receivers. The system also features Dual Compander circuitry to process low and high frequencies separately. Another nice touch is the ability to enter the names of performers or speakers into the transmitters and receivers for easy reference.

I test-drove these mics with several people, getting an array of male and female voices. With a minimum of equalization, I was able to capture an excellent, clear signal. Noise was virtually nonexistent, and there was no audible distortion. The key word here is "intelligibility," and these mics both have it in spades. Due to the omnidirectional pickup pattern and sensitivity of both mics throughout the spectrum, a bit more monitor wringing was necessary, but it was very well worth the effort. My initial concern over the capacity for such tiny mics to capture the entire frequency spectrum effectively was quickly allayed once I heard them. These are great mics, and they should be on the short list if you need a high-quality lav or headworn mic.


John McJunkin is the principal of Avalon Podcasting in Chandler, Ariz. He has consulted in the development of studios and installations, and he provides high-quality podcast and new-media production services.


Product Summary

  • Company: Audio-Technica
    www.audio-technica.com
  • Product: BP896cW MicroPoint lavalier mic and BP892cW Microset headworn mic
  • Pros: High-quality, high-fidelity mics.
  • Cons: Headworn mic’s earpiece does not grasp ear effectively for some users.
  • Applications: Stage, broadcast, lecture, or house of worship.
  • Price: $319 (BP896cW); $419 (BP892cW)

Specifications

Both microphones

  • Polar pattern: Omnidirectional
  • Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz
  • Low-frequency roll-off: 80Hz, 18dB/octave (wired only)
  • Open-circuit sensitivity: -49dB (3.5mV) re 1V at 1Pa
  • Impedance: 250Ω (wired only)
  • Maximum input sound level: 135dB SPL, 1kHz at 3% THD
  • Dynamic range (typical): 104dB, 1kHz @ max SPL (wired only)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 63dB, 1kHz at 1Pa
  • Phantom power requirements: 11V to 52V DC, 2mA typical (wired only)
  • Current consumption: 0.1 mA typical at 5V (wireless only)
  • Voltage range: 2.5V to 11V (wireless only)
BP896cW
  • Weight (mic): 0.005oz.
  • Weight (power module): 3oz. (wired only)
  • Dimensions (mic): 0.43in. long, 0.1in. diameter
  • Dimensions (power module): 3.84in. long, 0.74in. diameter (wired only)
  • Output connector (power module): Integral 3-pin XLRM-type
  • Cable: 1.4 meters (55in.) long (permanently attached to microphone), 0.06in. diameter, two-conductor shielded cable with locking 4-pin connector (wired only)
BP892cW
  • Weight (mic, boom, and earpiece): 1oz.
  • Dimensions (mic): 0.32in. long, 0.10in. diameter
  • Dimensions (boom): 3.87in. long, 0.04in. diameter
  • Output connector (power module): Integral 3-pin XLRM-type
  • Cable: 1.4 meters (55in.), unterminated



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