This is something a bit different today, a Bluetooth microphone. But what’s so different about that? It’s tiny, it’s designed for use on the go and it’s expected to be adopted by lifestyle Vloggers and influencers. Say hello to the Razer Seiren BT.
What is it?
We’ve already outlined that it’s 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 carry it all day (without a bag) and probably forget you’re carrying it.
Once connected to your phone, you can utilise the microphone to capture audio at a much higher quality than your phone microphone (environmentally dependent) is capable of. The Seiren BT has noise suppression capabilities, it also has an impressive connection range. We tested and found that inside buildings you can maintain a connection to around 10 meters even through walls. Line of sight we’ve seen the connection pretty solid at ranges of over 20 meters.
Some of the specs of note include:
- Omnidirectional microphone: Great for capturing everything occurring around you
- 140 mAh battery delivering approximately 6 hours of usage
- Adjustable noise cancelling 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: One foam and one “furry” both have their own strengths – the foam being great for general noise suppression, the furry option is best for higher wind situations.
How does it perform?
In what could be considered normal “day to day” use, the Seiren BT performs exceptionally well. The background noise in a variety of environments through the use of both the earlier mentioned windsocks and the noise-cancelling 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 the noise cancelling.
It was when we took it up in a small aircraft we found the limit of its capabilities. As you can hear clearly, the noise-cancelling works well in a light breeze and onboard the aircraft at low revs. Once we were airborne though, the noise in the cabin — higher revs and wind noise — meant that my voice simply wasn’t detected and almost all sounds were cancelled out resulting in only a few “blips” on the audio but a video devoid of background noise otherwise.
In fairness, that is an extremely noisy environment and well beyond what the mic was designed to accomplish.
There are a couple of issues though!
While there are a lot of factors that make this an attractive option for video content production, there are a couple of issues that need to be mentioned.
The first issue we noticed during testing is that once connected and you’ve used the mic, turned it off and then reconnected for later use: The mic doesn’t always connect and when it does, you need to change the audio capture input to Bluetooth as the default camera app doesn’t do this for you.
There is a bit of a weakness in the provided wind socks too. They’re easily dislodged and could be lost if you don’t notice at the time. I suspect that Razer might make a bit of coin out of replacement windsocks – but I did find (assuming you’re happy to do so) by a tiny piece of sticky tape helps prevent this accidental dislodging from occurring.
The other issue noted during our testing is just how easy it is to trigger the physical button to mute the microphone, potentially ruining footage you’ve only got one real chance at capturing. Unfortunately, there’s no way to see whether you’ve done this outside of the Razer streaming app. A software update to require a longer, more deliberate press of the buttons would alleviate this issue easily and we’ve provided that feedback to Razer through our testing.
For what it offers, the Seiren BT is quite affordable
In writing this, I’m fully accepting of the fact that this isn’t a product that everyone will need, want or use. The potential market is huge if it’s marketed and sold well because it could improve the quality of so many videos from home movies shot on mobile through to lifestyle Vlogging for YouTube content creators. If your camera has Bluetooth, then this device has the potential to improve your video content.
The $169.95 price tag is very a very affordable way to increase your video production quality in comparison to the significant cost of a digital SLR camera or even adding something like a Rhode microphone to your already expensive setup. This isn’t a criticism of Rhode, more recognition they’re widely used and respected by content creators.
It really is an impressive little device that’s packed full of features and, if you’re looking at creating some video content well worth the investment.