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Sennheiser Memory Mic review: A brilliant but hefty audio recorder
Here's what we think of the latest audio recording accessory from Sennheiser.
Camera sensors on smartphones have become so advanced that we no longer require bulky cameras to produce high-end videos. However, the accompanying audio on smartphones isn't there yet. Well, Sennheiser might have a solution for this hassle. The company recently launched its Memory Mic wireless microphone for the Indian market at a price of Rs 18,900.
On brochure, the latest product looks like a useful piece of equipment and would come in handy for people trying to record quality audio from meetings, or while interviewing a spokesperson. It could also amplify the audio quality of your Instagram vlogs, and what not. But the device sure has its flaws which we will discuss later in the article. Let's kick off ut review with the design of the product.
The Sennheiser Memory Mic flaunts a grayish color scheme, measuring 2 x 1.5 x 0.6 inches, and weighs only 31 grams. While this isn't the most aesthetically-pleasing design you'll come across, it is surely a masterstroke from a performance standpoint.
It has a clip on the rear end made out of silicone and sticks close to the mic thanks to the magnets. The top of the device houses a grille with a mic capsule, while the bottom panel has a USB-C connection. On the sides, you'll find a power/pairing button along with an LED.
All that said, it's still heavier than the conventional wired collar mics, and you'll have to attach the Memory Mic to a thick piece of clothing to avoid drooping of your clothes. Also, there's no dedicated record button on the device, meaning you can't record the audio without opening the app.
On the insides, the design holds an omnidirectional condenser mic capsule that has a range of 100Hz-20kHz for churning out 48kHz/16-bit audio files. The company has used a high-pass filter, which we've already seen on many mics. It actually helps avoid recording sounds of the wind, clothes rustling, or body movements.
All this is accompanied by the free app which is available for both Android and iOS. Connecting the device with the app is a simple process and works like charm most of the times.
To make the calibration better, you just have to sit through a small process and just tap the Next option while keeping the phone close to the mic. The smartphone will then play a series of sounds which will be recorded by the mic. This calibrates the mic levels making the recordings better.
The app also allows the users to select from setting such as low, high, medium. You can use the low mode to record loud noises such as a rock band gig, while the high mode is good for recording normal vocals, say during an interview. You can use the medium setting where there's a crowd but the audio source isn't too loud. The app also shows the available recording time and battery levels.
Once we were done setting up the levels, the device was all set to start recording. The recorded files can be found in the app section dubbed Sessions. There are two modes - video and audio, you can choose from.
The range on the Memory Mic is really impressive, as we managed to record quality audio from a fairly long distance. This is possible because the mic doesn't synchronize the audio with the video until the End Session option is selected. You have to follow a small process to sync the audio on the mic and video on the phone. This a handy feature and we made the most out of it during our time with the device.
What disappointed us is the maximum 16-bit/48kHz bitrate. The bit and sampling rates could have been better allowing for even better recording quality. Most of the mics under this price range bring higher sampling rates to the table, but they do not support the wireless syncing technology that the Memory Mic features.
Also, the pairing isn't similar to how we pair devices with our smartphones; instead, it requires the app to locate the Memory Mic every single time you wish to record or download the audio. This could be annoying at times, but the overall experience makes up for the hassle.
Besides, the company claims that the Memory Mic can last up to four hours, which is basically the amount of audio it can record. However, for us, it lasted a little above three hours, and your results may vary.
Like any other product, the Sennheiser Memory Mic has its flaws, but none of them would be dealbreakers. Once you get the hang of all the features this mic has to offer, recording audio would be a treat. Similarly, if you understand the minor hiccups it could cause, they would be easy to avoid.
This could be a very handy tool if you know how to use it smartly. We still believe, it's inclined towards the costlier side, but given the used cases it could be indispensable. There aren't a lot of mics that could go neck-to-neck with this one in terms of functionality and quality.
This doesn't necessarily mean there aren't any other options out there. If you prefer the conventional methods, you'll find a lot of devices that can directly record audio to our phones, but through a cable.