Los Angeles, CA – May 2014… Whether it’s teaching a small class or streaming to an audience of thousands, when it comes to showing off a product or demonstrating a technique, freedom of movement and consistent sound are vital. Headset and earset microphones are ideal for this type of work, as the microphone’s capsule remains in consistent proximity to the speaker’s mouth. After experimenting with a variety of possible miking solutions, Scott Wilkinson, Editor of AVS Forum (www.avsforum.com) found the ideal microphone—the classic E6 Earset from Menlo Park, CA-based Countryman Associates.
AVS Forum is the world’s largest online community of audio/video enthusiasts, with over 1 million registered members and 24 million posts to date. Wilkinson is responsible for all editorial content beyond user-generated content, including producing and hosting a series of ‘how-to’ videos. His recent acquisition of the Countryman E6 has dramatically improved his ability to work on camera while upping the quality of the audio in the process. By connecting the Countryman E6 to a Mackie Onyx BlackJack mic preamp/USB interface, which provides phantom power, Wilkinson has a streamlined setup that feeds a MacBook Pro running Skype. He discussed his experiences with his newfound audio solution.
“With AVS Forum’s How-To Video Guides,” Wilkinson reports, “there is no production company. We produce the videos entirely by ourselves. Senior Writer and professional photographer Mark Henninger records the videos via Skype and edits them for posting on the AVS YouTube channel. The project consists of a series of ‘how-to’ videos that explain, for example, how to set the basic picture controls of a TV, set up an AV receiver, and other related topics in easy-to-understand terms. Menus and other video images are shown on an HD monitor behind me to illustrate the concepts I’m conveying.”
“Prior to using the Countryman E6,” he continued, “our biggest challenge was to achieve consistent sound quality and volume as I moved my head from facing the camera to facing the display behind me. In this particular situation, a standard lavalier microphone was simply not very effective because the element remained in a fixed position on my lapel or collar while I turned my head to the display behind me—resulting in a dramatic change of both audio quality and level.”
The classic Countryman E6 Earset microphone utilizes an ultra-miniature electret condenser element that is held close to the mouth by a thin, adjustable boom and a comfortable earpad. The microphone fits very comfortably, so it is never distracting—enabling one to focus on what’s important. “The E6’s audio quality is top-notch,” says Wilkinson. “Equally important, its position remains completely consistent as I move my head around, which was one of my primary concerns. I also love the fit that I get with the E6. This mic feels very secure and does not distract me at all; in fact, I soon forget I’m wearing it.”
Wilkinson took delivery of his Countryman E6 Earset Classic microphone in November of last year. “When I was shopping for an earset mic, I contacted Countryman’s customer support and they were extremely helpful,” Wilkinson said. “They listened to what I wanted to accomplish and recommended the E6. Since that time, the microphone has performed beautifully, so I haven’t needed any further assistance. The E6 is a robust mic that works exactly as it should.”
Before turning his attention back to his video production, Wilkinson summed up his Countryman experience, “I’m thrilled with how the project is turning out. With the E6, the audio quality of my voice is outstanding and completely consistent as I turn my head. The E6 is also very unobtrusive visually; I place the boom along my beard line, so it virtually disappears—especially since I got the lightest color to match my white beard. I couldn’t be happier with the Countryman E6!”
About Countryman Associates
For more than 30 years, Countryman has focused on developing microphones and accessories that deliver maximum gain before feedback, with the highest possible rejection of wind, vibration, interference, and other unwanted sounds. The result is warm, clear vocals in speaking and singing applications, delivering natural audio reinforcement that requires almost no attention from the sound engineer or the performer. For additional information about Countryman Associates, visit the company online at www.countryman.com.