Reviews |Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2

Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2 Review

Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2 review
Review

Price when reviewed

£285

$285
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Our Verdict

Wireless audio technology has come a long way in the last few years, and the Saramonic Blink500 ProX is here to show us just how far. These compact wireless microphones are perfect for capturing high-quality audio without fuss. Just attach them to your subjects and let the high-quality audio transmission and channel-hopping technology do the rest. The battery life is impressive, so you can shoot for hours without worrying about running out of juice. The audio quality is top-notch, making these microphones ideal for beginners and pros alike. The Saramonic Blink500 ProX enables Lavalier mics to be plugged in, if needed, with an audio monitor port so you can check levels. All in all, these wireless microphones are outstanding and ideal for use on small to medium-sized interviews as well as vlogging.

For

  • Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Outstanding audio quality

Against

  • Maximum of two transmitters
  • Manual is a little difficult to navigate

What is Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2?

The Saramonic Blink500 ProX is an all-in-one kit that features two transmitters and one receiver, all neatly packed in a solid hard charging case. The kit is available in a couple of different options; the smaller version consists of the receiver and one transmitter, while the large kit features two transmitters.

What makes the Saramonic Blink500 ProX stand out is the compact form factor. While I have recently seen quite a few wireless mic systems, the Saramonic stands out for its exceptional build quality and design. The small units are packed with features that enable them to be used as simple direct clip-on wireless mics or with a lavalier for a more discrete look.

While the units are small, they are feature-packed, enabling beginners to dive in and get started. At the same time, professionals will have enough flexibility over the audio to make them useful in many situations.

The Saramonic Blink500 ProX are an ideal solution for small productions such as interviews where there’s the need to mic up two people.

Specification

  • Display: OLED
  • Transmission type : 2.4GHz
  • Polar Pattern : Omnidirectional
  • Antenna : Built-in
  • Operating range : >100m
  • Audio input : 3.5mm
  • Audio Output : 3.5mm TRS/TRRS
  • Built-in battery life : 10 hours
  • Weight: TX 29.5g RX 30.5g
  • Dimensions : 56x38x15.5mm

Build and Handling

Arriving in a neat black hard case, each transmitter and the receiver have a dedicated slot into which they fit. This case is extremely well made and has a decent feeling of quality to it with its matt black finish, printed logo and texturing that all come together to make this feel like a far more premium wireless audio kit than some of the others I have recently looked at.

The case design does, of course, help protect the wireless audio system, but it also features an internal battery that keeps the small transmitter (TX), and receiver (RX) topped up when not in use and placed back into the case.

The case itself charges through a USB Type-C port in the back, and through the test didn’t seem to take a huge amount of time to keep topped up about one to three hours. Charging time depended on if the TXs and RX had one or two top-ups of charge; essentially, if the case is fully depleted, then three hours; if all devices have had a top-up, then between one and two hours.

Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2 review

Removing the RX from the case and flipping it over reveals a clip that can either be slotted into your camera’s hotshoe or clipped onto a cable or strap. Once in place, the small size and weight mean that it’s nice and discreet and doesn’t impede the view of monitors and another kit. I used the RX with the SmallRig Black Mamba cage. Once in place, the 3.5mm jack can be used to connect the RX into the camera. Alongside the line out, there’s also a headphone socket so you can easily monitor the audio; it’s all nice and neat.

The next step is to attach the two TXs to the subjects. Again the two Blink500 ProX units can be clipped to clothing or, if using the lavalier mics, popped in a pocket or clipped to a belt, and the lavalier mics attached to the subject’s clothing for a more discrete look. The system and hardware are extremely well thought out and easy to use.

Once all is attached, a small power button switches everything on. This is a dual-function button, so once the units are powered, this button can be used to mute the audio.

On the opposite side are two buttons that enable the input volume to be adjusted, and the small OLED screen shows the audio levels as they’re adjusted. It’s extremely easy to use, and while the screen might be mono, it clearly shows exactly what is needed.

When the Lavalier mics are plugged in, the system automatically recognises them and the mics switch from the internal to the external system, so again a great feature for beginners.

Once the TXs are adjusted then, attention can be turned to the RX. Again input volumes can be adjusted with the default setting, combining the feeds from the two TXs into a dual mono track. While this makes editing easy for beginners, pros can split the TXs into a stereo feed so adjustments can be made later.

Features

The Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2 offer an impressive all-in-one set with a charging case, two transmitters, one receiver, two lavalier mics and a cable to connect the RX to the camera. Essentially everything you need to get started.

The TX units are simple in looks but feature advanced technology that sees built-in Omni-directional mics and the option for a 3.5mm mic input. These mic inputs are automatically recognised when a jack is inserted and are adjustable in volume, enabling plenty of flexibility.

Unlike other kits, in addition to the case and wireless units are two high-quality Lavalier Mics; these are well made and, through the test, provide good clear audio.

Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2 review

The design of the units is very discrete, and as they work on 2.4GHz, there’s no need for large areas to provide transmission. In our test, the units were used in various locations, from out in the open countryside to a busy city location, and in both cases, the clear line of the site provided a good signal. Saramonic put the operating range at 100m / 328′ Range with an 8ms Ultra-low Latency, and in our test, the mics worked well to around 80-90m without break-up.

As already mentioned, the RX allows you to split the audio feeds from the two mics, so you can choose either stereo or mono, which is handy if editing is required. The two buttons on the side of the TXs enable you to adjust the input volume through six levels, so if one of the people being mic’d up is louder than the other, their input volume can be adjusted.

On each unit is a small screen, and while these may only be mono, they display plenty of information about the status and audio input. These screens also enable you to navigate the different options and check audio levels when recording.

As the mics use a standard 3.5mm input alongside the built-in mics, other manufacturers’ mics can be attached. Likewise, the RX utilises a 3.5mm output, which is compatible with most cameras.

Finally, the charging box charges and contains the units when not in use, and it takes around three hours for a full charge. The units offer around 10 hours of use depending on the type of use; if you use them at a distance, this can accelerate the depletion of the power.

Performance

The Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2 is extremely easy to set up. Clip in place and attach the Lavalier mics if required; adjust the input volume, and the transmitters are ready.

The small clip is small but will clip tightly onto a belt without issue and hold firm onto a strap or clothing. The high quality of the units stands out and makes them easy to attach. Adjustments are equally easy, with the two buttons on the side enabling you to adjust input volume and the single button on the opposite side enabling a quick mute of the mic in case you’re nipping off to the loo and don’t want to unmic.

Holding down the Set / + button for a prolonged period takes you to the options where you can change language and pair the units. As the system does most things for you, all you’ll really need to adjust is the input volume (Gain).

Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2 review

The TX is similar in design with a similar layout. Again attaching and fitting to the system is straightforward; plugin, and you’re almost set to go. The two-channel levels show the input volume, and you can adjust the input again. If you’re in Mono mode, then it’s important to level out the audio volume of the two mics; in Stereo mode, you have a little more leniency as the volumes of the channels can be altered in the edit; however, for the best quality, it’s a good idea to get it sorted out at the outset.

A nice feature of the RX is that it has a screen for a visual representation of the audio input volume, and then there’s the headphone input. Once the input on the wireless system is set, you can double-check on the camera itself.

Starting to record and the ability to split the mics over a stereo feed pays off, especially if one of your interviewees is slightly louder in an interview than they were in the audio check. The ability to adjust one channel in the edit is incredibly valuable and easy compared with tackling that type of issue on a mono-track.

Small additional features like muting the mic save time, and the ability to easily plug in external mics without needing to select the input makes these mics stand out.

Regarding the audio quality, the mics performed well as direct pick-ups using the built-in mics and when utilising the lavalier mics, which would be my preference.

Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2 review

What stands out about this mic system is that it is so easy to use. From the moment you open the case, the three units spring to life and power up, so you don’t have to switch them on. Then as they channel hop automatically to find a clear channel, there’s no need to pair or select channels or groups. The system does it all for you. Just pop them on, and off you go.

Likewise, volume or gain adjustment is quick and easy to adjust, with the small OLED screens showing the information you need and making things easy to select and find once you know how. On that front, the online manual is a little tricky to navigate, but essentially to switch between mono and stereo on the units, hold down the Set button for around three seconds, push the – button to the Output Mode, hold down set again until Mono is highlighted, tap the – button to change to Stereo, then hold down Set again. Easy once you know how!

Final thoughts

These wireless microphones are outstanding. From the outset, they’re easy to use with a plug-and-play approach that will suit anyone needing a simple wireless audio solution for a two-person set-up, from beginner to professional.

The system makes wireless audio incredibly easy, and the entire design streamlines the process. The charging case offers a neat place to keep the wireless units safe, and an additional pull string bag is provided to keep the lavalier mics, cable and charging case all neatly together. It would have been great to have the mics and cable included in the case and the two TXs and RX.

Saramonic Blink500 ProX B2 review

In use, there’s little, if anything, to a fault, they were just easy to use, and the signal strength in the countryside proved excellent with a good 80-100m range without any issue. Again in the city and with a direct line of sight, the signal strength proved excellent, and those lavalier mics helped to isolate the presenter’s and interviewees’ voices from the noise and bustle of the surrounding streets.

When it comes to an all-in-one wireless audio solution, the ease of use and complete package design of the Saramonic Blink500 ProX microphones makes them top of the current list as a wireless microphone solution.

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