Reviews |Sony ECM-W3 Wireless Microphone Review

Sony ECM-W3 Wireless Microphone Review

Unlock Superior Audio with Sony's ECM-W3 Wireless Microphone: Perfect for Professional and Amateur Photographers

Sony ECM-W3

Price when reviewed


Check current price

Our Verdict

If you own a Sony A7 IV, ZV-E1, or one of the compatible Sony models, then I can’t recommend this small wireless mic combo enough. I reviewed the single-transmitter version earlier in the year and was genuinely impressed by its ease of use and build quality.

However, the price of that unit made it feel like I was only getting half a product. That’s where this two-transmitter set comes into play. Like the ECM-W3S, the plug-and-play setup process is seamless and straightforward. Once mounted, all adjustments can be made through the units with a simple click of a button.

The most important factor is sound quality, and it’s excellent here, offering decent noise reduction when needed. Additionally, there’s a mic-in option, so if you want a discreet lavalier mic, that’s also available. With full integration with newer Sony cameras, there’s little not to like—except for the usual Sony price premium.


  • Excellent audio quality
  • Seamless integration
  • User-friendly design


  • Sony price premium
  • Limited compatibility with other manufacturers and older Sony Alpha cameras
  • Bluetooth-only connection

What is the ECM-W3 Wireless Microphone?

The challenge for Sony at the moment is that nearly every manufacturer is releasing quite decent wireless mic systems. However, this is Sony we’re talking about, and the company already boasts a rich history of producing professional-level wireless systems—expertise that appears to have trickled down to these compact units.

What sets these units apart from Sony’s more traditional systems is the wireless data transfer, which occurs solely through Bluetooth rather than UHF or 2.4GHz. While this might deter traditional audiophiles, I found the quality to be spot-on for the intended market, provided it’s used with compatible Sony equipment.

If you’ve recently come across these, you’ll know that this set, along with three others from Sony, is currently available. This version is tailored for anyone needing to mic up two individuals and comes with two transmitters as well as a receiver. The transmitter mics can be quickly clipped onto clothing, with the receiver fitting neatly into the camera’s hot shoe.

Sony ECM-W3

The unique selling point of this system, and Sony’s broader mic range, lies in their integration with the Multi Interface Shoe. This offers full control of the mics via Sony’s user interface for compatible cameras. The only caveat is that older models like the Sony A7 III are not compatible.


  • Sound Quality: High S/N ratio for minimal noise
  • Wireless Transmission: Up to 150 metres in clear line-of-sight conditions
  • Connectivity: 3.5mm mini-jack, USB digital audio output
  • Battery Life: Approximately 6 hours
  • Weight: 17g per microphone, 25g receiver
  • Additional Features: Safety and attenuator functions, Multi Interface (MI) Shoe compatible

Build and Handling

The market is currently awash with wireless microphones—and for good reason. They’re incredibly handy. Another point to consider is that just a few years ago, you would have been hard-pressed to find anything under £500/$500 that was worth your time. My Sony UTX models, for instance, cost around £800 at the time, and they’re still going strong. However, we now have more technology options that are smaller, less power-intensive, and most importantly, cheaper.

The technology has also become infinitely easier to understand. Gone are the days of fiddling with channels and groups; now it’s as simple as switching the unit on.

The ECM-W3 is a Bluetooth wireless microphone set that allows you to quickly mic up a professional interview situation in seconds. The two wireless transmitters clip onto the presenters’ and interviewees’ clothing, while the receiver slots directly into a compatible Sony camera. Switch it on, check the levels, and you’re good to go.

Sony ECM-W3

What’s more—and this is a feature I particularly like—is the option to plug in a far more discreet lavalier mic if you don’t want the small but noticeable microphone to appear.

The Sony ECM-W3 wireless mic system is designed to provide creators and professionals with an easy-to-use dual-mic system that can be set up in minutes, without requiring extensive technical knowledge.


The Sony ECM-W3 is equipped with high signal-to-noise ratio microphones that ensure a clean, low-noise audio capture. This is integral for any kind of professional shooting where audio quality can’t be compromised.

Another feature worth mentioning is the dual-channel digital transmission. This is especially beneficial when using Sony cameras with Multi Interface Shoe compatibility. It streamlines the audio input process by sending it directly to the camera body, thereby maintaining the integrity of the sound.

Regarding noise interference, the system is fitted with a digital signal processing filter. This effectively reduces persistent background noise, making it easier to focus on the subject at hand. Additionally, a low cut filter is incorporated, which eliminates undesirable low-frequency noise.

Sony ECM-W3

One of the more user-friendly features is the wireless setup. The receiver attaches directly to a compatible Sony camera, eliminating the need for cumbersome cables. This ease of use is something many will appreciate, particularly those working in a fast-paced environment.

The system’s wireless capabilities are further enhanced by Bluetooth 5.3 and LC3plus3 codecs, providing a balanced combination of low power consumption, low latency, and high audio quality. Battery life, therefore, is generally not a concern when using this microphone system.

For those worried about recording levels, the ECM-W3 comes with safety and attenuator functions. These allow for simultaneous recording of two audio signals at different volumes, thus reducing the risk of clipping, a common issue during dynamic interviews.

In terms of portability and resilience, the microphone-transmitters and receiver are compact and lightweight, designed to be both dust- and moisture-resistant. This makes the system very versatile for different shooting environments. They even come with a compact charging case, which is particularly useful for long shooting schedules.

All in all, the Sony ECM-W3 offers a comprehensive package, balancing technical sophistication with real-world practicality. It’s a solid option for anyone looking to upgrade their audio capture setup, without delving deep into technical complexities.


Using the Sony ECM-W3 is straightforward: simply attach the receiver onto the top of your Sony camera, aligning it with the Multi Interface Shoe (MIS), and you’re connected—no additional wires needed. Interestingly, Sony has ensured backward compatibility with older Alpha models.
If you’re using a popular model like the Sony A7 III, which doesn’t support digital audio recording, you can switch to analogue mode, and it works perfectly. No 3.5mm cable is needed in this scenario.

Connecting a 3.5mm cable from the camera to the receiver will also prompt the system to switch to analogue automatically. Another perk is the system’s versatility; with an analogue connection, these mics are compatible with any camera. The device even has a USB port, offering additional connectivity options for cameras that support USB audio input.

If you’re using newer models such as the Sony A7 IV, switching to digital mode gives you greater control via the camera’s user interface. Not only are cables unnecessary, but the sound quality also improves significantly. When in digital mode, you can record at 24-bit, if your camera supports it, resulting in exceptional audio quality.

Sony ECM-W3

The type of connection you use significantly impacts both the usability and quality of these microphones. Essentially, the more recent your Sony system, the more you’ll benefit.

Designed primarily as an interview kit, these mics can easily clip onto clothing or accommodate a lavalier microphone. The receiver features a Sep/Mix switch, which enables separate or mixed audio channel recording. This function proves handy for post-production audio normalization.

The wireless mics are both lightweight and discreet, although Sony’s logo is prominently displayed. However, a small piece of electrical tape can easily cover it, if desired. Each unit includes a 3.5mm lavalier socket, adding to its versatility.

During sound checks, both digital and analogue input volumes can be easily adjusted on the camera. The microphones also offer adjustable audio sensitivity levels, ranging from 0dB to 20dB, catering to varied speaking volumes.

When it comes to set-up and adjustability, few wireless microphones offer this level of flexibility. This is particularly true for cameras that support the MIS interface. Overall, the audio quality is superior, especially in digital mode, where noise is reduced and 24-bit recording is possible if your camera allows it.

Final thoughts

It’s hard to justify the ECM-W3’s price tag when the market is flooded with high-quality wireless microphone systems from various competitors. However, the ECM-W3 carves out its niche through seamless integration with the Sony Alpha system.

No other wireless mics offer this level of control and ease-of-use, but this does require an investment in the Sony ecosystem. Additionally, you’ll need one of the newer Sony cameras to fully capitalise on the digital features.

That said, these units are well-built and should stand the test of time. The digital transmission quality is excellent, and the analogue option provides versatility for use with incompatible models. The ECM-W3’s design is compact, and the inclusion of a lavalier option is a standout feature for me.

Sony ECM-W3

While they are £200 more expensive than the RODE Wireless Go 2 series, you are getting something extra, and naturally, there’s a Sony premium. If you’re a dedicated Sony user with the latest models, the additional expense is justified. But if you’re using older Sony models or other systems, it might be worth exploring more budget-friendly options.