REVIEW: Audio-Technica System 10 Wireless Camera Mount Systems

System10_CameraMount

Audio-Technica
ATW-1701/l ($449) & ATW-1702 ($399) Wireless Camera Mount Systems
PROS: Easy to set up, great wireless range, fits well on camera mounts, crystal-clear audio.
CONS: Battery takes a while to fully charge.

OK, so you’re thinking to yourself, “Self, why is Performer reviewing a camera-mounted wireless mic?” Good question. We review a lot of mics, some wireless and some not. But the new System 10 offerings from Audio-Technica (the ATW-1701/l package that includes a lavalier aka lapel mic and the 1702 package which includes a more standard handheld mic) actually make a lot of sense for artists in the new media age.

Gone are the days where bands were limited to solely producing and releasing music. Nowadays, fans expect a richer, more involved peek into an artist’s creative workings. So lots of bands are doing video blogs from the road, or producing their own local TV shows on public access where they interview fellow artists and have on-air live performances. And lastly, a lot of artists are offering up tons of creative video content online, including behind-the-scenes YouTube clips, instrument lessons and product reviews (just look at Rob Chapman who was featured on our cover last month for the EXACT type of multi-dimensional musician these packages make sense for).

Anyway, enough with the who – let’s get to the what. So what do you get? Well, the packages are about the same, but you have your choice of a standard handheld mic or a lapel mic (great for sit-down interviews or in-the-field video clips) for an extra $50. Both packages feature the same great System 10 wireless technology that Audio-Technica is known for, and both systems are super simple to get up and running. I’ve never used a camera mounted mic system before, and it took all of 5 minutes to figure it out and get it plugged in properly (thanks for including a shoe-mount, A-T).

Battery life is exceptional at between 9-11 hours (depending on use) and the receiver unit is really small and lightweight – trust us, this is a huge plus since you’re not adding bulk and weight to your camera set up. Operating range is superb, too. We moved the transmitter between 75-100 feet away from the receiver in our tests with little noticeable problem. And don’t worry about radio interference – that’s not an issue either.

Sound-wise, there’s not much surprising here. We know the System 10 products sound great, and the lapel mic and handheld versions were absolutely crystal clear in our tests. The receiver has two antennae for added reliability; so honestly, we’re having a hard time finding much to complain about.

Bottom line – if you or your band are getting into video production work, these might make a lot of sense for you. Plus, let’s face it. With the lapel mic, you can unleash your inner Ron Burgundy upon your bandmates and fans. Bonus!

FEATURES

– Digital 24-bit/48 kHz wireless operation
– Operates in the 2.4 GHz range, free from TV interference
– Instantaneous channel selection, sync and setup
– Three levels of diversity assurance: frequency, time & space
– Ultra compact receiver size with multiple mounting options
– Selectable balanced and unbalanced output jacks
– Internal rechargeable 12-hr battery
– Separate headphone port & volume control for local monitoring

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