The Bietrun Wireless mic system is both a lavalier mic and a versatile wireless broadcast system suitable for both phones and cameras. Do you need a separate recording system? Isn’t there one already in your phone and camera? We explore these question and give our impressions of the Bietrun system in this review.
The Benefits of a Lavalier Mic
Sound is one of the biggest challenges when you are vlogging. Cameras and phones have reasonable microphones, but they are notoriously small and basic and stuck inside the camera. This means you have bad sound. The mic may be half-decent quality, but that’s not what’s causing the dip in quality. It’s the distance from the mic to your mouth that’s to blame.
Too much air between mic and mouth means you pick up a lot of ambient sound bouncing around the room and very little goes directly into the mic. An ideal solution is a lavalier mic, a small mic clipped to your clothes and closer to your mouth, like what you see on TV. This is the benefit of the Bietrun system.
The Bietrun Wireless Recording Microphone System consists of two main parts: a transmitter and receiver. The form factor of the units reminds me of an old-timey 80s pager or a chunky clip-on MP3 player: two small boxes around the size of a box of dental floss.
The transmitter has a clothing or belt clip, an onboard mic, ports for the external mic, a USB-C charging port and buttons for configuration using the small color-backlit LCD screen on the front. The receiver is the same box but with no internal mic; instead it has a port for headphones and an audio out jack via a short cable that extends to the input on a phone or camera. Using the control buttons you can change the volume of the mic and the transmission channel, just in case you are using more than one.
Also in the box is a selection of audio out cables and an external lavalier tie-clip style mic, dual USB-C charging cable (for charging both boxes at once) and carrying pouch. The cables are clearly labelled to distinguish which are for phones and which are for cameras, as the jack wiring is different for those ports. If you get the wrong cable, you won’t get any sound coming out of it.
In passing, I should mention I didn’t much like the styling of the units. They seemed a little tacky and old-fashioned to me, but this could relate back to the price as well. They’re not horrible – just not beautiful.
Up Close and Personal
At the cheaper end of the market in audio goods, the difference in quality can be widely variable and not bear much relation to the cost. It all depends on the quality and price of the components – in this case the microphone capsules and the transmission circuits. Not being able to take the units apart, I can’t really tell what they have inside, all I can really tell is the quality they deliver.
Using buttons on the side of the units, you can adjust the volume, and there is a configuration button to change the channel using the menu on the small color-backlit LCD screen.
Testing with an iPhone, the recording quality was better than using the onboard mic, mostly I think because the mic was able to be much closer to my mouth – even when the phone and the transmitter were three feet away. It wasn’t necessarily clearer – but certainly closer and with a pleasing bit more on the low end. The quality of the recording without the mic on an iPhone is thinner and much more ambient. The mic improves the sound of the voice considerably and makes it sound a lot more professional.
Being wireless, the receiver was picking up a little bit of interference from a nearby laptop, and the phone itself tends to add the occasional electromagnetic ticks. Also, while setting the input and output volume (why is there both?) using the buttons on the unit, there didn’t seem to be a lot of range of volume, but it does seem to allow for gross manipulation of the input levels.
It’s simple to use and a little basic, but to get the job done for quite a small amount of money it’s a very capable little wireless lav setup.
The Bietrun Wireless Recording Microphone System is not the finest quality wireless mic I’ve ever used, as there are many more expensive options in wireless sound from well-known manufacturers. But for the price of $69.99, it’s really not bad at all.