Caravanya tests: Condenser Microphone

Good sound in a video recording is just as important as a stable picture - even for hobby recordings of nature or your camper. Therefore, after the camera and smartphone tripod from BaoLuo, we are now testing the condenser microphone from Tendak to complete the essential video equipment.

Just like the tripod, the microphone belongs to the low price category with 34,90 €. The product is rated on Amazon with an average of 4.6 stars (as of September 2020). It is distributed by Tendak but produced by ANJIESI if you go by the name on the packaging.

Included in the package are a condenser microphone, matching foam and fur windshields, and a holder to attach it to other devices. You also get a small leatherette bag for stowing these utensils. The included 3.5 mm TRRS and 3.5 mm TRS audio cables make the microphone compatible with smartphones, DSLR cameras, PCs, etc.

Microphone and accessories
Microphone and accessories

Test Configurations

Micro with foam windshield
Micro with foam windshield

We chose a condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern because this pickup direction reduces the scattering of lateral and rear sound and improves the isolation of the desired sound source. Thus, it delivers good sound quality when recording outdoors. In theory, this sounds good at first, but how does the microphone perform in practice?

We recorded the first test in a reverberant interior. There were four configurations in total:

  • With smartphone microphone
  • With condenser microphone without windshield
  • With condenser microphone and foam windshield
  • With condenser microphone and fur windshield

As expected, there is a slight difference between the voice recordings. The microphone attenuates the reverberation and thus produces a fuller sound. Compared to more expensive options, however, the difference in sound between microphone and smartphone is small. In the test video, the microphone was placed almost one meter away from the sound source, which could explain why there are still reverberations. If the microphone is close by, the sound gets even better. Of course, the windshield does not bring any noticeable advantage in this windless environment.

The sound quality

We then tested the microphone outside with moderate wind. We used the same configurations keeping the microphone about one meter away. So what can the product do under more extreme conditions? The noise of passing cars, but also the wind, is less audible when using the microphone. Similarly, the sound is generally more distinct than with the smartphone microphone. Even better quality is achieved with the windshield attachments, although not much difference was noticeable between foam and fur.

Regarding the materials, the condenser microphone from Tendak feels high-quality. The audio cables work well and have no loose contact. The holder is made of plastic and seems stable at first sight. But you have to be a little careful with it, to avoid breaking it. Regarding the windshield attachments, it is a bit difficult to put them over the microphone, and the fur windshield has left some synthetic hair on the clothes at the first use.

Micro with fur windshield
Micro with fur windshield

The micro of Tendak in video

Youtube

Conclusion

All in all, the microphone makes a good impression - especially at this price. As expected, the Tendak product cannot compete with the higher-priced brand competition. But for a layman's equipment and simple video recording, it is sufficient. With a little skill for alignment, and in an environment not too much affected by ambient noise, it will deliver good results. For our test reports, camping vlogs, and nature recordings when hiking, the smartphone and camera microphone by Tendak is a helpful gadget.

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