Saramonic Blink500 Pro B2 Review

The Saramonic Blink500 Pro 2 system lets you record clean, full-bodied audio wirelessly, which makes it ideal for documentaries where the subjects need to move freely around a location and be a long way from the camera.

If you want to record audio from your camera’s built-in microphone or from a shotgun microphone that is mounted on the camera body, your subject needs to be close to the camera to get the best sound. Use an on-camera microphone to record the best man’s speech at a wedding, but if you’re a long way away from the wedding, you’ll have a hard time hearing what he’s saying.

Saramonic Blink500 Pro B2: Specs

Receiver specifications

  • Digital frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Modulation: GFSK
  • Weight: 1.13oz
  • Range: 100m
  • Connection: 3.5mm jack
  • Output level: -60 dBV to -20 dBV
  • Battery life: 8 hours

Transmitter specifications

  • Digital frequency: 2.4GHz
  • Modulation: GFSK modulation
  • Weight: 1.13oz
  • Polar pattern: omnidirectional
  • Battery life: 8 hours

Saramonic Blink500 Pro B2: Key Features

This kit comes with two wireless transmitters and a receiver. These are the main parts of Blink500 Pro B2. There are three units that all look the same, so if you were in a hurry to mic up your subjects, you could mix them up. To help you tell them apart, the transmitters have a little TX label, and the receiver is called RX.

JOBY Wavo AIR and other wireless sets like it have receivers that look a little different in build and color, which makes it easier to tell the two parts apart.

When the three units are put together, they fit into a protective case that also serves as a charger. In this case, you can charge all three at the same time with USB-A chargers and battery packs that work with USB-C. When you open the case, all three units will be fully charged and ready to go for a long time.

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They need to be charged separately, which could make it hard to get the right power for a shoot if one transmitter has less power than the other.

The Blink500 Pro B2’s charging box also comes with a one-click button to connect to your phone. This pairs the two transmitters with the receiver right away, so they all work right out of the box. This is how it works.

If you want to record better sound, you’ll also get a pair of lavalier clips that you can attach to the transmitter’s built-in mics. You can then attach the clips to the transmitter’s built-in mics to protect them from the wind.

Saramonic Blink500 Pro B2: Build and Handling

Black plastic is used to make the charging case, transmitters, and the box that holds them all. You won’t have to worry about them being too heavy when they’re attached to your subject. The transmitters weigh 1.13 oz (or popped in a pocket). You can see a lot of different settings on the transmitters’ OLED screens after you turn them on. For example, you can see what mode the mic is in and how much gain it has, for example. If you can set a digital timer, you’ll soon be able to navigate through the menus on both the transmitter and receiver.

When the subject talks, the transmitter shows a moving waveform. Animated waveforms can’t tell you if the sound is healthy, but they can show that the microphone is listening and sending. This is more for show than practical use, but it shows that the microphone is listening and sending.

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People who use receivers like this one have headphone jacks so they can listen to the sound from both transmitters to look for problems like distortion and wind noise (though for safety you should monitor audio directly from your recording device).

Saramonic Blink500 Pro B2: Performance

Two 3.5 mm plugs are included in the kit. These plugs connect the receiver to your camera or phone. If you have a newer iPhone, you’ll need to buy a jack-to-Lightning adapter (such as the UGREEN Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter). We tried for a whole hour to get the receiver to talk to our iPhone 13 Pro max before we realized that we needed to use the TRRS connector that came with the receiver.

To test the kit, we went to a windy and rocky place near the coast. In the beginning, we put the supplied wind-shields on the built-in microphone on the transmitter. But when the mics were exposed, the wind noise ruined our takes. We were able to get wind-free audio by putting the transmitters in the interviewees’ pockets and attaching the lavalier mics to their coats.

Senders have mic gains that range from 0 to 6. In order to keep the sound clear and strong, we kept the setting at 3. This gave us clean, strong sound signals that we could boost a little in Final Cut Pro to make the sound even better (watch our supplied test video to hear the results). The best thing you can do is have a weak signal that you can boost in post-production, rather than having a strong recording that sounds bad.

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Because we didn’t want to use the receiver’s headphone jack to listen to the sound, we used Apple AirPods to listen to the audio from our iPhone. Our subjects were able to move around rocks and talk freely, with their audio coming out clean and clear (despite the transmitters being in their pockets.) If they turned their backs on the camera, the sound signal sometimes stopped about 30 meters away. As you can see in our test video, when the transmitters were in line of sight with the receiver, we could hear our subjects loud and clear from about 100 meters away.

When you use a wireless microphone, there is a small amount of latency. This meant that the sound was about three frames out of sync with the video. In a tablet or smartphone, this wouldn’t be very noticeable. You can easily remove the audio track and move it by three frames with a post-production app like Final Cut or Premiere Pro (which we did for our test video).

Saramonic Blink500 Pro B2: Conclusion

The Blink500 Pro B2 kit should be in your kit bag because it makes it easier to record sound. For up to 8 hours, you can record when the transmitter and receiver are charged together in one case (and far fewer cables).

By using the lavalier microphones with their pop shields, you can record professional sounding audio in windy places and from a long way away. This gives you the freedom to direct your subjects and focus on your camera work without having to worry about poor sound.

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