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Sony’s new ECM-W2BT wireless microphone uses its Digital Multi Interface shoe for cable-free audio: Digital Photography Review

Sony has announced the release of a new wireless microphone and lavalier microphone designed specifically for use with its most recent mirrorless cameras.

The ECM-W2BT is a new wireless microphone ‘that supports a Digital Audio Interface via a Multi Interface (MI) Shoe.’ That means when connected to a supported camera the receiver will be able to transmit audio from the microphone directly through the MI Shoe without the need for external cables. Sony hasn’t revealed what cameras in particular fully support the new protocol, but do link out to a support site that appears to still be in the works. Of course, the 3.5mm output port ensures this will work with nearly every camera on the market, even if it doesn’t have Sony’s Digital Audio Interface technology.

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The microphone itself has been ‘completely redesigned,’ according to Sony, with a new ‘advanced omni-directional mic capsule.’ Sony says the unit can transmit high-quality audio at distances up to 200m (656ft) when working in a clear environment with minimal interference thanks to the use of Qualcomm’s aptX Low Latency codec. When paired with a Sony camera with an MI port, Sony says the internal battery (charged via an onboard micro USB port) will last up to nine hours.

The ECM-W2BT features three different pickup modes, including MIC mode, MIX mode and a new RCVR mode. MIC mode will only record audio from the microphone transmitter, MIX mode picks up audio from both the transmitter and receiver and the new RCVR mode will only pick up the sound from the receiver unit attached to the Digital Multi Interface shoe.

Other features include a LINK lamp that makes it clear when the receiver is connected to the microphone transmitter as well as a built-in attenuator function that allows users to ‘select one of three attenuator levels depending on the sound source volume to record excessively loud sounds at a lower volume or amplify quieter sounds to record louder audio.’ The kit also includes a windscreen for the microphone transmitter for times when mother nature is feeling a little breezy.

If you need to use an external microphone, the ECM-W2BT supports stereo audio input via the onboard 3.5mm port, which is a perfect pairing for the ECM-LV1 Sony has announced alongside the ECM-W2BT. This new lavalier microphone from Sony features an omni-directional mic capsule, a 360-degree rotatable clip and an included windscreen. It attaches to a the ECM-W2BT — and is powered — via the 3.5mm port.

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Both the ECM-W2BT wireless microphone and ECM-LV1 lavalier microphone will be available in April and are expected to retail for $230 / £210 / €240 and $30 / £32 / €35 , respectively. Both products will be sold by Sony authorized retailers.

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