The LavMic features two 3.5mm (1/8″) mic inputs (0ne locking and the other a regular jack plug), a 3.5mm headphone jack, as well as a mono/stereo switch and volume control wheel. It also comes with locking 3.5mm stereo and mono output cables, as well as a specific cable for use with GoPros.
I tried out the LavMic at the show with a Sony a7S and an iPhone to see how it worked. On a mirrorless camera or DSLR you can set the internal record level very low and then use the volume control to set the level from the LavMic – this minimises the use of the camera’s own preamps which are often noisy. The device works but you cannot independently adjust both channels. When you adjust the volume output on the LavMic it adjusts both channels at the same time. This is not ideal if you are using different models of microphone, or if one subject is much louder than the other, but you can usually get away with it if you use two identical lavalier microphones. \
If your camera doesn’t have a headphone output (like the Sony a6300 and a6500) then you can monitor what is going into the camera using the headphone jack with zero latency. Of course, this does not guarantee that what you are hearing is actually being recorded properly, but it does give an extra level of confidence.
If you are using an iPhone the LavMic needs a 3.5mm input to connect – with the newer iPhone 7 and 7+ you will need an lightening adapter. Again, you will be able to monitor what is going into the device via the headphone jack for confidence, but not actually listen to what is being recorded.
The LavMic runs off a single AAA battery and also comes with cavalier microphone and a 2.4m (7.87ft) cable. It may not sound as good as more expensive audio solutions on the market, but for $100US it certainly is a very capable solution for video journalists or people on a budget that are looking for a compact two lavalier microphone solution.
Saramonic were also showing a range of other products at Interbee including the MixMic which is a two channel XLR audio adapter kit for use with DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Its design is similar at first glance to Sony’s popular XLR-K2m audio module for the a7 series and a6300/6500, the difference being that the Saramonic unit connects via standard minijack connections and needs a separate battery. It features two XLR inputs, line/mic and 48v phantom power switches, as well a 150Hz low cut switch. The MixMic attaches via a a cold shoe mount and the output is a standard 3.5mm stereo audio cable. The MixMic retails for $300US.
Also on display was the SmartRig+ , a microphone/guitar interface for DSLR. mirrorless and iOS and Android devices. The SmartRig+ has two XLR inputs, two 3.5mm inputs, a mono/stereo selectable switch as well as 48V power and a headphone output for monitoring. It retails for $100US.
Finally Saramonic were showing the G-Mic, which is a tiny electret condenser microphone for use on GoPro HERO3, HERO3+ and the HERO4. It retails for $35US.