Saramonic Blink 500 tiny wireless system

Hot on the heels of the RØDE Wireless GO, Saramonic has released its own take on an ultra-compact clip-on wireless system, the Blink 500. Saramonic has put together six different configurations depending on the type of camera or device you’re shooting with.

One main system is designed with a 3.5mm input in mind and another is for Lightning inputs for iPhone and iPad. The third has a USB-C connector for Android smartphones and tablets. Both the Lightning and USB-C receivers have a long, rectangular form-factor designed to suit a phone or tablet.

The system works with DSLRs, mirrorless and video cameras, smartphones and tablets that let you record what Saramonic claims as “broadcast quality sound” from up to two microphones wirelessly.

saramonic infographic

Like the Wireless GO, the transmitters are designed to clip to a shirt or slide into a pocket, and versatile enough to set on a table or podium, or even used as a handheld microphone. It also operates like a traditional bodypack transmitter with the included SR-M1 professional omnidirectional clip-on lavalier microphone, providing a visually discreet miking solution.

2.4GHz spectrum

It operates on the popular 2.4GHz spectrum and automatically hops channels to avoid static noise and audio dropouts.

Blink 500 for cameras & mobile devices

The Blink 500 B1 & B2 both include TRS and TRRS output cables, so the system will work with compatible cameras and devices with headphone jacks. The output of the receiver provides a strong, noise-free level, so when you plug it in you can adjust the input level of your camera to its lowest setting to avoid hearing the noisy preamp of your camera.

The Blink 500 B3-B6 plug directly into your device for fast and convenient recording.

Head-to-head with the Wireless GO

We’re interested to see how the Blink 500 series stack up against the RØDE Wireless GO once we get our hands on a set, but on paper, the Blink 500 receiver weighs 31gm and transmitters 34gm each, and roughly both are 6cm x 4cm x 1.5cm in size. Both the transmitter and receiver on the Wireless GO weigh 31gm, and they’re around 4.5cm x 4.5cm x 1.8cm. So while it’s probably a case of splitting hairs the RØDE units are ever so slightly smaller.

The Wireless GO is $199, and the corresponding Blink 500 set is $179 (for 3.5mm TRS/TRRS, or $219 for USB-C or Lightning versions). You’ll also need to buy the RØDE SC7 cable if you want to connect to TRRS, whereas the Blink 500 includes both TRS and TRRS cables.

If your main device is a phone or tablet then the Saramonic solution might be hard to pass up. The convenience of having a purely digital receiver that connects directly to your USB-C or Lightning port is a huge plus.

However, for most of us, it’s likely that the biggest area of difference is that the Saramonic system can offer a two-transmitter-to-one-receiver configuration, which the Wireless GO doesn’t support. The Blink 500 systems are available for purchase in kits with two transmitters as well for $249 for 3.5mm output or $279 for USB-C or Lightning.

Blink 500 B1 3.5mm retails for $179

Blink 500 B1

Blink 500 B1 Includes

  • 1 x Blink 500 TX Transmitter with Built-In Microphone and Clip
  • 1 x Blink 500 RX Receiver with Built-In Clip and Camera Shoe-Mount
  • 1 x SR-M1 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone
  • 1 x Alligator-Style Lavalier Microphone Clip
  • 1 x Foam Lavalier Windscreen
  • 1 x 1’ (30.5 cm) Gold-Plated 3.5mm TRS to TRS Output Cable for Cameras
  • 1 x 1’ (30.5 cm) Gold-Plated 3.5mm TRRS to TRRS Output Cable for Smartphones and Tablets
  • 2 x 1’ (30.5 cm) Gold-Plated USB-C to USB-A Charging Cables
  • 1 x Pairing Pin

Blink 500 B2 3.5mm retails for $249

Blink 500 B2

Blink 500 B2 Includes

  • 2 x Blink 500 TX Transmitter with Built-In Microphone and Clip
  • 1 x Blink 500 RX Receiver with Built-In Clip and Camera Shoe-Mount
  • 2 x SR-M1 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone
  • 2 x Alligator-Style Lavalier Microphone Clip
  • 2 x Foam Lavalier Windscreen
  • 1 x 1’ (30.5 cm) Gold-Plated 3.5mm TRS to TRS Output Cable for Cameras
  • 1 x 1’ (30.5 cm) Gold-Plated 3.5mm TRRS to TRRS Output Cable for Smartphones and Tablets
  • 3 x 1’ (30.5 cm) Gold-Plated USB-C to USB-A Charging Cables
  • 1 x Pairing Pin

Blink 500 B3 Lightning retails for $219

Blink 500 B3

Blink 500 B3 Includes

  • 1 x Blink 500 TX Transmitter with Built-In Microphone and Clip
  • 1 x Blink 500 RXDi Dual-Receiver with MFi Certified Apple Lightning Connector
  • 1 x SR-M1 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone
  • 1 x Alligator-Style Lavalier Microphone Clip
  • 1 x Foam Lavalier Windscreen
  • 1 x 1’ (30.5 cm) gold-plated USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • 1 x Pairing Pin

Blink 500 B4 Dual Lightning retails for $279

Blink 500 B4

Blink 500 B4 Includes

  • 2 x Blink 500 TX Transmitter with Built-In Microphone and Clip
  • 1 x Blink 500 RXDi Dual-Receiver with MFi Certified Apple Lightning Connector
  • 2 x SR-M1 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone
  • 2 x Alligator-Style Lavalier Microphone Clip
  • 2 x Foam Lavalier Windscreen
  • 2 x 1’ (30.5 cm) gold-plated USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • 1 x Pairing Pin

Blink 500 B5 USB-C retails for $219

Blink 500 B5

Blink 500 B5 Includes

  • 1 x Blink 500 TX Transmitter with Built-In Microphone and Clip
  • 1 x Blink 500 RXUC Dual-Receiver with USB-C Connector
  • 1 x SR-M1 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone
  • 1 x Alligator-Style Lavalier Microphone Clip
  • 1 x Foam Lavalier Windscreen
  • 1 x 1’ (30.5 cm) gold-plated USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • 1 x Pairing Pin

Blink 500 B6 Dual USB-C retails for $279

Blink 500 B6

Blink 500 B6 Includes

  • 2 x Blink 500 TX Transmitter with Built-In Microphone and Clip
  • 2 x Blink 500 RXUC Dual-Receiver with USB-C Connector
  • 2 x SR-M1 Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone
  • 2 x Alligator-Style Lavalier Microphone Clip
  • 2 x Foam Lavalier Windscreen
  • 2 x 1’ (30.5 cm) gold-plated USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • 1 x Pairing Pin

The new Saramonic Blink 500 systems are available for preorder now.To learn more about the Blink 500 head over to Saramonic.

Many people have been calling the RØDE Wireless GO system a “game-changer” since its release earlier this year, and certainly for small, agile productions, it’s hard to beat. But it was only a matter of time before other audio companies came to the party, and the Blink 500 looks impressive on paper. What do you think? Do you own a Wireless GO? Do you think the dual transmitter functionality will sway you away from RØDE to the Saramonic? Let us know in the comments below!

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