Product warning: The Flexible Mini Capsule Microphone

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by greenpaz, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. greenpaz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    #1
    Perhaps everyone will remember this microphone, made by Brando, that all of the Apple blogs were announcing about a month ago. It's big pluses: 1) High sound quality, 2) flexibility, allowing you to turn it toward the subject you are recording (whether video or just audio). Well, I just received mine in the mail (I bought it for my 3GS), and while the mic is indeed multi-directional, the sound blows. There's a high-pitched whine that may or may not be the iPhone's fault, but what is not the iPhone's fault is the scratching sound heard every five seconds. It is super-annoying and I am super-annoyed that I paid the $15 to buy it.

    By the way, I see now that they've dropped the price on the website to $10. There's a good reason for that: It's a terrible product.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #2
    If everyone blogging liked it, how did you discount the possibility that you don't have a broken one? Just curious....
     
  3. labman macrumors 604

    labman

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    #3
  4. greenpaz thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2009
    #4
    Who says everyone blogging liked it? These weren't reviews, they were announcements. Big difference. None of the bloggers I read had even tried it. They were basically repeating the press release. And if you'll recall, most of them basically said, Who knows if it works well or not?
     
  5. greenpaz thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2009
    #5
    You're right. I was looking at the mini capsule that is NOT flexible. My bad. But the rest of what I wrote stands as fact...
     
  6. greenpaz thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2009
    #6
    Update: I wrote a note to the company to ask for a refund, and here is their reply:

    "Is the wi-fi turned on or off? Please turn off the wi-fi and try again. If there's still a problem, please let us know, we will arrange to refund your order."

    As it happens, turning off wi-fi does get rid of the problem. But should I have to turn wi-fi off every time I use their product? No. And why is there no disclaimer on their Web site? Because if there was, nobody would buy the product. I certainly wouldn't have.

    From now on, I'm going to leave audio recording in the hands of the iPhone's built-in mic. At least I don't have to turn wi-fi off for THAT to function.
     
  7. Unspoken Demise macrumors 68040

    Unspoken Demise

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    #7
    Apparently, yes.
     
  8. greenpaz thread starter macrumors member

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    #8
    Obviously, yes. But philosophically? No.
     
  9. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #9
    Actually, I'm kind of with the OP here. He bought something and was unaware that wifi must be turned off to use it. This was not his fault, the product page doesn't state anywhere that you must disable wifi to use the mic. Sorry but don't like when I have to disable something to use something else. It's idiocy.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Yeah, my point above was simply that one ought to make sure it's not broken before one slams it for not working... but the requirement that a wired mic needs the WiFi turned off is pretty silly... For music microphone recording, sure, I turn the wifi off on my notebook to eliminate latency, but that's a different matter entirely.
     
  11. labman macrumors 604

    labman

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mich near Detroit
    #11
    yep I agree too

    the Brando should provide the information both on the site and with your instructions then you can figure out if it's what you want. that changes things OP how does it work with wifi off. is it as good as they say. BTW there are capsules being sold on ebay for $3-4 bucks shipped I wonder how they compare.
     
  12. greenpaz thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2009
    #12
    Let me get this straight: In order for a product to be considered "not working," it can't be broken?

    If a product is broken, that means it DOESN'T WORK.
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #13
    :rolleyes: I mean that, before you write off the product itself as a terrible product in general, you should make sure the copy you have is not defective. :rolleyes: Even the nicest products are defective once in a while. Why are you ranting at me? I was agreeing with you.
     
  14. greenpaz thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Your threshold for ranting is very low.
     
  15. Daremo macrumors 68000

    Daremo

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    #15
    I recently received the Brando mic as well, and had the same issue with background noise, and was giving the same "fix" from Brando. They are aware of this, and really SHOULD mention this on their website. They call the device plug and play, when in reality, you need to put the device in Airplane mode for optimum quality.

    Anyway, here's the review on my blog...

    I have been looking for a audio solution for microphone recording on my iPhone 3GS. I want to be able to record rehearsals of my band, and the level is just too hot, and distorts the audio horribly. I need something that will allow me to adjust the line in levels. In my search for this (and I have still yet to find it) I can across the Brando Workshop Flexible Mini Capsule Microphone.

    The website boasted "10 Times Better Audio Reception!!" which for what I need, would actually make things worse, but I got to thinking, I could use this for other things as well. After looking at their audio samples on their website, I was impressed ad had to order one for myself.

    Ordering from Hong Kong to Chicago took much less time than they advertised. They claim 7-22 working days. It was in my mail box in about 7 days total. Very nice!

    The box they package this in, could house about 150 of these microphones, it's so small. It's out the size of a large pill, no taller then a dime (minus the plug). The website says it comes in Black or White, and I purchased the black one.

    First impressions of this product, is the flexibility or bending hinge feels a little bit cheap. I wouldn't want to flex this over and over. It's a bit still, and feels like it could easily break. Maybe it's because of the small size, but it does concern me a bit.

    I tried this with 2 applications. First, I used the audio voice recording with the iPhones 3.0 software. I started recording without the microphone using the iPhones mic, and speaking clearly. During the recording session, I plugged in the Brando mic, and the recording stopped. I recorded a second test with the microphone plugged in.

    Listening to the first test, with the iPhones built in mic, the voice is warm, deep and rich. A decent level of volume. Certainly good quality. When I listened to the second test, using the Brando mic, I was blown away. this is a HUGE difference. It's loud, bright, clear, and much better sounding then the internal mic.

    I had to try this with the video camera, and this is where the flexible mic is valuable. I was able to bend the mic toward the back side, facing the subject being recorded. Again testing, I started recording with the built in iPhone mic, and plugging in the external mic this time, did NOT pause the recording. Again, the difference is incredible. This mic is fantastic.

    But wait… What's that noise I'm hearing in the background? It's sort of like GSM noise, but that's not it… It's a clicking? An odd sound I've never heard before… After much troubleshooting, I had to contact Brando with my issue. Guess what? Thay did have a solution, and this is where I have a HUGE problem with this product…

    Their solution to fix the back ground noise is to turn OFF WiFi during use. Wait… What? I have to turn off my WiFi capabilities while I use a microphone that is plugged in? And if this is known issue, why the hell isn't this on the website? This is major inconvenience when wanting to use this. Now, one more step is needed to use something they claim is "Plug and play." Well, it IS a company in Hong Kong, and FCC standards don't apply. Plus, I suppose it's not a lie in China, since the iPhones coming out there are sans Wifi… All kidding aside, this is not a HUGE deal, but certainly a hassle.
    Over all, I would recommend this mic, even with the WiFi issue. Just know, you need to turn that off, or simply put your phone in Airplane mode when you want to use this, and the background noise disappears.

    Their website claims compatibility with the following: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 3G, iPhone 2G, iPod Nano 4G, iPod Classic 120GB, and iPod Touch 2G.
    It sells for $14.00 plus a few dollars shipping, and for under $20, this is well worth the money. Now, if Brando comes up with a Line Level solution, I'll be a happy man, and the frost to place an order.

    www.brando.com
     
  16. greenpaz thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 16, 2009
    #16

    I ordered mine on July 26, and the company didn't even ship it until August 11th. I got it four or five days after that.
     
  17. labman macrumors 604

    labman

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    Location:
    Mich near Detroit
    #17
    I ordered one as well

    Shipped mine nice a quick just got it Tuesday I am honestly planing to try to do a review of it along with a couple other reviews. I also want to try it on my daughter touch.
     

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