Having shitty audio sucks. I was tired of using the in camera microphone for my videos because the sound quality is pretty bad. Not only that, but if I wanted to use a longer lens or just be further away from the camera, I'd essentially have to scream for anything to be picked up. Plus if I was outside and any kind of wind brushed past, the audio goes to hell. Since I'm so far away, the ambient noises in the environment would easily pick up just as loud or perhaps even louder than me. So I figured it was time to buy myself a little inexpensive lavalier mic I could just clip onto my shirt and negate all these issues. I didn't wanna spend a hundred plus bucks on a mic when I already have a decently nice studio mic at home that I could use. So I opted for what seemed to be a popular choice for low end lav mics.
I love me Audio Technica. My condenser mic and two headphones are both made by AT and since I've had such great success with them in the past, I figured this would be another great addition to the family. Well, I was wrong. When I first got it, I noticed how well the build quality was. It's all plastic, but it just felt pretty nice, especially for an $18 mic. I'd have expected as much from AT, but then the first problem arose. It has a nondetachable 20 foot cord. A 20 foot cord sounds great, but if I'm using, for example, the voice memo app on my phone and have the lav plugged right into that, I have to stuff 20 feet worth of cord on my person which is a bit unwieldy. I would have loved the option to add a shorter or longer cord in place of the one provided.
There's also something else I noticed before I even turned it on. There's an on/off switch, but no battery light indicator. You have no clue how long the battery has left to live before it kills off. It could be DOA when you get to the shoot if you didn't check beforehand or it could die in the middle of your recording. So that's a bummer, but the real big issue for me and the reason I ultimately decided to return this mic is the really low impedance level. This thing is SO quiet, even when it literally right below my chin, it still barely picks up anything. You have to raise the levels in post or use a preamp to get it to a normal level, but then you have so much static an humming that I personally find the audio to be pretty much useless. The resulting audio quality is basically worse than that of my in camera microphone. You can hear the audio quality for yourself in my video review below. Maybe these issues aren't that big of a deal for you, especially when comparing the cons with the price, but I personally just couldn't take it.