Here is my review of the Bietrun WXM22 wireless UHF lavalier microphone system. I am quite impressed at the ease of adjustments, connectivity, latency-free monitoring on the receiver, and general quality for under US$100. Ahead you’ll watch and listen to two videos, plus a separate audio-only recording of the included lavalier microphone. You’ll also discover the only key accessory you must acquire if you plan to use the WXM22 outdoors.
In the box
The transmitter in the WXM22 kit has a 3.5 mm TRS input jack to use with the included omnidirectional lavalier, or any other that has that type of plug.
The receiver in the WXM22 kit has a 3.5 mm TRS stereo jack to plugin your headphones, plus another 3.5 mm unbalanced TRS stereo jack to feed whatever device you would like, which will likely be a camera, camcorder, mixer, smartphone or tablet. The WXM22 kit includes two audio cables for that purpose:
- One of the cables terminates in a TRS 3.5 mm plug to use it with a camera, camcorder, mixer or audio recorder. If your camera, camcorder, mixer or recorder only has an XLR input, you’ll need an adapter from 3.5 mm TRS to XLR male.
- The other cable terminates in a TRRS 3.5 mm plug to use it with a smartphone or tablet with that type of a connector (like my Moto G Power, known outside of the US as the Moto G8 Power) or with one that can only accepts Lightning or USB-C. For either of those digital inputs, you’ll need an adapter/converter which is not included with the WXM22, but may have come with your smartphone.
See my 2015 article TS/TRS/TRRS/TRRRS: Combating the misconnection epidemic.
Latency free monitoring
I was very happy to see that the receiver in the WXM22 has an output for latency-free monitoring.
I was also very happy to hear that it drove my CB-1 isolating, brandable headphones (reviewed here, shown above) perfectly.
Technology and channels
The WXM22 allows us to chose among 50 possible channels in the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) band as defined by the US FCC. The kit I received was set by default to channel 1. The onscreen display on both the transmitter and receiver make it very intuitive how to try another channel. The LCD display is visible even under bright sunlight. Since I initially experienced interference with channel 1, I set both the transmitter and receiver to channel 2, and all was great with my connection. I was able to determine that thanks to the latency-free monitoring and the isolating headphones mentioned in the prior section.
There is an optional auto-pair mode, but I didn’t use it.
Batteries and autonomy
The battery inside the transmitter and receiver are 650 mhA lithium ion. They are rechargeable via the USB-C port. (No charger is included—Just use one that you already have.) Bietrun rates the charging time as three hours and the autonomy (working hours) as five hours.
Indoor recording of the included lavalier microphone
I was curious to hear the quality of the included lavalier microphone directly (without the wireless system), so I plugged it into the RØDECaster Pro mixer recorder (covered in several articles) via the VXLR+ (covered in several articles).
For those unfamiliar, the VXLR+ downconverts 48 volts phantom power into ≈5 volts bias voltage (plugin power) for this type of electret condenser unbalanced microphones, while also balancing the connection, as covered in detail in this article.
Above, the raw recording, only normalized.
Above, after mild noise reduction from Hindenburg Journalist Pro (covered in several articles).
I asked Bietrun whether they offer this lavalier standalone, either to use it as a spare or other application. As of publication time of this article, this lavalier is only available as part of the WXM22 kit.
Outdoor recordings and observations
Although the WZM22 comes with a windscreen, it does not include what is commonly known as an (artificial) “dead cat” like the one shown above. As you will hear ahead, if you are planning to use the WXM22 (or any other lavalier) outdoors, you’ll need a “dead cat” which protects from wind much more than a windscreen for a lavalier microphone does.
MALE VIDEO VOICE (mine):
FEMALE VOICE TEST:
Build quality and appearance
Ease of adjustments
Latency-free monitoring from the receiver
(In its price range)
(As it comes, before acquiring a third-party artificial “dead cat”.)
The Bietrun WXM 22 represents is an amazing value for under US$100. I am impressed with the appearance, build quality, connectivity, ease of adjustments, latency-free monitoring from the receiver and sound quality. The only precaution is that if you plan to use it (or any other lavalier) outdoors, you must acquire: a so-called artificial “dead cat” to protect it from wind noise.
Many of the photos of the WXM22 are courtesy of Bietrun.
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