Here is my review of the US$459 HomeBase3 kit from Saramonic. Frequent readers know that I have already reviewed several microphones and audio interfaces from the same manufacturer. In the HomeBase3 kit, Saramonic includes two components of their own brand, and five from others. Saramonic’s goal with its various HomeBase kits is to help people communicate more easily and more professionally with audio and video from their home or office. Rather than including a low quality webcam, the HomeBase3 is designed to leverage the much higher quality camera which is built into modern smartphones, which generally performs much better than the best webcam on the market. That’s why —in addition to the the cardioid microphone and noise-cancelling USB headset, the kit also includes a high-quality light, table tripod, mobile device mount with shoe mount, backdrop and matching messenger bag. Ahead I’ll cover each component and include an audio/video recording.
What comes included with the HomeBase3 kit:
In alphabetical order, this is what you’ll get:
- Benro PP1 PocketPod Tabletop Tripod (normally ≈US$21 by itself)
- Mpow MPPA071A Wired Noise-Canceling Stereo Headset Mic with TRRS and USB (usually ≈US$33)
- Nanlite LumiPad 25 High Output Bi-Color Soft LED Panel (normally US$109 by itself)
- Phottix P220 Light Stand (7.2′) (normally ≈US$38 by itself)
- Saramonic SR-BSP1C Mobile Device Mount with Cold Shoe Mount (normally US$20 by itself)
- Saramonic VMIC MINI On-Camera Mini Cardioid Condenser Mic (normally US$59 by itself)
- Savage BT7057-KIT Gray Backdrop Travel Kit (normally US$100 by itself)
- Tenba Skyline 13 Messenger Bag (black, normally ≈US$90 each)
The total value is US$470 and you will save about US$11 and be able to order everything in a single click, either directly from Saramonic or your dealer.
Above, Phottix P220 Light Stand (220 cm/7.2 feet maximum height)
Listen to the audio of this microphone in the audio/video test, ahead in this article.
See it featured in the video, ahead in this article.
Audio/video test recording of Saramonic VMIC MINI
The audio in the above video is from the Saramonic VMIC MINI about 46 cm (18 inches) from my mouth. There is no noise reduction, compression or equalization. It was recorded in 1080/25p (See the article Zoom.us establishes 25p as worldwide framerate—Best practices?) using FiLMiC Pro in the United States, in my Moto G Power smartphone running Android 10. Outside of the US, it’s called the Moto G8 Power. The video was edited and encoded at 1080/25p in Screenflow before uploading to Vimeo. This video also shows off the quality of the Nanlite LumiPad 25 High Output Bi-Color Soft LED Panel and the Savage BT7057-KIT Gray Backdrop Travel Kit.
Key features in the Nanlite LumiPad 25
- 345.4 x 309.9 x 30.5 mm (13.6 x 12.2 x 1.2 inch) Panel
- 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds)
- Photometrics: at 5600K, 86.4 footcandles / 930 Lux at1 meter (3.28 feet)
- Variable color temperature: 3200-5600K
- CRI: 95 (Very good for a US$109 light)
- 0-100% Dimming
- Built-in dual NP-F battery plate
- Accepts 110-240 VAC
- Flicker free, allowing its use with 25p even in a 60Hz country like the United States, as proven in the above video. See the article Zoom.us establishes 25p as worldwide framerate—Best practices?
The above video is courtesy of Nanlite.
The US$459 Saramonic HomeBase3 fulfills its mission of simplifying the purchase of a full kit for home audio/video for teleconferencing or course recording in as single click. Although the components are great by themselves, the synergy comes from the whole HomeBase3 package plus the modern smartphone you probably own. The HomeBase3 illuminates you, holds your smartphone at the proper height for eye-level use, helps to record your voice and your image, with a neutral background that keeps the focus on you, not the clutter you may have behind you otherwise. In many cases, a neutral gray background often also alleviates compression artifacts. Great job Saramonic!
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