Confession. I am a utilitarian. I had the pleasure of reading J.S. Mill, “On Liberty” in my late teens and it made a huge impression. Utilitarian principles guide my epistemology and tend to seep into my reviews of products; I try to answer the question “what’s its use?” And the Giant Squid lavalier microphone is a utilitarian masterpiece.
We all use products that try to do many things, have a multitude of features; all bells and whistles, but are terrible at performing the basic task they were made for. But the Giant Squid lav mic does one thing, record external audio into a digital recorder, and does it exceptionally well.
- The good: you get a full, rich awesome sound; not the tiny sound that characterizes lavalier microphones. 6ft cord, not too short, not too long: perfect. Easy to use. Sturdy build.
- The Bad: the form windshield keeps falling off. Poor packaging and branding. Only works with digital voice recorders that output plug-in power (1.5v – 10v).
- Verdict: very good lavalier microphone. Awesome sound. Easy to use. This is a sneaky good, sneaky reliable clip on microphone. A real bargain. Get one. Thank me later! Buy it now from Amazon.
There are a few features on this mic that I really like for recording interviews. The first is ease of use. Using the Giant Squid clip on microphone is as easy as plug and play. Combined with the Sony ICD ux-560, you don’t have to worry about batteries, or attaching other cables (you’ll need a splitter though – more on how to record interviews in a noise location here).
The Giant Squid mic is also compact. And that’s because the 6ft cord is not too long or too short. It’s just the right size for most interview recordings. Thus, it’s easy to carry around with you. A couple of them fit into a small zip-lock bag. Which is perfect.
The cord of the Giant Squid, feels thick and heavy. And the connections to the mic capsule and 3.5mm TRS plug are well made and sturdy. I’ve only used this microphone for a month, but I’m sure it’s going to take a lot of use before I can start worrying about it breaking down.
Finally, you’ll get awesome sound using the Giant Squid microphone. It’s not the tiny sound that I’ve come to expect from lavalier microphones. You get a full rich sound. Probably the best sound I’ve heard from a less than $100 microphone – and that’s all microphones, not just lav mics.
Little foam windscreen that comes with this microphone keeps falling off! I lost mine within the first day of use. It fell of a couple of times, and I found it. The third time it fell out – I didn’t bother looking for it. The foam windscreen is too short to fit over the capsule. Very annoying. If you don’t have a replacement, I suggest you use a little bit of glue to glue it on. If you are going to record your interviews outdoors, when you really need a windscreen, throw away the foam windscreen and get a proper furry windscreen; most are made with artificial fur.
If you are looking for an unboxing experience when you order this microphone, you’ll be disappointed. It comes in a plastic zip-lock bag. In it, you’ll find the mic, the gator clip, and the foam windscreen. That’s it. If books were to be judged by their cover, this mic would get awful reviews. It’s not the best looking tie clip microphone I’ve ever seen, and the packaging is dreadful. No company logo, no brand name, nothing. Not a great confidence builder. It does have a little GS logo on the mic capsule – but that’s the only way to know it’s the Giant Squid microphone.
Finally, this microphone needs power to work. That means that it will not work on most phones, computers and other electronic devices that don’t output plug in power (1.5-10v). And if you connect it to a device that outputs phantom power (more than 10v), you’ll ruin it. But it does work great with most digital recorder. I recommend you get the Sony ICD-ux560 (here’s a review of this voice recorder), an awesome recorder for this mic, and for recording research interviews.
Awesome lavalier microphone. The best that I’ve ever used. The sound from this will blow your mind. So rich, it’s unexpected. Very easy to use. Plug it into a digital recorder and start recording. This is a sneaky good, sneaky reliable clip on microphone. A real bargain.