If SONY had known in advance about some of the things we were going to put their DWZ M50 hand held wireless through… they may have had second thoughts about sending it.
Little did my contact at SONY (or I, for that matter) know that at one event, after delivering a very emotional tribute to his newly re-wed father, the prodigal son would slam the mic down on our table (BAM!) so he could give his dad a manhug that was decades past due.
But, this is just the kind stuff that happens to microphones, week in and week out, and it’s why they often end looking battered and tattered before their time. This is especially true when we use average Joe as our tester and for the last six weeks, we’ve been putting this SONY mic in the hands of plain folks who’s only knowledge of mic technique was gained from watching music videos. Some eat it, some hold it over in the next county. Some respectfully hand it back to us with dignity, others throw it back like they were pitching a horseshoe.
Oh, this test started off innocently enough, with our demo unit being handed off to one of the vocalists on our church’s praise & worship team. As would be expected in this dignified setting, the user appreciated the quality of the unit as the mic performed flawlessly, with no drop outs and a very clean and clear, highly intelligible sound. In fact, this vocalist had nothing but positives to say, remarking how well balanced and easy to hold the mic was to use, how responsive it is and how she really didn’t want to give it back. That was from someone who knows microphones.
Then it was “Let’s get ready to rumble” as we took the mic on the road to meet everyday folks caught up in the rowdy moment of celebrating. As a wedding DJ, there’s little I fear more than seeing someone stumble toward the table, sloshing a beer, bent on getting their hands on my microphone. Partly because of what they might say (but I have an off switch for that) and mostly because of what that might do to the mic.
Ah, but this isn’t my mic. It’s SONY’s. On most of our summer wedding gigs, the mic was treated with reasonable care by still sober best men and maids of honor paying tribute to their newlywed friends. Sure, it’s been dribbled on, spat upon and spilled upon with enough various liquids to fill a fishbowl (Hey SONY-are you sure you want this back?). Those were the good nights. Other nights it’s been right out their in the center of the feedback zone partying it up with the local kings and queens of karaoke. It’s been in the spotlight in the hands of professionals singing over a backing tracks and the same evening passed around the crowd for speeches, toasts and some guy vainly attempting to croon along with Clarence Carter’s “Strokin’”.
Aside from the kudos from the professionals who used the mic while it was in our “care,” no one else said anything—which is good, because who people who don’t know what a good mic is typically only complain when you hand them one that makes them sound worse than they really do. This one never let us down. It was consistently reliable and intelligible, and even in this horrible application where the mic is right out in front of crankin’ loud speakers, we were able to keep the vocalist predominant without crossing the line into earbleeding feedback. Price wise, it’s not cheap—but it’s not out of the ball park either. Typical priced from most retailers right around $450.
For a short demo on setting up the channels and the features of Sony’s “Dwizum 5-0” (as we called it) here’s a short movie.
– Robert Lindquist