Fulaim Cardioid Lav Mic

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https://youtu.be/YjJG6jWSk8U

Lavalier or Lav mics for short are a mainstay of film and video audio. They allow you to record a subjects voice or dialogue while helping to isolate their voice from background noise. This isn’t always fully achievable in a noisy environment but its results are generally much better than the audio from the camera’s built-in microphone.

Microphones generally come in two audio pickup patterns: omni-directional and cardioid. Cardioid patterns are more sensitive to sound directly in front of the microphone and less sensitive to background sound. But cardioid lav mics generally require an outside power source (Phantom Power) to drive their electronics. And cardioid lav mics are also generally more expensive.

I was surprised and a little dubious when I found that a company named Fulaim sells a microphone that they claim has a cardioid pattern that can be plugged directly into a camera or 3.5mm jacked phone without the need for Phantom Power from a mixer. I was even more incredulous when I saw the price. At the time I purchased it, I paid $12.99 on Amazon and it has since dropped to $9.99!

The Fulaim lav mic has a very long 19.7″ cable. The Fulaim unit uses a standard 3.5mm audio jack with a control switch can be selected for either TRS (camera or stereo audio) or TRRS (phone) connections. The control panel also contains a switch to select for either Omni or Cardioid polar patterns.

For the audio testing, I went to the Stonestown Shopping Center the weeked after Christmas when I knew the mall would be full of shoppers. This presents a difficult challenge for any video audio on the best of times, with crowds of people walking, talking and plenty of reflective surfaces to create echos and amplify and the background clutter.

I connected a Rode Wireless Go II unit to my Samsung Galaxy S22 phone. One transmitter picked up raw audio through its built in omni-directional microphone. I plugged in the Fulaim lav mic to the other transmitter. Each transmitter was on its own split audio channel so I could hear the difference.

I tested the Fulaim in both omni and cardioid modes. I could clearly hear a difference when using the Fulaim in cardiod mode vs the Fulaim in omni mode or the raw sound from the Rode transmitter. The Fulaim in cardioid did not isolate my voice from the background noise but it was noticeable though subtle improvement. Overall sound quality was typical for a budget lav mic. Useable but not anything as true or rich as a professional lav mic.

I also compared this to a $36 Comica cardioid lav mic which had with slightly lower audio pickup. After adjusting the gain in post, the Comica and Fulaim sounded identical in terms of voice isolation. The Fulaim had slightly more bass response and was a 1/3 the price of that budget lav mic option.

For serious videographers and film makers, the Fulaim will not replace your hundred dollar Shure or Sennheiser lav mics. But for budget vloggers and content creators, the Fulaim lav mic at under $15 is a no brainer. Buy it and use it so we don’t have to hear the distractions.

Available on Amazon through my affiliate link: https://amzn.to/3YZXuwi

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Tom "Moondog" DelMundo is an award-winning copywriter and art director with over a decade of Madison Avenue experience.

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