Back To Listings RSS Print

Audio Technica BPHS1 broadcast headset with dynamic mic: review + comparison

In this article I review the BPHS1’s construction, specs, and applications, and include comparative recordings with another microphone.

By Allan Tépper | November 18, 2012

image

Head mounted microphones have specific virtues, including isolation, consistent distance between mouth and element, elimination of the cost & complexity of mounting gear, and -in some cases- built-in listening devices. I have been anxious to compare the BPHS1 broadcast headset with the AT2005USB hybrid mic, which I’ve already covered in three articles in ProVideo Coalition magazine, and in one ebook which is available in two languages. Thankfully, Audio Technica obliged my request and sent me a review unit of the BPHS1, so ahead you’ll find my comments on its construction, specs, applications, and cost analysis, followed by recordings, subjective analysis, and conclusions.

 

In this article


  • My first experience with the BPHS1 in Guatemala

  • The hands-on feel of the BPHS1

  • General virtues of a head mounted microphone

  • Potential applications for the BPHS1

  • SIDEBAR: Why omnidirectional microphones are so predominant in TV news interviews?

  • Cost analysis between a BPHS1 versus an AT2005USB for an XLR application

  • Cost analysis between a BPHS1 versus an AT2005USB for a USB application

  • Audio recordings of both microphones

  • My impressions of the sound of each microphone

  • Conclusions

 

My first experience with the BPHS1 in Guatemala

My first experience with the BPHS1 was back in May 2011 in Guatemala, when I was working with Lyn Kachler and Daniel Borrayo of their company DICHO & HECHO (which in Castilian means “Said & Done”).


image


Many ProVideo Coalition readers will recall Datavideo's sponsored article, which contained the above photo which shows Lyn and Daniel. In this photo, Lyn is wearing and testing the Audio Technica BPHS1 broadcast headset, while Daniel is wearing the intercom headset which comes included with the Datavideo HS2000HD Mobile Studio.

Although not visible in the picture, the room was filled with spectators who were all making lots of noise, and I remember how later when we heard the audio/video playback from the AJA KiPro, we were all so impressed by both how good Lyn’s voice sounded, as well as the lack of ambience. (Of course, this was only a test, and DICHO & HECHO likely added additional microphones for ambience when they actually covered a martial arts match.)

 

The hands-on feel of the BPHS1

The BPHS1 looks and feels “broadcast”, especially according to definitions 19 and 21 as established in my 2009 article Do you work in the broadcast industry? What does "broadcast" mean?. I find the BPSH1 to be both comfortable and durable.


image


It includes a foam windscreen (already installed) and a removable/user-replacable cable that ends with XLR male for its dynamic cardioid microphone and a stereo TRS 1/4" for its headphones.

 

General virtues of a head mounted microphones

As explained in the introductory paragraph of this article, head mounted microphones have specific virtues, including isolation, consistent distance between mouth and element, elimination of the cost & complexity of mounting gear, and -in some cases- built-in listening devices. Consistency of the distance between a microphone and the speaker’s voice is critical for consistent sound. With a head mounted microphone, it is very easy to lock in the sweet spot between plosives and sounding off mic. Although this is possible with hand held or microphones mounted somewhere other than the speaker’s body, it requires a conscious and continuous effort on part of the person speaking not to allow the distance to change during a program.



Potential applications for the BPHS1

Beyond the obvious use for sports broadcasting, I see the following other potential applications:

 

  • Podcasters, especially those who otherwise find it difficult to maintain a consistent distance between their mouth and the microphone element.

  • Audiobook voice narration, especially for voice talent who find it difficult to maintain a consistent distance between their mouth and the microphone element.

  • TV & documentary reporters for standups in noisy environments or whenever the esthetic look of a highly visible headset mic is preferred.

  • TV & documentary reporters for interviews (for their own isolated voice, not the interviewee’s voice), especially those who want their own voice recorded on a separate track from the interviewee, even in those cases when the reporter is the camera operator, and an independent microphone is used for the interviewee. (See the sidebar ahead: Why omnidirectional microphones are so predominant in TV news interviews?)

 

In any case when a reporter or reporter/camera operator uses a broadcast headset like the BPHS1, s/he can monitor program and/or foldback (instructions from a producer). Likewise, a podcaster can hear program, including the other person on the end of a Skype, telephone or other chat system.



SIDEBAR: Why omnidirectional microphones are so predominant in TV news interviews?


Despite the (sometimes) excessive background ambience associated with standups or interviews done in TV news, I believe the reason why omnidirectional microphones (like the RE50B or the RE-50N/D-B with higher output are so predominant is the following: When doing an interview with a single handheld microphone, no matter how experienced or agile the reporter is in toggling the mic's position, there is almost always an unexpected interruption by either side which causes one of the two parties to sound either off mic or almost inaudible if a cardioid or other directional microphone is used.

However, if the reporter uses a headset like the BPSH1, s/he can use an independent cardioid microphone to point exclusively at the interviewee.

 

On page 2 of this article

On page 2 of this article, you’ll find two cost analyses:

 

Click here for page 2...

 

 

Page 1 of 3 pages 1 2 3 Next »

Editor's Choice
PVC Exclusive
From our Sponsors

Share This

Back To Listings RSS Print

Get articles like this in your inbox: Sign Up

Comments

Please login or register to comment