Wireless cip-on microphones used to be very expensive. When they finally become affordable a few years ago, the transmitters were bulky and often too big to hide. Luckily these days there are much smaller and compact wireless solutions.
The Synco WAir-G1 (A2) is such a system. It consists of two transmitters and one receiver with a 2.4 GHz signal. Each transmitter has an internal microphone and a 3.5mm microphone input to connect it with a lavalier microphone.
The receiver can receive the signals of the two microphones simultaneously, which means you don’t need two but just one camera. This can come in handy when filming interviews where two people must be audible.
While I am not a professional sound specialist or recordist, I shoot corporate content and interviews on a daily basis and I know how important good audio is.
While the Synco transmitters have internal microphones I would personally always use external microphones. But that doesn’t mean the integrated mics are unusable. You can clip the transmitter to a jacket or sweater which looks a bit funny but will give you the best sound since the integrated microphone needs to be close to the person speaking. The transmitters also have a low cut filter which reduce wind or other noises. Once again I would recommend to use the dedicated lavaliers and put a deadcat on them to avoid any sort of wind noises.
The set includes two lavaliers which can be connected via the 3.5mm input. Overall the sound quality is pretty good but that also comes down to your camera’s pre-amps.
Sound can be recorded as one mono track or split in left and right channel.
The range in which the systems works is obviously very important. According to the manufacturer it can reach a distance of up to 50m in a clear line of sight. That is not very far but for most content that I record enough, since I am usually just a few meters away from the people speaking.
The other day I filmed in an old museum with thick walls and occasionally had cut outs when the transmitter was more than 15 meters away. But in normal rooms or outdoors I didn’t have any issues. Just keep in mind that if a far range is the main priority for you, the G1 (A2) is maybe not for you.
Impressive is how fast the devices are connecting after being powered on. A lot of other systems take up to 10 seconds to connect but the Synco only takes three to five seconds.
A useful way to use G1 (A2) is also to connect the transmitter with a directional mic. You could simply hold the microphone like a journalist doing street interviews or even mount it on a boom pole to avoid having to deal with long cables. This is not a perfect solution but it can definitely make quick interview shoots easier where the camera needs to move freely.
When it comes to the ergonomics, the three devices have a simple design. They are made from plastic and are lightweight.
There is no screen to indicate battery levels or sound levels. I think it would be great to have a small screen with some technical info to quickly check if everything is allright. Maybe we will see that in a future version of this system.
The clip on the back fits in to a hot shoe which makes sense to be able to mount it on top of the camera. Very useful is the headphone jack on the receiver in case your camera doesn’t have a headphone jack.
I personally think the On/Off buttons should be colored red or white to be more noticeable. The first few times I used this systems it took me a few seconds to find a way to power on the three devices.
Even though it’s written on the product, I think it would be good to have a big microphone or camera icon on the receiver and transmitters to know immediately when unpacking which one is which.
Just like most other wireless microphones the WAir-G1 (A2) can be charged via USB-C. It only takes 40-50 minutes to fully charge one device and they last up to 4.5 hours.
Overall I think this system offers a good value for the money. The G1 (A2) is currently priced at $150 which is rather cheap compared to competitors which sometimes cost twice as much and usually only come with one transmitter.
Other wireless systems we usually use: The RodeLink Filmmaker Kit which is quite bulky but has a far reach and is powered with AA batteries and the Sennheiser XSW-D which is similar to the Synco system but has different ergonomics and is also much pricier.