Sony today announced a new microphone in its ECM range, these are microphones that are aimed at content creators and freelance videographers that want the best sound quality possible, and some manual control over sound capture, but with a minimal and compact setup.
The new ECM-M1 microphone offers a fascinating new way to capture very directional audio, all in one device, which Sony has credited to the latest developments it has made in its beamforming microphone technology. In a recent press event for the launch, Sony described it as ‘the most versatile sound capture tool to date’.
The ECM-M1 microphone is an 8-in-1 shotgun microphone, with those eight modes corresponding to unique audio capture modes that are selectable via a manual dial on the rear of the device. The microphone will also have manually selectable advanced noise suppression as well as a low-cut noise filter to help cut out operational sounds. The ECM-M1 is powered via the multi-function hot shoe connection on select Sony cameras, which also directly transfers the audio to the camera recording.
The eight modes for recording are; super-directional, for recording audio directly to camera either in a vlog or interview; uni-directional, for recording audio from a small group or wider source in front of the camera; omnidirectional records audio from all around the microphone; super directional (rear) picks up noise only from directly behind the camera which is great for walking and talking vlogs; super directional (front and rear) and super directional (front and rear separate) are for interviews where you are behind the camera and the subject is in front; stereo which is great for music recording or anytime you might want separate left and right audio channels; and finally ultra-directional which aims to cut out all other noise except for what is directly in front of the microphone, great for vlogging in noisy places or potentially ASMR.
The microphone has four channels for recording, both the left and right channels, but it will also have two backup channels that record two backup tracks of omnidirectional sound, with one at -20bB to avoid any clipping from loud noises.
The ECM-M1 joins the Sony ECM-B1M and ECM-B10 and sits in the middle of the two, with the ECM-B1M offering better sound quality with more microphone nodes, but less versatility with fewer manual recording modes, and the ECM-B10 offering the best value for beginners wanting to record better sound than internal camera microphones provide.
The ECM-M1 will cost $349 / £349 / AU$499 on launch and will be available in stores in mid-July 2023 but is available to preorder now.
Find out more about the best microphones for vlogging and filmmaking in our guides.