The $27 Takstar Mic Review (Good as the Rode Mic?)
Is the Takstar shot gun microphone really as good as the Rode Pro mic that costs? How can a $27 mic be so good!?
Photographers must moonlight other jobs to stay competitive and videographer is the natural fit. However with videography goes a few more things to purchase, like shotgun mic for good audio capturing. That is fine until you see the prices adding up, a couple hundred and a couple hundred there add up quickly. After having gone through a few shot gun microphones myself, I grew tired of always buying a new one and wanted a cheaper solution!
DO CAMERA MICS BREAK QUICKLY?
Unfortunately they do break quickly because of the way they're built. Camera microphones stick out awkwardly, they are the first thing that can crash into an object, they're on little rubber clips to keep them "floating" in midair and they're made with cheap plastic.
Shotgun microphones also suffer damage inside the camera bag. They're stashed into any tight space and with all the delicate parts it's easy to see how one can be damaged quickly. One wrong move and you've just lost anywhere from $200-$300. It's awful!
CAN YOU REPAIR THE BROKEN MICROPHONE?
YES! Yes, you can repair the microphone but the problem is that it may not be worth repairing something that costs $200 and will likely be broken again. That's what happened with me. I bought the Rode Pro Mic, and it was great. I used it for a few jobs and then it was time to replace the battery which was in my opinion placed in a bad place.
I had to struggle to open the door and when I did, I accidentally popped it out. That means I would have to use tape to shut the door now. That's not enough to toss a microphone out but shortly after that, my microphone broke when inside my bag. I'm not sure how it happened but it did and I had to decide if I would mail a $230 mic in for repair or just buy a new one? It'll probably cost about $15 to ship it there and another $15 to ship it back. I am not sure how long it'll take to repair and if it'll be handled with care with the post office in the first place?
What did I do? I justified buying a new one for $200. This time it was the Seinnheiser shot gun ic with great sound! I filmed a few videos and suddenly the microphone stopped recording sound. It would actually go in and out, and that's not something I want on any job. Do I take it in for repair? I'm not even sure what's wrong with it but likely it'll need to be rewired. Frustrating!!!
ARE THERE GREAT MICROPHONES FOR CHEAP?
Rumor had it that a Chinese brand call Takstar produced a Rode replica for ... $27 on Amazon! I heard about it from my videographer Dylan that I hired for a job.
How can any camera gear be great at that price? I watched him use it with easy and comfort. He was confident the audio sounded great and insisted that I look into it. OK fine, what do I have to lose? $27? I can take that chance.
DID YOU TEST IT OUT?
I sure did! I ran the mic through a series of tests in 3 different environments for a fair test. I looked at everything from wind to small sounds (when you see the video) that can really add to a documentary or Vlog.
TEST 1: Take it to a little league game on a breezy day. I wanted to see how it faired with yelling coaches, screaming kids, claps and stomps, the wind and things like traffic, etc...
TEST 2: Living sounds like opening the fridge, tapping on a table, sliding a screen door, door knobs and turning on a stove, etc... These sounds are important as they are the spice you throw in your video to bring it to life!
TEST 3: I isolated the sound inside of my car, with the AC running and the engine on. I compared the audio to the iPhone because many of us can relate to the audio recording capabilities of that. I did a back & forth test, and you'll see just how great the pickup of the mic is when compared to the iPhone.
IS THE TAKSTAR SHOTGUN MIC GOOD?
My verdict? Get one. That's easy to say, but if you watch the video you'll know that there are great reasons why I think it's worth purchasing this microphone. I am happy that I bought one and might even purchase a second one for a backup. At $27, I can afford to buy two of them. At $27 I can afford to break them and not ruin my day.