Hollyland's first audio product, the Lark 150, might strike you as very similar in terms of design to the hugely popular Rode Wireless GO; they're both small, lightweight and low-cost audio solutions designed for use with small mirrorless cameras. The Lark 150 does bring something very new to the table at this low cost area of the market however, unlike the Rode the Lark 150 is a 2-in-one system. Meaning you get two of their small TX units, that sync up into one single RX unit, which makes your setup for two-person interviews so much simpler.
So, lets first take a look at the transmitter. Much like the Wireless Go, the Lark 150 has adopted this square design and comes with an Omni-directional microphone built into the unit, so if you don't want to use a lav, you can clip this straight onto your talent. There is also a 3.5mm jack input for using a lav mic with also, which is great, as even though the TX's are slightly smaller than a Wireless GO, they're still larger than a lav mic, and can look a little distracting when clipped onto your talent. There is a built-in battery, which has a run time of around 4.5 hours, a clip on the back, along with a dual power/ mute button on the side of the unit. There are also two status LED's for battery and sync status.
The receiver is designed to fit right onto the cold shoe mount of your camera and is around the size of two of the TX's, there is a 3.5mm line out for connecting to your camera, along with a headphone jack on the opposite side, a great addition for those with cameras without a headphone jack. On the front of the RX there is a status screen, which displays the levels of each TX, its signal strength, battery life and mute status. There are two dials on either side of the screen, which are used for adjusting the levels and muting/unmuting each unit remotely by clicking in. There db range on the RX goes from -10db up to +10db, although Hollyland does recommend setting the Lark 150 between 0db and +5db for the best results. The battery on the RX is a little better than the TX's running in at around 7.5 hours and there is a dedicated power button.
The Lark 150 also has three different audio modes that can be controlled by holding down the left dial for a few seconds to toggle between them. The three modes are:
This mixes both TX's into one audio track that cannot be separated later on, which is great for fast turn around work.
This assigns one TX to the left channel and one to the right, meaning that both can be separated in post and adjusted independently.
ST/ Saftey Track
The St mode works like the Mono mode, mixing both TX's into one track but also records a second version on the right track at -6db lower than the first recording (this will also work with one TX) which is great for situations where anything could happen to make the audio clip.
Unlike any of the competition, the lark 150 comes in quite a cool little charging case. Now this case is very similar to what you would see from wireless headphones for your phone for example. The case features a larger battery than what any of the smaller units hold, and can charge the RX and both TX's 2.5 times and is charged though a USB-C port on the back. This case also syncs the units up when inside, as well as turning them on once you take them out of the case. This case is what makes the Lark 150 such a pleasure to use, as long as the case is charged when you pull out the Lark 150 the units will be charged and synced up without any hassle.
Now it's very important to note that the Lark 150 can only be charged through this case; there aren't any charging ports on the TX's or the RX so if it runs out of juice, it must go back into the case to charge up. If you're likely to be using the Lark 150 for more than 4.5 hours at a time this could be a problem that you need to consider. But if you shoot in shorter bursts this shouldn't be a problem, as once you've done shooting your interview, the mic goes back into it's case and begins charging up for the next one.
Unlike the Wireless GO, the Lark 150 also comes with two lav mics, which aren't the best in the world, but a nice inclusion nevertheless. If you'd like to hear some samples from the Lark 150, we've included some tests in the video above. There is also a charging cable included, two deadcats for the built-in mics (which attach much more securely than the ones the Rode include) a 3.5-3.5mm cable for connecting to the camera, and a pouch for keeping everything together. All in all, its a really complete system for such an affordable one.
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