High quality budget microphones are hard to find. I recently sold my first mic, the VidPro XM-55, and purchased a new budget mic – the Aputure V-Mic D2. As soon as I took it out of the box, I was immediately blown away. At just under $100, could this mic really be any good? Let’s not waste any time, and let’s get into this review!
The Aputure V-Mic D2 features an external pre-amp, which will help reduce hissing if you are using it with a Canon DSLR (since the Canon pre-amp sucks). The mic’s pre-amp features a gain control, a peaking light, a -12db light, and a low battery light. The mic also has a low cut The mic comes with the required cables, a wind screen, a seriously good dead cat, and two AAA batteries.
The build quality is nothing impressive, with the mic featuring an all plastic design. This doesn’t bother me, since the mic is only $100. What does bother me is that the control labeling (on/off, etc) is painted on, and I can already notice it starting to rub off. This is unfortunate, as it’s always nice to have labels to know what you’re doing! Since the mic is plastic, it isn’t exactly durable. If you’re not careful, you can definitely break the casing.
Why is the heading underlined? Because sound quality is what we’re all here for. Enough suspense, let’s cut to the chase. This mic sounds fantastic for $100. It’s comparable to the Rode VideoMic Pro – seriously comparable! It isn’t as detailed or rich as the VideoMic Pro, but it poses a serious threat. The mic sounds best when you’re standing directly in front of it (up to 5 feet back). If you have it too far back, the audio has an extreme echo. If you’re standing behind the mic, it is almost unacceptable quality. With that said, you will only get good results when standing directly in front of the mic. This is common for this style of mic. The mic’s included dead cat is amazing, as you can see below. It does a great job at reducing wind noise.
One probably underrated aspect of any mic is battery life. It’s important to know how long your mic will last before it gives out. The Aputure V-Mic D2 brags of having a 100 hour battery life, which is impressive. There’s no need to worry about it dying unexpectedly, as the low battery light will warn you when it’s time to pop in some fresh AAA batteries.
Total Audio Control
Here’s something I hate: I’m filming an event (such as a talent show), and I set my mic’s level in the Canon software for the first act. All is going well, until an act gets up there and plays extremely loud. What do you do? Stop recording to turn down the software volume?? With the included volume knob, this is no longer an issue. You can turn down the volume easily. Once just the -12db light is active, you know you are at a comfortable volume, without ever having to stop the video and check the software!
Bonus: Calibration Feature
Here’s something that’s not exactly “exciting,” but very useful: calibration. This mic has a feature that will make a beeping sound at the mic’s maximum volume. By following the instructions included in the box, you can calibrate your mic using this feature. After this is done, when your mic is at “10,” you are at your camera’s full volume. When the mic is at “5,” you are at 50% volume. It will match your camera audio level with the mic audio level. Because of this useful feature, I am able to easily gauge how loud my mic is.
The Aputure V-Mic D2 offers a perfect balance of functionality for not breaking the bank. It doesn’t sacrifice any important features. The audio is extremely solid, and while it’s not quite as good as the Rode VideoMic Pro, it packs a serious punch for $100. The Aputure V-Mic D2 is no mic to mess around with.