Review sample provided by the company
Fulaim X5 wireless microphone system is made for video creators who record outdoors with cameras and/or phones. More specifically, these mics are good for vlogging and interviews as there's dual channel recording. For event coverage, a directional mic will be better. The mic is available from Fulaim online store and Amazon USA for USD 149 which includes free shipping.
This mic competes with the following products:
- USD 369 DJI Mic
- USD 299 Rode Wireless GO II
- USD 259 Saramonic Blink 500 Pro (Lighting and USB-C adapters sold separately)
- USD 149 Hollyland Lark M1 (Lighting and USB-C adapters sold separately)
Just for reference, the mics that I personally use are:
- Sennheiser MKE 400 - For outdoor use, event coverage
- Rode lavalier mic - For indoor use
- Sennheiser SK100 G3 with ME 2 clip-on mic - For outdoor use, vlogging, interviews
- Saramonic Blink 500 (gen 1) with USB-C, Lightning and 3.5mm connectors - For outdoor use, vlogging, interviews
The Fulaim X5 is a compact and convenient wireless mic system that records good audio quality and has long battery life. There's a display to show connection modes and battery life. All adapters and cables are included for working with cameras, phones and/or tablets.
Minor downside is there's no carrying case for the cables and adapters. And the iPhone adapter records very low volume but that's really an iOS problem.
For USD 149, this product provides great value for money and is something I can recommend very easily compared to other competing products mentioned above which are more expensive.
- Frequency range: 2402 - 2480 MHz
- Modulation: GFSK
- Frequency response: 30 Hz to 20 kHz
- Audio latency: < 20ms
- Transmit power < 10 dBm
- Range: 200m
- Power supply: DC 3.7V (built-in Li-battery)
- Recharging input: 5V = 500mA
- Power management: Auto power off after 5 min of inactivity
- Dimensions: 47 x 26 x 13mm (TX), 47 x 29 x 14mm (RS)
- Weight: 18g (TX), 21g (RX)
- CHARGING CASE
- Recharging input: 5V=2A
- Power supply: DC 3.7V/2000 mAh) (built-in Li-battery)
Items included in the box are:
- Charging case
- 2x transmitters
- 1x receiver
- USB-A to USB-C charging cable
- USB-C to USB-C adapter
- Lightning to USB-C adapter
- 2x windshield
- 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable
- Quick start guide
What's not included is a carrying case for the adapters and cables.
The packaging box is quite strong and has a magnetic cover so maybe that can be used to storage until the box breaks down.
Shown above is the Fulaim X5 (bottom) compared to the Saramonic Blink 500 that I bought many years ago. The two products lets you record from camera and phones.
Fulaim's transmitter and receivers are smaller and portable. Main downside of the Saramonic Blink 500, and newer models, is the USB-C and Lightning receivers are sold separately which represents extra cost. The Fulaim uses one receiver and adapters to work with different devices. Saramonic Blink 500 uses different receivers but phone receivers are powered by phones.
This is how small the receiver is.
The transmitter is 18g and receiver (one with the display) is 21g.
Battery life is at least 6 hours for a single session. The charging case can provide 2 more charges to provide a total battery life of 18 hours. The limitation is the 6 hour battery life for the receiver. You don't really have to worry about the transmitter battery life because there are two so one can be used as a backup.
After the cover is closed, UV light sanitisation will happen for 5 minutes.
Update Jun 2023: Fulaim has improved the charging case design by making it possible to store the two small adapters together with the mics.
Update Jun 2023: But you will still need to find somewhere else to store the 3.5mm and charging cables.
Charging case is pretty well made, solid. USB-C charging port is on the back.
I actually wished the receiver could be bigger so that there's a larger battery. With usage and with time, battery capacity will drop. With my Saramonic Blink 500 from 2019, the transmitter battery life is now just 2hr+ in 2023 instead of 6 hours when brand new.
The receiver comes with a clip that can be mounted to the camera's hotshoe. The clip is loose on the hotshoe of one phone holder but fits smugly on the other.
The information shown in the receiver are:
- Wireless connection strength
- Whether internal recording is happening
- Battery life for the transmitter and receivers
- Recording modes: mono, stereo and Ms (one channel is 6db lower)
The receiver's USB-C port is for charging and downloading audio (WAV files). The 3.5mm OUT will connect to your recording device, e.g. camera or phone.
The other 3.5mm jack on the receiver is for audio monitoring. The set button is for switching audio modes, e.g. mono, stereo, Ms (one channel is 6db lower).
These are the USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to lightning adapters needed iPhone or Android phones, tablets and computers.
The transmitter comes with a clip and on the clip is a small detachable magnet that allows you to place transmitter behind clothes instead of using the clip.
The blue light indicator will turn red when battery is low. The second light indicator comes on when recording audio to the internal 4GB storage of the transmitter.
The transmitter's USB-C port is for charging and for downloading the audio recorded, which is up to 9 hours of 48KHz 16bit uncompressed audio. Once storage is used up, old clips will be deleted. This audio recorded on the transmitter can be used as backup.
The transmitter can be used as an ordinary voice recorder as it does not have to be used with the receiver.
Press the SET button once to turn on/off noise cancelling (blue light comes on). Press and hold SET for 2s activates audio recording (red light comes on).
The omnidirectional mic is located on the top of the transmitter. An omnidirectional mic will capture sound for all directions and in this case the closer your mouth is to the mic, the better the audio quality. But don't have your mouth too close as loud volume will clip.
There is a 3.5mm jack that gives you the option to use a lavalier mic (not included) for even better audio quality, or if you want to hide the transmitter somewhere else.
One useful setup is the ability to use a shotgun mic together with a lavalier. A shotgun mic can be connected to one transmitter and this mic is used for recording interviewees. The other transmitter is on you for asking questions. This way you can get clear audio from the interviewer (you) and interviewee. You will need to find a camera cage to fix one transmiter, one shotgun mic and one receiver onto you camera though.
Installing the furry windshield to the transmitter requires a twist and it's quite secure with low risk of it falling out.
Audio quality is good. Audio is crisp and the omnidirectional mic is able to filter out noise quite well.
I am pleasantly surprised that the audio quality from this affordable mic is comparable to the more expensive Rode Lavalier and the Sennheiser EW 100 G3 for my indoor and outdoor recordings.
Here are audio samples (m4a files) I've recorded:
- With Android with USB adapter
- With Android with 3.5mm TRRS adapter
- With iPhone with USB adapter
- With iPhone with 3.5mm TRRS adapter
- With iPhone with 3.5mm TRRS adapter with cheap lavalier
- With iPhone with 3.5mm TRRS adapter with Rode lavalier
- Sennheiser EW 100 GS to iPhone with 3.5mm TRRS adapter and lavalier
The audio quality is consistent when recording with mirrorless camera, phone, tablet and computer.
The problem with iPhone recording
The iPhone recording setup shown above is compact and portable with the included lighting to USB-C adapter, but the volume recorded will be extremely low (15 - 20db lower). To get louder iPhone recording requires a cabled 3.5mm TRS to lighting connection.
iPhones and iPads have had this low-volume problem with USB mics for years. The audio may sound loud enough when you're reviewing footage on your phone but when those clips are imported to a video editing app, the audio levels are very low.
If the recorded volume is low, you have to increase the volume for all clips during editing. This is extra work. Also note that audio with added gain will not sound as good compared to audio recorded at the correct volume in the first place.
When using TRS cable connection (shown above) for iPhone recording, you can use a phone clamp with hotshoe (e.g. Manfrotto TwistGrip (US $55) to attach the receiver to the phone. I recommend a cable that's 16cm (unextended) or longer, preferably 20cm with possible extension.
The low-volume issue does not happen with Android recordings with TRS or USB connection, or with camera recordings.
Update late May 2023
After publishing this review, I was told by the company there will be upgrades with the next generation.
The upgrades are as follows:
- Optimized the usage distance, making it more stable.
- Improved the volume intensity of OTG adapter use.
- OTG adapter upgraded to with charging input interface, can be used while charging.
- The charging box adds two slots for storing OTG adapters, making it more convenient for cell phone users.
- Magnetic attachment upgraded to a round shape.
The Fulaim X5 is a well designed mic that can record good quality audio that's comparable to more expensive mics. Operation is simple and straightforward. Battery life is good. Having a display to show status is very useful and lets you know in advance the remaining battery life.
The only two downsides are there's no carrying case for the cables and adapters, and the lightning adapter records very low volume with iPhone so you'll need a TRRS connection.
For USD 149, this mic is definitely worth the money.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Solid build quality
+ Compact, lightweight
+ Can be used with cameras and phones
+ Good audio quality with decent filter for background noise
+ Noise cancelling is available as an option
+ Dual channel recording ideal for interviews
+ Two transmitters included means one can be used as backup
+ Transmitter has 3.5mm audio jack for use with lavalier mic (not included)
+ Receiver has 3.5mm audio jack for audio monitoring
+ Receiver has 3.5mm audio OUT for use with other audio devices
+ UV sanitisation
+ Internal 4GB storage can record 9 hours of 48KHz 16bit audio
+ 6 hours battery life for single session recording is decent
+ Charging case provides a total of 18 hours battery life
+ Has status display to show battery life, recording mode, connection
+ Windshield has some risk of falling off
- No carrying case provided to store the cables and adapters
- Lightning adapter for iPhone records very low volume (iOS/iPad problem)
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