Guide to Understanding B&H ENG kits
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Guide to Understanding B&H ENG kits

B&H sells a variety of kits for wireless microphones as well as complete boompole systems, and ENG mixer kits as well. They're designed to take the guesswork out of building an audio package. With the variety of kits that we offer, you can mix and match them for your ideal booming, wireless, and mixing solutions.

Some of the items included in these kits may be unfamiliar, and perhaps you're not certain if you'll need all the additional components. This article has been created to assist you in navigating the different ENG kits available and to tell you about the useful features of the additional goodies you'll be getting when you order a kit.

Wireless Microphone Kit

Boom Microphone Kit

In this article we'll be talking specifically about B&H's boompole kits and our wireless microphone kits. We also sell field mixer kits. They act as a "value menu" of sorts. You get everything you need in one shot, and you'll save yourself some money too. There are two levels of kits available: Basic and Deluxe.

Boom Microphone Kits

Let's break down the different elements that make up basic and deluxe Boom kits:

1) Shotgun Microphone

The quality level of the shotgun microphone itself in the different boom kits we offer will affect the overall price of the kit drastically. The better sounding the microphone is, the more expensive the kit will be.

2) Boompole

As the price of the different boom kits goes up, so will the quality of the boompole included in the kit. Better quality boompoles have higher quality construction, and are made of lightweight materials like carbon fiber. For more information about boompoles, read this past Pro Audio Update article.

3) Shock mount

The shockmounts that come with B&H boom microphone kits have the ability to be mounted on the pole itself, or onto the shoe of a video camera. This enables you to mount your high-quality shotgun microphone on a video camera. For more information about shockmounts for shotgun microphones, check out this past Pro Audio Update article.

4) Softie Windscreen

The fluffy windscreen that's included in a B&H boom microphone kit is indispensable for outdoor use. It doesn't take much wind to ruin the audio the microphone is capturing, and this softie will protect the audio quality in windier settings. Many people use these indoors as well, to cut down on draft and motion noise. For more information on wind protection for shotgun microphones, read this past Pro Audio Update article.

5) Pistol Grip

The pistol grip attaches directly to the bottom of the shock mount. This enables you to handle the shotgun microphone without the boompole. You literally point the microphone at your sound source just as you would point a gun. The grip can also be added to the end of the boompole to give it a few more inches of length.

6) 20 foot Microphone Cable

This cable is provided to run from the bottom of the boompole to the recording source (video camera, field recorder, etc). The female end of the cable, the end that attaches to the bottom of the pole, has a right-angle connector so it's easier to rest the pole on the ground when not in use.

7) 1.5 foot Microphone Cable

Why are there two microphone cables in your kit? And what use is an 18 inch cable anyhow? Well, remember that the shockmount in your kit can also be attached to the shoe of a video camera. The short cable is provided to enable you to mount the microphone this way. This cable is the perfect length for this purpose. The right-angle connector on the female side of the cable helps to keep the cable out of the face of the camera operator. The deluxe version of the kit includes a coiled version of this cable, so it's even more compact.

8) Boompole Bag

The bag that comes with your kit doesn't just hold the boompole. You can fit the entire kit into the bag while assembled. So when you need to grab you gear and go, the boom will be all set up and ready to work.

Wireless Microphone Kits

Now I'll explain the basics of what's included in a B&H wireless microphone kit. These kits are sold as single or dual systems and come in two levels: Basic and Deluxe.

1) The wireless microphone system

Obviously, the main events in your wireless microphone kit are the wireless microphones. B&H sells dual wireless kits that include both belt pack transmitters and plug-in transmitters. The belt pack transmitters are for the clip-on lavalier microphones, the cube shaped plug-in transmitter is for the handheld microphone.

2) Handheld Interview Microphone

It may seem odd that the handheld interview microphone that comes with your kit isn't a wireless microphone. This is the mic that needs the cube shaped plug-in transmitter in order to be used wirelessly. It's better to have a microphone that can also be used with a cable. In the event that you're having trouble with interference with the wireless system, you have the option to just plug straight in. This is an excellent microphone for interviews because it features internal shock mounting and a built in pop filter, both of which help cut down on unwanted noise.

3) Mic FlagSome kits come with a mic flag.

This is the square-shaped plastic box that slides onto the handheld microphone. You can affix a logo to the mic flag to promote your project or TV show.

4) Plug-in Transmitter Case

Some kits come with a plug-in transmitter case. This is a special soft casing that you can attach to your plug-in transmitter and leave it there. In the event that you were to drop the transmitter accidentally, this case will help to protect it. Plus, it features a belt clip, so when your talent is using the microphone but needs to take a break and use both hands?they can clip the mic to their belt.

5) Hot Shoe Extender

This item is included in some of the dual wireless kits. When you have two wireless microphones running at the same time, that means you have two receivers on your end that you need to plug into two separate inputs. When you're using these with a video camera, the two receivers have to mount onto and plug into the camera. The hot shoe extender makes it possible to mount two receivers to a single hot shoe on a camera.

6) Kit Case

This is a hard shell case that will hold all of the included sound equipment. It's watertight and unbreakable. The foam inside of the case is called "Pick and Pluck," which means you remove cubes of the foam to customize the case to your liking.

Should you have any further questions, we encourage you to contact us on the phone, online, or in person at our SuperStore in New York City. 1-800-947-9923.

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