Hands on with the Saramonic WiTalk
Communication can be difficult when working on a set with multiple people all over the place. You often resort to yelling or using loud and annoying walkie-talkies. And neither of those are great if you’re shooting a live event.
What’s the alternative? Well, a headset, of course. While DIYP was at IBC 2023 earlier this month, we stopped by the Saramonic booth to have a chat with them about the new Saramonic WiTalk (buy here) headset ecosystem.
Saramonic WiTalk – Full Duplex Wireless
Yelling can be a fantastic form of communication. It’s full duplex. That means everybody can yell and everybody can hear it at the same time. The walkie-talkies we mentioned earlier are only half duplex. This means that they can either send or receive but not both at the same time.
The Saramonic WiTalk is a full duplex headset. So, you’re able to talk while listening and actually hold a conversation with somebody. And you can both hear it, even in a large crowded live event due to the closed-back, over-ear design.
1.9 GHz operation up to 400 metres
The Saramonic WiTalk operates on the 1.9 GHz frequency. This may not be freely available for use in all regions worldwide, so do check with any relevant radio licensing bodies or regulations in your country before purchasing.
For those where its use is legal, it should have the edge over other systems that reside on the very crowded 2.4 GHz frequencies. And according to Saramonic, it’ll have that edge up to a distance of 400ft or around 130 metres.
The headset is designed in such a way that you don’t need to fiddle with buttons when you need to talk or respond to somebody else. All you need to do is pull the microphone down in front of your mouth, and it unmutes, ready for you to speak.
Once you’re done, flipping the microphone up to the top again mutes, preventing it from transmitting. This is great when you’re working on set – usually with at least one hand full – and need to be able to respond to people or ask questions.
Grows with the size of your crew
The base set of packages supports up to 9 users, with a “Master Headset”, 8 “Remote Headsets”, a Mini Base Station hub for some, along with an appropriate amount of batteries, cables, box, etc.
Fully charged, each unit offers up to 18 hours of runtime, which should easily satisfy the needs of most productions. There’s good news if you’re a very large crew, too, as Saramonic says the system is expandable.
Each Mini Base Station hub supports up to 8 headsets, and you’re able to chain multiple hubs together. Saramonic hasn’t said what the absolute upper limit is, but essentially you can just keep adding in blocks of 8 as much as you like.
Price and Availability
The Saramonic WiTalk headset comprises multiple products which are each available separately or in a variety of packages. The headset are available in wired ($59), single-ear remote ($149), single-ear master ($179), dual-ear remote ($209) and dual-ear master ($239).
Depending on your setup, you might also need the Saramonic WiTalk-Hub Base Station, which is available to pre-order now for $299. Basic 2-headset packages start at $329 and go up to $1,999 for the full 9-person kit.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.