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Lintelfilm

Why isn't everyone doing this?

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Bluetooth headphones for monitoring audio while shooting. 

Why aren't they more of a thing? Or are they, and I just haven't noticed? They do exist of course and I have seen filmmakers using them (mostly DIY jobbies) but there's nothing sold specifically for video purposes AFAIK and I don't see very many filmmakers using them. I'm about to buy a Bluetooth 4.0 receiver and transmitter set to plug into my earbuds and GH4. It'll be invaluable - being able to walk freely "on set" while also continuously monitoring audio. Indeed if you could swap channels you could even monitor multiple audio sources from the same spot. I usually work alone with two cameras, so I assume the £30 I'm about to spend will make my life a lot easier. Also, if I'm out shooting handheld, not having to worry about a cable will be huge. Why doesn't everyone do this?

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

I asked the same question here and on DVXUSER a while back on how to get audio mointoring without a cord tripping my crew and got tons of replies about bluetooth not being an option and some super high-end gadgets so I was disappointed and just bough a very long cord adapter for my headphones, a 10 meters one! 

I would love it if it were bluetooth connected and gave the same quality. Or even slightly less. I just want to hear what's happening.  

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I'd say battery life is a big one. Connectivity, interference and range another. Quality of the stream. Possible lag. It all adds up.

You could do it, but you'd risk running out of juice, dropping connection, suddenly pairing with your phone or another source, hearing different levels than being recorded etc. And that's not something you want to have when you need to monitor a live recording. A cable is so simple 'n stupid that you can hardly go wrong. What you hear is what you get. If there was like a solid aptX DSP signal without issues and it could last for ages on a charge, then sure, but I wouldn't really use my Jabra REVO or Sennheiser HD 25-SP II w/ Bluedio i6 with a BT TX hooked up to the recorder for example right now. BT range isn't everything either, so for mobility I don't find it too tricky to use a corded set-up.

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It's more about not getting tangled in knots or pulling gear over than getting very far from the camera. I'll look into it a bit more and maybe give it a go. For £30 it's worth a shot. As Ebrahim says all I want is to make sure there aren't any sound issues. Just as with using a crap EVF you can still get superb visual results, it may be worth the issues of Bt if it gives me that extra freedom...

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Just don't walk in front of your mic!! It would be a very quick way to blow your hearing! #feedback 

Feedback with closed-back cans in a non-amplified environment? I have no feedback issues in my studio space with monitors blaring and big-capsule cardioids. It's a non-issue on set. WTF?? "blow your hearing"??

My experiences day to day with bluetooth is that it can be a real "ghost in the machine" technology. Stuff lags, disconnects, one device decides it just doesn't like the other anymore… I'd guess acceptance of it is more of a "why add more complexity?" issue. 

But for indie, small-gig corporate - people do some weird things that happen to work perfectly for them. I was once derided on a forum for mentioning my "400 watt mogul HIDs with an aquarium ballast in a Starlite softbox". But damned if it's not my most-used interview light… 1200 watt tungsten equivalent with no-gel daylight in a really nice box with grid that pulls 3 amps? It works and looks like pro gear (no duct tape or PVC pipe involved), so laugh your heads off! 

If I were having cable issues, I'd likely give it a try, but I'm usually the interviewer and I ditch the cans once levels and placement are set. And boom ops are usually physically connected to the recorder. Maybe for dialogue scenes it would be handy for a director or DP/director. The only way I know of to remotely trigger video on an NX1 is with a phone app, so Bluetooth may be something we'll all get used to in the sub-Alexa/Red market.

 

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