in

All-in-One Device Combines Condenser Mic, Webcam, Ring Light

Having all your telecommuting equipment in one dedicated device is an enticing promise, which is probably why ring-light equipped webcams like the Razer Kiyo exist. But as someone who still attends work meetings with a headset, even the best webcams still leave me wanting a separate microphone. That leaves demand for a proper all-in-one device, which is at least one reason why the Movo WebMic HD Pro Kickstarter hit its $15,000 goal in less than three hours when it launched earlier today.

Coming from audio equipment and smartphone recording accessory maker Movo, the WebMic HD Pro is essentially a cardioid condenser microphone (think the Blue Yeti or Razer Seiren) with a built-in 1080p @ 30 fps camera and halo ring light. There’s also a detachable stand that’s supposed to double as a handheld grip for more stable video, plus a clamp for attaching it to a monitor or laptop. 

We don’t often cover Kickstarter projects, because they’re just too volatile and prone to making promises that are too big. But Movo’s a well-known company–a video journalism course I took at Columbia actually provided me with some Movo gear as part of the tuition. And given how necessary good recording equipment is right now, having a product that takes down the technical demand of managing multiple devices is appealing.

Movo WebMic HD Pro

(Image credit: Movo)

But that doesn’t mean we don’t have our concerns. Chief among them: We can’t imagine it’s easy to get the most flattering angles and the best audio at the same time with this device. Normally, flattering video angles tend to come from above (hence the ‘Facebook angle’ meme) while the best audio comes from a microphone that’s closer to your mouth. That means you’ll probably need to compromise between the two with the WebMic HD Pro, and even in Movo’s promotional images, you see a lot of sample use cases that would result in what we lovingly call the ‘nose cam’ effect, which is when a webcam is placed in a way that it shoots up your nostrils.

Movo WebMic HD Pro

(Image credit: Movo)

There’s also a lack of special features on the camera itself. There are 5 options listed on the Kickstarter, though all of them only capture footage at 30 fps, only two capture in 4K, and only two have the ring light. One option even only has the microphone, which seems to go so against the concept of the device that it almost shows a lack of confidence in it.

Reference