Here is the ISK Little Gem. It’s from a U.S. based company but is clearly a Chinese microphone similar to the half dozen other small diaphragm condenser microphones. This appears to have an all brass body painted black. It comes with three interchangeable capsules: cardioid, hypercardioid, and omnidirectional. My interest in this mic was to see if it could be used as a cheap indoor boom microphone.
Because I had nothing else to compare it to I put it up against my Rode NTG-3. It did really well in some areas and not so great in others. As expected it served well in isolating the dialogue without the extra room sound. However it was much quieter than my NTG-3 which is to be expected. With that came some extra microphone noise or hiss. It also has a narrower frequency response cutting out a lot of the low end compared to my NTG-3. That could be desirable in a boom mic because it keeps some low rumble out but because it would be used for indoor dialogue there is much less a chance for wind noise. Speaking of wind noise, the included windsock is terrible. Even turning the mic 6 inches on a boom pole caused noticeable distortion.
Overall verdict, not a great mic for an indoor boom mic. It’s simply too quiet.If you have the capital, spend a little more for a better indoor mic. Not a half bad voice over mic however. For VO you are much closer to the microphone and so volume becomes less of an issue. This mic would do well on instruments as well for the same reason. I won’t be afraid to use it on certain sound effects I won’t want to risk my more precious microphones on. Plus, maybe I can try my hand at modifying it, though I’ll need some help with that project.
Thanks to ISK for sending me this mic for free. I’ve enjoyed reviewing it.