Sony has released a a lightweight switchable shotgun microphone that
provides both stereo and monaural operation in a single device.
Introduced at the recent AES in New York, Sony’s ECM-680S
MS (mid-size) electret condenser microphone incorporates newly
capsules that provide high sensitivity, low inherent noise, and a
flat-and-wide frequency response.
Sony claims that the new microphone can capture digital multichannel
sound and switch
from capturing voice and distant sound in highly directional monaural
operation to a spatial stereo mode for natural environmental sound
The mic is nearly 10 inches long and weighing 4.9 ounces and can be
a boom or directly on the camera. Its large-diaphragm capsules with
bi-directional characteristics provide sensitivity of -28 dB in stereo
and 32 dB in mono. Noise is less than 20 dB SPL in both stereo and mono.
Modes can be switched from the microphone itself or from compatible
Sony professional camcorders. In the stereo mode, the MS stereo
microphone signal is internally decoded to left and right (stereo)
outputs. The mic also includes an LED that illuminates when stereo mode
The ECM-680S MS is now available for US$960.