At SSCC we have been using & loving our E6(i) ear sets for years now. We bought our first one 8 years ago I think (I was the youth pastor then). However, we have recently been hampered by them not wanting to sit still on people’s heads. I think this is mainly a result of multiple people using the headsets and having to reshape them, the earpiece especially, every time. (I know that keeping them seperate for different communicators would help this but it is not an option overall for us. We have 18 earsets and 30 or so people that use them.) I saw an earclip accessory in a magazine a couple of weeks ago and ran it by our pastor and we decided we needed to check one out. We used it this Sunday morning and loved almost everything about it.
Here are the positives:
1. Assembly, if you can even call it that, was easy. It was pretty straight forward from the pictures even before reading the simple instructions. It clips on the base of the existing earset and hooks over your other ear. It has a single, very thin, telescoping wire that allows it to be a custom fit. (WARNING: if you pull, the extension will come out of the tube, but it goes right back in and would not be a problem while worn.) It comes with two cable connectors (one for each thickness of E6 cable) that run the cable behind your ear to the middle of the back of the head.
2. Fitting was also easy. Even for the first time use I really spent no more time getting this set on David’s ear then I would making sure the E6 is snug and pointed correctly any other week. I simply expanded the now-headset to easily fit his head and he slid it onto his ears and I tightened it up in the back. Quick and simple.
3. Stability was improved instantly. We always use the shirt/cable clips but before I put that on and before I used the headset/cable clip it was more stable than ever before. After clipping the cable to the back wire and then to his shirt collar I had total confidence that the mic was not moving without direct contact. David moved his head and talked for a second and could also tell it was more secure.
4. Positioning was much easier. I grabbed the mic at his ear and positioned the capsule where I wanted it and there it stayed. After our first service I spoke with him and could see that it was in the same place I had left it. A few minutes into the message and we had forgotten about the mic entirely. (Which is a good thing.) I had been keeping the speaker’s EQs selected on our console recently so I could make adjustments and proximity changed throughout a message. There was no need this morning. The sound was very consistent.
Here are the negatives:
1. Limited to one ear. While the E6s are able to be shaped for either ear, the earclips are not. You must specify ECLT or ECRT which refers to which ear the actual mic is worn on. This isn’t a big deal for us because I always place them on left ears but it does limit flexibility in some situations different from ours.
2. Size of the ear padding is a bit big. To be clear, earclip is small overall, but the silicone padding over the non-mic ear seemed a bit thick and I am not sure how comfortable it would be for someone wearing glasses. David mentioned that he hoped everyone couldn’t see the “thing behind his ear.” However, once we put it on, his hair hid pretty much everything. With short/no hair on the sides of someone’s head, it MIGHT be noticeable. But then again, it is a microphone and we aren’t trying to tric the audience into thinking our pastors just project their voices really well. I would still say that from more than about 20 feet away it is unnoticeable, and with IMAG it would be less noticeable than the mic itself.
3. Larger overall. This is only an issue for us because now our pastor can’t slip the headset off between services and let it hang over his shoulder like he could with the earset. We have about 50 minutes between our two services and he usually hangs out in our atrium visiting with people. He will just have to keep the mic on his head now.
I would highly recommended this to anyone already using countryman headsets. It is an added layer of security at least and, likely, an improvement in sermon clarity for all. A brief search led me to one for $50 from a large retailer. This is far cheaper than swapping our E6s for headset counterparts entirely, which is something we were pondering. If you don’t already have E6 mics, I’d strongly consider getting them and the earclips now. I’ve had some hesitation with recommending the E6s over other headset mics but this makes it all better. The sound quality from the Countryman mics sounds so great that now that they have the earclip accessory it makes it unbeatable in its market.