Welcome to our ultimate Olympus ME51S review that we have decided to publish due to seeing people reaching out about the ME51S and there being a distinct lack of information available about this great little stereo microphone. We hope that our review will help any of our regular readers who are considering picking up the ME51S while also helping anyone who finds us via Google or social media too.
Thankfully, the Olympus ME51S has a bunch of things working in its favors such as its small price tag, excellent performance, a large amount of versatility, and great build quality. These key factors have been directly responsible for the ME51S earning the outstanding reputation that it enjoys within the community today.
If you are looking to add a new stereo microphone to your collection and are on a tight budget then the ME51S can be the perfect microphone to you. That said, even if you have a larger budget available, the ME51S is still definatley worth considering due to it outperforming some of the higher price point microphones on the market right now.
User Interface And Control System
Being a simple stereo microphone, there really is not much in the way of a control system or user interface when compared to the high-end professional-level microphone solutions. The image above pretty much shows everything that you have to worry about when it comes to the ME51S.
If you are using it as an onboard microphone then you simply jack it into your camera or recording devices external microphone jack and you are good to go. If you are planning to use the ME51S as a lav microphone then simply plug the on mic jack into the extension cable and then plug the jack at the other end of the extension cable into your camera or recording device.
This ease of use can actually be used to your advantage too. If the Olympus ME51S is your first external microphone then it makes it very easy to switch from using an onboard microphone to an external one. It does not have the potentially overwhelming settings that some higher price point microphones have allowing you to use it pretty much directly out the box.
On the flip side of this though, the customization of the microphones audio track is limited but in all fairness, for its price tag we feel that this should not be held against it as all other mics at this price point share this problem. Additionally, the audio quality of the Olympus ME51S is excellent anyway considering how cheap it is.
Performance And Functionality
As we mentioned earlier in the article, the Olympus ME51S is an extremely versatile microphone and it can be used in the majority of situations where you may need to use an external mic. Some competing microphones at this price point do not feature the detachable cable meaning that if you do want to use it as an on-camera microphone, you have to find somewhere to stash its cable too, thankfully, the detachable nature of the ME51S removes this problem.
Here are some photographs of how you are able to use the microphone in a number of common situations:-
The image above shows the Olympus ME51S being used as a microphone for an external audio recording device.
The image above shows the Olympus ME51S being used while mounted on a camera to replace the onboard microphone.
The image above shows the Olympus ME51S mounted to the case of a GoPro action camera. Keep in mind, if you are planning to use the Olympus ME51S in this way, you may have to get creative on how you mount the microphone to the camera case. In addition to this, remember that the Olympus ME51S is not designed to take the amount of punishment as the GoPro range too!
The video below also offers a great example of the change in audio quality that the Olympus ME51S can provide you. The video is short and offers audio quality examples of the regular cameras onboard microphone as well as an audio track recorded when using the ME51S.
In all honesty, there is not really much that you can say when it comes to the microphone as it so small and not really designed to be used in any way where it may be taking excessive bumps and knocks. When used as a lav microphone or as an on camera mic the ME51S should easily be able to put up with any knocks coming its way during expected use though.
That said, the build quality is solid and we have not seen a single report from someone who has purchased the ME51S commenting on the sleeve between the microphone body and the onboard jack plug wearing down. This can be a common problem with entry-level microphones after they take a few bumps but the slight bit of give that the Olympus ME51S allows its jack socket acts as a sort of shock absorber to minimize the risk of this happening.
That brings us to the end of our article covering our Olympus ME51S review. We hope that you have found it useful and we feel that the mic does a solid job of improving the sound quality and audio track of anyone on a tight budget. We feel that it will do a solid job and meet the needs of many of our readers and become a valuable addition to their camera accessories.