In the last couple of years I’ve tested a couple of Audio-Technica products that really stood out as winners: the ATH-M50 headphones I use almost daily as monitor cans, and the BP851 head-worn microphone I use weekly. Now if only some genius at A-T could meld these two into one humdinger of a headset...
And as if by magic along came the BPHS1; not quite the ingredients I was looking for, but will they be good enough? I think the cans in the BPHS1are based on the ATH-M30s and the mic is a dynamic, but, paraphrasing the words of the mighty Mick, “You can’t always get what you want/Sometimes though, you get what you need.” Currently, we use Sennheiser sets, which are pretty tidy, fitted with HD25 cans and an electret boom mic. But they’re expensive enough (with the phantom-to-electret converter) to leave a little leeway underneath-a niche waiting to be filled: a mic that doesn’t need phantom power, has a detachable cable and is inexpensive ($279).
The job of a headset is a tricky one. You need quality cans that exclude the outside world and don’t leak, while at the same time being comfortable enough to wear for a six-hour sports show. You also need a mic with great rejection. I sent this one out on a boxing gig, and the reporter loved it to bits-hands-free operation and comfortable headphones in a robust package. Given that not all our OB gear has phantom power, the BPHS1 gives us one less thing to think about.
The mic quality wasn’t as good as an AT-892, which costs nearly well over a $100 more, but is well up to the job of working in a noisy environment. The price you pay for high rejection is at the bottom end, but you can’t have everything, and the BPHS1makes a good compromise.
One tip for all headset manufacturers you need to include a choice of bigger windshields, and preferably in a range of colors, Wales can be windy. The last big surprise was the price: The BPHS1s very, very affordable.