Finally! A decent Stereo Mic for my Kodak Zi8 HD camera


I went in search of something that I thought would be pretty easy to find and that I would have a ton of options to choose from. Boy was I wrong! All I wanted was a simple wired stereo lavalier style microphone to use when traveling with my Kodak Zi8. I wasn't looking for anything super expensive since the camera itself was less than $200. Should be easy right?


The first Mic I tried was the Audio Technica ATR-3350 Lavalier Omnidirectional Condenser Micrphone and while the sound quality was OK, I hated two things about it. First and most important is that is wasn't stereo.  So I was only getting sound on one channel and while I could fix that in post using Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 it would mean doing it every time I used it. The second thing was just bad design of the battery compartment. There is an On/Off switch, but no LED light to tell you if it's on or not or the status of the battery. So you could start a recording and have the battery die half way into it and never know until it was over. 


The Sony ECM-CS10 Stereo Microphone

This is the Mic I was looking for. It's a stereo wired lavalier mic that doesn't require a battery, sounds good and just works! I plugged it into my Zi8 and did a quick test. I brought the video clip into Premiere Pro and low and behold I had stereo audio. That's all I wanted from a travel Mic. 

The only thing I would ask for now is slightly longer cord. It's a minor thing, but it would be nice to have to interviews where I want to have the subject a little further away from the camera. So if you're looking for an inexpensive stereo mic that just works without any fuss, this is it! It's "plug-in power" based and therefore it may not work with everything. The cord length (which I dare you to find listed anywhere on Sony's site) is approx. 1 m (39 7/8 in.)

Get it here for about $31 (list price $50)


Quick samples here from that first recording. Nothing special just wearing the mic on my t-shirt and speaking at a normal tone:

MP3 sample here. AAC sample here.

5 Replies to “Finally! A decent Stereo Mic for my Kodak Zi8 HD camera”

  1. Thanks for the recommendation, Terry! I’ve been using a RadioShack stereo lavalier, but it’s SO sensitive that it’s almost worse than the built in condenser mic on the Zi8!

    My wife and I treated ourselves (well…actually, I treated ourselves) to a Zi8 last Christmas to do video tutorials for her blog at The external mic jack on the Zi8 was the deciding factor for going with that model over several others we considered. I just got an email from B&H last week that the remote for the Zi8 was finally in stock, so I now have one on the way, which will make doing her videos a little easier.

    I do have a related question on editing the videos from the Zi8. I know you edit in Premiere, but I’m hoping there’s a simple answer that will apply to Final Cut Pro as well. When I bring movies from the ZI8 into Final Cut Pro (v7), and drop them into the timeline, FCP will allow me to match the sequence settings to the clip properties, ostensibly so the clip doesn’t need to render. However, it seems to be able to match everything but the audio properties of the clip, because I still have to render before I can play back the audio in the timeline. I’ve not been able to nail down the offending Zi8 setting to create a FCP sequence preset that would match the clip properties of the movies from the Zi8, so I wouldn’t need to render.

    Any suggestions?



  2. Hi Terry!

    I bought the mic you had on your first blog and I love that it has a super long cord but you are absolutely right how easy it is to leave the power on. I will struggle along with it thought since my budget for this is what it is!

    You know what? I used to LOVE the sound I got from my 30 gig video iPod’s stereo mic I bought for it. That sound was so good I would email clients voiceovers. Maybe they will get hip and make one with a cord…

  3. hi there,

    What settings did you use for FCP ? I’m trying to do the same with FC express and I can’t seem to get a project setting that doesn’t involve me having to render both video and audio.

    It would be a great help to find out.

  4. Thank Terry. I’m been so discouraged with trying to find a decent microphone, that i was considering returning the zi8.

    I am simply trying to create educational video blogs, and need 5 feet (60 inches) of cord between me and the camera. You advise the mic comes with 39 inches. Can you buy an extender from Sony or radio shack without decreasing sound quality. Would you be so kind to respond at your earliest convenience. thank you.

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