Why an over-the-ear microphone?
When things started to get really serious with my ceremonies, I wanted to try to find a solution that I could mic up the officiant and also serve as a secondary pickup of the couple’s voices. I did have the stock Sennheiser ME-2 lapel microphone that came with my Sennheiser G3 lav pack kit (now superseded by the G4 model). It would seem even with the best placement, the officiant would move their head around enough that capturing a consistent voice was a challenge along with the bustling of any religious attire that may get draped over the mic. I knew that the concept of the over-the-ear microphone was going to be an important addition to my arsenal. But which one? All signs pointed to the Countryman e6.
The Countryman e6
After a bit of exhaustive research, I started to gravitate towards the Countryman e6 and while I found a lot of positive reviews on it, I did stumble across a few negative reviews as well. On the positive side, the sheer size of the e6 (and it’s lavalier cousin b6) is incredibly small but in order to get some really great sound out of it, I had to spend a little time ringing it out and adjusting the EQ curves to really get the best performance out of it. That is not a negative thing, you should do this with any mic, but keeping it totally flat will likely result in a disappointing experience.
Comparing the ME2 and the Countryman e6 directly through my Tascam recorded, the sound differences are minimal. If anything the ME2 has a slightly more hollow sound, part in due to it being further away so it’s catch and more residual audio anomalies (my shirt absorbing some sound for instance). The end result is the e6 sounds really good. But unfortunately, as a wedding DJ, I cannot simply capture sound, I have to re-broadcast that and that brings in a whole new set of variables into play.
In the video, I compare three microphones, the Sennheiser e835 wireless, the ME2, and the Countryman e6 so you can compare the differences. But the short of this all is the handheld will always produce the best sound, but of course, you don’t want that in pictures unless there are no other options. The e6 and ME2 have a very good sound that is reproduced but has a higher chance of feedback and a bit of hollowness compared to a handheld. If you compare the e6 and ME2, the Countryman I think has just a hair greater deeper sound, with the same EQ curve, as the ME2. But it is also a bit more susceptible to feedback. But a competent person managing the sound should be able to work out those variables in most situations.
Seriously Consider the Countryman e6
Flat out, I love the Countryman e6. The sound is phenomenal especially given the size of the microphone and it absolutely has helped improve my ceremony service offerings. Being able to capture the officiant’s sound consistently is a big requirement and being able to snag the couple’s voices in many situations is a cherry on top. I had an unfortunate situation where an officiant accidentally broke the e6. It is a pretty tough mic, but it is still fragile in many respects. So I bought a new e6, because frankly in the years I have had owned it, no one has come out with one that surpasses it.