TomTom Bandit External Microphone Audio Problems — TomTom Community

TomTom Bandit External Microphone Audio Problems

CPGCPG Posts: 48 [Prominent Wayfarer]
Can you tell me the microphone input impedance for the Bandit?
I have started doing some tests using an external microphone, at present I've used an Olympus ME-52W and a Speedlink SPES SL-8691-SBK-01. I found the audio lead didn't always work with the Olympus mono jack plug whereas the speedlink works every time. I SPECIFICALLY bought the Bandit to do some motorbike vlogging, I'm wondering if I should have gone for the Hero 4!!
I read up a fair bit on the Bandit and didn't see any mention of audio problems with helmet microphones and Chris from TomTom said they haven't had problems. Could TomTom post up the video's they have of motorbike helmet audio that haven't got the problems I'm having? Along with the set up they used please?
I have started to post my audio tests on YouTube and I'm also adding any other videos with Bandit audio problems to a play list, hoping it will help all of us that are having audio problems.
There's more test videos to follow as I now have the camera on the helmet with a mic inside, I'll post those up in the next couple of days.
Now I need to make sure I'm using a microphone with the correct impedance as this is very important and makes a lot of difference to audio quality. :)
«1

Comments

  • pjsmithpjsmith Posts: 38 [Prominent Wayfarer]
    Read through the threads here. LOT's of audio issues, particularly for motorcyclists. If you find a working combo, please do post here. I requested same here from tomtom, but they are still trying to get the info.

    my thread and youtube samples here if you want to compare and add

    https://en.discussions.tomtom.com/tomtom-bandit-action-camera-477/external-mic-for-motorcycle-helmet-use-998363
  • ChrisChris Posts: 934 Retired Community Managers and Staff
    HI CPG, I have added your feedback and info to the report on this issue.
  • CPGCPG Posts: 48 [Prominent Wayfarer]
    Chris wrote:
    HI CPG, I have added your feedback and info to the report on this issue.



    Can you tell me the microphone input impedance for the Bandit? And
    Could TomTom post up the video's they have of motorbike helmet audio that haven't got the problems I'm having? Along with the set up they used please?
    Thanks
  • firepete999firepete999 Posts: 12 [Outstanding Explorer]
    i would also like to know this. only just got my camera but straight away realize the audio was not good on camera so got the external mic adapter and plugged in my old mic from another camera that worked really well. but the audio is terrible . really disappointed with it at the moment and haven't even used it fully yet.
    plus like some one also mentioned it defaults to internal mic every time it is powered up . [why cant it stay on last setting or realize external mic is connected
  • NunquamNunquam Posts: 49 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    thanks
    I also would like to know, if there is an audio system that allow speech to be heard and over comes at least some of the wind noise, when using the bandit on a motorcycle at legal speeds.
  • CPGCPG Posts: 48 [Prominent Wayfarer]
    I think TomTom should look into adding 3 attenuation options in the audio menu i.e. 60db, 40db and 20db settings. So far I am VERY disappointed with what could be a great camera and I feel it is not "fit for purpose" I would also love to be proved wrong as I really like the camera.
  • CPGCPG Posts: 48 [Prominent Wayfarer]
    My 4th audio test:


    Three microphone combinations in this video, first off Ive got the Speedlink SPES SL-8691-SBK-01 microphone poking out from the cheek pad, then at 8:18 I have "buried" it behind the cheek pad, it's wrapped in fake fur and has a piece of foam over it, this is to reduce the mics sensitivity. Not entirely successful.Then at 11:15 I swap over mics and use the Interphone FM3-MC internal mic already in my helmet, not good but the most promising so far. The next test will be with this last configuration with fake fur around the mic.

    As soon as I start the bike the audio gets overwhelmed and distorts, Can TomTom please update me on what they are doing to address this problem, they seem to have gone rather quite, unlike the audio!!

    Also I would still like to know the microphone input impedance!! A GoPro Hero 4 has 2.2 Ohms as the microphone impedance. So I'm wondering if 100 to 10000 Ohms range given elsewhere by TomTom on the forum is correct.
  • firepete999firepete999 Posts: 12 [Outstanding Explorer]
    also hoping tom tom can sort .as i hate crap audio.
  • Militant AsianMilitant Asian Posts: 15 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    Hi, I am having the same audio issues, using an external mic with the bandit simply creates loads of buzzing, wind noise and distortion and I cannot hear my voice well at all within the helmet. TomTom please can you sort out an idea?
  • firepete999firepete999 Posts: 12 [Outstanding Explorer]
    i have only tested in my garage with radio on and that distorts so its not a wind problem .
  • CPGCPG Posts: 48 [Prominent Wayfarer]
    To Tom Tom.
    I purchased one of your Bandit units on 23rd March 2016 from Jessops and overall I am very impressed with it. However, I (and many other users) want to use it on our motorbikes with an external microphone. There does not appear to be an adequate specification for the external microphone electrical parameters (or that I can find anyway). Using the microphone I (and others) had, the unit produces dreadful and unusable distortion and it is clear the input circuit is overloading and clipping.

    Here you say it supports condenser microphones and also supports line level auxillary inputs. But you do not give the (adequate) specifications.

    https://uk.support.tomtom.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/20519/~/which-microphones-can-i-use-with-my-bandit-action-camera?

    There is a massive range of microphones. A condenser microphone requires power. The microphones have different levels, some have built in amplifiers others don't and some have a buffer and small battery.

    You also say it supports 'Line level' which is essentially what comes out of a radio or amplifiers LINE OUTPUT and are generally all quite well specified and similar. So that does give you some idea of what voltage level it might be expecting: example see here.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_level

    There are no (software) configurations for line/condenser mic selection so this implies the input must cope with both.

    There are no specifications as to what signal voltage levels are acceptable before clipping occurs.

    There are no specifications detailing any voltage the Bandit supplies for the condenser mic

    I selected the external microphone and using a digital voltmeter found that the Bandit was outputting about 2.46V open circuit. I then placed a 10K resistor across the pair and the output drops to about 2.05V across the 10K, so about 0.2mA flowing. The voltage drop open circuit to 10K load at the above current indicates an internal series resistance of about 2K.

    So this implies the unit supports an external condenser microphone with a buffer, but no power source of its own that is expecting a 'load' of about 2K and then outputs a maximum voltage of no more than the typical maximum 'line voltage' signal level. Given that the supply is 2.46V, any signal greater than that will start to clip because the amplifier (buffer) output will saturate.

    Please can you provide a full electrical specification for the external microphone interface?

    Would you also comment on the fact that a dynamic microphone will also work provided its signal output is less than the line voltage signal level. I assume though (because the unit outputs 2.46V, it should have a DC blocking capacitor in series with the signal line to stop the voltage driving the 'coil' and possibly forcing an 'offset' onto the diaphragm. I found that the dynamic mic I had would work provided there was a potential divider network of two resistors added (I had 10K in series with mic signal to Bandit and 20K to 'return' (i.e.across the bandit mic input. I have not tried a DC blocking capacitor at the moment.

    Many people are trying to use the Bandit with an external MIC and you will rapidly lose a following and customers if you do not clearly state what the interface is, what microphones it will work with and how people can select a correct microphone.
    My Forum post on this matter is not being dealt with in the professional manner I would expect from a Company of TomTom’s standing.
  • Militant AsianMilitant Asian Posts: 15 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    Very in depth investigation! Hopefully TomTom will give us some better direction or at least release a MIC of their own that works properly like Drift do for their cameras.
  • CPGCPG Posts: 48 [Prominent Wayfarer]
    Success?
    The best Audio test to date. I’ve fitted a potential divider network of two resistors, I have a 10K in series with mic signal to Bandit and a 10K to 'return' (i.e. across the bandit mic input). This gives approximately 50% attenuation, there is some clipping in parts but no way near as bad as it was. Obviously the BEST solution would be from TomTom.
    5th Audio Test:
  • thinkitsgonnabeaghostthinkitsgonnabeaghost Posts: 1 [Apprentice Traveler]
    It's seems TomTom have a greater issue than this which I've also been following closely. My Bandit order has been with Jessops for 10days and they've just advised it looks like being another month as there's problems with back orders from TomTom. As my logo suggests I've hung my nose over a Ghost S for over a year but would have preferred a Bandit with decent sound. Regards All.
  • Militant AsianMilitant Asian Posts: 15 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    Hi guys, I've decided to bite the bullet and buy the MyMyk SportMyk. I was told by TomTom they would issue me a refund if I wanted to, as it is not fit for purpose. So if this doesn't work, i think il have to give up :( It's a shame because I really like the bandit's concept compared to GoPro but I really need the MIC working! Will let you know if the SportsMyk does the job ;)
  • CPGCPG Posts: 48 [Prominent Wayfarer]
    Hi guys, I've decided to bite the bullet and buy the MyMyk SportMyk. I was told by TomTom they would issue me a refund if I wanted to, as it is not fit for purpose. So if this doesn't work, i think il have to give up :( It's a shame because I really like the bandit's concept compared to GoPro but I really need the MIC working! Will let you know if the SportsMyk does the job ;)

    I'm in the same boat, I bought the Bandit SPECIFICALLY to record audio with a motorbike helmet on, nowhere in the literature did it say this was a problem. So as it stands "not fit for purpose" which is a shame because like you, I think the overall camera is good. I am also in touch with MyMyk and hope to get a microphone to test. Please keep us all posted on your progress. :$
  • Militant AsianMilitant Asian Posts: 15 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    CPG wrote:
    Hi guys, I've decided to bite the bullet and buy the MyMyk SportMyk. I was told by TomTom they would issue me a refund if I wanted to, as it is not fit for purpose. So if this doesn't work, i think il have to give up :( It's a shame because I really like the bandit's concept compared to GoPro but I really need the MIC working! Will let you know if the SportsMyk does the job ;)

    I'm in the same boat, I bought the Bandit SPECIFICALLY to record audio with a motorbike helmet on, nowhere in the literature did it say this was a problem. So as it stands "not fit for purpose" which is a shame because like you, I think the overall camera is good. I am also in touch with MyMyk and hope to get a microphone to test. Please keep us all posted on your progress. :$

    I wouldn't bother with the sportsmyk, even though its £70 and a great quality mic, it's the TomTom that is the issue :( tested it with mine, video review below.

  • ChrisChris Posts: 934 Retired Community Managers and Staff
    We are still looking into the audio issue and currently doing testing with the Microphones you have been using, I hope to have some news to share soon.

    @Militant Asian, I have forwarded your video and the details of your mic to the team. The sportsmyk seems a major improvement on the audio compared to the other videos I have seen it seems to reduce some of the wind noise, and the bikes engine can be heard clearly, although it's distorting on the voice still.
  • Militant AsianMilitant Asian Posts: 15 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    Chris wrote:
    We are still looking into the audio issue and currently doing testing with the Microphones you have been using, I hope to have some news to share soon.

    @Militant Asian, I have forwarded your video and the details of your mic to the team. The sportsmyk seems a major improvement on the audio compared to the other videos I have seen it seems to reduce some of the wind noise, and the bikes engine can be heard clearly, although it's distorting on the voice still.

    Hi Chris, yes the sportsmyk does get rid of alot of wind noise, and the engine sounds good it's the voice audio that suffers, especially when the visor is down, it echoes alot. Please keep us updated.
  • CPGCPG Posts: 48 [Prominent Wayfarer]
    It seems that the bandit hasn't any Automatic Gain Control!! Which is strange, I had high hopes for the SportsMyk as its spec seemed to favor what we know about the Bandit, though I am still waiting for any meaningful spec for a mic from TomTom.
    I think the Bandits input is being overwhelmed and with no apparent internal control over signal strength it seems to me that any signal has to be controlled before inputting into the bandit. This is hard to get right without any spec from TomTom.
  • Militant AsianMilitant Asian Posts: 15 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    CPG wrote:
    It seems that the bandit hasn't any Automatic Gain Control!! Which is strange, I had high hopes for the SportsMyk as its spec seemed to favor what we know about the Bandit, though I am still waiting for any meaningful spec for a mic from TomTom.
    I think the Bandits input is being overwhelmed and with no apparent internal control over signal strength it seems to me that any signal has to be controlled before inputting into the bandit. This is hard to get right without any spec from TomTom.

    I think if they did a firmware update that lets you manually adjust the gain maybe that would help? I dont understand why it sounds worse with the visor down also.
  • CPGCPG Posts: 48 [Prominent Wayfarer]
    CPG wrote:
    It seems that the bandit hasn't any Automatic Gain Control!! Which is strange, I had high hopes for the SportsMyk as its spec seemed to favor what we know about the Bandit, though I am still waiting for any meaningful spec for a mic from TomTom.
    I think the Bandits input is being overwhelmed and with no apparent internal control over signal strength it seems to me that any signal has to be controlled before inputting into the bandit. This is hard to get right without any spec from TomTom.

    I think if they did a firmware update that lets you manually adjust the gain maybe that would help? I dont understand why it sounds worse
    with the visor down also.

    If you try the sound quality with the helmet on, visor up and down, but without any other sound, i.e. in a quiet room and listen to what that sounds like. Then do the same in a noisy environment i.e. in a garage with bike running and reving and notice the difference. The only thing introduced is more noise which overloads the internal circuit of the Bandit, if there is any gain control within the Bandit it cant cope with much additional noise.
    I'm going to do some more tests on the Bandit to see if I can determine what the best set up is for it as TomTom aren't forthcoming with the information I asked for over a week ago, I'll play around next week with the resistor circuit and try a de-coupling capacitor in the line feed and get back with results.
    Thanks for posting your vid I've added it to the growing list of videos showing Bandit audio problems and also created a play list on YouTube, so far MyMyk haven't got back to me!!
    Ride Safe. :$
  • Militant AsianMilitant Asian Posts: 15 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    The only other method, would be to record audio separate to the tomtom, and sync it during editing. Less than ideal but all you can do until we have a proper solution.
  • NunquamNunquam Posts: 49 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    Militant Asian,
    Thanks for the u tube clip. Audio is better ,but , not really good enough, particularly with visor down. I think I may get a Go Pro,or other action camera, as suggested, if I do a motorcycle trip across Spain to Portugal later this year. Unless Tom Tom can let me know what mic or other fix that will give Go Pro equivalent audio at motorway/freeway speeds. It is a shame because the camera is good and I like the bat stick.
  • NunquamNunquam Posts: 49 [Outstanding Wayfarer]
    I am thinking of getting noise cancelling ear phones. They tend to come with a mic. I could get wired or blue tooth device. Probably from Audio tecnica. Can Tom tom advise me as to if a blue tooth mic would work with the action camera. I presume it would not work and I have to get a wired mic that connects to the mic port at the back of the camera. Could Tom Tom advise me ?
Sign In or Register to comment.

Who's Online2

2 Guests