Hooke Audio Launches Hooke Lav Mobile Bluetooth Lavalier Microphone Campaign

September 22 2020, 05:10
Hooke Audio, the company that previously developed the Hooke Verse binaural recording headset, is now launching a new KickStarter campaign to promote its latest development, the Hooke Lav. While there are many affordable lavalier microphones that connect to wireless transmitters and even Bluetooth, the Hooke Lav gets a few things right. First its design is "lapel" friendly and will look nice on-camera. Secondly, the updated Bluetooth technology means it might actually work better.

Hooke Audio is the company who developed the Hooke Verse Bluetooth binaural headset - basically, wireless earbuds with microphones - suffering from being first in the market with a concept that was attempted without success by Sennheiser and other brands, while suffering from all the growing pains of earlier Bluetooth 4 technology (and promising "3D audio recording" as a sales pitch also didn't help). Fortunately the company was able to deliver a working product to market (even if the binaural audio sounded inferior to a standard stereo microphone recorder), and slightly improve it with an update of the matching Hooke App for all Hooke Verse iOS and Android users.

At least, with that development process, Hooke Audio's founder Anthony Mattana learned a thing or two about product design and development, reinforced its manufacturing connections and learned about the cost of being early in the market when the technology is not there yet. With the Hook Verse, the company perfected the dual-channel, synchronized Bluetooth transmission process to smartphones (supported with a dedicated app). And meanwhile, the industry evolved a lot in terms of available antenna designs, low power Bluetooth platforms - now about to be disrupted again with the much needed Bluetooth LE update spec - and all the related latency, synchronization and RF interference issues.

For the Hooke Lav project (check the Youtube video here) the company seems to have taken all that into account. The product is advertised correctly as "the first wireless, wearable, dual-channel, Bluetooth lavalier microphone designed to capture clear, professional audio (for video)." The Hooke Lav promises to record and/or stream to any smartphone, tablet, DSLR, GoPro, computer or other compatible Bluetooth device, and also features 8 GB of onboard storage for drop-out proof, recorded audio (the same idea that Sennheiser adopted in its much bulkier Memory Clip microphone, to allow longer-distance and safe-proofing the recordings). Because everyone knows that Bluetooth can be unreliable when used in crowded RF environments, like concerts and trade shows.

Otherwise, the Hooke Lav specifications promises an updated Bluetooth 5 (hope it will be a 5.2 by the time they ship) design, using a great looking convenient, low-profile clip-on lapel mic (the best part of the product, in our opinion!). We don't know details about the microphone capsule specifications for now. Audio recordings are specified to support 24-bit/48kHz mono and dual channel modes, directly to the internal storage (drop-out and distance proof), via Bluetooth streaming (with minimum latency), or transmitted via analog jack directly to a DSLR camera or recording device. Two Hooke Lavs can be used at the same time in dual-channel mode for interviews, for example, while one can potentially use a wireless unit for the presenter, and another, for ambient sound, connected locally to the camera.
Exploded view of the Hook Lav wireless microphone which reveals the use of a MEMS microphone.
According to Anthony Mattana, the Hooke Lav allows up to 7 hours of continuous record time (battery capacity for transmission) or up to 24 hours, when using the internal storage of 8GBs in island mode. Connected by cable to a camera or smartphone, it can record for as long as the device has storage and/or power.

The Hooke Lav will only be available for a discounted price to those who back this product during the KickStarter promotion.
Visit the Kickstarter campaign here.
related items