Many people wish to try their hands inexpensively at creating videos for the likes of YouTube or for their favorite social media or podcasting For students, a webcam and microphone keep them closer to family and friends. However, it can be daunting because of the high cost and setup complexity of the higher-end cameras and microphones. Therefore, we are delighted that JLab has created a “work series” which includes a low-cost and easy-to-use webcam and microphone. These are plug-and-play, recognized automatically by any windows based computer (apple requires an adapter from USB-A to lightning for each of the two devices).
The JLab Go Cam:
Since the Pandemic, the ubiquitous webcam has become a staple for work and play. The JLab Go Cam webcam is useable for applications such as Zoom as well as for recording . The built-in microphone has reasonable sound if you are directly in front of your laptop. It’s compact and designed to be mounted on the top of your monitor or laptop screen with a built-in clip. In addition, there is a standard USB-A connector which is permanently attached to the webcam.
What we like about this little webcam is that the field of view which is wider than many cameras. Therefore, it is designed to make the perfect head and shoulders shot from normal laptop viewing distances. it’s much better than the “head only” view you get from many webcams.
At this price point the camera offers better quality and higher resolution than others including name brands (e.g.Logitech).
JLab Go Talk Microphone:
The multi-use podcasting microphone is the normal pill-shaped design seen on my other broadcast media desktops. It has both level control for the sound level in your headphones and a selector switch that changes the microphone pickup from all around the microphone to directly in front of the microphone.
Looking a the microphone, it’s constructed of plastic with a simplistic but useable base. On the back of the microphone, there is a standard 3.5 mm jack that supports headphones since feedback and echo would be major problems the microphone should be used with separate (not included) wired headphones or earbuds.
Like the camera, the microphone is plug and play with a caveat. That is, to eliminate echo and feedback, it disables any speakers you have attached. Therefore to listen to what you have recorded while the microphone is still pugged in you must go into sound settings and turn the speakers back on. Likewise, if you want to record more, you must switch the playback back to the earphone jack in the microphone.
When we tested the sound quality we found it to be very clean. There is virtually no background noise when in the front position. However, you may need to boost the volume using software.
What You Need to Add:
The one downside of this dynamic duo is that they come with no content creation software (e.g. Screencast for video or Audacity for audio). So if you need to record on the webcam or podcast you need an additional app or apps.
The Bright Side:
On the plus side, the JLab items in the Work series that we tried were extremely easy to set up and use. We love this! Separately or together, the JLab Go Cam and the Jlab Go Talk provide good and inexpensive options for webcam videos podcasting and other media creation. By plugging into the computer directly, they bypass the need for other equipment (e.g. equalizer, pre-amp, etc.).
JLab has provided good budget-friendly options that offer better specifications and better use-ability than other items in the same class. For more information visit JLab.com