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Best Affordable Intercom System in Singapore for Small Set Communication

, Best Affordable Intercom System in Singapore for Small Set Communication

Hollyland Mars T1000 Review

If you’re a small movie or video production team whose set communication requires some leveling up, you will love this review on the Hollyland Mars T1000. This intercom system in Singapore is heaven-sent for those on a tight budget but needs better tools for complete team coordination. It’s versatile, packed with innovative features, and affordable! But before buying it, let’s take a closer look to see if this intercom system is for you.

The Common Challenge for Smaller Video Production Companies in Singapore

Intercom systems are standard tools on many major film sets, mainly commercial projects. The AD (first assistant director) and producers interact with the PAs (production assistants) on one channel, and the gaffer communicates with their electricians on another. However, we regularly observe obsolete intercom systems with poor sound quality or acoustic noise even on the most up-to-date sets.

There are a lot of production firms that don’t prioritize communication, but it may cause a lot of frustration among the crew. In most cases, many just use their cell phones, even if superior, noise-free (digital) technologies are available.

Intercom systems usually are not used on smaller productions. There are several reasons why a production firm may not want to employ this kind of system: either because it is too expensive or too inconvenient for the type of production (e.g., a 5-person documentary team). Mobile phone calls are regarded as “good enough” in many circumstances, despite being the leading cause for poorer coordination in filmmaking.

After hearing about the Hollyland Mars T1000 Intercom System, we were interested and decided to sell it in our store. With its “Carrier-Grade Voice Quality” claim, a tiny and economical digital system that you can utilize even on smaller sets sounded like the long-awaited solution for the lack of intercom systems in Singapore for smaller crews.

Affordable Intercom System in Singapore: Hollyland Mars T1000

The Hollyland Mars T1000 Intercom System astonished us with its product package: a base station, four belt packs, and five headphones. The base station has two antennas and a spare. For the five headsets, they come with extra headphone shells and satchels too. The base station comes with a 4-pin XLR power converter and an NPF-style (Sony) battery mount. Everything smaller crews needed is here, and there were even extras that our team did not expect — all of this from Hollyland, best known for wireless television systems.

Belt Packs

, Best Affordable Intercom System in Singapore for Small Set Communication

The belt packs are composed of solid metal with built-in antennae, making the quality of this product even more impressive. For us, belt packs are the most vital aspect of intercom systems as they are subject to the greatest wear and tear. The Mars T1000 belt packs include built-in antennae, feels resistants to breakage (an issue with devices with protruding antennae).

Battery

The battery is integrated into the belt pack’s chassis. Obviously, this has both advantages and disadvantages. First of all, it’s more durable since it can’t come off (we all know the intercom systems where that occurs often), but it also means that you can’t just change to a full battery when you’re out of juice.

You should be able to shoot all day if you keep it fully charged. I will last you for roughly eight hours (continuous use without switching it off), which means you should be able to go through the whole day. However, this could be challenging for super long, demanding sets where the shoot takes place in rural areas.

Base Station

, Best Affordable Intercom System in Singapore for Small Set Communication

Solid metal makes up the base station (super sturdy feel). However, there is also a good chance it will end up in a video village or somewhere else that’s convenient for both the director and AD. You may connect one of the headsets to the base station’s headphone socket. There are also OLED panels for settings in both the base station and the belt packs. There are some promising features and options, such as adapting to a noisy or quiet environment.

USB-A ports on one side of the base station charge the belt packs using the USB-A to C cables that come with the base station. It’s a great concept as it eliminates the need for an extra USB charger. In addition to the four USB connections, there is a USB-C connector for firmware upgrades.

With two Mars T1000 Intercom Systems daisy-chained together through Ethernet, you can connect up to ten users at a time. So if you plan to upgrade in the future, there’s no need to ditch this system goodbye. However, two Mars T1000 is the maximum allowed — unless there’s an update that allows you to bypass this.

Base Station Battery

Powered by either a 4-pin XLR connection (included when you buy this product) or NPF-style batteries, the Mars T1000 base station allows you to be completely self-sufficient. There is no need for an AC power source or any other battery-powered gimmick to speak with your team at the top of the mountain using this device. Using the NPF standard, Hollyland ensures that these batteries are inexpensive and straightforward to get, given it is such a widely used standard here in Singapore.

Headsets

, Best Affordable Intercom System in Singapore for Small Set Communication

Many other intercom systems upset most production teams due to uncomfortable headsets that frequently hurt or don’t fit nicely. There’s nothing worse than being chained to a headset all day and getting a headache.

However, the headsets that Hollyland provides with the Mars T1000 are comfy and of quality (entirely unexpected for the price). It can be modified to accommodate a variety of head sizes, and it should work well for most people.

There is no strain on your ear since the headphone shells are large, therefore using the headset for an extended amount of time is a breeze. It also doesn’t feel like a complete headset when you use it since it’s so light. With a simple twist, the microphone placed in front of your lips may be moved to any desired location. But to provide the best possible audio quality, we suggest placing it as near to your lips as comfortably possible.

Audio Quality

Communicating through the Mars T1000 resembles a phone call over a standard cellular connection in terms of audio quality. Such a conventional GSM phone call, the audio isn’t as sharp as a VOIP call (like, for example, FaceTime Audio or a WhatsApp call).

There seems to be a minor increase in acoustic noise, although it is insignificant. If you are near the optimum range to the base station, the quality is pretty good.

In noisier areas, you have to crank the volume to hear better. Since these are near-mic headsets, you should warn users to speak with the microphone as close to their lips as possible when using them. You should disinfect the headset before passing it to another user.

There are times when the audio is useless — no signal — which is shared with all digital systems. When you’re in a location with poor reception, you’ll hear just fragments of what other crew members are saying before communication is completely lost.

Connectivity and Reach

Hollyland states that the Mars T1000 system has a range of 1000 feet (about 300 meters). However, this only holds if you’re in an open space where there are no obstructions. In urban areas with several walls present, you may expect the range reliability cut in half, which is still impressive considering what you get out of the package. At the maximum distance, you will likely hear a few chops that may be a bit distracting.

Frequency

GSM systems operate in a 1.9GHz band, which is the highest limit for frequencies utilized by Hollyland Mars T1000; therefore, there is nothing you can do about it. Suppose you’re using this system during a large event with many people around (well, let’s pretend that these sorts of events will start happening again in 2022). In that case, it may cause interference since it operates on the same frequencies as mobile phones — although insignificant, static is there. So our suggestion is to have back up or adjust the settings accordingly (increase volume, work in closer proximity, etc.).

Verdict: We Highly Recommend the Hollyland Mars T1000 Intercom System

When it comes to a long-term communication option for small video production sets and teams in Singapore, we strongly recommend the Hollyland Mars T1000 Intercom System. As mentioned in our detailed review above, there are a few flaws, but they are insignificant. Considering the price and the units you get out of this intercom system in Singapore, it’s an amazing deal.

As long as individuals aren’t spread out too far from each other, it should perform its job just fine. Even if you choose to rent it out to other people, you can stay comfortable due to its sheer durability. For small production teams, this intercom system is an exceptional deal that you should never miss.

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