Sony ECM CS3 vs CS10

Choosing a microphone may sounds simple but it can be confusing as well since there are so many of them to choose from and not all models will fit our application just the same. For those who are going to record interview and similar purposes, Sony ECM CS3 Vs CS10 will be a great choice to pick because they are designed for this activity but they are also a little bit different so before getting one, go check what they can offer below.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Which Microphone to Purchase
  • What are Sony ECM CS3 and CS10
  • What Sony ECM CS3 and CS10 Look Like
  • How to Setup Sony ECM CS3 and CS10
  • How are the Sound Quality of Sony ECM CS3 and CS10
  • Sony ECM CS3 Vs CS10

Microphone for Recording Video

As technology is getting more and more advanced, people aim to look for the most convenient as possible and there are various devices we can use for different application built into one unit to offer versatility. Microphone used to be standalone product but now, it is in almost everything especially smart devices from our smartphone, smart home system, computer, headphone, and even cameras are built-in one as well. The question is do we still need a single unit for our kind of application if for example our phone that always there is already capable of capturing and recording sound.

The answer of course will be different from one user to another because in the basis not all of us will have the same type of application to begin with. Some people may need microphone to record their demo song, some people may need them to record and stream their voice for podcast content, some of us are making videos of certain theme and products, and many more. With this the type of microphone we need will highly depend on what we want to achieve.

If you are here then we assume the type of application you will doing is voice recording for video or interview and similar activities. Depending on the situation, we can use various different types of microphone and settings:

  1. A free standing microphone is one of the best option for recording voice into video in which the person will be speaking through the microphone with a camera in front of them. It is very popular in video review or reaction content such as those in YouTube platform. The options are commonly between dynamic and condenser microphone such as Samson Q2U Vs Blue Snowball which are equally great for this type of setting. Beside the sound quality, we do prefer those with simple setting with or without interface.
  2. Another type is shotgun microphone and this is the one popularly use in a more professional setting such as TV program and movies. It is essentially condenser microphone and very sensitive in nature to pick up surrounding noise and any noise made by the people in the spot. It is different to boom mic because shotgun is one directional while boom mic can be anything mounted in a boom pole.
  3. The last and probably the most convenient of them all is a lavalier microphone or often called as clip-on mic. They are the small one we clip on our clothes which has the main advantage of being positioned right below the speaker but it is omnidirectional means the mic picks up sound from all directions so even when the speaker move their head, the mic can still capture their voice.
Sony ECM CS3 Sony ECM CS10
Product Dimensions6.3 x 3.8 x 1.7 inches
5.3 x 3.4 x 1.3 inches
Shipping Weight2.08 ounces
3.2 ounces
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About Sony ECM CS3 and CS10

If you have already picked the best type of microphone for the application, now is the time to see what the market has to offer because there are so many of them out there and while all microphones will be able to capture your sound, not just any model will offer the best performance or at least the one that fits your taste the most. It is a bit difficult to select because we have to listen to the first to know the exact sound.

But, if you want to save time and be convenient, it is great to shop based on what other similar users are going with or if you have favorite brand, we can check what they have in the category. Among those many audio equipment manufacturers, Sony is one of the most well-known, not only in audio market but overall electronic segment. If you are familiar with their camera and music player, they actually also carry lavalier microphone in the catalogue.

For those who plan to spend below $50, two of the best options from their collection are Sony ECM CS3 and CS10 which are very similar to each other by coming from the same family yet, they are also different and even from the naming only, we can guess that the latter is actually the better version of the most popular CS3 but, it is not always the case since even today, the former is still one of the best budget lavalier microphone with amazing sound quality.

The CS10 is also very popular but since this model is more expensive, you will see different opinion on which sounds better yet, in comparison, your other tool may affect the sound quality produced by these models as well. In terms of sound quality, they are very much good and clear as well as versatile for different applications yet, if you don’t want any feature, cutting short we will recommend getting the cheaper ECM CS3.

Sony ECM CS3 and CS10 Design

Just like any lavalier microphones, Sony ECM CS3 and CS10 are very similar to each other coming with a simple, small capsule with a plastic clip in combination to let you put them easily on the clothing and in comparison, this clip is a little bit chunkier on the latter compared to its brother so it can be uncomfortable to use on shirt sometimes. Build quality wise however CS10 is better than the cheap plastic of CS3 yet, as long as it doesn’t hinder the operation we don’t pay much attention to it. 

The come with a nice cable as well but depending on your application, it can be enough or not and if you are going to use recorder, the 3 foot rubbery cable of CS3 will not be a problem but thankfully the CS10 add a little bit of quality into its matte, nylon-like covered cable and stay the same, you will get the standard 3.5mm stereo jack. The microphone unit itself have different design in which the latter has this silver finish with some opening for audio and seemingly filter as well inside.

Sony ECM CS3 and CS10 Setup

Moving further, Sony ECM CS3 and CS10 are working with various different setting including directly to your iPhone so we can record together and don’t need to sync the audio in post-production. You can also use them directly to your computer but in both settings, you will need an adapter first that we can get on various stores to be in between the connection. Our recommendation of you will be using them with computer is getting a USB sound card to provide power into the microphone.

If you are recording with a dedicated camera like DSLR, they may have a specific port to connect an external audio and in this situation we can directly plug the 3.5mm jack into the port to get the power which makes them very convenient for filming purposes.

Sony ECM CS3 and CS10 Performance

Moving to the performance, Sony ECM CS3 and CS10 are very similar to each other out of the box but may offer different results with different settings for some reason. If connected directly to cameras, they are hard to distinguish from each other with the same level of gain but for example when you connect them to recorder like the popular Zoom H1, there is prominent difference on the sound level since in comparison the CS3 will sounds louder than the CS10.

Of course you can make the latter sounds as loud as well by adding the gain but depending on the user, you may not want to do this just to get a decent level of sound from the microphone. Overall, in terms of sound quality they are very good for the price and while it is not reaching professional level of sound, for casual and our common practice, we can’t go wrong with any of them.

Sony ECM CS3 vs CS10

When it comes to microphone, it is very difficult to see which will be your best option without experiencing the unit themselves in the kind of application you will be using but between these models, in our opinion they do sound the same and already decent for different recording situations whether you want to record directly to recorder or to camera and smartphone as long as you have the adapter especially with phone and computer.

In some cases you may want to add the gain level to make sure your voice is audible and the prominent different between them in our opinion will be the build quality because the CS10 is actually better in this side with better microphone and more durable cable.

- Clip style for convenient hands-free recording
- Microphone rotates for flexible placement
- Perfect for recording via DVR or PC
- Equipments supported- Plug-In Power
- Lavalier styling -- includes a clip to attach to clothing; permits convenient, hands-free recording
- Small, inconspicuous -- makes the recording process more natural and less obtrusive
- Integrated clip for maximum simplicity & ease of use
- Omni-directional pattern -- picks up voices from all directions; ideal for meetings and lectures


All in all it is better to pick the one that fits your preference the most but comparing these lavalier microphones, if we have to choose one then we will go with the ECM CS3 because it is already capturing a very decent sound quality and there is no much hassle to set up, moreover, it is very cheap.