Hollyland Solidcom C1: Hands on Review


Remarkably Tired.
Fight Leukemia
Full disclosure, I was sent these specifically for the purposes of reviewing the product but as a skeptic and running a busy roadhouse I wanted to actually test them under more show conditions before agreeing to review.

Initial thoughts: out of the box they seem well built and comfortable, they come in a nice case, packaged up nicely and came with extras.

In the package 8 batteries, charger, pouches for each headset, a spare foam ear cover for each headset, a (leather?) ear cup for each headset, 2 replacement foam mic covers for each headset, and an update cable.

The in-house wireless that I have are 2 generations of HME headsets which make for a nice comparison point. The C1 aren’t quite as small as our newer HME’s but they are more comfortable and feel like they are built about as well. The one complaint I have immediately about the C1 headsets is the exposed coiled wire that connects the mic side of the headset to the batter side of the headset. It’s protected by the sizing extensions on each side, but I know that’s going to get caught on things when you’re putting the headset down or picking it up. Thats the obvious weak point. The other immediate downside is that while it is capable of 2 channel comms, you don’t get that unless you ALSO have a main hub which is an added expense.

It’s worth noting that this system is almost a 1:1 knockoff of the Eartec Ultralite system. The solidcom C1’s list for $1000 and the same ultralite system is ~$700. Having used the ultralites, I DO think the C1’s are built a little nicer, feel better on your head and don’t feel nearly as plastic-y and cheap as the eartec products.

Without the hub, relying on having a main headset in a centralized location was key in my venue. If the main headset moved around, the range would change because the transmitter wasn’t stationary. That being said I found the range on these to be just a bit larger than my HME setup. I have 900 seats with 2 balconies, concrete all over and basement level dressing rooms. The C1’s never lost a connection except in a closed elevator between floors. My HME’s don’t work in the basement level except in the pit where they have a more direct line to the transmitter in the booth. So that’s an improvement for me.

We tested these headsets through an opera, a high school musical, some work calls, and a few one off events. So far everybody seems to enjoy them better than our old wireless. Some didn’t like the fact that you mute the mic by lifting the boom, but agreed that it wasn’t much more of a hassle than reaching around to find the button you’re looking for on the side of your head. We also agreed that the quality of the audio is also better than our HME system, better volume and clarity all around. One complaint about the volume is that the UP volume only has a tone to indicate maximum, but my HME’s beep each time so you know you’ve managed to click the button, its a minor quibble. On top of that though the volume buttons are blocked when the boom is up and muted, so you have to move it to reach them, and the DOWN button is the same size as the A/B buttons which (since it doesn’t beep) makes it hard to tell if you’re pressing the right button as you fumble with it. They do have different textures on them which will help house heads as they get used to them, but I have irregular union crews that won’t remember that the A/B buttons have a different texture. Again that’s a minor quibble because on my HME headsets the button we usually can’t find is the talk button which leaves people talking to nobody or leaving a mic open. In this case raising the boom for mute makes that pretty clear.

The C1’s also seem to have a gate that clicks on pretty reliably to kill any noise while people aren’t talking which means I actually had a couple moments where I needed to make sure my headset was still on.

I went into this skeptical but was pleasantly surprised by the results. Once I get a hub they should interface with my old system without issue (or so it seems) and I’m gladly going to retire our oldest headsets.

I’ve now run them through 5 productions; an opera, a high school musical a high school showcase, an awards show, a dance show and a handful of work calls. For the opera I left the main headset and my headset with original batteries for 3 full rehearsals (approximately 9 hours) before needing to change the batteries. Which is close to their estimated run time and they do seem to charge within 2-3 hours as indicated.

These were immediately ready to go out of the box and would be great for outdoor events or film shoots. I can see where these would be a really good fit for certain venues or production companies and as another option to similar products offered by other companies. Eartec is a small Rhode Island company and Hollyand is a chinese company, if those factor into decisions for you.

Feel free to ask me any questions and if you’d like further pictures or have any other suggestions for testing or situations you’d like to see I’d be happy to accommodate that if I can.

To see whats in the box and compare to 2 generations of HME headsets

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