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Sound Devices, My A20 Mini review. Love it or leave it?

Michael Wynne

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On 2/20/2023 at 9:54 AM, henrimic said:

I own two A20 mini TX and a A20 RX alongside Wisycom systems. It's worth noting I mainly work on documentaries.


I have to say that the batterie life is not really an "issue". In documentary too, people have to eat and rest, so I just swap at lunch time, like I do anyway with the Wisy's too.

BUT, sometimes one have to change batteries on the field. Last time, in the speed of action,  I did swap the batteries in a hurry just before a take, without properly switching it off with the app first. . 
When powered up the A20 mini TX back, all the settings were gone. I had to set the frequency and power with the app which is not always very responsive (on an iPhone 12) while the talent, a musher with his 6 dogs and the team were waiting for me. Quite stressfull.


Other misadventure: on a previous shooting, I had installed the A20 mini on the neck of a salsa dancer. Great shape and weight, impossible to see it on camera with her long hair and she was vey happy to wear it..
After a couple of hours, the temperature in the venue went quite high with all these dancers. And the sound began to "fade away" and get distorted. I thought it was the transmitter overheating and installed another one.... same issue. The problem came from the receiver. It was so hot I couldn't really touch it. When I came back home I changed the way the receiver was installed in my bag to allow an air flow and the heat to dissipate. I wasn't able to reproduce the problem since and the system is working flawlessly now.


So, these two stories illustrate some of the challenges that we could be facing with the A20 in fast paced documentary.  On the other hand, I also had great success on a skier with the integrated recorder ( I am based  in Europe). To conclude, I'd say that these little transmitters are great tools to have, but you can not rely on it in each situation. For me, the weakest part of the system is the control only via the app. I have no doubt that the Nexus link is far more reliable and straightforward, but unfortunately, I is definitively too expensive for the kind of "bag" gigs I mainly work on. 

Hi Henri - I believe all of these issues have been resolved and /or improved in recent firmware updates. If you still run into problems, we'd like to troubleshoot further with you.

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Thank you for your answer Paul,

it is to this kind of attention and listening to the feedback of users that we recognise the great companies. 
I try to follow the releases of the different firmwares and be up to date, and I must say that the addition of functions like long range modulation are real assets.

I will contact the support if this problem occurs again. 
Thanks for your help.

2 hours ago, Martin Lonek said:

is this happening all the time with A20-mini or was it just a one-time-unique situation ?



I had this happening once. Generally, I try to first switch off the transmitters before replacing the battery. When I have a bit of time, I'll try to make some tests. 

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