RØDE has dominated the wireless microphone market for a while now. RØDE popularized these handy microphones that can transmit audio signals up to 100 meters and are a vital tool in modern video production. Because of the massive popularity of TikTok and YouTube, wireless microphones have taken off as people seek better sound quality on videos. A good wireless microphone can make all the difference between poor sound and sparkling audio, giving any video a professional finish.
RØDE’s ambition to continue dominating the wireless microphone market looks like it will be cemented with the launch of the new RØDE Wireless PRO kit. This superb product consists of two RØDE wireless microphone transmitters and a receiver unit that can be plugged into a camera, smartphone or audio recorder. Having two transmitters to play with makes the Wireless PRO the perfect solution for interviews.
Each transmitter includes an omnidirectional microphone plus a rechargeable battery that can provide up to seven hours of use between charges. The transmitters also have a 3.5mm jack so that an external Lavalier microphone can be used for a closer sound. A Lavalier mic can be clipped on a jacket lapel and is much easier to hide. The transmitter can be put in a pocket, while the Lavalier cable can be fed under a jacket.
The two RØDE Wireless PRO transmitters also have 32GB of onboard memory to store up to 40 hours of high-quality audio locally. The transmitters can be connected to a computer with a USB-C cable and the unit mounts on a computer desktop like any external hard drive. This storage feature makes transferring audio easy and it’s a great way of recording podcasts without much clutter.
The new RØDE Wireless PRO devices look almost identical to the RØDE Wireless GO 2 and RØDE Wireless ME units. However, the RØDE Wireless PRO transmitters now have a lockable 3.5mm input to ensure Lavalier mics stay connected and can’t be pulled out. The two transmitters and the receiver units are housed in a zippered storage case that doubles as a recharging station. The case can also connect to a computer for updating firmware or transferring files stored on the transmitters.
The transmitter units have a flexible output with a 30dB range. This means the units can be matched to the sensitivity of the video camera they are feeding. Setting the gain level is now quick and easy, thanks to the provision of preset output levels for various popular video cameras.
The quick-and-easy setup can save time on location, which is especially welcome if it’s cold and windy. In addition, the transmitters can record a secondary audio signal to their internal memory at a level 10dB lower than the primary channel. This secondary safety channel is a perfect safety net if the primary audio gets too hot and starts clipping.
Another new feature of the RØDE Wireless PRO is its ability to capture audio clearly under almost any conditions. The system supports 32-bit float recording, which means audio can be recorded directly to the transmitter units without any danger of clipping. This feature is a first for wearable wireless microphones and the 32-bit float means you will always have a clean backup channel; you don’t even need to set the gain as levels can be adjusted in post-processing.
The RØDE Wireless PRO has built-in timecode syncing alongside 32-bit float recording. The time code makes quick work of synchronizing audio in post-production. The timecode eliminates the need for a complex and expensive external timecode system and the Wireless PRO’s internal timecode generator can synchronize audio with any camera.
As well as the two transmitters and the receiver unit, the RØDE Wireless PRO has a comprehensive set of accessories housed in a matching zippered case. The accessories include two Lavalier mics with screw-in connectors. The microphones have windshields and RØDE provides all the cables needed to connect the receiver to a camera or smartphone, including those with USB-C or Apple Lightning interfaces. RØDE even throws in a couple of handy clips for attaching the transmitters to clothing.
I spent a week or so testing the RØDE Wireless PRO kit. The system is as easy to use as the excellent RØDE Wireless ME. The second transmitter is very welcome. The 32GB of memory and 32-bit float recording means you’ll never have a duff recording. You can capture sound directly on the transmitter while using the receiver to pick up the wireless signal and record it to a video camera. The latency is as close to zero as possible, so there are no synchronization issues.
The real game-changer with the RØDE Wireless PRO is its charging case. To recharge the transmitters and receiver, you pop them in the case and plug the case into almost any USB charger. And when you want to access audio files stored on the transmitters, just put the units in the case and connect it to a computer with the supplied USB cable and the devices will mount on the desktop like USB thumb drives.
Verdict: RØDE has scored a bullseye with the Wireless PRO. There’s everything in this handy kit to capture pristine audio for podcasts or videos. The superb sound quality and the ability to use the transmitters’ omnidirectional or Lavalier mics make the system so versatile. Once you’ve used a high-quality wireless mic on a video, you won’t want to return to using your smartphone’s built-in mic. The RØDE Wireless PRO offers exceptional value for money and high-quality sound for video production. RØDE was already the first choice for many content creators, but with its comprehensive set of accessories, 32GB internal storage and 32-bit float recording, the RØDE Wireless PRO leaves its competitors in the dust. Highly Recommended.
Pricing & Availability: $399.
More info: www.rode.com
- Acoustic principle: Pre-polarised pressure transducer.
- Polar pattern: Omnidirectional.
- Frequency range: 20Hz – 20kHz.
- Maximum SPL: 123.5dB SPL.
- Equivalent noise (A-Weighted): 22dBA.
- Signal-to-Noise ratio: 72dB.
- Analog inputs: 3.5mm locking TRS (TX).
- Analog outputs: 3.5m TRRS (RX).
- Transmission range: 260m (line of sight).
- Digital connectivity: USB-C.
- Minimum operating systems: macOS 10.15, Windows 10 and above, iOS 14, Android 11.
- Power requirements: Lithium-ion batteries charged via USB-C (5V, 0.4A).
- Operating time: Up to 7 hours.