Social media has added another tier to photographers’ marketing strategy. We can create content, manage our brands, and make videos to reach our target audience. Most cameras are capable of recording video, but what good does a visually exciting video do if the audio is less than professional?
Rode Wireless Go microphones record quality audio without requiring the hassle of hiding cords and having to be tethered to the camera.
In my testing, Rode Wireless Go integrated the audio directly into my video files as they were being recorded. Talk about convenient. Content creation is much more streamlined when you don’t have to record audio separately, which requires using a clapper and overlaying audio in post-production.
This wireless system is easy to understand and use, with a minimal learning curve. You have a transmitter and a receiver: One plugs into the camera, and the other is worn by the video subject. The transmitter has two blue lights that glow solid when it’s linked and has a good charge. There’s a mic on the transmitter, and an audio jack for an optional Rode Lavalier Go mic. Both the transmitter and the receiver have a clip on the back that’s sized to slide into a cold shoe mount.
The receiver has a small LED screen that shows the transmitter and receiver battery power, the signal strength, whether they are linked, and the audio input level. The audio input bar is dynamic, changing based on the audio input (green, yellow, red). The receiver has an audio jack for connecting the coiled red cord (included) to your device.
The Wireless Go system works on 2.4GHz digital frequency-agile system, has an omnidirectional polar pattern with pre-polarized pressure transducer. Up to eight Wireless Go sets can be used simultaneously (though they use a 1-to-1 connection so only one transmitter per receiver).
If this audio tech language sounds like jibber jabber to you, don’t worry. To use the system just make sure both devices are charged and turned on, plug the receiver into your recording device, clip the transmitter onto a lapel, and you’re ready to record.
The system should work with any device that can accept a 3.5mm audio jack. I tested it on a Dell laptop, an iPad, a Nikon DSLR, a Motorola cell phone, and a Samsung cell phone, and it worked well with all of them. The audio came through crisp and clear, and I was able to walk 20 feet away from the device and still be heard clearly. In my tests, the transmitter and receiver were always within range of each other (70 meters, line-of-sight), and never lost signal.
I do have a couple caveats. If you’re using a device without an audio jack (hello, new smartphones), you’ll need to purchase an adapter that goes from Lightning/USB-C to 3.5mm audio. Not a big deal, they retail for $10-$15 online.
The second caution is more of a newbie heads-up than a caveat, and I’ll mention it here to spare you from making the same mistake I did. After recording your video, you need to unplug the audio jack before listening to your content. I made the mistake of assuming something wasn’t working because the video played back without sound. It was playing, but since I had the audio jack still plugged in, my device was trying to send the sound out through the audio line (i.e. to the mic, which has no speakers for playing back audio). Once I unplugged the audio jack, I could hear the content on my device’s speakers just fine.
Battery life is great (up to seven hours). I’m filming only short videos and have yet to push them to their limit during content creation. The Wireless Go system holds a charge well, so you can use it over a series of days for multiple recordings.
Overall, I was pleased with the quality of the system. User error aside, I encountered no issues while using it, and everything worked flawlessly. If you’re considering video content creation, and will be recording audio, I recommend giving the Wireless Go system a try.
The kit is available in black or white and retails for $199. It comes with a transmitter and a receiver, two USB-A to USB-C charging cables, a 3.5mm SC2 cable (to connect the mic to your camera or other recording device), two fur windshields, and a neoprene carry case. If your phone or device doesn’t have 3.5mm audio jack, you’ll need to get an adapter (I found one online for about $10).
Betsy Finn is a portrait artist in Dexter, Michigan.
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