It might not be an overstatement to say Rode’s original Wireless GO microphone system changed how a lot of YouTubers work. It wasn’t the first wireless mic system, not by a long long shot, but its focus on creators made it incredibly popular. That success would inspire a lot of competing products — such as DJI’s — which have since won over fans in a category that Rode arguably defined. Today, Rode fights back with the Wireless Pro — its new flagship wireless microphone system for creators.
The headline feature is the inclusion of onboard 32-bit float recording which means you should no longer have to worry about setting mic gain levels (though it’s probably best that you do). This feature means the onboard recording will be almost impossible to “clip” or distort through being too loud. Effectively you should always have a useable recording if things went a bit too loud on the audio in your camera, which will be a great anxiety reducer to anyone who’s ever had a production ruined thanks to bad audio.
The Wireless Pro could arguably help bring 32-bit float into the mainstream. There are specialist audio recorders out there that already offer this feature. And Rode already included it on its NT1 hybrid studio microphone, but given that you can plug a lot of different microphones into the Wireless Pro transmitters, this opens the door for recording a wide variety of audio content in 32-bit float — as long as you can feed it into a 3.5mm jack.
In a further attempt at streamlining the creatory process, the Wireless Pro also has advanced timecode capability so you won’t need an external device for this. Though you will need to set this up via Rode Central, the companion app for the mic (there’s no option on-device for this setting).
The Wireless Pro borrows a few features from alternatives or aftermarket accessories by including a charging case as standard (Rode currently offers one as a standalone purchase). That case is good for two total charges of the entire system according to the company and comes as standard with the new model. The stated battery life for the transmitters and receiver is around severn hours, meaning the Wireless Pro should be good for at least 20 hours total recording onto the 32gb storage (good for 40 hours of material apparently).
Another key upgrade is the improved range. The Wireless GO II, for example, has an approximate range of 656 feet (200 meters). The new Pro models expands that to 850 feet (260 meters) which is, coincidentally, a shade more than DJI’s stated 820 feet (250 meters).
When Rode unveiled its more affordale Wireless ME kit, it introduced the idea of the receiver doubling as a “narrator” mic via a TRRS headset in the headphones/monitoring port. That’s a feature that carries over to the Pro meaning you can record up to three different speakers albeit one of them will be wired, rather than cable free.
There are a couple of minor, but welcome quality of life updates, too, such as locking 3.5mm jacks so you won’t rip your lav mic out and plugin power detection so the system can detect when the camera its plugged into is active, using that info to optimize power usage.
At time of publication, DJI’s dual-mic product retails for $330. The Rode Wireless Pro will cost $399. That’s obviously a slice more, but the company decided to include two Lavalier II mics as part of the bundle. The Lavalier II costs $99 on its own, so from that perspective the entire bundle represents a decent value if you’re looking for complete solution.
This post originally appeared on TechToday.