September 29, 2023

Brighton Journal

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Rode announces the Wireless Pro microphone array

Rode announces the Wireless Pro microphone array

It might not be an exaggeration to say that the original Rode wireless microphone system changed the way a lot of YouTubers work. It wasn’t the first wireless microphone system, not for long, but its focus on creators made it incredibly popular. That success would inspire plenty of competing products – like DJI’s – that have since won over audiences in a category arguably defined by Rode. Today, Rode is kicking off the Wireless Pro—the groundbreaking new wireless microphone system for creators.

A headline feature is the inclusion of on-board 32-bit float recording which means you no longer have to worry about adjusting mic gain levels (although it’s better if you do). This feature means that it will be nearly impossible to “cut” or distort the on-board recording by being too loud. Effectively, you should always have a usable recording if things get too noisy for in-camera audio, which would be a great anxiety reducer for anyone who’s been spoiled by bad audio.

Arguably, Wireless Pro could help bring 32-bit float into the mainstream. There are specialized voice recorders that already offer this feature. Rode has already included it in its NT1 hybrid studio mic, but since you can connect a lot of different microphones to the Wireless Pro transmitters, this opens the door to recording a wide variety of audio content in 32-bit float — as long as you can plug it into the 3.5mm jack. .

In another attempt to simplify the creation process, the Wireless Pro also has advanced time-coding capability, so you don’t need an external device for this. Although you’ll need to set this up via Rode Central, the microphone’s companion app (there’s no on-device option for this setting).

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Photo by James True/Engadget

The Wireless Pro borrows some features from aftermarket replacements or accessories by including the charging case as standard (Rode currently offers one as a standalone purchase). This case is good for two total charges for the entire system according to the company and comes standard with the new model. The specified battery life for the transceivers is about seven hours, which means the Wireless Pro should be good for at least 20 hours of total recording on its 32GB of storage (good for 40 hours of material, it seems).

Another major upgrade is the improved range. For example, the Wireless GO II has an approximate range of 656 feet (200 meters). The new Pro models expand it to 850 feet (260 meters) which, incidentally, is still more than DJI’s 820 feet (250 meters).

When Rode unveiled its more affordable Wireless ME kit, it introduced the idea of ​​doubling the receiver as a “narrator” microphone via a TRRS headphone/monitor port. This is a feature that carries over to the Pro which means you can register up to three different speakers though one of them will be wired, rather than cabled.

There are some minor, but welcome quality-of-life updates, too, like locking the 3.5mm jacks so you don’t tear your lav mic and plug-in power detection so the system can detect if a camera it’s plugged into is active, using that information to optimize power use.

At the time of publication, DJI’s Dual Microphone product retails for $330. Rode Wireless Pro will cost $399. This is obviously more of a chip, but the company decided to include two Lavalier II microphones as part of the package. The Lavalier II costs $99 on its own, so from that perspective the whole package is decent value if you’re looking for a complete solution.

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