Vlogging is an incredibly popular form of content creation. Vlogging has also evolved into one of the most accessible forms of content creation since you can do it with all kinds of different equipment. You can use a high-end mirrorless camera, but you can get started with just your phone. As you grow, you need to get your hands on equipment that can grow with you. You need gear that is adaptable, portable and works great.
DJI, makers of top-end drones, gimbals and more, have decided to enter the portable audio game, putting themselves up against an audio-titan, with the DJI Mic. It is a wireless microphone kit for two subjects that works for a phone or your camera and the whole kit fits in your pocket.
Inside the box, you get the case, which is reminiscent of an earbud case, that not only houses all the devices, but charges them. The case for the DJI Mic itself holds a charge and allows you to charge your gear on the go. The gear consists of two transmitters with built-in microphones, a receiver that can handle both transmitter signals at the same time, Lightning and USB-C adapters to connect the receiver to a phone and a hot shoe adapter to mount the receiver on the camera.
Also included are some extra accessories, including a carrying bag, USB-C to USB-A cable to connect your devices to a PC, a small 3.5 mm aux cable to connect the receiver to a camera, and two adorable windsocks for your microphones.
“The case for the DJI Mic itself holds a charge and allows you to charge your gear on the go.”
The transmitters, in addition to the microphone, include an input, so you can plug in a lavalier mic, a record button to record backup audio directly to the device, a link button to reconnect to the transmitter should they somehow get disconnected, a power button and a USB-C port to extract the audio from the transmitters.
Another innovative move was how the transmitter connects to you. It has a clip on the back that allows you to easily clip it to your collar, shirt pocket, backpack strap or even your belt (if you are connecting to a lavalier and don’t need it close to your mouth. In addition, it comes with a powerful magnet, so if you are wearing a t-shirt or something else that doesn’t have a good place to attach the DJI Mic, you place the magnet on the inside of your shirt and the transmitter will stay firmly in place.
The receiver has a power button and a USB-C port, an aux. output to connect to a camera and headphone jack for monitoring. The front of the receiver has an LED screen that shows the status of both transmitters, but also has access to several menus and settings that can control the entire kit.
Connecting the devices could not be simpler. The transmitters are automatically linked to the receiver. To connect to a phone, you just need to attach the appropriate adapter, either lightning or USB-C and plug the receiver directly into the phone. The phone should recognize it immediately.
The signal range of the DJI Mic is fantastic. It sports a 250 m range, giving you more than enough leeway to get away from the camera if you have a need for such a thing. One of its greatest features, however, is its safety channel setting. It will take your stereo pair and turn it into two mono channels, one at normal gain and one recording at a lower gain to protect you from being stuck with loud, unusable audio when you’re recording out in the field.
The audio quality of the DJI Mic is also great. The only place where it struggled was indoors with a lot of ambient noise (my loud computer), but as I distanced myself from the noise, the quality got better. The microphones, not being unidirectional, are prone to such things, but you can activate a low-cut filter on the mics to get rid of a good deal of noise.
“The signal range of the DJI Mic is fantastic. It sports a 250 m range, giving you more than enough leeway to get away from the camera…”
The ability to use the transmitters to record additional video is a huge function of the DJI Mic. From the perspective of someone using the microphones for vlogging or friend production, a worst-case scenario would be an issue with the connection between the receiver and the camera/phone. Maybe it wasn’t plugged in all the way. Maybe the connection was jostled loose. Recording directly to the transmitter means that none of that matters. You can record up to 14 hours of .WAV audio on each transmitter.
You could even theoretically cut out the receiver altogether and use the two mics to record an audio only production, like an interview or a podcast. Each microphone recording its own audio makes it even easier to edit on the back end.
The ability to attach a lavalier microphone is just another upgrade that can be made to the transmitters. You can plug a high-end lav into the transmitter and output higher quality than the built-in mic can offer you.
The $329 price tag of the DJI Mic is comparable to the competition, but its sleeker look and more intuitive design (especially with the receiver), give it a number of advantages. Also giving it an advantage is its simplicity. There is no app to set up, control or extract audio from the devices. The receivers are recognized by a PC as a USB drive, so you can just drag and drop your .WAV files directly and all the controls are handled through the receiver. The DJI Mic is worth every penny.