RØDE has made wireless audio easy and creatively accessible with their RØDE Wireless GO II, a dual microphone system with a receiver for cameras, phones or to use just on their own for audio capture. What makes these microphones great beyond their quality, however, is their versatility.
In the box, you receive one receiver, two transmitters, furry windsocks for the transmitters, a TRS patch cable, three USB cables for charging and connecting to a computer and a carry pouch. The build quality of the RØDE Wireless GO II microphone is spectacular, which is important given the fact that it is designed for field production. To be able to take it with you on the go and survive with whatever you are using as a vlogging kit (keeping it real with you, I vlogged at Walt Disney World with a Guardians of the Galaxy fanny pack at times). A good kit can come in all shapes, sizes and levels of coolness.
The only thing I will say about the RØDE Wireless GO II in terms of what comes with it is, what is with the pouch? The neoprene-esque (if it isn’t just actual neoprene) pouch comes folded in half and is meant to carry everything that comes in the box. While it does that actual job, seeing as it is a container and all, I would have much rather seen a hard case where the receivers and transmitter could all slide into place (and be charged in their docs in an ideal world) with an area to tuck all other cables and windsocks in. All other accessories were excellent, though. RØDE’s cables are always immaculate.
The RØDE Wireless GO II can be set up in so many ways. The receiver can be connected to any DSLR or Mirrorless camera via the TRS cable or, using a USB-C to USB-C cable (or USB-C to Lighting for iOS), you can connect the receiver to your phone or even your computer and made into an audio source for OBS or some other audio recording software, including the company’s own software, RØDE Connect.
“The build quality of the RØDE Wireless GO II microphone is spectacular, which is important given the fact that it is designed for field production. “
The transmitters of the RØDE Wireless GO II also give you a lot of ways to get audio to the receiver. The transmitters themselves are microphones that can be clipped to your shirt, backpack or anything you wish as long as it’s close enough to your face to hear what you have to say. You can even connect it, using the clip, to a cold shoe on your camera to be your vlogging mic, but I’ll warn you that you probably want your receiver to be in that position with the microphone on your person, because the closer it is to you, the better it sounds.
The transmitters themselves also record audio directly to them, allowing for a backup recording when you are shooting a video or as the primary recorder for something like a podcast, allowing each person’s audio to be recorded independently of one another, requiring only a connection to your computer via the USB cables to extract the files.
If you want your transmitter to be more discreet (and, frankly, I recommend it. The mics are a little bulky for one’s lapel), then you have a couple of ways to do that. First, the transmitters have an input for a lavalier microphone. I tested these with the RØDE Lavalier II, their next generation of lav mics. The sound was outstanding, and the microphone sits on you so much more discreetly than the Wireless GO II transmitter, which should now be tucked away in your pocket or clipped to your belt. Pick your favourite lavalier with a 3.5 mm TRS plug and go to town.
“The transmitters of the RØDE Wireless Go II also give you a lot of ways to get audio to the receiver.”
The other way to hide the RØDE Wireless GO II is in plain sight, with the use of the RØDE Interview GO, a microphone handle with a place to mount your transmitter and cover it up with a windsock. Now it looks exactly like RØDE Reporter, only a wireless version of it. Get two Interview GOs and have a pair of hosts talking on handheld microphones going into the same receiver.
There are some improvements I would love to see with the receiver, though. When mounted on the top of a camera, the display faces straight up. Not so much of an issue when you have a videographer monitoring such things, but as a vlogger or someone who has their camera mounted in some way, you can’t see the levels of your microphones or if they are even working at all. This was likely to maintain a thinner profile on the receiver, but I’d take a cue from one of their competitors, if I was them, and have the displays along the end of the receiver. This could be made to face either way, for a videographer or for a creator working on their own.
“The RØDE Wireless GO II packs away a little easier than shotgun microphones and is a lot more versatile out in the field.”
Its inability to form a firm connection directly to a mobile device can also prove problematic. Another similar system that I used had adapters that connected the receiver directly to a phone (with adapters for iPhone and Android) and sit there firmly as you use it. The RØDE Wireless GO
II requires a USB cable, leaving you to manage that plus where you mount the receiver in the first place. Most solutions I have seen have either been a selfie stick/gimbal with a cold shoe mount (an extra cost that you may not have accounted for) or simply just clip it to your phone, which feels a little low rent even for a small or amateur creator.
Such things can be forgiven (but not forgotten) when you hear the quality of the RØDE Wireless Go II, though. The sound is wonderfully clear with no interference between transmitter or receiver, even at a distance from each other.
Its MSRP of $299 USD is an investment, but a worthy one for any creator with more than one person speaking in the field or for the individual who loves a little redundancy. The RØDE Wireless Go II packs away a little easier than shotgun microphones and is a lot more versatile out in the field. There is a single-microphone system that you can also purchase if you don’t feel like you need the two, but I am very much a proponent of being prepared.