Rode Wireless Go Review
I’ve been a long time user of the Rode SmartLav lapel mic. I use it all the time recording field audio and video. I’ve been in the market for a wireless microphone system. When Rode announced the Wireless Go microphone system at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show, I jumped on it immediately. Slim form factor, simple setup, and a name I trust.
I recommend the Rode Wireless Go. I’m happy with the form factor, quality, and audio results. Key wins for me:
Transmitter & receiver are pre-paired out of the box. You’re up and running in minutes.
Super-slim form factor
Flexibility with the built-in microphone or external mic (like the SmartLav)
Good range in the field
The only gotcha is maintaining line of sight between the transmitter and receiver. This is called out on Rode’s website. I was a little surprised at the sensitivity to line of sight. Watch the video for more.
What’s In The Box
The Wireless Go system has everything you need for a wireless audio setup.
Wireless transmitter w/ built-in microphone
Two USB charging cables
The setup is fast and simple. The transmitter and receiver come pre-paired out of the box. It is literally turn on the devices and you are up and running. Of course, if you need to re-pair the transmitter and receiver, you can do that, too.
The receiver clip fits into a standard camera shoe. The audio cabling to the mic input jack on your camera is self explanatory. Even on my Sony A6400, the footprint of the receiver is small and unobtrusive. The dB display on the receiver is a nice touch. Although there is no audio monitoring, you get a basic level display to gage audio strength and volume. The receiver gain also has low, medium, and high settings for simple gain adjustments.
The transmitter is equally small. It has a built in microphone so the system is ready to use out of the box. The transmitter is light and easily clips on to a pocket or collar. While the transmitter can clip to a t-shirt collar, I found that to feel a little awkward. Thankfully, the transmitter also has a standard audio input jack. You can use the Wireless Go system with an external microphone, such as the Rode SmartLav. That’s how I use it. I find the lapel mic more comfortable and I prefer the audio quality.
Usage & Performance
I was up and running with the system in a few minutes. The audio quality using both the built-in microphone and an external microphone are very, very good. I preferred the audio quality of my SmartLav mic cabled to the Wireless Go transmitter. I also preferred being able to more precisely place the lapel mic.
Overall, the system performed very well in the field. Watch the video for more details. I conducted a few tests and in all cases the system performed as advertised. Rode says the Wireless Go has a range of 70m. I reached about 50m in my tests and as long as I had line of sight between the transmitter and receiver, the audio came through strongly.
Line of sight between the transmitter and receiver is very important. If your subject goes behind something, or turns away from the camera shielding the transmitter from the receiver with their body, there are audio drops. I would also appreciate a brightness control on the receiver. In brighter scenes, it is hard to view the level output.
One other item to be aware of is the receiver will obscure the LCD on cameras with flip-up screens. This is not a knock on the Wireless Go. It’s a fact of life for flip-up screens like the Sony A6400. I knew this would be a limitation when I bought my A6400, so it is not a surprise. The ultra-slim form factor of the Rode Wireless Go lets me continue to use the flip-up screen for basic composition.
One last item… buy your Rode equipment from an authorized dealer, like B&H Photo. Rode has warnings on their website about knock-off products sold through Amazon and other sources popular in the US.