Rode VideoMic Go II | Engadget

When someone asks “what’s the best microphone”, the response is usually “well depends on what you’re recording”. Rode’s new VideoMic Go II, as the name suggests, will not be suitable for podcasting. is not it?

It’s very clear that the VideoMic Go II was designed to sit on top of the camera. That’s just a fact, but with USB and 3.5mm outputs and compatibility with Rode Connect — the company’s USB-compatible audio streaming app — it turns out this lightweight, $99 microphone can be more versatile than it initially appears.

If you are be If you’re looking for a microphone for your DSLR, know that the VideoMic Go II has a cold mount, the aforementioned 3.5mm output (which can also be used for monitoring) and comes with a Rycote shock mount and windshield in the box. There’s no secondary/safety/stereo recording here or mic control, but that’s normal for something in this price range.

Performance-wise, the sound is surprisingly rich for a mic of this size without sounding “dead”. There isn’t a noticeable difference between the audio you get from a USB port compared to the 3.5mm port strip, and it’s a slight difference in gain. When compared to Rode’s VideoMic Me and VideoMic NTG, VideoMic Go II might be my favourite. It’s natural, focusing just on the right amount of ambiance/feeling of space.

Where VideoMic Go II becomes more interesting is how it performs in else Use cases. When connected to a computer and placed on a desk, the VideoMic Go II sounds just as powerful as more expensive dynamic microphones. So much so that he threw me for a moment.

Perhaps the best example of this is when I tested it for the $400 Shure SM7B and the $99 NT USB Mini for the Rode. Given that both the Rodes in this test were condenser mics and cost roughly the same, you’d think those two would be a close match, but it turns out that the VideoMic Go II looked Much Closer to SM7B. That’s not to say it’s as good as the SM7B (there’s a bit more depth in the Shure and perhaps a more dynamic range) but given the disparity in price, that certainly wasn’t expected.

This similarity gets further complicated when you consider that the different type of capsule – Rode’s condenser versus Shure dynamic – alone would give them an entirely different sound. You can hear all three microphones in the sample below. It starts with Shure, then VideoMic Go II and then NT Mini. The transition between the first two is subtle, but the latter is obvious. Oh, and the VideoMic Go II was about two inches away from my mouth than the SM7B.

Of course, this is just one test, in one scenario in one specific room. But for a quick comparison of what a $400 microphone can do for $99, this is a good starting point. Although there are no controls on the device, there are some configurable options via Rode Central. When connected to the application (mobile or desktop), you will have the option to adjust the gain level, apply a high-pass filter/high-frequency boost and adjust the monitor volume. It’s less convenient than the physical controls on a microphone, but it still gives you some control over how it sounds or responds to different inputs. (If you’re wondering, the audio above starts with the SM7B and switches over to the VideoMic Go II at “two condenser mics”).

Given that Rode has added compatibility with Connect, and the USB option makes it convenient for a phone and tablet, the VideoMic Go II may suddenly be very good for the price. A mic that has videos but can also do double duty as a podcast mic (and thus a multi-purpose computer mic) seems to be a lot of bang for your buck for real money.

Of course, if you really need something that registers a security channel, has physical variable controls or if an XLR connection is necessary, this is not the thing to look for. But for the most general uses of the creator? Finally, it may not “totally depend on what you’re recording”.

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