The Rode Wi-fi Go II is a compact wi-fi microphone system that helps two transmitters, inner recording and connections to cameras, telephones and computer systems. Introduced in February 2021, it arrives roughly two years after the unique Wi-fi Go and builds-upon its idea of bringing simple wi-fi audio to mainstream creators.

Like its predecessor, the Wi-fi Go II employs very compact transmitter and receiver modules, with the previous together with a built-in microphone along with an analogue enter for an exterior mic. This implies you should use the transmitter as a standard pack with a separate lav mic, or truly clip the transmitter on to your collar and use it because the mic as properly.

The Wi-fi Go II addresses a quantity criticisms and requests by permitting two transmitters to connect with a single receiver to report two topics on the similar time, whereas additionally supporting longer distances as much as 200m line-of-sight. The Go II can now work as each an analogue mic for typical cameras or as a USB mic, connecting on to suitable computer systems, tablets or telephones; an optionally available Lightning cable additionally connects to older iPhones. The Go II now helps Rode’s security channel function the place a a lot quieter model is recorded to a separate channel, defending you from surprising loud sounds or incorrectly set ranges. The transmitters can now additionally report audio internally (exported in both compressed MP3 or uncompressed 24 bit WAV) as extra safety from dropouts, whereas the extremely irritating windshield of the unique has been redesigned with a sturdy bayonet mount, stopping it from falling off. Better of all of the Wi-fi Go II comes with a pair of transmitters for less than 50% greater than the previous model which solely supported – and got here with – one.

I actually loved the unique Wi-fi Go and apply it to numerous my movies, so with the brand new model claiming to handle most of my points, I couldn’t wait to attempt it out! Within the video under you’ll see and listen to demonstrations of all the brand new options in follow!

Arriving two years after the unique Wi-fi Go, the Mark II model shares the identical measurement transmitter and receiver modules, with the transmitter nonetheless together with a built-in microphone in addition to an analogue enter for an exterior mic. This implies you may both use the transmitter as a standard wi-fi pack with a separate lav mic, or truly clip the transmitter on to your collar and use it because the lav mic as properly, as I’m doing right here.

Thus far so comparable, however in a serious improve, the Go II now comes with two transmitter models, permitting you to simply mic-up and report two individuals directly, making it excellent for interviews. The brand new receiver hyperlinks to each transmitters on the similar time, and shows the standing of each individually, together with their output ranges, battery, sign power and recording mode. Word the brand new transmitters and receiver usually are not suitable with the previous ones.

As earlier than the models are powered by inner batteries which are charged over USB C, however in a pleasant improve now you can use the USB port on the receiver as an audio output. This implies you may join it to computer systems, tablets or telephones as a regular USB mic that you should use with any software program for video calls, dwell streaming, and even recording a podcast, and a lightning cable can also be obtainable for iPhones. The previous 3.5mm analogue output stays for connecting to cameras, however when the receiver’s related over USB as an alternative, this port doubles as a headphone jack.

In an enormous usability improve, the extremely irritating windshield of the unique mannequin has been redesigned with a sturdy bayonet mount, stopping it from falling off. Rode provides three mufflers within the field, and whereas they’re nonetheless fairly massive on-camera, you may at all times use a extra discrete separate lav mic as an alternative if most well-liked.

In step with latest Rode shotguns, the Go II now features a security channel possibility which information the conventional degree to 1 channel alongside a a lot quieter model on the opposite, thereby defending you from by accident excessive ranges.

In a nice however surprising improve, the transmitters can now additionally report audio internally as extra safety from wi-fi dropouts. Dropouts might nevertheless happen much less usually now since Rode has additionally elevated the utmost line-of-sight vary from 70m to 200m.

Better of all of the Wi-fi Go II comes with a receiver and a pair of transmitters for less than 50% greater than the previous model which solely supported one.

Inside recording

One of many greatest and maybe most surprising new options of the Go II is inner recording, and also you’re truly listening to it in motion proper now. The audio I’m utilizing for this part was recorded by the transmitter and exported as an uncompressed WAV. Fairly neat, however whereas it may be genuinely helpful, don’t assume you’re getting a pair of tiny impartial discipline recorders. 

Every transmitter can definitely report its audio internally, offering redundancy from wi-fi dropouts and even points with regardless of the receiver’s plugged into, and there’s sufficient built-in reminiscence to retailer round seven hours of uncompressed audio or over 40 in a compressed format. However in contrast to conventional discipline recorders, there’s no bodily controls to activate recordings, no detachable storage, nor even the flexibility to easily drag WAVs or MP3s out of them.

As an alternative, every thing depends on the Rode Central app which, on the time of reviewing, was solely obtainable for Mac and Home windows techniques. As soon as a transmitter is related over USB, the Central app installs any new firmware updates, then permits you to set the choice to report, together with selecting between compressed or uncompressed codecs, however the precise recording itself received’t begin till the transmitter and receiver are powered-up and related and received’t cease once more till you turn one or each of them off. This implies you’ll want the receiver current and related even when it’s not plugged right into a digital camera or different system, though the receiver’s display remains to be useful for checking ranges, whereas a pink dot above every channel signifies which transmitters are presently recording.

This unattended course of might stop unintended stops and begins, however means you’ll additionally find yourself with plenty of redundant audio, plus as soon as the unit is full, it’ll begin deleting the oldest recordings in a rolling course of. However once more with 7hrs of uncompressed or over 40 of compressed audio, you’ve obtained loads of respiratory house. Simply keep in mind to extract these recordsdata on the finish of every day.

While you wish to entry the recordings although, you may’t simply join the transmitter to your laptop over USB and easily drag-out usable WAVs or MP3s. As an alternative you’ll want to make use of the Rode Central app as soon as extra to pick a recording – at which level you may preview it with useful markers indicating moments of dropouts – earlier than then selecting to export it. You possibly can export uncompressed audio as a WAV in both the native 24 bit or an interpolated 32-bit format, though this doesn’t look like true 32-bit float, so that you’ll nonetheless must take care over setting ranges. In the meantime compressed audio is exported as an MP3 in a wide range of bit charges as much as 320kbps. As for the unique format of the recordings, that’s tougher to inform as checking the storage volumes simply revealed a load of .ugg and .egg recordsdata.

When you’ve accessed and exported the specified recordsdata and located the sections you need, every thing’s high quality, however I believe it might have been so a lot better if every transmitter merely labored as standalone discipline recorders with begin and cease buttons, together with the flexibility to easily drag out usable MP3 or WAV recordsdata as soon as related to a pc. As an alternative there’s an excessive amount of reliance on the Rode Central app which on the time I made this overview wasn’t obtainable on cellular, so many people might want to configure the inner recording settings when again at dwelling.

I also needs to point out the inner recordings had no ranges to regulate however haven’t saturated in my checks thus far. Rode defined the recording degree had been preset for the built-in or a lav mic for regular voice use, however I’m hoping it hints at a broad dynamic vary behind the scenes. Who is aware of, perhaps native 32-bit floating level could also be attainable in a future replace.

However whereas I discover the workflow unnecessarily convoluted, mockingly in an try and be easy, it’s arguably a bonus function you wouldn’t anticipate finding on a wi-fi mic. As such whereas the Go II could possibly be improved to the purpose of turning into an efficient discipline recorder, it’s nonetheless finally a wi-fi microphone system which considerately additionally supplies some inner safety in opposition to dropouts.

Rode Wi-fi Go II verdict

With the Wi-fi Go II, Rode has made vital upgrades over the unique mannequin, fixing numerous points but additionally including some surprising options, and vastly growing its attraction in consequence. Most clearly the twin transmitters now make recording interviews, whether or not on-camera or for audio podcasts a lot simpler than earlier than, and from a sensible facet the irritating windshields of the unique now twist-on and stay-put securely. Personally I’d have been glad by these two upgrades alone, however the Go II additionally will increase the working distance, broadens the connectivity to incorporate telephones, tablets and computer systems, and consists of an inner recording possibility for backup in addition to an optionally available security channel for defense in opposition to surprising loud sounds or badly-set ranges.

In use the vary is genuinely longer, the wind shields now not fall off, and the inner recording and security channel defend from each dropouts and saturation, whereas it’s by no means been faster or simpler to mic-up two individuals for an interview or vlog. I additionally loved the choice of utilizing a wi-fi mic on my laptop or cellphone over USB C for all these Zoom and Skype conferences.

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As somebody who principally makes use of the built-in mic although, I stay a little bit pissed off by Rode’s bodily design. The transmitter unit remains to be distractingly shiny when going through ahead, and even should you reverse it behind a collar, there’s nonetheless these blue standing lights illuminating your neck. I reached out to Rode and requested if a future firmware replace might optionally disable the transmitter lights for discretion, because the receiver show already signifies in the event that they’re truly working. However to be honest, some tape can present stealth if most well-liked and should you’re utilizing the transmitter with a separate lav mic, then the design of the unit, the lights and even the windshield all grow to be non-issues.

Past this, there’s the pointless reliance on the Rode app for configuring and accessing inner recordings which I detailed earlier. I’m hoping Rode’s sly point out of an interpolated 32-bit export within the utility means we may even see a firmware replace sooner or later that permits true 32-bit float on the Wi-fi Go II, however for now you’ll nonetheless must set your ranges rigorously or commerce the flexibility to combine the microphones for that security channel.

However it appears churlish to complain, as had inner recording been omitted of the Go II altogether, I actually wouldn’t have any points with the product in any respect, aside from a very shiny transmitter unit. The very fact is it’s already sufficiently compelling with out inner recording, so I’d view this function as bonus icing on the cake.

Since its launch I’ve come to depend on the Wi-fi Go for my exterior recordings, however with the upgrades the Go II turns into a compelling possibility indoors too, whereas the twin transmitters make interviews a doddle to report. It’s this sheer flexibility that makes the Wi-fi Go II a no brainer for anybody who desires to improve their microphone audio wherever they’re with out worrying about wires or advanced setups. It’s no exaggeration to say I find it irresistible and I reckon most of you’ll too.

Verify costs on the Rode Wi-fi Go II at B&H, Adorama or WEX. Alternatively get your self a duplicate of my In Digicam ebook or deal with me to a espresso! Thanks!

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