The Rode Wireless Go brings wireless audio to mainstream video creators: smaller, lighter, cheaper and easier to use than any decent wireless system to date. Like all wireless systems, it gives you the freedom to walk around, unencumbered by cables or directional microphones and delivering the quoted 70m / 230 feet range given line-of-sight. It’s easy to use too: just switch on the units and seconds later they’re good to go with a helpful display indicating signal strength and battery life. Cleverly the clips on each unit are also the width of a coldshoe accessory, allowing you to slide them onto a camera hotshoe. But the real genius is the compact size coupled with a built-in microphone - sure you can connect your own lav mic if you prefer, but the transmitter is sufficiently compact for it to be clipped directly onto a collar. In my tests the audio quality was respectable, beating similarly-priced shotguns when used more than a couple of meters from the camera, especially outdoors. The relatively hot output means you’ll need to be careful with your camera’s audio levels when setting up and the built-in antennas mean the range is significantly reduced when you’re turned away or don’t have line-of-sight, so be warned if you have the transmitter in a back pocket. If you want the freedom to move around while you talk, not to mention greater resistance to echoey rooms or noisy exteriors, then you simply can’t beat a lav mic with a wireless connection - and the Rode Wireless Go gives it to you in a smaller, lighter and cheaper package than ever before, opening it up to a whole new audience. I can Highly Recommended it to any video creators taking their first steps into wireless audio.
The Rode Wireless Go is the World’s smallest wireless microphone system and one of the most affordable options for anyone wanting to explore the benefits of cable-free recording. Like all wireless systems, it consists of a transmitter with a microphone input and a receiver that connects to your camera or sound recorder, but what makes the Wireless Go unique amongst rivals is not just the tiny size of each unit but the inclusion of a microphone built-into the transmitter, allowing you to clip it directly to clothing and use it as a lapel microphone. You can of course connect your own mic to the transmitter if you prefer, but the built-in mic provides a quick and easy solution.
Each unit is powered by a built-in battery charged over USB C and good for up to seven hours of operation. The units employ digital transmission using the 2.4GHz frequency, connect automatically, avoid congestion and work at up to 70m / 230 feet. Both units cleverly employ clips which match the width of a standard coldshoe, allowing you to slide them directly onto stands or camera hotshoes, and the receiver includes a small display indicating signal strength, audio levels and the battery life of each unit. An audio cable to connect to your camera, a pair of USB charging cables, two wind mufflers and a pouch are supplied as standard.
To put the Rode Wireless Go to the test I tried it indoors and outdoors at various distances, comparing the quality and range to a comparably-priced shotgun microphone as well the built-in camera mics. Find out if it’s the wireless microphone for you in my video review below, or check out the highlights which follow!
Above: The Rode Wireless Go is the World’s smallest wireless microphone system. Here’s the receiver on the left and the transmitter on the right, both tiny boxes weighing just 31g each.
Above: On the top of the receiver on the left are a pair of buttons, one to adjust the output level between 0, -6 and -12db and the other to initiate pairing if the units don’t do it automatically; I never needed to initiate a connection, but due to the relatively hot output from the unit, I did generally need to reduce the level to -6 or -12db. Meanwhile on the transmitter on the right you can see the 3.5mm microphone input and the built-in microphone in the middle. Note while you can connect a stereo mic to the input, its channels will be merged into a mono signal for transmission and recording. Oh and in case you were wondering, you cannot connect two or more transmitters to one receiver. If you want to mic-up multiple people, you will need one receiver per transmitter. Up to eight can operate in the same location though, automatically avoiding each other’s signal.
Above: Both units feature clips to attach them to clothing, but cleverly each is the width of a standard coldshoe, allowing you to slide them directly onto camera hotshoes or other compatible stands.
Above: Both units are powered by built-in batteries charged over USB C. Rode quotes a life of 7 hours per charge and supplies a pair of USB-C to USB-A cables, although I managed to charge the units successfully with my MacBook Pro charger.
Above: Rode supplies a small wind muffler that clips onto the transmitter to reduce wind noise, plus a spare. They proved effective at reducing wind noise, but could come loose quite easily.
Above: Here’s the receiver mounted onto the hotshoe atop a Sony A6400. The A6400’s screen flips up over the top to face-forward which means anything mounted on the hotshoe will block the view, but the receiver is sufficiently small that it only obstructs the lower half.
Above: The unique selling point of the Wireless Go system is being able to use the transmitter as a lav microphone, clipped to your clothing. Obviously while the unit may be small for a wireless transmitter, it’s large for a lav mic, but if you reverse it so the main box is behind the clothing, then only the clip is visible, as seen here. Depending on your clothing, it can be quite discreet, although you can of course connect a traditional lav mic if you prefer.
Above: Rode quotes a maximum operating distance of 70m / 230 feet which I achieved in my tests. In this photo I was around 70m away.