When Rode released the original Wireless GO, it was an instant hit. Ease of use, audio quality and reasonable price have made wireless microphones much more accessible. In fact, it was so successful that it spawned a number of products of . After releasing the ($299) with two mics, the company is back with a more affordable option – the $149 ME wireless. There’s also a new video app called Rode Capture aimed at creators that offers tight integration with the Wireless ME and other products from the company.
If you think “more affordable” means fewer features, then you’re right. But also you might be surprised. Even though it initially appears to be just one transmitter (mic) and one receiver, the latter also has a built-in mic so you can still record two speakers at the same time with their own audio files. separated. That said, Rode calls the second mic the “ME mic” and describes it as a “narrator” mic because you can’t use it wirelessly (it’s the one that plugs into your recording device) so it doesn’t can really only be used by someone off camera. That’s obviously not a problem if you’re not recording video, but it’s worth knowing if you are.
There are, of course, other minor compromises. For one, the receiver has no type of display, so visual feedback for connectivity is limited to a pair of LEDs. There doesn’t seem to be any feedback for the gain levels at all. There’s also no onboard storage to save away from a camera, computer or phone. It also means there’s no option to record a safety track at a lower gain level which given the lack of a way to see the levels means you’ll really have to be sure that everything is settled in advance. As a reminder, the ME costs half the price of the GO II.
However, there are tools to help you. The Wireless ME comes with a feature called GainAssist which internally monitors the signal and automatically sets levels based on your surroundings and subject volume. It certainly helps keep things from clipping, but you can still go red with it. It seems to use either a limiter or compression (or both), but you can always crank it into the red. There’s also a ‘dynamic’ mode for recording stuff with a more consistent volume than speech.
In terms of range, you can expect around 100 meters / 328 feet (line of sight) but in practice this can vary a bit in either direction depending on conditions. This is a shorter range than the Wireless GO II (200 meters / 656 feet) and (250 meters / 820 feet) but probably sufficient for most scenarios. As for battery life, it’s a respectable seven hours but there’s no charging case like with DJI or solutions.
With no ability to change settings directly on the device, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the Rode Central app. This is where you can enable or disable the receiver’s microphone if you want to use it, change whether it records to one or two separate files (if you’re using both mics), and adjust the gain settings. There are desktop and mobile (Android/iOS) versions so you can change modes on the go, although it’s a bit more complicated than doing it on the receiver like with DJI and Anker products.
Since the narrator-guest setup isn’t ideal for recording two speakers on camera at the same time, it’s a shame the receiver doesn’t have the ability to plug an external 3.5 lav mic into it. mm. This would mean you could theoretically run one with a longer cable and have two on the camera hosts. You can still use 3.5mm mics with the main transmitter. Alternatively, if you have access to another transmitter, such as a Wireless GO II, you can pair it with the ME’s receiver and record up to three people at the same time – although two of them will need to share a channel audio in case separate files for all speakers are important to you.
The interoperability between the Wireless GO II and the ME shows that Rode is thinking about how these products can work together, meaning creators can collaborate seamlessly with their own gear or continue using older products even when new ones appear. Expect to see more interoperability with other wireless devices in the future.
Along with the new microphone kit is the aforementioned Capture app. It’s a dedicated video application with a little extra: direct access to the settings of compatible Rode microphones. Most video apps won’t even let you know which mic you’re using, which can cause anxiety when you’re not sure it works with the one you’ve plugged in. Having that assurance alone is useful, and direct access to microphone settings is always going to be a welcome bonus for creators. The app is completely free and does not require a Rode product to run, but will need one of the Rode products. compatible products if you want to access its settings.
The Wireless ME is available for $149 starting today.
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