There are very few film and video products that I’ve used in my life where I was like… this 100% makes my job easier. Discovering my first RØDE VideoMic back in the old DSLR days of video production was one of these true game-changing moments.
It solved so many problems with the awful built-in audio options which typically came with these early DSLR and mirrorless cameras. Which was a problem because so many of us starting off in video were doing so with indie, DIY, micro, or even no budgets to speak of.
We couldn’t afford an audio recorder, a boom mic, and a friend to a boom pole. But we could afford a cheap, light, and easy mini-boom mic which we could attach to the top of our cameras. It was a true plug-and-play option for many of us, and truth be told, many more of us might even still have those VideoMics sitting around our studios.
However, this is 2022, damnit, and while the needs of videographers can range from indie-budget features to high-end corporate production, another avenue has emerged entirely—the YouTube vlogger. And man, if I had been starting off today, you’d bet I’d be trying to start a YouTube channel and most likely using a product like this new RØDE VideoMic GO II.
So, just as I loved the original, let’s check out this new offering to see if it might be right for your video projects and needs.
The RØDE VideoMic GO II
So RØDE has finally introduced the next generation of its uber-popular VideoMic GO with some new features which you might have seen in some of its other products (like the VideoMic NTG5, for example). The biggest headlines for this GO II include:
- Updated tube design for higher quality directional audio (similar to the NTG and NTG5)
- High-pass filter and high-frequency boost
- 3.5mm TRS output for camera connection and USB output for smartphones or computers
- Compatible with RØDE apps for more advanced features and processing
- Still lightweight (89 grams) and still plug-in power (no battery required)
As mentioned above, these RØDE VideoMics have been great options for a wide variety of traditional film and video needs. But the real opportunity is with these new and up-and-coming content styles like vlogging, podcasting, and streaming.
The VideoMic GO II should slot in as a solid first choice for any creators just starting off who might be frustrated with the quality which they’re finding with their built-in audio recording options with their cameras or smartphones.
A Variety of Uses
To be perfectly honest, simplicity and ease-of-use might be the most valuable thing any brand can strive for these days. The GO II promises to remove even more variables and issues that usually come with audio recording on the run. From trying the GO II out with a couple of setups, I can say that it works just as simply and easily as expected.
The audio sounds crisp and clear when you’re in just about any normal circumstances. If you’re trying to record field audio in a hurricane, though, it’s going to sound like a hurricane. But if you have just a little bit of audio knowledge (or common sense) at your disposal you can easily put yourself in situations where the GO II will sound close to any higher-end boom setup.
The biggest game-changer for me might simply be the USB-C output for working with smartphones. I just got the iPhone 13 and have been experimenting with the cinematic capabilities and can say, if this is your bag, then the GO II would probably be my first choice for adding better audio to your mix.
For these mostly DIY setups, you don’t have to worry about power, you don’t have to worry about levels, and for the most part, you don’t have to worry about external wind or racket.
The RØDE App Suite
I also got to mess around with the RØDE app suite for the first time trying out RØDE Connect (the brand’s free podcasting and streaming software), RØDE Central (its desktop and mobile companion app), and RØDE Reporter (its journalist-friendly companion for recording and broadcasting).
With these RØDE apps, there are even more controls and features than I’d used before (like a high-pass filter, a high-frequency boost, pad, and some other level controls) which, when doubled with your native audio controls with your camera or smartphone) give you plenty of range to work with.
If you’re seriously (or curiously) interested in podcasting, the RØDE Connect looks to be a great app for processing your content in-app before sharing it with your audiences worldwide, too.
Price and Availability
How do you feel about this new on-camera mic offering? Let us know in the comments below!