Are Rode Microphones Any Good? – Hands-on Comparison

by Jun 15, 2020

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Improving the sound for your video and vlogs for YouTube is important for audience retention and Rode microphones are one of the most popular mics use by vloggers. I personally own 5 of these 7 mics, but are Rode microphones any good and are they worth the money?

Rode has a good range of high-quality and professional microphones that will give your videos a crisp and reliable sound. It’s the quality of the sound that makes them a popular choice for vloggers and professional film makers and they are worth the money.

Here are 7 of the most popular Rode microphones used for vloggers and YouTube content creators. All these Rode microphones will improve your sound quality over internal or built-in mics, but let me help you decide which one is best for you.

Which Rode Microphone is Best for You?

The reason I personally own a few Rode microphones is that I use different microphones depending on the type of video I’m shooting, or how I’m creating that video. Other factors you will want to consider include how far from the camera a subject will be, how you can attach the microphone to the device you’re filming with, or how do you need to power the microphone.

NameConnectionRangePoweredWeightIdeal use
Rode Wireless GO3.5mm70m (230ft)Built-in31gTravel
Rode VideoMic Pro3.5mm9v battery85gEvents
Rode VideoMic Me/Me-L3.5mmActive34gTravel
Rode VideoMicro3.5mmActive42gTravel
Rode VideoMic Go3.5mmActive73gEvents
Rode NT-USBUSB15cm (6”)USB520gHome
Rode PodcasterUSBClose rangeUSB610gHome
Data taken from manuals on Rode.com

Rode Wireless Go – Capture Sound Up to 70m Away

For wireless vlogging when you don’t want to be tethered to the camera, then you’ll want to buy the Wireless GO microphone. This wireless microphone came out top in our comparison of the best wireless microphones for vlogging.

The Wireless GO microphone has a range of up to 70m (230ft), making it ideal if you’re giving a presentation where the camera is somewhere else in the room, or in any scenario where you need to be more than an arm’s length from your camera.

You can attach a lavalier microphone (lav mic) to the transmitter, which means your audio will be even better than using the built-in microphone on your camera.

Rode VideoMic Pro – the Professional Vloggers’ Choice

This is a shotgun style microphone that is designed to be used with DSLR cameras by mounting it in the hot shoe. By mounting it on top of the camera, you will need to always be pointing your camera in the direction of the sound you want to record.

The only downside to using the VideoMic Pro is that you will have to carry a spare battery with you, as it is powered by a separate 9v battery. The battery does typically last for up to 70 hours of recording time, so this isn’t a major drawback.

You will also need to remember to turn the VideoMic Pro on each time you record. If this is a concern to you, then you might want to consider the Pro+ option, as this higher-spec model has an automatic on/off function. Buy Rode on Amazon

Rode VideoMic Me or Me-L – What’s the Difference?

One of the smaller microphone options that Rode offers is the Rode VideoMic Me. This tiny microphone is designed to enhance the audio you are capturing from your smartphone, but be aware that there are 2 version of this microphone.

Which one of the 2 versions of the Rode VideoMic Me you need will depend on which type of connection you have on your smartphone. If your input is the traditional 3.5mm connection, then you will need the original VideoMic Me, but if you have an iPhone with a lightning connection, you will need the Me-L.

Rode VideoMicro – Why Is This a Popular Vlogging Mic?

If you’ve ever seen someone out vlogging with a ball of fluff on top of their camera, the chances are that it was the Rode VideoMicro. This small mic is lightweight, doesn’t require batteries and enhances the on-board sound of any digital camera.

Because it doesn’t require a battery and it’s lightweight it’s popular among travel vloggers. So if you’re vlogging or capturing video outdoors, want to capture better audio while travelling or you just want a great microphone at a reasonable price, then this is probably the choice for you.

You can attach the VideoMicro to a boom arm, via the built-in connection, so it’s also ideal if you’re just starting out at home and want to capture better audio.

Rode VideoMic Go – Is This Better Than the VideoMicro?

The Rode VideoMic Go is a shotgun microphone that sits on top of your chosen DSLR. This mic is slightly longer than the VideoMicro and also has a narrower polar pattern for recording than the VideoMicro (this is the area that it picks up sound from) so it will be more focused on what you or your subject are saying.

If you’re going to be recording in a room with lots of background noise or with people to the side of you that might be talking, the VideoMic Go is one to consider. With its narrow polar pattern, the VideoMic Go is less likely to pick up background noise or noise to the side of the camera, meaning that you will record cleaner audio. The flip side of this is that you will need to make sure you are standing directly in front of the microphone when you film.

The VideoMic Go is actively powered which means it doesn’t require an external power source; as long as your camera has power, then so does your microphone.

Rode NT-USB – Is This Any Good for YouTube?

The audio quality level steps up a little with the Rode NT-USB, as it is a condenser microphone designed for studio use and not for run-and-gun style vlogging. However, if you are recording tutorial videos or videos that require a voiceover than you will not be disappointed with the Rode NT-USB.

The Rode NT-USB is widely used by YouTube creators who record their videos at home because the quality of the audio is better and background noise is reduced.

You’ll need a spare USB port (or adapter if you have a MacBook Pro) for connecting to your laptop or Mac. The NT-USB microphone also has on-board headphone monitoring, so you can keep an eye on your audio levels while recording.

Rode Podcaster Microphone – Is This Just for Podcasters?

As the name of this microphone suggests, the Rode Podcaster microphone is ideal for anyone creating a podcast and therefore is ideal for a recording studio, or creating videos with voiceover.

You use the Podcasting microphone close up to your face to eliminate background noise, which helps keep your audience engaged as they can clearly hear your message.

Related Questions:

Do I need a microphone to capture audio?

Yes, if you want to capture quality sound for your videos, you will need a microphone. You can capture sound using an on-board microphone, but the quality of internal microphones is much lower. Investing in a quality external microphone, even an entry level like a Rode VideoMicro, will improve your sound.

Which is the best Rode microphone for my smartphone?

The Rode VideoMic Me or Me-L are best for smartphones. The VideoMic Me-L is for iPhones that have a lightning connection and the VideoMic Me has a 3.5mm connection for all other smartphones.

How do I reduce wind noise on my microphone?

To reduce wind noise on your microphone, you can add what is called a Deadcat over your mic. You can purchase a Rode Deadcat on Amazon.

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