Reviews |Rode VideoMic Go II

Rode VideoMic Go II Review

Rode VideoMic Go II review
Review

Price when reviewed

£99

$99

Our Verdict

The Rode VideoMic Go II is attractively priced and capable of producing high-quality sound. It’s very easy to use and in many cases you can just plug it into your camera, computer or smartphone and get going. However, as with all microphones, it’s worth putting a little effort in to ensure you have an appropriate level set. It’s also worth investigating whether the high frequency boost or high-pass filter options improve the sound.

For

  • Great sound
  • Host-powered
  • Small and easy to use

Against

  • No fluffy windshield or USB cable in the box
  • Smartphone or computer required to make setting changes
  • An 'in operation' light would be useful

What is the Rode VideoMic Go II?

The Rode VideoMic Go II is the update to the original Rode VideoMic Go shotgun microphone and it gains some of the features of the excellent Rode VideoMic NTG.

Rode has designed the VideoMic Go II to be easy to use, having no physical controls but key settings such as the input level, PAD (Passive Attenuation Device), high-pass filter and high-frequency boost can be adjusted using the Rode Central app when the mic is connected to either a smartphone or a computer.

Specification

  • Product type: Shotgun microphone
  • Connection: 3.5mm, USB-C
  • Polar pattern: Supercardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Signal to noise Ratio: 79dBA
  • Sensitivity: -31 dBV (28.78mV @ 94dB SPL) ± 1dB @ 1kHz
  • Power: 3.5mm plug-in power 2-5V, USB 5V
  • Dimensions (L x W): 171 x 21.6mm
  • Weight: 33g mic only, 89g with shock mount, 96g with all included accessories
Rode VideoMic Go II review

Features

Rode has given the VideoMic Go II a new acoustic design that we’ve previously seen with the Rode VideoMic NTG and NTG 5 microphones. It features annular line tube technology which is claimed to enable unmatched transparency and rich sound.

There’s no battery to charge in the VideoMic Go II as it uses power from whatever it’s plugged into either via a 35.mm or USB connection. As mentioned earlier, there are also no external controls on the microphone and the audio level is adjusted in-camera using the camera’s pre-amp settings. Alternatively, if the mic is connected to a smartphone, tablet or computer via USB, it can be adjusted using the Rode Central app.

You don’t need to power-up the VideoMic Go II, it works automatically when it’s connected to a device, however, with some cameras you may need to check that they’re set to work with an external mic.

Rode has given the VideoMic Go II a 3.5mm TRS output which means it is directly compatible with cameras featuring a 3.5mm mic port. There’s also a USB-C output for connecting the VideoMic Go II to a smartphone, tablet or computer. Apple iPhone users can connect the VideoMic Go II to their phone using Rode’s SC15 cable which has a Lightning connection at one end and a USB-C connection at the other end.

When the USB port is used to connect the microphone to a recording device, the mic’s 3.5mm port can be used as a headphone port. You can also use the USB connection to connect to a smartphone to check and adjust the microphones settings when you’re out in the field and recording with a camera.

As the Rode VideMic Go II is a shotgun mic, it has a very directional pick-up pattern, meaning it picks up the audio from subjects directly in front of it rather than behind or to the side. This makes it a useful option for recording specific subjects out in the field but also ideal for vlogging to camera and recording voiceovers or podcasts.

While Rode supplies a dense foam cover with the Rode VideoMic Go II, there’s no fluffy dead cat in the box, it has to be purchased separately.

Rode VideoMic Go II review

Build and handling

The Rode VideoMic Go II has a metal barrel, which gives it a high-quality and robust feel. It comes with a plastic shock mount which can be mounted in a camera’s hotshoe. This mount is around 22mm long and enables the mic to move forwards or backwards by about 15mm to make it stand forward of the viewfinder or behind the front element of a wide lens as required.

As usual, it takes a little wiggling to get the microphone barrel into the grip of the shock mount but once in, it’s held securely.

Rode VideoMic Go II review

With the mic facing forwards, the USB port is on the right of the barrel while the 3.5mm port is on the left. Dedicated grips in the base of the mount are intended to enable the cables to be kept out of the way, but they’re a bit fiddly to use with the supplied SC14 3.5mm TRS to TRS cable.

At 120mm in length, the Rode VideoMic Go II is shorter than the original VideoMic Go (167mm), it also weighs just 96g with the supplied shock mount, SC14 TRS cable and foam windshield. Consequently, it feels well balanced on a range of different devices.

Rode VideoMic Go II review

Performance

The precise set-up of a microphone depends upon the location and what you’re recording as well as the recording device that you’re using. However, the main subject should be close to a shotgun mic, usually less than a metre away and ideally at about 30-50cm depending upon the focal length of the lens.

Recording in a studio environment with little hum from a hard drive in the background and the Rode VideoMic Go II connected via USB to my computer, the mic captured rich well-rounded sound when it was around 45cm/18inches from my mouth and its input was at around the half-way point.

In the same environment but using the Rode VideoMic Go II on the Nikon Z50 at a similar distance, I found the best results were captured when the camera’s microphone sensitivity setting was set to 12 via the menu. With some cameras you can turn the camera’s pre-amp right down and rely on the microphone to do the work but reducing the camera’s microphone sensitivity to its minimum (1) made the volume of the recording too quiet.

Outside, using the VideoMic Go II produces fuller, more rounded audio than the Nikon Z50’s on-board microphone. Standing in a woodland with water droplets falling from the trees, birds tweeting, distance vehicle noise and the occasional passing aeroplane, pushing the microphone sensitivity to 19 or 20 resulted in some red on the audio levels indicator, so 18 is maximum value I would use in that setting. This resulted in just about acceptable audio when I was standing approximately 2m away from the camera, although the ambient noise is more obvious. Better results were produced at 1m distance with the microphone sensitivity set to 15 and at 50cm with the microphone sensitivity at 12.

I also used the microphone to record audio out on a walk and it did a good job of capturing natural audio with my dog splashing a river and feet trudging along a muddy path. Again, the results are best when the main subject is near to the camera as they are more dominant over the background ambient noise.

Even though the supplied foam windshield was fitted, I noticed a little wind noise on occasion and I’d recommend investing in a fluffy windshield if you’re planning to record outside on a regular basis.

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lisa
lisa
7 months ago

The gain setting of the microphone is only when using it in usb-c mode. When using a 3.5mm jack, the gain is fixed.