I’ve been using the Rode VideoMicro for several weeks now and thrilled with it. It’s a compact shotgun mic with plenty of features for an affordable price. That low price scared me at first – could a product that was 1/3 the cost of Rode’s higher end mics deliver similar quality? In short, yes it can and it’s added feature set make it even more worth it! If you’re looking for a portable high-quality directional mic – the Rode VideoMicro is a great pick!
Why I Purchased the Rode VideoMicro
I make videos. Sometimes I vlog and sometimes I’m in a studio. To date, I shoot videos using the onboard mic while vlogging, and using a studio mic when in a studio. The onboard microphone on my camera is okay – but only if you’re right beside it. Otherwise, it starts to pick up everything around it as an omnidirectional mic should do. In the ways that most people use it, the onboard mics are not good. Seeking to solve that problem, I needed a portable mic that was compact, easy to use and delivered great quality. That’s how I landed on Rode. Other YouTubers use Rode mics including Casey Neistat, the King of Vlogging. $300CDN was a bit steep for me, so I looked for other options. That’s when I found the Rode VideoMicro.
Design and Features
The Rode VideoMicro is a compact directional mic. At 8cm long, and weighing 42 grams, it’s easy to put onto a camera without adding much weight. Built out of metal, it also feels solid in your hand. One side features the microphone, the other the TRS input. Included with the Rode VideoMicro is a Rycote Lyre shock mount, a TRS-to-TRS coiled cable and a deadcat (windshield).
Optionally, you can buy a TRS-to-TRRS cable if you plan to use it with a phone/other camera that uses TRRS. The Rode VideoMicro requires no battery – which makes it ideal for casual users and YouTubers. Too often with battery powered mics, you forget to turn them on (and get no audio) or you forget to turn them off (and kill the battery). This works as long as it’s plugged in.If you’re a professional audio person, these stats will matter to you:
- Frequency Range: 100Hz – 20kHz
- Maximum SPL: 140dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)
- Sensitivity: -33.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (22.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
- Noise Level (A-weighted): 20dB-A
As an added bonus, you can get a 2-year warranty by registering it online.
As mentioned, I’ve been using the Rode VideoMicro for a few weeks now and have found it to be a powerful tool. The sound quality on it when facing the mic (vlogging) is immaculate! The bass is deep, the sound is clear and crisp. It is quite impressive. The sound is less good when you are behind the camera, but it’s still serviceable. That’s what to expect from a directional mic though. The included Rycote Lyre shock mount does a great job at negating any movement – even when I was biking. Meanwhile, the deadcat windscreen does an AMAZING job at removing wind. In Cuba, I was on the beach with winds blowing up to 50km/h, and the microphone pickup was almost nothing.
The quality of the sound is great up to about 12-feet away from it, but drops off quickly after that. Even still, most people filming outdoors won’t be much further than a few feet from their camera. In a studio setting, you may be further but can boost the sound in post. The long and the short of this compact and affordable mic is that it delivers quality! I intend to get my hands on the Rode VideoMic Go and Rode VideoMic Pro to compare the sound on them vs this one. But regardless, for $80 CDN this one delivers exceptional value and quality!