Rode Microphones has a new and improved version of its popular Go portable microphone, the Wireless Go II, which uses the same form factor as the original but adds a list of new and improved features. In particular, the Go II offers two transmitter packages that can communicate with a single receiver at the same time, so you can record two single speakers with the same camera or connected device.
The Rode Wireless Go II ($ 299) comes with everything you need to record high quality audio with a camera or other device that can be plugged into a 3.5mm jack. The transmitter packages – there are two of them in the box – have built-in microphones that provide great sound on their own, or you can use them with any 3.5mm lavalier microphone as needed.
The receiver package can output up to 3.5mm TRS, but it can also send via USB Type C (which is also used for charging). This is new for this generation, and Rode also sells USB-C to USB-C and USB-C to Lightning cables so you can use them with modern Android devices, iPhones, iPads, Macs, and PCs .
Each of the three packs has a built-in rechargeable battery that provides up to 7 hours of operating time on a single charge. You can set the gain for each transmitter independently and mute either or both of the receiver package. You can also switch between mono recording with each station as a channel and stereo recording modes.
The transmitters can be operated at a distance of 200 meters from the receiver, provided they have a line of sight. The receiver has a display where you can view input levels, battery status, connectivity and much more. The transmitters each have two LEDs that provide visual feedback for connectivity and gain. Each also automatically records locally and can store more than 24 hours of audio in built-in memory in the event that connectivity goes down.
Design and performance
With this update, it really feels like Rode has thought of everything. On the one hand, you can get started right away, as the transmitter packages and the receiver are pre-paired and assigned to the left and right channels by default. They’re incredibly easy to use, and while Rode has introduced a new Windows and Mac app for centralized control, the Rode Central, you don’t need any additional software to start recording.
This updated version also uses new RF transmission technology with built-in 128-bit encryption and a much larger location area for its use. This should make them much more reliable in areas where there is already a lot of HF traffic – for example in a busy shopping mall (once the COVID times are behind us), in conference rooms or in other public areas with lots of people and smartphones.
The built-in memory is also new and means that you don’t have to worry about potential disconnections as you always have a local file that you can rely on on the transmitter packages themselves. A similar reassurance function is a safety channel that records a safety track at -20 dB. So if you come across loud noise that is causing peaks in your primary recording, you have another option. Both functions must be activated proactively in the Rode Central app, with which Rode also provides future firmware updates for Go II. However, they are very welcome additions.
In the meantime, the best new feature could be that you get all of these improvements in the same great package. Rode’s original Go was notable in large part because it came in such a small, portable package with transmitters that included both built-in microphones and great body wraps. The size here is exactly the same and these use the same built-in clips that make them compatible with all existing Rode Go accessories.
There is a concept of “lapping” in racing where you are so far ahead of a competitor that you overtake them again. That’s exactly what Rode did with the Go II, which leads the way for the best mobile video / field podcasting microphone on the market and has smart features that address the few drawbacks of the original.