Recording podcasts, interviews and video content couldn’t be easier with Rode’s compact new wireless mics.
Rode’s Wireless ME is an ultra‑compact wireless microphone system designed to meet the needs of content creators. The transmitter and receiver are both very small (44 x 45.3 x 18.3mm), and weigh just 32g each, yet they both have built‑in microphone capsules, so they can be used without having to plug in external mics. However, there is also a mini‑TRS jack connection on the transmitter for an external lavalier or camera mic, should one be needed.
Having a second mic located in the receiver is invaluable when recording a conversation between a third party and the operator, while the compact size is a bonus when working with video. The mics themselves use omnidirectional back‑electret capsules, and conversion is 24‑bit at up to 48kHz, with a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz (no limits specified), a dynamic range of 100dB and a maximum SPL of 122dB SPL. An equivalent noise figure of 22dBA is specified, which is more than adequate for the vast majority of situations.
The system incorporates Rode’s GainAssist technology, which keeps recording levels in check automatically. This uses what Rode describe as ‘intelligent’ algorithms to automatically control audio levels and to prevent clipping. In Auto GainAssist mode, the system aims to achieve a consistent sound level, which is useful when the audio source is moving around. Dynamic GainAssist mode captures more of the natural dynamics of the source while still trying to stabilise the overall level. You can also turn off GainAssist if you prefer to set the gain manually.
Utilising Rode’s Series IV 2.4GHz digital transmission with 128‑bit encryption, the Wireless ME boasts a range of over 100 metres depending on the environment, and requires no licence to operate. The integral rechargeable lithium batteries allow an operating time of up to seven hours, and can be recharged using any 5V USB port or charger.
Two furry windshields and a storage pouch are included, along with four cables enabling the receiver to be plugged directly into cameras, computers, iPhones (iOS 16 or later) and Android (9.0 or later) smartphones. The system is fully compatible with Rode’s Capture, Connect and Reporter apps. Additionally, it is possible to add another transmitter in situations where three mics are needed. The Rode Connect and Rode Central apps provide controls to enable or disable the mic in the receiver, switch the GainAssist mode to Auto, Dynamic or off, and to pair or unpair up to two transmitters. You can also switch between Split and Merged recording modes (the two mic signals are mixed or kept separate), adjust the output gain, change the LED brightness and update the firmware. Changes made using the apps are remembered when the device is disconnected. The receiver’s connectivity LED shows green if its mic is on or orange if it is off.
Podcasters will find Rode Connect especially useful, as it is capable of connecting up to four Wireless ME devices to one computer, and also includes a section of pads for launching sound effects.
As shipped, the transmitter and receiver are already paired, though re‑pairing is very straightforward. The transmitter has an LED to show charging/battery condition and another to indicate that it is paired with the receiver. The battery LED flashes green while charging and then remains steady when charging is complete. A power button is located on the bottom edge of the case and the integral mic grille is at the top, with the mini‑TRS mic jack alongside. A USB‑C port is located on one side and an integral sprung clip allows fixing to clothing.
The audio quality is impressive given the small size of the devices, with a natural‑sounding clarity and minimal noise.
The receiver looks very similar, but rather than having an external mic input, it has a mini‑jack headphone output alongside its USB‑C port. Setting up proved easy enough and the audio quality is impressive given the small size of the devices, with a natural‑sounding clarity and minimal noise. The range is generous in line‑of‑sight situations but I began to get dropouts as I moved further away and into different rooms separated by brick walls. However, in most of the interview-style applications I can envisage, the transmitter won’t be too far from the receiver or separated by solid walls.
Connected via USB, the receiver shows up as an audio interface in a typical DAW, though recording can be handled quite effectively within the Rode Connect software too, so unless you need to add specific effects to the recording there’s no need to involve a DAW. As an affordable but high‑quality wireless solution for creative work where you don’t want to get bogged down by unnecessary complications, the Wireless ME system gets a thumbs up.
An affordable, uncomplicated way to add high‑quality audio to videos and interviews.
£159 including VAT.
Source Distribution +44 (0)20 8962 5080.
Rode +1 (562) 364 7400.