The RØDE Wireless ME mic system is a simplified setup borrowed from pro-level systems that just may check all the boxes for aspiring content creators. With the advent of the mobile revolution it seems everyone has become a content creator. Phones are in just about everyone’s pockets, and inexpensive digital cameras now rival even those used a few years ago to shoot feature films. Yet one aspect of capture that can definitely use a leg-up is in the realm of audio capture, as built-in mics work poorly whenever you’re more than a few inches away from the screen. Can the Wireless ME system step in to rescue? Let’s find out!
RØDE Wireless ME mic system specs
- Includes one transmitter (TX) and one receiver (RX)
- 24bit/48Hz sample rate
- TRS 3.5mm analogue input
- Transmission range: 100m
- Built-in omni-directional mic
- Compatible with RØDE Capture app for video/audio capture (iOS only)
- Compatible with RØDE Central app (iOS/Android)
Unboxing the RØDE Wireless ME mic system
When you crack open the RØDE Wireless ME packaging you’re treated to a number of elements that are actually superior to some of the other models in the company’s line. You get of course the transmitter and receiver boxes, which save for the RX and TX labels on the top seem practically indistinguishable. The 3.5mm slot on the side of each is used for recording (yes, the receiver has its own microphone as well), and on the side of the receiver is an output for connecting to other devices. Included are two 3.5mm adapters—one TRS to TRRS, the other TRS to TRS—for connecting to a camera or other device. These are the celebrated coiled cables that were previously ubiquitous on the RØDE lineup, and it’s pleasing to see two of them included in this economical kit. You’re also treated to a USB-C to USB-C cable, as well as a USB-C to lightning cable, which allow you to plug the receiver quickly and easily into either an Android or iPhone mobile device. Two screw-on wind protectors are also available. A small carrying case holds everything in one place.
Setting up recording with the RØDE Wireless ME
The entire design philosophy of the RØDE Wireless ME mic system is to have you up and running immediately out of the box. While more robust models from the marque allow you to have things like safety channels, on-board recording, a built-in display and more rich on-board control options, the RØDE Wireless ME mic system is designed explicitly to provide both intuitive and simplified functionality, allowing users to set up recordings in seconds.
With “GainAssist” technology, the Wireless ME adjusts line levels automatically. With the mic on the receiver you’re able to place it on a camera, place the transmitter on your subject, and easily record a two-way conversation without any fuss. The standard clips are strong enough to attach to just about anything, from the top of a subject’s shirt to the outside of your phone’s case, greatly simplifying the need for more complicated setups. The clip even allows you to attach to a camera’s hot-shoe mount, making for an even more secure attachment point. You can hardwire directly into your mobile device, tablet, or even PC via the included USB-C cables to have a pure digital connection, while for camera or other devices with analogue inputs the included 3.5mm cables are the way to go.
While the lack of built-in audio recording is a shame, as this “in case of emergency” safety backup is quite a benefit, the simplified setup almost makes up for its absence. The lack of onscreen display is much less of a concern, as the additional on-board mic on the receiver means you can actually get away with only using a single element, meaning your charging requirements are split in half, reducing the need to carry around extraneous parts when doing a quick recording.
Sound quality of the RØDE Wireless ME mic system
I was hard pressed to see any substantial difference between the RØDE Wireless ME mic and similar, more professional-oriented devices from the manufacturer. This is a clear benefit from “trickle-down tech”, and those not needing the bells-and-whistle of other mic systems gain the advantage of superior technology developed for other products. The mic on the receiver provides identical quality to that on the transmitter, and the easy addition of a lavalier mic means that you can easily improve the sound quality while still using the device’s wireless capabilities.
RØDE Wireless ME software
iPhone and other iOS users are able to use the RØDE Capture app for in-app control of the devices, allowing features such as dual camera recording (front/rear), picture-in-picture, split-screen, and so on. The app allows you to pair directly with the built-in mics on the Wireless ME system, turning your phone into a portable recording system in minutes.
Both iPhone and Android users benefit from the RØDE Central software available for desktop (MacOS/Windows) and mobile (Android/iOS), even further unlocking the capabilities of the Wireless ME to integrate into far more complex recording scenarios. It’s these immense benefits of integration into the greater RØDE ecosystem that’s one of the main benefits of buying into this brand, where everything from these more straightforward devices to pro-level units can cooperatively connect with ease.
Despite being aimed at a slightly more consumer level than some of its more pro-minded sibling devices, I found the RØDE Wireless ME mic system to actually be superior in many ways. By focusing directly on the project at hand, namely, recording good, clear audio without fuss, and with connections to just about any device you can imagine, this model is a real winner. Yes, it would be welcome to have internal recording if only for backup purposes, but the addition of a rear-facing mic will, for many people, be a game changer that outweighs any concerns about the potential lost recordings.
By simplifying the entire recording process you run less of a risk of not hooking things up correctly, so the need for a backup is diminished even further. The cables with their coiled stretch are more than welcome, and the fact that the system comes with more a modern USB-C-to-C charger, plus a similar lightning adapter, shows that this is already more future proof than other similar devices. While the jump up to other systems from this manufacturer may suit particular use cases, it’s easy to recommend for just about anyone wanting a quick, easy, yet immensely powerful and practical setup for audio recording to put the RØDE Wireless ME mic system at the top of your list for consideration.