Rode Wireless Pro: The Best Small Wireless System in 2024

Estimated read time 12 min read

This is the Rode Wireless Pro, and it’s the best small wireless system on the market in 2024 for two reasons. It’s not just because it records 32-bit internal float audio, nor because it has 7 hours of battery life on the transmitter. It’s not even due to its time code feature, which is actually super useful and something we’ll delve into later.

It really boils down to one tiny physical feature they’ve upgraded and some of the accessories that come with this great little wireless system. But let’s dive into what makes this system great and why it might be the right system for you.

Is Rode Wireless Pro better than DJI Mic 2?

In full disclosure, Rode sent this to me about 3 months ago. No money changed hands, they had no input into this video, and they didn’t get to see it before it was launched. They didn’t even tell me I had to make a video; they just sent it and said, “Try it out and let us know.”

Now, of course, the biggest reason you would buy one of these small wireless systems is to capture good audio for your camera, regardless of your proximity. And this little system excels at it; it sounds really good straight out of the box. Is it better than the DJI Mic 2?

Rode Wireless Pro: The Best Small Wireless System In 2024

So now, you’re listening to the Rode Wireless Pro. One of the main reasons to consider this as a wireless system in 2024 is its audio quality. Not only do you get pretty good audio quality straight out of the unit, but you can also add lapels that come with the system.

These lapels are some of the best I’ve heard from Rode — they’re really clean and clear. I’ll put one on in just a second. Having good, clean audio quality, no matter how far you are from your camera, really makes a big difference. To my ears, I actually prefer the way the lavalier sounds.

Now you’re listening to the lapel, and to me, the lapels sound really good. They’re a little larger than I might like, but they come with a couple of different options for wind protection, so you can make them as obtrusive or unobtrusive as you want.

They certainly look a lot smaller than putting the whole body pack right here. I’ve put the regular fuzzy cap on because there’s not much wind today, but if I were in heavy winds, the dead cat — the little furry kitten windscreen they provide — would work quite well.

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The lavalier sounds a bit clearer and cleaner, and I like the fact that you don’t see the transmitter up here, which is, in my opinion, a lot nicer. The lav mic is easier to hide, smaller, less conspicuous, and because they included not just the foam windscreen but also a furry windscreen, it can handle some pretty substantial wind.

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What a lovely day to be out here!

Of course, one of the biggest selling points when this unit first came onto the market was the fact that it had 32-bit float internal recording. This means you can record something internally, not on the camera, since that’s still 24-bit, but record internally and basically not distort the file.

For example, I was working with some ice climbers, having to yell at them to get them to do what I needed, but in post, I was able to pull that audio right back down and have a perfectly fine audio file.

Or, in the case where I’m running in and out of helicopters, the audio normally would be distorted, but in this case, I can just pull it back. Now, 32-bit is not that big a deal if you know how to set your audio levels properly.

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However, for many solo creators like myself, you may not always have time. You might be running and gunning quickly, so you just need to capture the audio and make sure you capture it right. Something like this is really going to help you not stress.

The downside is that you have to actually pull the files off the units and import them into your editor. But Rode has made this easier with this generation, as there’s a single USB port on the back of the case. You plug that in, and both wireless systems pop up like a drive, so you can pull the files directly off.

You can also do your firmware updates this way, which is super convenient because you only need to plug in one USB-C cable and you’ve basically connected to everything that sits in this little case.

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Rode Wireless Pro offers a lot for a little

One of the main reasons I think this is the best wireless system of this type on the market is that for $400, you get an incredible amount of stuff.

This includes both wireless systems, the receiver, two lavaliers with two different types of windscreens depending on the wind conditions, other little foam windscreens that plug directly into the transmitters, and a plethora of other things in this case, including all the cables you’d need to charge, offload, and adjust things.

Speaking of cables, the fact that they’ve now included the cable you need to plug either an Android phone or an iPhone into this, and with the Rode Central app, you can adjust all the settings and set these things up the way you want them to be, really makes it nice if you’re on the go.

Rode Wireless Pro: The Best Small Wireless System In 2024

In the past, with the Rode Wireless Go 2, I didn’t have that option, and it was really a pain. I ended up way up above the Arctic Circle, trying to program them or set them up the way I needed them to be, which was really difficult without having app support, and I didn’t have my computer.

Time code supported

One of the things that Rode implemented on this system that nobody else has done yet is time code support. Now, it’s not a full implementation of time code like you would have with other devices, and it highly depends on what type of camera you’re using.

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But if all you’re going to use this with is, say, a single Sony Alpha Series camera, which is what I did, and then jam time code to it on one of the audio tracks, you can record for an entire day.

Come back, and in my case here, I use the Tentacle Sync Studio app that I have because I have Tentacle Syncs, to synchronize all of the video and all of the audio for almost 6 and a half hours of recording.

I found that except for a couple of places where there might have been a couple of frames off — two to three frames — everything else was perfectly synced up, and it gave me this fantastic timeline of my entire day, both with the shots I took with the camera but also all of the video clips and all of the audio, all synchronized up for the entire 6 and a half hours that I was recording.

Impressive Battery Life in Cold Conditions

Speaking of 6 and a half hours, these have a rated battery life of 7 hours, and I have tested that on multiple occasions in extremely cold temperatures, which generally shorten your battery life.

I turned the Wireless Pro on, attached the lapel to it, put it in my pocket, and let it record for the entire 6 and a half hours that I was out working.

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It recorded the entire time, and the transmitter was on top of the camera out in the cold almost all of that time, which meant it had to withstand sub-zero temperatures for a very long time because it was cold and windy the entire day.

I’m happy to report that the battery life was exactly as advertised, even in much less than ideal conditions. It handled the entire day really well, and only at the very end of 6 and a half hours did it start to tell me that the batteries were getting low.

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One of the main reasons to get a small wireless system like this is obviously that you can be away from your camera and still capture great, solid audio, like I am right now. I’m a couple hundred feet away, getting good, clean audio.

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Now, Rode says this will go up to 260 meters, but there’s a caveat to that with every one of these small wireless systems. It massively depends on what sort of environment you’re in.

Right now, I’m in the wilderness; there is literally no other RF around me, so there’s no interference. This means I should be able to go 1,000 feet away, and so long as the transmitters can see each other, there won’t be an issue.

But as soon as I put something between the transmitter, which is right in my pocket here because I’m using the lapel, and the camera, then you’re going to lose signal. Now, that really doesn’t matter because I’m recording internally, so I can just pull the internal recordings into my editor in post and line it all up with time code.

But it is something that can be fun to try. So, you probably lost signal right now because I turned around and walked away. But the reality is, these distance tests are really just kind of pointless because as long as you have a clear line of sight and no obstructions and no interference, you can go a big distance away from these units and still not have any issues.

Man, it’s cold. So now, I’m about 1,000 feet away. I don’t even know; I got the camera set on a 105 mm lens, so hopefully, you can see me in my bright orange jacket. But this is the point I’m making: when you’re in an environment like this, where there are no obstructions and no other interference, you can go a really, really far distance away and not worry about it.

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It’s when you’re in dense, crowded environments, where there’s a lot of Wi-Fi signals and a lot of other RF going on, that’s where these systems will struggle. But you have the internal backup recordings, and also, if you’re in close proximity and the transmitter and the receiver have a clear line of sight with each other, you really shouldn’t have an issue because the link on pretty much all of these small wireless units has gotten so good.

Now, this might seem like a really simple thing or really dumb thing, but the fact that you can leave the wind jammer protection — the little furry kittens — on here, put the transmitters in the charging case, and stow it away like that means you’re not going to lose those as easily. And while a lot of other manufacturers have charging cases, which is pretty much standard now.

Rode is the only one that allows you to keep those wind covers on the mics and close up the charging case without having to take them off.

Rode is the best wireless system

Now, I said that there are two reasons why I think Rode is the best wireless system on the market in this category. A lot of manufacturers are putting out a lot of fantastic products.

For me, the biggest reason that I think the Rode Wireless Pro is the best wireless system on the market is the fact that they are the only ones who are putting locking connectors onto the transmitters.

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This means you can put this in a pocket, run around all day, or put this on talent and not worry about those transmitters becoming disconnected at all, ever, throughout the entire day.

And I’ve put this to the test hiking in the wilderness, going in and out of helicopters, working with ice climbers in ice caves, everything, and it just works.

Where every other system, you have to be very careful about how you connect a lavalier mic to it. You have to make third-party 3D-printed things or gaff tape it together so there’s no chance of it coming out, all of which is a much less elegant solution than just simply putting a locking TRS connector on these, which I really appreciate that Rode has done.

And again, I think is one of the main reasons that you should consider this if you’re looking to buy a wireless system this year.

Room for improvement

Now, that’s not to say that this system is perfect; it’s not. There are a few things that I’d love to see Rode improve in the future.

One, making the transmitters a little smaller would be great. But I think the biggest improvement could be made with the interface.

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Right now, to navigate the interface on the receiver, you basically have to use a series of button presses or combination button presses, and it’s a little hard to remember exactly what buttons and what combinations do what.

And I would love to see a deeper implementation of the time code features on this system, where you could actually synchronize this with other time code devices like Tentacle Sync or some of the other ones out there. Then you could sync across a wider range of devices and not just whatever the Rode receiver is connected to.

But what do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Next, you’re going to want to watch this video right here. I’ll see you over there. As always, if you have questions, ask me in the comments below or join my live stream, which happens both Wednesday nights at 4:00 p.m. Alaska time, 8:00 p.m. Eastern, where we can have a bit more of a conversation, and maybe I can answer questions I didn’t get to in this video.

I will see you again soon in the next one.


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Photos courtesy of Jake Sloan.

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