RODELink Wireless Lavalier Microphone Kit Review + Unboxing

(intense music) (pounding) – (bleep) Hate wires. (doorbell ringing) (quiet intense music) Wireless? (thumping on box) – Wireless. – In this video I’m gonna take a look at the RodeLink Filmmaker kit which is a wireless
lavalier microphone set-up. Perfect for people shooting
directly into a DSLR or other cinema cameras. In this video I’m gonna review it, walk through how to set it up, and give you my thoughts on it. So, let’s get started
with opening the box. So in the box, you have stickers and on this side, you can see, it opens up for the two
different pieces here. The receiver and the transmitter. Let’s go ahead and get those out. Now the transmitter here has a little belt clip, pretty nice. The receiver here has a clip as well as a cold shoe mount. So you can see, pretty decent size, not too big, but one of the complaints I’ve seen a lot of people
make is that they are a little bit bigger for when
you’re putting them on talent but what they don’t have
is that little antennae that you get from one of
the Sennheiser G3 kits. So the antennae’s
actually built into these so you don’t have that
flimsy piece moving around. Also in the box, we have
a little baggie here. Let’s open this up. This is probably going to
have the little deadcat thing in case you’re filming in
a really windy environment, other attachments, cables and things. That’s the microphone it looks like, more attachments to attach
the microphone to things. And this is the little piece
that screws onto the receiver, I mean transmitter. So what’s nice is this
microphone actually locks in by screwing down this
little metal piece here and then it’s locked on and it won’t accidentally become unplugged. So also in here you have
another cold shoe adapter, you have some of that stuff
they don’t let you eat. You have a little guide. Then you have the cable to connect the receiver to your recorder, whether that’s a camera
with a 3.5 millimeter jack or you can get the XLR attachment that I’ll talk about a little bit later. You can use this cable
to plug the receiver into whatever is recording the audio. Then you have more stuff you can’t eat, and that’s everything in the box. So pretty simple, pretty straightforward for what you get in the
box with this thing. So let’s talk about the
features of this thing, this RodeLink Filmmaker kit. First up, it has one-touch pairing. The pairing on this thing is really fast. You can go up to eight if
you need that many channels, that many different
devices and what’s cool is your set of eight won’t interfere with someone else’s set of eight. So if you’re in an urban location and other people are using these things, this won’t interfere with
another group of eight. Also, it’ll change between frequencies while still being synced
on their Rode channel so you don’t have to play
around with individual frequencies like you might have to do with the Sennheiser G2 kit. Rode’s website claims
328 feet for the range which is about the length
of a football field, about 100 yards or a 100 meters roughly, and I haven’t tested anything beyond that to see the results but up to that range has worked pretty well for me. Hidden in the battery compartment of these is the three
different gain settings, both in the transmitter
and in the receiver. So you can bump from zero to 10 to 20 dB in both of them, that way you can lower your microphone recording
settings on your camera or your audio recorder which I’ll show you a little bit about later. And then the last two things about these that I really like are these belt clips which just make it really easy to clip onto your talent or on the receiver end, you can put this on an audio bag or something if you’re running and gunning and you can clip it onto yourself. Or both of these can use a 3/8 inch cold shoe adapter so you can attach this to the top of a camera
or to something else that has this kind of thread
on it like a light stand. Okay, now let’s set these things up. They can be battery
powered by AAs or by USB and what’s nice is on the receiver unit, you can see the battery levels of both the transmitter and the receiver. To pair them, press the red pair button on the receiver, then select
the channel you want to use, and then press the red pair
button on the transmitter. Now if you’re only using one of these, you won’t really have
to use this red button because once they’re paired
up, they’ll be ready to go just by turning them on. To get your level set properly, you want to adjust the transmitter first. You can go zero, 10, or 20 dBs. Next, you would want
to adjust the receiver, the RodeLink receiver
on top of your camera or in your audio bag. So now let’s plug this thing
into the actual camera. So I have it mounted here on the top, using this hot shoe, cold shoe
adapter on the Mark III here. And I’m gonna go ahead
and turn on the camera, turn on the receiver here. And while that boots, you can see it’s plugged into the mic jack here. Now I’m going to turn on the transmitter. Now that’s on, wait for
it to sync a little bit. Now you can already see down here that there are wave forms
happening on the microphone. Let me go ahead and put it on a shirt. And now I wouldn’t
normally clip it like this, I would try to hide it a little bit but you can see already that we’re having audio levels coming through. So let me go ahead and hit record here. What you want to do when you are recording is you want to bring down your DSLR level as far as you can and
boost it within these. So boost these to 20 dB if you have to and turn down your preempt
volume level on your camera. So let’s do that right now. So I’m gonna stop recording, I’m gonna go Menu, I’m gonna try to do this upside down. Let’s see, let’s get to Sound recording, and you can see I have it set to Manual and the microphone that’s showing up here is this wireless lav
that I have on right now and I always record in
Manual whenever I can. So you don’t want to be in Automatic because your volume
levels will be changing all over the place. So let’s keep it in Manual, but then let’s go ahead and
instead of bringing it up, because this is all backwards
and upside down for me as I’m filming, let’s bring it way down. So you can see now that
I’m not even peaking at 12 yet but if I open
up this transmitter here, you can see that that’s
because this is at zero dBs. So if I bump this all the way to 20 dBs, you can see now I’m actually hitting at a pretty decent level almost too high. So I can keep going down further and then when I’m talking here, I’m a little bit between 12 and zero peaking at around six, that’s not too bad and maybe even lower
and then that’s probably the level that I’ll want. Go ahead and click Select. Now when I’m talking, this
is actually getting boosted by 20 dBs, this is not boosting it at all. This is still at zero. But if I needed more boost
I could boost this by 20 dBs and turn the camera down even further. Next you’ll actually have to monitor these in your audio recorder or in
the camera that you’re using. You can’t plug a headphone jack into these and monitor them that way. But that’s fine with me
because I want to monitor where I’m actually recording the sound, not some step in between the
way to the final product. Muting is fairly straightforward too. You can press the mute
button on the receiver, or you can press the power button on the transmitter for a second, or you can even lock it so
the mute won’t be pressed by the transmitter or
the talent by holding down on the mute button for two seconds. Then the mute lock turns on and the transmitter can’t mute the signal. Then if you want to record
to multiple locations since there is only this
one cable that can go out, what I would do is I would
run this into a recorder and then run the recorder into my camera and then I would have two copies. That would be the only way
to really get two versions of this audio would be to
run it into a recorder, record that, and then
run it into another thing that would record. This thing comes stocked
with a couple accessories. It has a deadcat piece if
you’re going to be recording out where it’s really windy, put this on instead of the standard
default option here. But other than that, there’s not really many other accessories that you get. You just get this one clip style that you thread the microphone through and it just kind of sits like that. So if you want to attach it any other way, I would recommend that
you get the invisiLav which actually puts the microphone underneath someone’s clothes. So you push it against your skin, you put the microphone in there and it kind of has double-stick tape on both sides of it to hold it in place. Also, if you’re going
to want to be using this to plug into a mobile device
like an iPhone to periscope, you just need the SC4 from Rode. This thing will make your plug go from the standard microphone input into one that works with
a smartphone microphone. Also, this thing can basically transmit any kind of microphone that has
a 3.5 millimeter plug on it. So you can use something
like the Rode VideoMic Pro or even some other brand microphone that has a 3.5 millimeter plug and then that just goes
directly into the transmitter and you can basically use whatever kind of microphone you want if you have a very specific use that you
want this to be wireless. So an example of this would be I could set this thing up on
a boompole and attach this and wirelessly have it
just somewhere random or make it so my audio
engineer could wander around and I could wirelessly
pick up the signal. Another couple options from Rode that make this thing a
little bit more versatile let’s say if you wanted to put this into an XLR input, is they have a cable that can actually go
from this plug to XLR, they call it the VXLR
and so check that out from Rode, it’s pretty cheap. I think it’s like 10 bucks. So you can actually have more control if you’re plugging into
an XLR device typically. Another example of how
this thing is versatile is Rode has an HS1-B which
is actually a wireless headset microphone that you
can plug into the system. You might look like
you’re selling a ShamWow or maybe you’re a member
of a boy band on stage but that kind of microphone
will usually give you a better sound than
something clipped to a shirt and is just a little bit
easier for your talent to walk around on stage with. Now let’s compare this microphone to some of the other
microphones I use often. First up on board on the C100 Mark II. Not very good, I’m in
this sound dampened room but just the sheer fact
that that microphone is far away from me makes
it not sound very good. Now, let’s switch over to the RodeLink. The RodeLink is much closer to me, should sound much better. The noise level shouldn’t be too high because I do have it boosted by 20 dBs on the transmitter so recording into my Tascam DR-100 Mark II, I’m
getting pretty decent levels, somewhere around negative 20, so I can even boost it a little bit more on the receiver end. Now let’s switch over to the NTG3 which is right above me here. This is a $700 microphone versus a $400 wireless set and you can sound the difference, you can
hear the difference. Just because this is a shotgun microphone, has a very specific purpose
of capturing the sound right here really well. This thing is locked down on a stand and it’s not going anywhere. So if I turn my head and start to talk, it’s gonna sound way different. Now if we switch to the wireless lav here and I turn my head and talk, you’re gonna have constant sound versus with the shotgun mic, if I turn over here and talk
it’s gonna sound way different. So this might be a
reason why you want to go with a lavalier versus shotgun but that’s probably for another video. – So basically going wireless affords you certain possibilities that
you don’t normally have. For instance you can do a wide-angle shot and you don’t have to have the complexity of dubbing over at the end of it. If this were in closer, we’d
be doing a boom mic shot or something like that or we’d have to dub my voice over later in post-production. But now we can do a nice wide-angle shot, I can do something like play horseshoes at the end of the day. (horseshoe clanging) And we’re good to go. – Now if you’re looking
to get this RodeLink kit, you’re probably looking at
other wireless options too. Stuff like the Sennheiser G3 Series or any other kind of set from another microphone company but
I really like how simple this set is, it’s really easy to set up. Yes, this stuff is plasticy and maybe it’s a little bulkier but
it’s because the antennae is inside of it and you
don’t have it sticking out. This thing’s just really easy to use. It’s really versatile
because you can plug in other kinds of microphones like a VideoMic Pro or plug it into a smartphone with the SC4. It’s just really nice and easy to use. So maybe just rent each of them and see how easy this is
compared to a Sennheiser G3. You’re really not going to need
more than eight microphones for most productions and if you are, you’re going to be using more
advanced equipment anyway so this is the perfect thing
for someone that just needs one or two wireless mics
as well as if you need a whole stage of people that are mic’d up and you want the ability to
run this into an audio board. Some final thoughts. The batteries are supposed
to last about seven hours if you’re using regular
alkaline batteries. Or if you’re using
better lithium batteries, they say it can go anywhere
from 16 to 35 hours so basically a full day and
if you forget to turn it off, your batteries will probably
be dead no matter what. Myself and other reviewers have found that you can get a little bit better range out of these things if the transmitter is not behind someone but
actually in front of them, even if it’s still hidden. That line of sight really helps. As well as the orientation and making sure that the receiver is pointed
in the correct direction, that also helps with
range, to help you get that 100 meters, that
100 yards that you need if you’re doing a longer shot. I love how quick these are to set up. The pairing is really nice, the fact that you don’t have
to pick a exact frequency and test a bunch of different ones, that it actually does that
itself is a huge plus. Yeah, they’re a little bit bigger, maybe they’re not metal, but these things are solid
and you’re not really gonna have any issues with
them breaking I don’t think. So that wraps up this review.
(gentle music) Loving this wireless kit compared
to some of the other ones that I have used and
if you want to find out anything more about any of
these accessories I mentioned, there are links to them below
this video if you’re watching on YouTube or if you’re
watching on iTunes or elsewhere, go to, TV19, that’ll take you directly to a page with links to all of these
things like the VideoMic Pro or like this inexpensive
SC4 that’ll help you plug this into your smartphone if you’re going to be doing periscopes or just recording via your phone. So, or in the description below. Check these things out and
thanks so much for watching. Cheers.

Leave a Reply