Updated on May 04, 2022
If you're a fan of Rode Microphones, then you've come to the right place. Our team at Musician Nerd has been working with Rode equipment since the very beginning. When I was younger, I remember saving up every penny I earned so that I could invest in my very first professional microphone. Once I finally had a fair amount saved, I purchased the Rode NT1, and that was the beginning of my journey in microphones.
Rode as a company has a long history. We'll talk more about this after we go through our list of the best Rode microphones, but in the last 15 years, they've taken things to a whole new level. The first time I was introduced to Rode was when I was setting up my home studio, but over time, I used their equipment for so much more than music. Rode has a phenomenal product ready for you, whether it's a podcast, music studio, or film audio.
It was tricky, but we've picked our top choices from the several different markets Rode has left its mark on. We will run you down the list and then dive into each option and go into detail. If you came here with a specific need, you should have no issue finding the best Rode microphone for you.
Kicking off our list is one of my favorite Rode microphones, a variation of the first microphone they released, the Rode NT1. This large-diaphragm condenser microphone is one of the best options for those looking to set up their own studio at home thanks to the fair price and high-quality audio. When you buy the Rode NT1, you don't just get the microphone; you get all the accessories you'll need to get started.
Something I love about this microphone is how well they engineered it so that you're getting the purest audio. The Rode NT1 offers ultra-low self noise of only 4.5dB. They suspended the transducer inside the microphone using Rycote's Lyre system, minimizing vibrations at the capsule level. On top of that, you're getting a shock-mount in the box to think of this as double-protection from vibrations.
Rode also uses a cardioid polar pattern for the NT1, meaning the microphone will only be sensitive to audio coming through the front of the capsule. This 1" capsule microphone has an extended frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz, which covers the common spectrum of the human ear.
This allows you to get those deep rich lows as well as crisp highs, and having used the Rode NT1 on many occassions, I can tell you the voice reproduction is very smooth. It's a very sensitive microphone but the level of detail you'll get from your audio is outstanding, which is why it's my favorite Rode microphone for the studio.
Our Review: Rode NT1 Review
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is my all-time favorite shotgun microphone from Rode that I've worked with on so many occasions. You've probably seen this microphone if you've spent enough time around smaller film crews, especially in high school or college environments. I've seen people use it on college projects, budget music videos, business adverts, and so much more. The reason why? It's phenomenal.
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is more than just a great-sounding video microphone, with an enhanced capsule/line tube and windshield. As we expect, you're getting a rich audio experience with wide-range frequencies and the classic Rycote Lyre suspension system onboard for audio protection.
Rode takes it a step further with the digital switching feature. You'll have so much more control over your audio to reduce the need for post-production and editing. This includes a 2-stage high pass filter, which reduces low frequencies (think traffic noise or A/C units). 3-stage gain control with a +20dB function improves audio quality on DSLR or mirrorless cameras. There's also a high-frequency boost to enhance clarity and a safety channel to ensure the signal doesn't get clipped when unexpected spikes occur.
There are so many more features than the ones I listed, but those are the highlights in my opinion. They do some cool stuff with the automatic power function including optional batteries. Overall, the Rode VideoMic Pro+ is one of the best Rode microphones that I've been using for many years.
Our Review: Rode VideoMic Pro+ Review
The best Rode microphone for podcasts easily goes to the Rode Procaster, an absolute work of art. While it's not their most popular microphone for podcasting, it's easily their best. Delivering the same level of performance as higher-end options, the Rode Procaster is a fantastic choice for anyone either just getting started or already deep into broadcasting.
The Rode Procaster is tailored to voice applications, offering no-compromise performance with broadcast-quality sound. Unlike one of its biggest competitors, it offers high output from the dynamic capsule. You can trust your voice will be booming, with a tailored frequency response complements and enhances your voice to ensure you're always happy with the outcome.
An area Rode exceeds in, and the internal shock mounting capsule helps handle noises by absorbing microphone vibrations. There's also an internal pop-filter that'll reduce the plosives, which are breaks in the wind (leading to distortion) caused by syllables like "P" and "B". The Rode Procaster also gives you superior ambient noise rejection!
The robust, all-metal construction means you're getting a highly durable microphone that's going to last you for years to come. When my team reviews our microphones we like to drop them a bunch at the end and then see how they perform, and the Procaster withstood this test (results may vary). Overall, it's one of the most impressive microphones from Rode.
One of Rode's most popular shotgun microphones is the appropriately named Rode VideoMicro, a microsized microphone for the camera. Despite being so popular, I have less experience with this one than the other two on-camera microphones on this list, but don't let that or the low price tag fool you! This microphone is more than meets the eye.
The Rode VideoMicro is one of the most miniature shotgun mics I've ever used, coming in at 80mm long and 42g (grams). The body is made of all-metal construction, with a high-quality cardioid condenser for picking up your audio. The aluminum body offers a high level of RF rejection, blocking out frequency signals from other devices, which, as you can imagine, is pretty essential when mounting onto a camera.
Rode includes a deluxe furry windshield which allows you to work on outdoor projects (like weddings) without the risk of wind distorting your sound. You'll also get a camera shoe mount featuring a Rycote Lyre shock mount, which prevents vibrations from interrupting your audio as you're moving your camera around. Furthermore, you'll be able to plug the microphone right into the camera so that you don't need to worry about batteries!
For many of us it's easy to get caught up in the price of a microphone, always wanting the biggest and best option on the market. For small projects, however, the VideoMicro is one of the best Rode microphones you can get, and there's a reason it's so popular.
The Rode NT-USB is one of my all-time favorite USB microphones, and one of my favorite Rode microphones. Rode advertises this microphone as "studio-quality," Honestly, they're not wrong. One of the biggest advantages USB microphones offer is to plug right into your computer and get going. Other studio mics require more equipment like a preamplifier to give power to the microphone.
That being said, the Rode NT-USB is not just for the studio. The last 20 years have seen a massive rise in content creation, with a 50% increase in video game streams in just the past two years. The idea of being able to play video games for a living sounds like a paradise, and the best place to get started is buying a USB microphone like this one. While the market for USB mics has been growing drastically, the Rode NT-USB still holds a top spot in my book.
The wide-range frequency response spans from 20Hz to 20kHz, ensuring consistent pickups across the deep lows and the crisp highs. My team has recorded guitar tracks with the Rode NT-USB on several occasions, and they come out amazing. Many people are skeptical about using a USB mic for something so complex, but they've come a long way.
In the box, you'll find a professional pop filter and tripod. You're not limited to just that, however, as the microphone is compatible with both shock mounts and high-quality microphone boom arm stands. I can assure you this versatile microphone will be a purchase you won't regret.
Our Review: Rode NT-USB Review
The Rode PodMic is Rode's most popular microphone for podcasting, delivering massive amounts of quality at an amazing price. Earlier, we said the Procaster is their best for podcasts, but do not be discouraged from the Rode PodMic. It's a legend! I love the small size, making it easy to fit with any setup, and still has that signature broadcast look to it so that you can feel confident about your equipment.
The Rode PodMic is a broadcasting xlr microphone making it's way across the worlds of podcasts, streaming, and more. The rich level of detail will make your voice sound highly professional, complimenting the various frequencies. The first time I used this microphone, I was impressed with how full my voice sounded. I've never had a deep voice, but the PodMic does a good job enhancing what little bass frequencies you have.
As we've expected from Rode, the microphone uses an internal pop filter and shock mount, ensuring clean audio; however, the capsule itself is essentially suspended on its swing mount. This makes it easy to move the microphone around, but it also adds another layer of protection for your audio. You can take it up a notch with one of Rode's boom arm stands, which I would encourage.
Whether you're launching a podcast or preparing to stream your gaming experiences, the Rode PodMic is one of the best affordable microphones for getting your voice out there with as much detail as possible. Once you try it out it'll be easy to see why it's one of my favorite Rode microphones.
Our Review: Rode PodMic Review
The Rode NTG5 is one of my favorite shotgun microphones on the market. This Rode microphone is short & ultra-lightweight yet delivers massive performance, with accurate and high-quality audio that'll bring your video projects to the next level. It does come at a price; however, others on this list are still outstanding but much more affordable.
The Rode NTG5 uses a revolutionary acoustic design, giving you natural and uncolored audio. A good microphone should allow you to pick up your audio with pristine accuracy so that your audience hears exactly what it would've sounded like if they were there. The Rode NTG5 is so light, at 76g (grams), it's roughly 1/6th of a pound. This makes it easy to bring around with you while not adding any noticeable weight to your camera.
The highly directional supercardioid polar pattern offers a very narrow pattern of sensitivity. The phase canceling & off-axis response from the holes and slots on the side of the microphone do an incredible job at making sure you're only picking up the audio you're aiming for.
If you're worried about weather conditions, I can personally attest to the durability of this Rode microphone. I've used it in hot climates, cold climates, rain or shine, and it performs well. One thing I love about Rode is that even some of their more affordable camera microphones do a better job than one would expect in this department.
The Rode Lavalier GO is one of my favorite lavalier microphones from Rode, offering incredible performance at a great price. When it comes to lavs, there are many cheaper options on the market, but due to the nature of how they work, it's generally worth spending a little more money. The Rode Lavalier GO is self-proclaimed to be "professional-grade," which I agree with.
Right off the bat, it's a very discreet microphone, sized at about 4.5mm; you should have no issue keeping it out of sight. It is hard-wired, however, Rode designed this microphone with a durable mounting clip with in-built cable management. A pop shield will help protect your audio, and if you're worried about wind, you can find compatible windshields for lavs of this size.
The actual audio quality is the highlight, though. This permanently polarized condenser uses an omnidirectional polar pattern, meaning it will pick up audio from all angles of the Rode microphone. I've used it in many different environments, both indoors and out, and had no issues with background noise overtaking my primary target.
One last thing to note is that they offer two color options, black & white. This is not something I usually highlight; however, it's essential to keep it discreet with lavaliers, so whether you're using bright-colored clothes or dark, you will find an option for your needs. If you're into filming projects, this is an essential Rode microphone in your toolkit.
Over 50 years ago, Rode Microphones was founded under the name of Freedman Electronics. The founder, Henry Freedman, began the company in Australia to design, manufacture, install, and service audio products. After his death, however, his son Peter took over and took the family business in a whole different direction. In the 1990s, struggling to get out of debt, Peter modified a microphone into what would now be known as the Rode NT1. This pivot was an immediate success, leading to establishing what we now know as Rode Microphones.
After the success of their very first studio microphone, Rode continued down this path sticking with the same large-diaphragm condenser microphone style. In the late 90's and early 2000's there was a demand for affordable studio microphones that could be used for home recording studios. Rode pumped out several more studio-grade microphones that allowed their company to grow drastically during this time.
In 2004, however, Rode went down a new rabbit hole with the release of the VideoMic. As you may know, the content creation market started to grow heavily in the early 2000s with the growing interest in vlogging using services like YouTube.
Rode's success in this market is evident today with the massive dominance they've shown in the affordable on-camera microphone market. Eventually, they would release a wireless microphone system, known as the Wireless Go, which many viewed as a game-changer.
So many of us in the music industry use these name-brand products like Rode without ever thinking about how far their company has traveled to get to this point. I've used Rode microphones for many things, from my first home studio to film projects and podcasts. When the company was first founded, they could've never predicted the direction they would go in, and it's too bad the founder wasn't there to see the fantastic work his legacy has accomplished.
Now that we've learned a little more about Rode and its journey, you should know which microphone is best for you. If you go to their site, you'll see they have a pretty large selection of microphones, but the ones we've laid out for you here are our favorites in their three dominant markets. The one area we could've continued to add on for was their on-camera microphones, as they have so many options. However, for podcasts and studio mics, you're best off checking out the ones we've listed.
Let us know your favorite Rode microphone! Do you think we're wrong for choosing one over another here? We'd love your feedback as we're always open to hearing your opinions. We want to do our best to ensure this list is perfect for our future audience.
Posted on Mar 17, 2022
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