Updated on Apr 12, 2021
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is one of the most popular compact directional shotgun microphones on the market. As we'll discuss further in this review, there's a notable balance between the affordability of this on-camera mic & the level of sound quality it produces.
For many years I've been working with a wide range of filming professionals (and amateurs) to help perfect their audio recordings and being in the industry long enough, I've worked with every popular on-camera microphone the market has to offer. I'm going to be using this level of expertise to help you learn the good and bad about the Rode VideoMic Pro+ so that by the end of this review, you'll know if it's worth your money.
There's a lot of science that goes on to help make shotgun microphones more effective. We will be going into more technical details to help you better understand how this microphone compares to others, and what features you should be looking for.
We understand how important it is to find the best microphone for you to record audio for your film. Let's take a deep dive into the well-known Rode VideoMic Pro+, starting with what we love most about it. Afterward, we'll cover any of the downsides, and do a quick mashup of the pros and cons. By the end, we'll discuss some alternative microphones to consider, and you should have a clear picture of your own needs.
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is great for a handful of reasons. The first thing we think about when it comes to microphones is how well they can record audio. But what defines good audio, especially when we're recording a video? To me, the primary factors are how defined my target is (ie. if I'm filming a conversation, how well can I hear them, and how clear are their voices), how balanced the sound is (warm lows, crispy highs), and how much (or how little) environment noise I'm picking up.
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is a super-cardioid directional condenser microphone. The strength of directionality allow the mic to pickup sound where it's aiming, while cancelling out noise from the other directions. As a shotgun microphone, it uses what's known as phase cancelling to avoid unwanted noises, by using the built-in side slots to essentially "track" the sound from other directions.
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ does this exceptionally well. And while it's popular to see it mounted on a camera, you can absolutely purchase a seperate boom pole for mounting it on top and you'll have yourself a highly effective boom microphone. I've done this on several occassions and have encouraged others to do so as well.
In terms of how rich the sound is, this microphone from Rode is a true condenser mic with a wide frequency response range of 20Hz to 20kHz. This covers the common spectrum of the human ear, allowing you to get those warm, deep low ends with clear & crisp highs. I find the produced audio from the Rode VideoMic Pro+ to sound incredibly authentic and professional, and as a highly sensitive condenser microphone, it can record sound waves with high accuracy.
The battery life is also impressive, and while it's not necessary (as they offer continuous charge via micro USB), I've had success filming long projects. There is an intelligent powering mode where the microphone will shut off on its own when not being used. When you do need to swap out the batteries, there's a built-in battery door that makes it super quick and simple.
This question may seem a little obvious, but the reality is, there's a lot of different uses for filming. I've worked with many microphones, and they're certainly not all the same.
I really enjoy the Rode VideoMic Pro+ for run-and-gun shooting, so for those working on a vlog, this could be the best choice for you. For those working on their own online videos, whether it's on YouTube or a similar platform, I doubt you'll need anything beyond this mic. The last group of people I recommend it for would be filming students, whether in high school or college. When you're on a tight budget but want something high quality, you can't get much better than this.
All of that being said, there are better microphones out there. This one is not flawless, as we'll cover in a moment, but it does such an amazing job for the price. If you do want something more high end, I would go down to the alternatives section, and look at the Rode NTG3B.
The first big downside I've found with the Rode VideoMic Pro+ would be the windscreen. It works if you're outside filming in a gentle breeze, but if you're working in harsher conditions, that windscreen gets rendered useless pretty quickly. It cannot withstand stronger winds so you'll need to consider investing in something like the Micover Slipover Windscreen, which slides right over the microphone. I personally use this and have found it to work 10x better. At least it's an easily solved issue, but when I buy something, I like it to work out of the box.
The second issue I've found is with the overall durability of the microphone. It's very lightweight and you can tell that if it were to take a hard fall, it could break apart. As such, I would recommend investing in the YILIWIT Microphone Protecting Case for when the microphone is not in use. Again, not a huge deal, but between this & the windscreen, that's an extra $40 invested in this microphone.
Best Used For
The Rode VideoMic Pro+ is an amazing microphone, by far. However, some of you might have a larger budget to spare and would be interested in seeing how far that can go. Our first recommendation comes in at a higher price point, but is by far one of the best boom microphones on the market.
The Rode NTG3B offers superior broadcast sound and is used on many high-quality productions. It's one of my go-to microphones when working on a big set where quality comes before everything else. It's highly sensitive, offering incredible depth range, with a super-cardioid pattern & off-axis rejection. You'll find this microphone picks up everything you're attempting to record while blocking out most of the background noise.
I've also found it has competitively low self-noise. I often do dry-run tests of my microphones to ensure they're not generating too much noise (or have faulty electronics), and the signal levels on the Rode NTG3B are much lower than anything else in my toolbox.
Lastly, the durability of this boom microphone can handle most outdoor conditions. I've used it for wildlife productions and it worked like a charm in the wind, rain, and of course, sunshine.
Next we'll be looking at a much more affordable microphone. The Deity V-Mic D3 comes in at about 1/3 of the cost of the Rode VideoMic Pro+.
Chosen for Personal View's best product award in 2018, the Deity V-Mic D3 offers amazing value for such an affordable on-camera microphone. It works on most devices, from DSLR cameras to mobile phones, tablets, and body pack transmitters. It uses a super-cardioid directional pattern for picking up audio from where you're filming, while doing an exceptional job at blocking out the rest.
I've found the SPL to be much higher than other microphones in this price range, allowing you to pick up louder sound sources with ease. It uses a single AAA battery that can last for over 150 hours! And better yet, it uses intelligent powering modes to shut off on its own.
All around, if you're looking for the most effective camera microphone that won't break the bank, the Diety V-Mic D3 is definitely worth looking into. It's lightweight, durable, power efficient, and sounds amazing.
Overall, the Rode VideoMic Pro+ is one of the best, generally affordable on-camera shotgun microphones the market has to offer. Whether you're a junior filmmaker, working on school projects, or filming your personal vlog, this microphone will do wonders for you. The sound quality, directional, and ease of use will take you to new heights in your audio recordings, and it's well worth the investment.
Like all microphones, it has its challenges. The sacrifice for being lightweight is it's not the most durable mic on the market, but with a good case, you'll be safe to travel with it. If you're filming outdoors a lot, it's important to remember that the built-in windscreen may not be enough for you as well.
At the end of the day, I love working with the Rode VideoMic Pro+, and it easily beats out others in this price range. If you decide to go invest in one, let us know how you like it in the comments below! If you're working on your own project, feel free to link it, as we love seeing how you use our recommendations in practice. Your feedback is very valuable to us and helps us better serve our future viewers.
Posted on Apr 08, 2021
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