I love the democratization of gear. I love it when technology disrupts existing markets and supplies people who are just starting out with gear that's 95% of the quality and capabilities of gear priced five or ten times more. So I'm loving this newly announced product from Australian audio company, Rode.
It's call a "Wireless Go" and it's a very, very compact and inexpensive wireless microphone set that features great 2.4 gHz performance for about $199. Six years ago I bought a wireless microphone set from Sennheiser (and it performs really, really well) that does pretty much the same stuff and back then I paid nearly $700 for a system that is much, bigger, bulkier and more complex to use. In fact, I bought two sets (total of $1,400) so I could have a microphone for each person in a two person interview. Now I can do the same thing (better) for about $400.
What is the Rode Wireless Go? It's a system with a small transmitter and matching receiver that allows you to put a lavaliere microphone on a talent and wirelessly send the audio signal to your camera. Rode has reduced the size of both the transmitter and receiver unit to about a quarter the size of the Sennheisers I've been using. Part of the cost savings with the "Go" is that a separate microphone is not included. You can use just about any microphone that connects with a TRS 3.5mm plug but the transmitter unit (the one you plug your microphone into) does not supply plug in power.
But do not despair, the "Go" has an omni-directional microphone built into its transmitter unit. Clip the small unit onto someone's lapel and you are ready to record AUDIO. Most of us who have existing systems, or inventories of various lavaliere microphones, won't be deterred for a moment by the lack of an included microphone because most of us already have a collection from which to choose. But in the event that a cable breaks or we accidentally leave the bag of microphones someplace else I'm pretty sure that the built in mic will do a good job of covering one's ass.
The units use internal rechargeable batteries and are said to get up to 7 hours of run time. Recharging via USB-C takes about 2 hours. A big plus of this UHF unit is the incorporation of dynamic frequency selection. My videographer friends complain about using wireless in areas with massive interference (think: The CES show floor, or the Dell World show floor where thousands are using their cellphones, there's tons of competing wi-fi and interference generators at every turn) and, when using an older system like my Sennheiser wireless system they must go through the process of trying to find a channel without interference and then inputing that frequency to both units. The "Go" does this automatically, and on the fly.
I can certainly see adding two of these systems to the mix for those times when you need to do on-the-spot interviews without dragging around XLR cables or fussing with exacting microphone placement. Just apply the transmitter to the talent's shirt or jacket, turn everything on, set the audio levels on your camera and start interviewing.
Here's the caveat: No one I know personally or professionally has any experience with these yet and they don't become available at most retailers until sometime after April 17th. I'm on a list and when I get mine I'll save the packaging until I'm pretty darn certain that the hype matches the delivery. If the performance equals or exceeds my expectations then we just reduced the size and complexity of a one man, field operation for the construction of video content. Nice.