beginner youtuber microphone

The Mic All YouTubers Need? Rode VideoMic Pro Review by Chris Skyes

In this article, we are going to talk about the Rode VideoMic Pro, what it’s good for, what it isn’t good for, and who should buy it.

If you’re considering vlogging, or online video creation, your choice of microphone is key. Over the next few minutes, we’re going to explore why you might want to make the Rode VideoMic Pro your main content creation mic.

Directional Microphone

The Rode VideoMic Pro is rather directional, and it records in mono. What that means in practical terms is that it tends to focus on sound sources in front of the microphone, whilst actively trying to block out sound coming from the sides and back.

This makes it great for vlogging, recording interviews, and recording voice in general. Due to it being mono, you can’t record concerts or music with it though.

I mean, you can, but the resulting audio would be in mono, rather than stereo.

If you want a microphone which you can pop on top of your camera, and can record in stereo, I would recommend having a look at the Rode VideoMic Stereo, or read some of my other articles, where I cover devices intended for recording stereo sources, such as the Zoom H6, or Sony PCM-D100.

Battery Life

Unlike its smaller brother, the Rode VideoMicro, the VideoMic Pro requires a 9V alkaline battery. According to Rode, this can provide you with 70 hours of battery life, though please bear in mind that your mileage may vary.

There is actually a sticker on the inside of the battery compartment that shows you which way to put the battery in.

So you know, batteries are not included with the device, so you’ll want to buy at least two, as they do have a tendency to run out at the worst possible time.

Quick tip: For links to all the products I’ll be talking about, have a look at the end of the article
— Chris SKYES

Integrated Windscreen and Shockmount

This microphone has an integrated foam windscreen, and a Rycote Lyre shockmount. This means that wind and handling noise will be less of an issue, but these implementations will not completely solve the problem.

You still need to handle the microphone and camera with care, to avoid handling noise, and strong winds will easily defeat the windscreen. In fact, I would strongly suggest investing in a proper, more furry windshield, such as the Rycote Mini Windjammer.

Size

The Rode VideoMic Pro is compact, as it only weighs 85 grams, and it is just 150 mm long. That being said, it feels kind of fragile as a result, so I’ve personally invested in a hard case for it. I’d say this is a wise investment, due to the cable.

I’ll get into this during the cons section of the article.

Sound Quality

This mic has a frequency response of 40 Hz-20 kHz. It also features a switchable high-pass filter at 80 Hz to cut 'mud' and rumble, whilst leaving speech unaffected.

That being said, do bear in mind that the high-pass filter will not be able to perform magic. Yes, it can reduce some of the handling noise that may be present, but the shock mount on the microphone should eliminate most, if not all of it.

Additionally, the high-pass filter will not remove wind noise completely. Sure, it will remove some of the lower frequencies, which will help with the sound when your microphone is being blasted by wind, but the best thing you can do is protect the microphone in the first place by buying a proper windshield for it, like the Rycote Mini Windjammer I suggested earlier.

When a high-pass filter should be engaged is a rather debated topic in the sound community, as there are trade-offs, but ideally you only want to turn it on when needed,

Here is a sample of what the Rode VideoMic Pro sounds like, plugged in directly into a Canon 77D.

I'm about to show you six samples. They are made up of the three modes on the back of the microphone, -10dB, 0dB, and +20dB, in both Auto and Manual level mode in the camera.

All samples were recorded at arms length, to show you what would happen if you used them in a vlogging/interview scenario. What you are about to hear is not necessarily how each mode is intended to be used, but what would happen if you use it in both Auto, or Manual, in a vlog/interview type situation.

The audio is not ideal by any means on a couple of the samples, but it will show you both how to, and how not to use those functions.

As a quick word of warning, in order to not affect the results of the test, I have not altered the volume at which the recordings will play. The first few samples will be much louder than the later ones, as they were recorded in Auto mode, so please lower your volume before listening to them.

Edit: It seems that basically all websites convert audio to .mp3 for playback, so that’s what you’ll be able to hear in the files down below. If you’d like, you can download the .wav files from my Google Drive here.

Now that I’ve covered all the pros, let’s talk about some of the aspects of this mic that I’m not a huge fan of.

Cable

The cable that comes with the microphone is about 6 inches long, which is perfectly fine for most DSLR cameras. It’s not too long, but not too short.

The issue that I have with it is that, as opposed to the Rode VideoMicro, the cable is attached to the microphone.

With the Micro version of this device, the cable is standalone. You can plug it into the mic, and then the DSLR, and you’re read to go. With the Pro version, if the cable breaks, you can’t just buy a new one and replace the broken one.

That being said, Rode does offer warranty on their products.



Manual Turn On

Even though Rode fixed this issue with the introduction of the VideoMic Pro+, it’s important to bear in mind that the Pro version needs to be turned on and off manually.

You might think it is unlikely that you’ll forget to turn on the microphone, or turn it off before you put it back in your bag, but it’s more common than you think. As a sound engineer, I’ve been paid quite a bit of money by filmmakers who forgot to turn the mic on during an interview, so they were forced to have the built-in mic audio cleaned up and improved as much as possible.

When you’re making videos for yourself, this wouldn’t necessarily be the end of the world, but if you’re shooting video for clients, and you think there’s any chance that you’ll forget to turn the mic on, you might be better off spending more on the Rode VideoMic Pro Plus.

Conclusion

So, should you buy it?

If you want to vlog, record interviews with one person at a time, or overall improve the audio quality on your YouTube videos, I would definitely recommend the Rode VideoMic Pro, or the VideoMic Pro+.

If you want to be able to record audio for multiple people at a time, I’d recommend investing instead into a Zoom H5, Zoom H6, or something like a Tascam DR-60D mkII.

These have been my thoughts on the Rode VideoMic Pro. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below, and I’ll do my best to get back to you.

Disclaimer: This article, like many other articles on this blog, contains Amazon affiliate links. That means that I get a small commission from Amazon on qualifying purchases, but it doesn’t cost you anything extra.

Product Links

Down below you will find all of the items I talked about in this article.