Rode has announced a lot of stuff during NAB 2023 so far. There’s been the Rode Streamer X (buy here) video and audio capture device for podcasting, streaming and content creation, as well as the RodeCaster Duo (buy here), a slightly cut-down RodeCaster Pro II (buy here) for those who require fewer inputs and a lower budget. Now, it’s the turn of the Rode Wireless GO II (buy here), which sees a big update addressing two of the biggest complaints about the Rode Wireless GO II.
The first is the release of a new, official Rode Wireless GO II charging case. No longer do you need to resort to third-party cases, or tying up multiple USB sockets on your charger with a bunch of cables. The second is a new firmware update coming to the Wireless GO II that lets you record and access wav files directly from the transmitters rather than having to run it through the Rode Central conversion process.
Rode Wireless GO II Charging Case – Finally!
There’s been one complaint that’s stuck with Rode ever since the release of the original Rode Wireless GO. It’s a problem that Rode’s competitors spotted and jumped on pretty quickly. That’s the lack of a charging case. While Rode isn’t the only company that doesn’t provide a charging case with their small wireless mics, it always seemed like something of an oversight from a company like Rode. We’ve seen and featured a number of third-party cases for the Rode Wireless GO II, including some DIY 3D printed options. but thus far, an official charging case from Rode themselves has been notably missing. Until now.
A tough but tiny microphone case
It’s a pretty rugged-looking case with a hard outer shell and a zip-up lid. Rode says it’s ideal for protecting the Rode Wireless GO II when travelling or just to keep the dust off in storage. The only problem I see with it, though, is that there’s nowhere to store any of the cables or other accessories that go along with the Wireless GO II. I use a third-party non-charging case for my Wireless GO II kit, and I make sure to keep the wind muffs and the TRS to TRS cable in the pocket in the lid to ensure they’re always together.
With Rode’s new case, however, it doesn’t seem like that’s possible. It’s a pretty small case and there’s no pocket in the lid, suggesting that the Wireless GO II transmitters and receivers stick up too much out of the bottom to be able to fit anything else in above. So, you’ll need to pay attention to where you store your Wireless GO II accessories.
Rode says that the new Wireless GO II Charging Case is designed specifically for the Wireless GO II and accommodates both the receiver as well as both transmitters, allowing all three to charge simultaneously. Rode hasn’t mentioned any other microphone compatibility in the press release, such as with the original Wireless GO or the recently released Wireless ME.
I expect that you might be ok with either of the other two options, given that they all pretty much share the same form factor, but we’ve reached out to Rode to confirm and will update this post if and when they get back to us.
Update: We’ve heard back from Rode and the new Wireless GO II Charging Case is only for the Rode Wireless GO II. While all three are of similar dimensions, the original Rode Wireless GO and the new Rode Wireless ME are slightly different in design from the Wireless GO II. Different enough that they don’t fit in this case. So, if those are the microphones you have, this case is not for you. This is just for the Wireless GO II.
Wireless GO II Finally gets WAV files
Rode’s NAB announcements list also includes a new firmware update on the way for the Rode Wireless GO II – it’s not been released yet, just announced. It’s a firmware update that provides a pretty major feature. Well, in fairness, it’s a minor feature that’s a major headache. It’s a feature that many of Rode’s competitors, such as the Comica BoomX-D Pro and Saramonic BlinkMe have managed to resolve, and that’s the ability to record wav files directly in the transmitters.
One of the big selling points of the Rode Wireless GO II was that it allowed backup recording in each of the transmitters. It wasn’t supposed to be the main audio, but just a backup in case transmission was temporarily lost or other was radio interference nearby. Since then, a firmware update was released that essentially turned your Wireless GO II transmitters into mini field recorders.
The big problem, however, is that to get recordings off the transmitter, you need to fire up Rode Central and convert them to WAV from the format Rode chose to have the devices record in. This adds extra steps and a lot of time to the workflow, having to transcode files before you could even work with them.
Direct WAV file transfer without conversion
The new firmware update now finally adds the ability for the transmitters to record WAV files. Not only does it record WAV files but when you plug the transmitters into your computer, the device shows up in Windows Explorer just like any other USB storage device. As far as the computer’s concerned, it’s just another USB stick or memory card. Then, you can drag those wav files straight off the transmitter and onto your hard drive or SSD without any conversion.
It also means that you can plug them into pretty much any computer (or smartphone or tablet) without having to worry about whether or not certain software is installed or if everything’s up to date. As somebody who works with multiple computers, tablets and smartphones, remembering to keep everything updated all the time on all of them isn’t always easy. There have been a few times I’ve been out with the Wireless GO II, and wanted to start editing on the way home but haven’t been able. Either the software wasn’t installed, or it was too old for the device’s firmware or it wanted to force an update to the device’s firmware before it would let me do anything with it.
This new firmware update should solve issues such as this and bring the Wireless GO II in line with the competition for an easier workflow.
Start/Stop Recording with the power button
Another update in the new Rode Wireless GO II firmware is the ability to be able to start and stop recording on each of the transmitters via the use of the power button. This means that you don’t have to rely on having your receiver turned on, nor do you have to record literally everything from the moment each of the transmitters is powered up, whether or not it was something you actually wanted to record.
The ability to have the transmitters always record without the receiver even being turned on, let alone connected to a camera is a huge feature. I used it this weekend on a video where I needed to record three people speaking in front of the camera simultaneously. I used a Rode Wireless ME on one person, with the receiver going into the camera, and the two Wireless GO II transmitters only recording internally. The two Wireless GO II transmitters were left on the entire time – even when the cameras weren’t on.
Being able to easily start and stop the recordings for each take without having to completely turn off and turn on the transmitters to force a new file would’ve been an invaluable feature. The new firmware update now allows this to happen.
New Camera Presets
The new update will also add a number of new camera presets to the Wireless GO II system. Camera presets were added to the Rode Wireless GO II in a firmware update in January. They allow you to tell the Rode Wireless GO II exactly what camera you’ve got them plugged into and it automatically adjusts its settings to provide the best possible quality output signal to your camera. It means that clipping due to too high gain, or noisy camera preamps, due to too low gain, should be a thing of the past.
Rode hasn’t said exactly which cameras have been added to the presets list, but we’ve reached out to Rode to see if they have a complete list of supported models and we’ll update this post if and when they get back to us. For now, if you want to see how the Camera Presets and other recent features of the Rode Wireless GO II work with Rode Connect, have a read of this.
Pricing and availability
The Rode Wireless GO II Charging Case is available to pre-order now for $79 and is expected to begin shipping in May. The Wireless GO II firmware has been released as a beta firmware update. You should not upgrade to the beta firmware if you’re using your Wireless GO II units for critical projects or paid work. You can find out more about the update here and download the firmware in your Rode Wireless GO II by using the Rode Central app.