DJI Microphone Review | PCMag

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The DJI Mic ($329) is a wireless system for vloggers and content creators. The package includes two high-quality microphones, a receiver and a charging case, as well as all necessary adapters and cables to connect to your camera, computer and phone. Recordings are crisp and the system is easy to use, but some design choices are confusing, such as finicky recording and link buttons on the transmitters. The system also isn’t as functional when you pair it with an iPhone Lightning adapter, as you’re limited to mono recording, which isn’t the case with a USB-C or 3.5mm connection. . For $299, the Rode Wireless Go II is a bit more affordable and seamless to use, making it a slightly better buy depending on your needs.


Sleek design with some usability issues

The transmitters each measure 1.9 x 1.1 x 0.7 inches (HWD) and weigh 1.1 ounces. They look a bit like old-school beepers, with rounded black outlines and clips. Each transmitter also has a magnet for those scenarios where the clip isn’t ideal. Square magnets snap onto the clip, which you can configure to work through clothing or in a stand on a flat surface.

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DJI Mic Lifestyle

On the side of each transmitter is a physical record button; pressing it starts (or pauses) a recording immediately. Next to it is a Link button – a quick press links or unlinks the transmitter from the receiver. Unfortunately, both buttons are pretty easy to press accidentally, but at least you get vibration notifications when you do. A power button and the USB-C port are on the opposite side. At the top, the mic capsules sit alongside a 3.5mm jack that lets you connect external microphones and bypass the built-in capsule.

Internally, each transmitter houses a single omnidirectional condenser capsule with a frequency range of 50Hz to 20kHz and a maximum sound pressure level (SPL) of 114dB. Transmitters appear on the receiver screen as TX1 and TX2.

The receiver measures 0.7 x 1.8 x 1.3 inches (HWD) and weighs 0.9 ounces. It has a hot shoe adapter for mounting on cameras. A USB-C port and power button sit on the right side, while the left side includes a 3.5mm output and headphone jack for monitoring. The bottom features charging contacts and the top panel sports a small touchscreen.

The charging case has a flip-top lid that reveals docks for both transmitters and the receiver, as well as storage slots for adapters. It measures approximately 2.4 x 4.1 x 1.5 inches (HWD) and weighs 5.8 ounces, and seems sturdy enough to protect equipment from damage. The front panel sports status LEDs, while the back panel has a USB-C charging port.

DJI estimates that the transmitters can each last around 5.5 hours on battery power and the receiver can run for around 5 hours. The charging case holds an additional 10 hours of battery life.

The system comes with a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, the aforementioned adapters (USB-C, Lightning, and hot shoe), a 3.5mm TRS cable for connecting to cameras, two blurry windshields, and a drawstring. carrying pouch for the case.


DJI microphone interface and recording functions

When you remove the receiver from the charging case for the first time, it prompts you to choose a language as well as set the date and time. After this step, swipe up on the screen to access a mute function, battery status, and record button. Swipe down to switch between Mono or Stereo (or Mono Backup) recording modes, adjust receiver gain, adjust headphone volume, or access a settings menu. In the settings menu, you can toggle a low-cut filter, enable or disable vibration notifications, link devices (such as the TX1 and TX2), adjust the gain level, and change screen brightness.

The power button doubles as a screen lock when pressed quickly; we wish transmitters had this feature as well, to prevent anyone from accidentally hitting the record button. DJI representatives say a lockout feature is in the works as part of a future firmware update. So far, that’s a pretty big downside.

Each transmitter offers approximately 14 hours of built-in storage, which acts as a backup of recordings on your camera, computer and phone. But you can also record directly to the transmitters without any other device in a mono 48 kHz, 24-bit WAV format. Just note that if you’re recording for long periods of time, the transmitters cut the audio into 30 minute chunks, which may not be ideal for all applications. In all cases, DJI representatives have confirmed that the splices between the clips are seamless. The mics also record a -6dB safety track to protect against plosives or unexpected signal spikes.


Flexible recording options, effective wind reduction

As soon as you remove the transmitters from the housing, a real-time measurement signal appears on the receiver screen. If you remove a single transmitter, you see only one signal; if you remove both, a signal appears for each.

You have many options with the DJI Mic. Dual transmitters mean you can mic two people simultaneously for interviews, for example. You can then combine the audio into a single stream, or keep them separate for mixing and editing. You can also use a single mic if you don’t have two speakers, doubling the battery life of the transmitters. Plus, you can use both mics in mono mode or record them together in stereo.

DJI Mic Lifestyle

Mic signals sounded crisp and clear in testing. The system is great for recording vocals, especially once you’ve activated the low-cut filter to reduce vibrations and surrounding noise. The windscreens also protect the capsules well – we took one outside on a windy terrace and the recording sounded windless when we played it. This performance might not hold up in very windy conditions, but the wind was strong enough in our test scenario to potentially ruin the recording. Especially in stereo mode, it is still possible to get usable field recordings or background sound in the presence of wind.

We recorded audio tests after connecting the DJI Mic to a Canon EOS RP. The installation process was quick and easy. We had no issues monitoring live audio through the receiver’s headphone jack, but did notice a bit of latency when monitoring and there’s no way to fix this. Again, the wind never became an issue, even though we were recording outside on a windy day. The mic also does a good job of focusing on the voice, even if someone is speaking softly. I intentionally mumbled at one point and the DJI Mic still produced a crisp recording; the sound of passing cars popped into the recording, but never threatened to dominate my voice.

Setting up the system with an iPhone for video recordings is less intuitive. For starters, you can play the recording audio only after disconnecting the transmitter. Beyond that, you can only use the mics in mono mode. Connecting the mics also turns off the iPhone’s speaker, and although the manual says you can monitor audio through Bluetooth headphones, we weren’t able to do that. So the only viable way to monitor audio while recording on an iPhone is to connect wired headphones to the receiver’s headphone jack. We also found that the adapter, which snaps into place magnetically, can easily misalign with the receiver and break the connection. Also note that whenever the mics got close to the iPhone, there was severe interference on the signal. Ideally, your iPhone won’t be near the mics, but if someone has one in a pocket near the transmitter, it can create problems.


Loud sound and questionable design choices

The DJI Mic is flexible, easy to use and capable of crisp, clear and windless recordings. However, we wish there was a low latency monitor mode and it wasn’t so easy to hit the Record and Link buttons on the transmitters. The system also works better with a camera or computer than with an iPhone. Rode’s competing Wireless Go II is a little more user-friendly and costs a little less, giving it an edge. Both systems would benefit from a remote app to adjust the controls though, as their small touchscreens and questionably placed buttons aren’t ideal.

Advantages

  • Crisp mono and stereo recordings

  • Dual transmitters have excellent range

  • Well-designed charging case

  • Effective wind protection

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The inconvenients

  • Record and link buttons are easy to press accidentally

  • Only records mono audio with iPhone

  • No low latency monitoring mode

The essential

The DJI Mic enables clear, wireless, dual-source recordings in the field, but certain design choices limit its usability.

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