DJI is still best known for its drones, but that hasn’t stopped the company from expanding into other interesting areas, whether that’s action cams or laser-firing robots. The company’s latest foray away from drones is a wireless microphone system, dubbed the DJI Mic.
If DJI’s Action camera began life as a GoPro clone, the new Mic is something of a Rode Wireless Go clone. Just as the Action cam bested the GoPro in several ways, DJI has managed to turn out a compelling alternative to what many consider the industry-leading wireless microphone.
The DJI Mic is a clever system that’s portable, easy to use, and offers good sound quality for the price. It’s not going to be the best possible sound outside a studio environment, but it’s perfect for podcast interviews, field recordings, and vlogging when the receiver is mounted on a camera hot shoe.
Mic in a Box
DJI’s Mic system consists of two transmission units and one receiver. The transmitters have a power and record button on the side, and a 3.5-mm microphone jack and a built-in microphone on the top. They have both a clip for attaching to clothing and a very powerful magnet for attaching to anything metal. It’s a strong enough magnet that DJI recommends keeping it away from devices with SSDs and RAM.
The receiver features a touchscreen for controlling settings on the front, a power button and USB-C port on one side, and a headphone jack and 3.5-mm line-out jack on the other side. This means you can monitor your recording and feed it through to any camera that can accept audio input.
All this comes in a handy little carrying case that holds both microphone units, the receiver, a Lightning adapter, and a USB-C adapter. This case serves as the charging unit for all three pieces in addition to keeping everything neat and tidy in your bag. A small pouch can then hold the case along with two provided windscreens for the mics and a couple of cords. The whole package is about twice the size of a deck of cards and very clever.
I bring this up because we at WIRED use Rode wireless mics for all our video work, and while the Rodes are similarly small, they lack the handy carrying case and are, frankly, a pain in the ass to deal with. They’re always falling out of their velcro carrying pouch and disappearing into the dark corners of my bag. Not so with the DJI Mic, which is always nicely stored in its case and ready to go.
Clever case aside, there is much here that’s comparable to Rode’s popular wireless microphone system. Where DJI comes out ahead compared to Rode is wireless range. DJI claims 250 meters. I found this reasonably accurate so long as line of sight is available. I have trouble thinking of common recording scenarios in which this is helpful. If it is though, you have it with the DJI.
The transmitters are heavier than I would have liked, but the clips hold up well enough if you have a proper collared shirt. T-shirts are more challenging, but I did get it to stay. The included windscreens worked well, though a windy day at the beach still sounded, well, windy, but in normal circumstances these will keep the breeze from interfering with your audio.