RØDE VideoMic NTG On-Camera Shotgun Microphone Review
The RØDE VideoMic NTG is lightweight, versatile, and filled with useful features. The ease of use and broadcast-grade audio quality makes this a great tool for all professionals.
If you’re looking for a high-end recording mic that is reasonably priced, and small enough for you to carry around, look no further. As the dominating shotgun mic producer, RØDE has just created one of the most versatile mics ever.
Combining the signature broadcast-quality sound of the NTG shotgun mic and creating a compact version that can be used in most devices people own, the RØDE VideoMic NTG is definitely a mic worth trying.
With some brand-new features that standard shotgun mics have been lacking, to the small details which make this mic so easy to use, here’s why I think the RØDE VideoMic NTG will soon become the go-to mic for all different types of content creators.
RØDE VideoMic NTG: Specifications
- Acoustic Principle: Pressure Gradient Electret Condenser
- Polar Pattern: Super-cardioid
- Frequency Range: 20Hz-20kHz
- Frequency Response: 35Hz-18kHz ± 3dB
- Output Impedance: 10 ohm
- Signal to Noise Ratio: 79dBA
- Dynamic Range: 105dB SPL (A-weighted, as per IEC651)
- Equivalent Noise: 15dB SPL (A-weighted, as per IEC651)
- Sensitivity: -26dB re 1V/Pa (50mV @ 94dB SPL) ± 1dB @ 1kHz
- Input SPL at 1% THD: 120dB SPL
- High Pass Filter Frequency: 75Hz, 150Hz
- Battery Life: over 30 hours
- Battery Capacity: 350mAh
- Output Connection: 3.5mm auto-sensing, USB-C
- Bit Depth: 24 bit
- Sample Rate: 48kHz
- Weight: 3.31 ounces (94 grams)
- Diameter: 0.85 inches (21.6 millimetres)
- Length: 6.73 inches (171 millimetres)
What’s In The Box?
In addition to the VideoMic NTG Microphone, it also comes with:
- SM7-R Camera Mount
- Foam Windshield
- SC10 Cable
- USB Cable (USB-A to USB-C)
RØDE VideoMic NTG: Build Quality and Design
When I first held the RØDE VideoMic NTG in my hands, I was pleasantly surprised. The weight distribution in the mic itself felt very even, and the body felt nice and solid. It definitely felt high quality, as you’d expect from a body built from “rugged aerospace-grade aluminum”.
The two main buttons on the mic are responsive and have a good feel to them when pressed. The gain knob is smooth when you adjust it, and has quite a nice amount of resistance so that it won’t change if you happen to accidentally knock or brush it. Overall, it seems that a lot of thought has been put into the design, and I believe that it will stand the test of heavy use, through all different scenarios.
Setting Up The Mic
The RØDE VideoMic NTG is actually quite straightforward to use and self-explanatory if you have some basic experience using audio gear. Straight out of the box, the mic is already sitting on the SM7-R mount, with the windshield on. All you need to do is connect it to your DSLR and it’s ready to go!
First, let’s talk about some of this mic’s exciting features. It has an auto-sensing 3.5mm output that interacts seamlessly with both cameras and mobile devices, and will auto-detect whether it’s plugged into a TRS or a TRRS input. Just plug it straight into your mobile devices, tablets, or cameras that accept a 3.5mm input, and it will work right away.
For the streamers and podcasters, the VideoMic NTG also comes with a USB-C output that allows you to connect it to desktops or laptops via USB-A, and it should be detected as an external mic.
Features and Usability
The RØDE VideoMic NTG has some built-in settings that you can adjust on the fly. It comes with 2 high pass filters (at 75Hz and 150Hz), a high-frequency boost (that you might like to enable when the windshield is on), a pad at -20db, and the option to use a safety channel (that will record in stereo with one channel at -20db). On the mic itself is also a dB peak warning light to alert you if your audio source is too loud.
One of my favourite features is actually the unique infinitely variable gain control that is situated at the back of the mic. It is an active control that allows you to deliver anything from mic level signal, all the way to a headphone level output. This results in cleaner audio and also a highly improved signal-to-noise ratio, all done on the mic before it even hits your recording device!
Some other handy features include a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides over 30 hours of battery life, and only takes 2 hours to fully charge from empty. It can be charged via USB-C which allows continuous recording with a power bank.
The auto-power feature can also be quite helpful – it switches the mic on or off based on the state of your camera, and works as long as your camera delivers plug-in power. This also works if you are using the microphone in USB audio mode.
Audio Quality: How Does The RØDE VideoMic NTG Hold Up?
As you would expect from a RØDE product, it lives up to its name.
I did a few quick tests and was very happy with the results, at a few different distances in a controlled environment, without changing any settings, I recorded my voice at 3, 10, and 20 feet.
There was clarity and a nice depth to the voice when I was 3 feet away (such as in an interview or streaming distance). For the time it took to set it up and calibrate the microphone – which was probably under a minute – it was pretty close to studio standard and hard to fault!
Sure, you could edit it in post-production and make it sound exactly the way you want it, especially if doing video type projects. But even if it’s just recorded directly for live stream or podcasts, I’m sure your audience will be pleased with the quality.
If your subject happens to be at further or varying distances, and you don’t have the luxury of calibrating the gain settings for each scenario (especially in moving scenes), I found that digitally increasing volume and enhancing the audio waves in an editor was actually pretty simple.
Just turning up the gain and equalizing out the noisy frequencies produced audio that I was quite happy with, and I don’t think many people would even be able to tell the difference!
I also happened to have its predecessor – the RØDE NTG-2 (which is built for broadcast and used by many professionals around the world), so I actually did a quick comparison. And to my surprise, the quality was similar.
So it was great to see that they’ve managed to maintain that audio quality in the smaller form factor of the VideoMic NTG, making it so much more versatile and convenient.
RØDE VideoMic NTG: Final Thoughts
The RØDE VideoMic NTG is the perfect tool for filmmakers, podcasters, or just content producers who want a multipurpose mic handy for whenever the need arises.
At $249 for a broadcast-quality mic, with more than 30 hours battery life, the flexibility to be used with most cameras and mobile devices, while also being small enough to fit into almost any bag, the RØDE VideoMic NTG is a great mic to help anyone from amateurs to professionals increase the quality of their work.
RØDE has kept to their high standards, as anyone who has used their products should be used to. For those new to their line of gear, this would be a great time to give them a shot!