Rode Wireless Go on Laptop

Will the Rode Wireless Go become the perfect field user testing microphone?

If you’ve ever tried recording audio out in a noisy environment, you know it’s pretty challenging to record what the participant is saying.

We recently conducted a user testing with car insurance buyers over at Vicom, a vehicle inspection centre where car owners bring their cars for inspection in order to renew their road tax. We chose the location as majority of our test participants who fit the criteria are going to be there.

Michelle happily posing like a sales representative

Without a proper space for testing and noisy background, participants were given an ear piece with mic that’s plugged into our laptop so we can record what they say.

Here comes the challenge:

  • Participants were uncomfortable in using / sharing an earphone
  • When the earphone is put on, they can’t hear our prompts clearly and have to take out one side of the ear piece fo hear what we’re saying
  • Length of the earphone also restricts the participant from moving freely.

Introducing the Rode Wireless Go

Extract from Rode’s website: “The Wireless GO is the world’s smallest, most versatile wireless microphone system. The transmitter works as both a clip-on mic or as the world’s smallest beltpack for a RØDE lavalier, sending crystal clear broadcast-grade audio via 2.4GHz digital transmission to the ultra-compact on-camera receiver.”

The idea seems feasible:

  • Participant wears the transmitter on their shirt or clip on near the top half of their body
  • Receiver connects to either a laptop or phone
  • Fire up the voice recording app and record away!

But reality is far from simple. The Rode Wireless Go typically works well with a camera with a microphone port but our laptops (Macbook Pro) and phones don’t have a dedicated port. What we have is a port that connects 3.5mm TRRS pins.

For the Wireless Go to work, we need to get an additional adaptor call SC4 to convert TRS pin from Wireless Go to TRSS for our phones/laptops. Of course, we would also need our Apple lightning to 3.5mm jack adaptor.

After a whole bunch of cabling and plugging around, we finally have a working setup that connects to our laptop.

Rode Wireless Go on Laptop

The red and green splitter cable can be bought from Challenger for S$8 ($6 for Value club members) and it’s actually a TRRS splitter itself so that saves us the SC4 cable.

With this setup, we can record what our test participant say super clearly and they are not bounded by any cables or discomfort using someone’s earphones. The only downside is we aren’t able to monitor the sound of the recording until we complete the test so we had to do some test record to make sure all audio is being captured before passing it to the participant.

What do you think? Do you have a field testing setup that you swear by? Leave us a comment!

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