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 Lazada for S$4.90 or even Amazon.sg for $8.99 and it’s actually a TRRS splitter itself so that saves us the SC4 cable.

With this setup, we can record what our test participants 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!

Get your Rode Wireless Go at a discount from Lazada!

11 thoughts on “Will the Rode Wireless Go become the perfect field user testing microphone?”

  1. Thanks for this! I was looking for this exact solution, and just bought the exact TRRS splitter from Challenger.

    Works perfectly.

    Agreed that the Wireless GO is the best option for low stress recording. Everything else stresses people out too much.

    You mentioned you weren’t able to monitor the recording. I found that strange, I had no problems doing that. Especially with the splitter. If you’re using Quicktime recorder, it’s possible that your output was set wrongly, so if you just make sure to set the output to your headphones, you should be able to hear.

    Once again, thanks for writing this! 😀

    1. No probs! Oh, I think I mention unable to monitor prior to the splitter, but with the splitter, yeah it works, output to the right source. Recently discovered something new, if you have a new Mac (post 2018), they are on a new audio chip where you could just output sound to the laptop speakers even with the splitter plugged in. Great for those recording far distance and still want to be able to hear from the speakers, but am not sure of echo/feedback, yet to try.

  2. Which splitter please?!

    Is it just this one ‘splitter’ cable that you need to make Rode Wireless GO work with Mac Book Pro?

    What is the name of this cable? TO find it on Amazon!

    Thank you,
    Niamh

  3. Hi. I read your article. I just have a question , did you still use the red springy cable supplied with the rode wireless go? I guess this was a trs point? And trrs was the splitter?

    1. Yes, the red springy cable that comes with the Rode Wireless Go is a TRS one, and luckily the splitters were TRRS, had to make sure its TRRS for it to work with laptops/phones.

      1. Thanks Kiat!
        So basic setup is

        1. Input trrs splitter in macbook mic input
        2. Input apple headphones on mic input of trrs splitter
        3. Input rode trs spring cable on headphone input of trrs splitter
        4. Input rode trs spring cable on rode wireless go

        1. Hey Ritchie, swop steps 2 and 3. The Rode Wireless Go TRS spring cable goes into the Mic input of the TRRS splitter and your headphones into the headphones input. Hope this clarifies!

  4. Hi Kiat, I just bought the rode wireless go. And I have a splitter that I know works fine. But when I use it for the wireless go on my macbook air it just doesn’t show on the sound settings. It just shows the internal mic, plus I tested and it doesn’t sound like it picks up the wireless go in any case. Any ideas?

    1. Hey Marcela, I think we need to first pinpoint where could be the issue as it could be the Macbook Air, the splitter or the Rode Wireless Go that is having the problem. Perhaps for a start if you can try plugging the Rode Wireless go with splitter to your phone and download some recording app to try record? Or another Mac if you have. Also just to confirm the splitter is one with mic+stereo right, not a dual stereo splitter. What version is your Macbook Air as well?

  5. Hi Kiat,

    I’m looking for mic options for my WFH video calls – would you recommend using the Wireless Go for this or would it be better to go with something else? The video calls will be done through my Macbook Air. Thanks!

    1. Hi Steph, I think a Rode Wireless Go would be an overkill for WFH video calls. For the same amount of money, you might be better getting a Bluetooth wireless headset like the Logitech Zone Wireless (https://www.logitech.com/en-sg/product/bluetooth-headset-zone-wireless) or a Jabra Evolve. Or if you don’t want to spend that amount of money and just want noise cancellation and good sound over a simple pair of earbuds, try using Krisp: https://ref.krisp.ai/u/u90037920a, hope this helps!

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