Rode unveil “world’s best” microphone

It’s a bold claim but we’d expect nothing less of Rode. The not-in-the-slightest-bit-shy-and-retiring Australian microphone manufacturer has announced a selection of interesting new microphones including one which they say is “the world’s best”.

Rode NTR microphone close up

Rode NTR microphone close up

That mic is the NTR ribbon mic designed for studio use. They say it’s “unlike any ribbon microphone ever created”. The design apparently places the ribbon distinctly separate to the microphone frame and body (it levitates?!) to ensure acoustic transparency and minimise resonance.

The ribbon element was designed from scratch, using aluminium that is 1.8 microns thick using a proprietary laser technique. That element is then surrounded by a metal mesh as used on the SMR pop shield. Rode says it’s extremely rigid” resulting in acoustic transparency. A high output, low-noise, low impedance transformer completes the package.

Take a look at www.rodemic.com/microphones/ntr for everything you’ve ever wanted to know.

Also announced are two new versions of a shotgun mic labelled NTG4 and NTG4+, the latter boasting an inbuilt rechargeable lithium-ion battery so negating the need for the usual AA cells.

Both have a new capsule with lower noise and greater sensitivity than prior NTG-series mics. Adjustment features include a 75Hz high pass filter, 10dB pad and high frequency boost to compensate for any loss when using a furry windshield, as seen on the recently-introduced Stereo VideoMic X.

The NTG4+’s battery claims up to 150 hours operation and is charged via any USB power source using a supplied MicroUSB cable. We’re not sure about this feature. All camera operators generally carry a warehouse’s-worth of spare AA cells so it’s no problem to slap one into a mic – but if the mic has an inbuilt rechargeable and it’s run out of charge then you’re stuffed. So, nice idea but we’d rather have an AA version, we think.

Rode NTG4 and 4Plus large

Rode NTG4 and 4Plus

Full info on the new NTG is at www.rodemic.com/microphones/ntg4 or www.rodemic.com/microphones/ntg4plus

Finally, and most interestingly perhaps, an entry into the wireless mic market with a new digital system promising 24-bit / 44.1kHz resolution at up to 100 yards. The “RodeLink” will be offered in various configurations starting with the ubiquitous beltpack / lav mic and receiver combo, branded the “Filmmaker Kit”.

Rode Wireless Mic Filmmaker Kit

Rode Wireless Mic Filmmaker Kit

It transmits on 2.4GHz using two channels simultaneously (for avoidance of data loss due to noise and interference, we presume), hopping between frequencies as it goes in order to find the best slot. Rode is promising very competitive pricing on the kit which will, they say, revolutionise the market!

The system’s powered by AA cells or USB and offers a 3-stage gain control. Get the full gen at www.rodemic.com/wireless/filmmaker

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8 Responses

  1. Brian says:

    World’s best doesn’t mean much if it isn’t the right mic for the right job – therefore that silly statement is some of the most crass self marketing seen this century.
    What matters is how it sounds, I would like to hear someone other than Rode make a demo.
    That ribbon has to be pretty fragile on its levitating mount?

    • admin says:

      It certainly won’t stand up to much abuse I’m sure but it’s not designed to. It’s not released yet I don’t think – coming soon – hence the lack of independent tests.

  2. Bill says:

    I saw the advert you refer to – they say it’s the “finest”, no doubt referring somewhat obliquely to the ribbon – which is apparently much much finer than standard. You may have seen something different, but I doubt they would be foolish enough to say they made the “best” anything in the world.

    • admin says:

      Umm… we don’t just invent the stuff we write, you know. I quote, from their press release: “RØDE is once again set to re-define the studio microphone landscape with the introduction of the world’s very best ribbon microphone, The RØDE NTR.”.

      • David says:

        I’m afraid your headline does misquote the press release. Shortening “the world’s very best ribbon microphone” to “‘world’s best’ microphone” removes an important qualifier. Obviously still a very subjective point, but there are relatively few ribbon mics.

        • admin says:

          Headlines are always and inevitably a paraphrase of a larger context. Since we only put the words “world’s best” in quotes, it’s an accurate quote of that part of the release. The reader is expected to read the article to discover to what is being referred to in more detail, and the link to Rode’s website is also provided for further clarity.

  3. Bill says:

    I have a lot of respect for the Rode company and have owned a few of their microphones, but seeing your response makes wonder what whoever wrote the advertising copy was thinking. It’s such a ridiculous claim I hope you understand that having seen the ad stating it was the “finest” ribbon mic, I (wrongly) thought you had misread.
    I apologise unreservedly – I was completely in error, and will now disappear.

    • admin says:

      Aw gosh no, don’t disappear; I didn’t mean to send you packing. Stay awhile and browse some more, it’s lovely to get comments on the articles…

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