Rode VideoMic vs. VideoMic Pro vs. Lavalier

Vimeo member Carl quickly throws up some sample tests between the Rode VideoMic and VideoMic Pro. He's also thrown in Rode's latest Lavalier directly into the Canon 5D Mark II which sounds awesome (but is kinda pricey). Rode themselves have even left a bit of feedback in the video comments to try another test. Using the new +20db feature in the VideoMic Pro along with the 5D Mark II audio turned way down to improve with the floor noise. This is the benefit for having manual controls over your DSLR's audio levels, a feature native to only the Canon 5D Mark II and 60D. T2i users can benefit from Magic Lantern firmware, but 7D owners need to rely on some type of AGC disable. [Thanks Carl]

[Update] Here's Carl's follow up test using the +20db setting on VMP and turning gain down in the camera. Compared to the non-Pro VideoMic there's a difference.

Another slightly different take on some audio tests throwing in a 550D + Magic Lantern in the mix. This time Vimeo member D Films starts out with an unboxing. Audio in the beginning was the ATR3350 Lav mic + Zoom H1.

find-price-button Rode VideoMic Pro

find-price-button Rode VideoMic

find-price-button Rode Lavalier Microphone

19 thoughts on “Rode VideoMic vs. VideoMic Pro vs. Lavalier

  1. Nathan

    Hey i need some help. I purchased a rode vmp to use with my iPhone 4s with the kv connections adapter. My problem is that no matter what setting i put it at i get this horrible sound like you can hear the mic shaking. is it a defective product or do i just not know what I'm doing. thanks

  2. Emm

    Post author

    @D~ Habez is correct, it would not be the same and would sound pretty terrible.

  3. Habez


    i highly doubt that will work. Lol. Mostly because upping gain in post is just different from recording in +20 db with a low gain.

    im not some sound genius or technician but i've played around with lots of cheap mics before and whenever i try what you tried, i seemed to +20db all the noise that i recorded along with the intended audio.

    lol. just my 2 cents

  4. Alksion

    It is definitely an improvement over the last one, but it still comes nowhere close to matching the sound of even a decent shotgun mic.

  5. Kevin

    Your argument defeats itself depending on the final destination.
    If everyone is listening on crappy speakers, then you are the one mixing in the wrong way because you won't hear what they will.
    Moral of the story, not everyone has the same budget and priorities.

  6. Good test. I do sound editing and mastering for commercial clients so I have studio monitors at home and the differences were easy to hear.

    @J Toha, the Lav mic actually sounded the worse to me because it was in need of the most EQ'ing. I think the VideoMic Pro sounded the best at +20dB. I have a 60D so I'll probably try out that method when I get one.

    It makes me sad how many people don't have some sort of monitoring system at home to mix their audio for video. Audio is half of your production and can make or break a video in so many ways. Get a nice pair of studio monitors or at least some decent reference headphones. The key here is "reference". Normal consumer market speakers are engineered to sound "too" good and do not have give you a flat representation of what is going on in your audio.

  7. Bill

    Thanks for posting this, Emm. I guess I'm going to have to start saving up for a Rode. Don't know why Carl's Videomic Pro is so noisy, maybe the gain on his 5DMII is set too high?

    Here is Guy Cochran's test of the Videomic Pro outdoors on a 5DMII - very clean, no discernible floor noise:

    BTW, 4-level manual control of audio gain is also native to the GH2, without firmware hacks or AGC disable.

    Philip Bloom gets good results with the Videomic Pro and the GH2 in a noisy party environment here:


  8. Nick

    The only reason the lav was so much cleaner was because it was the only one he bothered to position close to the sound source. It really made no sense to compare it that way. The VideoMic and VideoMic Pro should have been on booms or stands and positioned much closer in order to be compared to the lav. He also should have focused on testing the +20 dB switch on the VideoMic Pro and comparing the noise floor of that to the noise floor of the original VideoMic when recording directly into the camera.

    But I suspect more than a handful of people will buy this new mic and more tests will follow.

  9. Interesting, out of the two shotguns they sounded almost identical apart from the TV in the background only test where the pro seemed more directional. However when the stereo and TV were on they sounded very simelar. This is very strange, I think the guy must of been talking quieter when testing the non pro mic with the TV only test otherwise this makes no sense. If this is the case they are both very simpler which considering the size different is quite impressive. Mu one observation is the the sound circuitry in DSLRs is not supposed to be much good so I would of preferred to here the test with sound recorded on something decent like a Edorol.

  10. How come this guys rode video mic sounds so terrible, and Dave Dugdale's sounds so much better? There has to be something off in this guy's audio settings in camera.

  11. To make my previous question more clear, what I mean was, how often do people use the audio they capture from their on-camera shotgun mic in their final edit? And if you do, could you explain why and when? Thanks all.

  12. If purchasing new, I think getting the "Pro" version is a no-brainer. Rode gives you a free dead cat with it once you complete their redemption procedure. Otherwise you'd shell out 40 bucks for that... So you end up paying about $50 more for the new smaller Videomic Pro with a lower noise floor. OTOH, if buying used, it seems possible to get the old version and a dead cat for maybe $150 total on the auction site. That $100 gets me half the way to a decent lav mic.

    Ultimately, I need to decide how often I'll want to capture sound where a dual sound system will be impractical. Because if I'm only using an on-camera shotgun to get a good guide track for PluralEyes, maybe the new one is overkill.

    Anyone have insight into how often they use their on camera mic to capture audio? (I get the feeling on camera audio is like on-camera flash. It works ok (esp bounce), but off-camera is just mo'better.) Thoughts?

  13. Emm

    Post author

    @J Toha - I think the big difference would be with the +20db setting which wasn't tested in the video. I'm hoping to hear that in a test, but I think i'm already sold enough to get it based on the size. Makes packing and traveling easier.

  14. J Toha

    I don't notice much difference between Videomic and Videomic Pro, but probably cos I was listening with external speaker from iPhone. However, the Rode lavalier, oh so clean. Wish the price can be lower though, by let's say...half? :/

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