DJI is still best known for its drones, but that has not stopped the company from expanding into other areas of interest, whether it be action cameras or laser-firing robots. The company’s latest move away from drones is a wireless microphone system, called the DJI Mic.
If DJI’s Action camera started life as a GoPro clone, the new Mic is something of a Red Wireless Go clone. Just as the Action camera beat the GoPro in several ways, DJI has managed to prove to be a compelling alternative to what many consider the industry-leading wireless microphone.
DJI Mic is a smart system that is portable, easy to use and offers good sound quality for the price. It will not be the best possible sound outside of a studio environment, but it is perfect for podcast interviews, field recordings and vlogging when the receiver is mounted on a camera flashing shoe.
Microphone in a box
DJI’s Mic system consists of two transmission units and a receiver. The transmitters have a power and recording button on the side, and a 3.5 mm microphone jack and a built-in microphone on the top. They have both a clip to attach to clothes and a very powerful magnet to attach to all metal. It’s a strong enough magnet that DJI recommends keeping it away from devices with SSDs and RAM.
The receiver has a touch screen for controlling settings on the front, an on / off button and USB-C port on one side, and a headphone jack and 3.5 mm line-out jack on the other side. This means you can monitor your recording and pass it on to any camera that can accept audio input.
All this comes in a practical small carrying case that holds both microphone devices, the receiver, a Lightning adapter and a USB-C adapter. This case acts as a charging unit for all three parts in addition to keeping everything neat and tidy in your bag. A small bag can then hold the case along with two included windshields for the microphones and a few wires. The whole package is about twice the size of a set of cards and very smart.
I bring this up because we at WIRED use Rode wireless microphones for all our video work, and even though Rodes are just as small, they lack the practical carrying case and are honestly a pain in the ass to deal with. They always fall out of their velcro carrying case and disappear into the dark corners of my bag. Not so with the DJI Mic, which is always nicely stored in its suitcase and ready for use.
Aside from the smart case, there’s a lot here that’s comparable to Rode’s popular wireless microphone system. Where DJI emerges in relation to Rode is wireless range. DJI claims 250 meters. I found this reasonably accurate as long as the line of sight is available. I have trouble thinking of common shooting scenarios where this is helpful. If so, you have it with DJI.
The transmitters are heavier than I would like, but the clips hold up well enough if you have a proper collared shirt. T-shirts are more challenging, but I got it to stay. The included windshields worked well, even though a windy day at the beach still sounded, yes, windy, but under normal circumstances, these will prevent the breeze from disturbing your sound.