The Rode VideoMic has been a very popular compact camera mounted shotgun mic for quit a while, mine has lasted me more then 6 years with nothing more then a rubber band change out. When the Rode VideoMic Pro was released back in late 2010 I spent some time going over the specs and it looks like there are 2 major differences. The first and most noticeable is the size, and the seconded is the 3 position (-10dB, 0dB and +20dB) level switch located on the back of the unit.

At the time those two features seemed like something I could live without, but recently I stopped buy a local music shop and saw the Rode VideoMic Pro in person. I knew it was smaller then the original but the size is hard to comprehend unless you see it in person. After a few sample tests with it attached to my field recorder I was sold.

There isn’t a lot to talk about as far as the packaging is concerned. In the box you’ll find a few Rode stickers, some extra suspension bands (that will probably get lost) and the standard batch of paperwork.  The mic itself is held in place by a little cardboard cutout with labels pointing out upgrades made to the pro version.

Side by side you can really see the size difference. The original Rode VideoMic is more then twice the size of the newer pro version. The suspension system used on the VideoMic Pro also feels like an upgrade. The previous suspension system was very floppy and if the mic was moved to much it would sometimes pick up the 3.5mm cable rubbing against the outside frame.

One thing that looks like it could be a future source of problems on the Pro version is the 3.5mm cable. The original Rode VideoMic has a thick beefy cable, but the cable included with the VideoMic Pro seems very thin and flimsy.

If you’ve used the original Rode VideoMic you probably remember the set of dip switches located in the battery compartment used to adjust the microphone output. Thankfully Rode has placed the switch in a more usable location. They’ve also added a +20 db position on the switch if you need to increase the output volume of the mic.

I ended up getting a pretty good deal on the Rode VideoMic Pro ($155 on clearance from the local shop), so I went ahead and spent the extra $35 on the official Rode Deadcat VMP windscreen.  I know there are a few cheaper windscreen options like the Micover Slipover Windscreen for $25, but I spent almost a half hour in the local store messing around with random stuff so I figure that’s worth the extra $10.

It will be interesting to see how the Rode VideoMic and VideoMic Pro compare in audio tests.

Update: Full Video review posted here.

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