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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Røde Vlogger Kit Review: Easy Vlogger Starter

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The Røde Vlogger Kit is an easy way to get pretty much everything you need to start vlogging, whether it’s on YouTube, TikTok, or elsewhere. It includes a microphone, LED light with a variety of filters, and a handle that doubles as a tripod. There are three versions available: one for Apple phones, one for Android phones with USB-C, and one for phones without USB-C but with a headphone jack.

Here’s a closer look.

Vloggin ‘

The Vlogger kit consists of three main components and a bunch of other parts that we can call accessories. The first is a rechargeable LED light of just over 1 cubic inch. It has four brightness settings, the maximum according to Røde emits 300 lumens. I can believe this number, it’s very bright. In its medium brightness mode, Røde claims it will last over an hour and a half.

To go with the light, there are 8 colored filters, including a diffuser and several heating and cooling filters. There is even green and magenta. I have found that if you are careful you can stack two of them together. I liked the look of the diffuser and the orange heating filter. With a few tests, you should also be able to find a look you like.

The light connects to a cold shoe holder on top of an aluminum clamp / holder that holds your phone. Unlike some brackets, this one is tightened via a knurled screw at the top. I prefer that, in fact, to a solid spring, as it’s easier to secure the phone without feeling like it’s going to crush it. There are rubber pads where it grips the phone. At the bottom is a standard tripod mount.

The phone holder attaches to a handle / tripod. It is much more robust than you might think, which can be said for all parts of the Vlogger kit. They all feel pretty well done. The head of the handle swivels and attaches firmly. It’s not a gimbal, of course, but we’ll get to that later.

Finally, the microphone. With the Apple and USB-C versions of the Vlogger Kit, the mic connects directly to your phone’s Lightning or USB-C connector. If you don’t have one of these connectors, but have a headphone jack, the third version of the Vlogger Kit connects this way. This version also comes with a rubber hanger bracket. The microphone itself has a cardioid pickup pattern and on the back there is a headphone jack for control. It comes with a windshield / tribble / dead cat, to reduce wind noise.

Verformance of the vlogger

The LED light cube is awesome. It is small, bright and lasts a while. The way the filters attach is a little less secure than I would have liked, but it’s no big deal.

The tripod handle is certainly handy and I love the way it folds out into a small tripod. It is plastic, but quite thick and well reinforced. This is not a gimbal which of course is not intended to be, I just found that a gimbal drastically improves the quality of any video. If you get a gimbal, the Røde’s microphone may interfere with the movements of the gimbal. None of this is by any means a dealbreaker, just something to consider.

Then there is the microphone, probably the most important part of this kit. It’s pretty good, with balanced sound and no obvious issues. If you mostly record handheld video, or if you’re at least close to the phone while recording, I doubt you need another mic. If you want to record remotely, of course, you’ll need a wireless option. I recorded all of the audio from the video above with the microphone of the Vlogger Kit, if you want to hear how it sounds.

Final thoughts

For $ 150, I am very impressed with the Vlogger Kit. The overall build quality is excellent, and there are several small touches that weren’t strictly necessary, but great additions, like filters and tribble. I’m sure there are countless unnamed versions of this kit available online for a lot less money, but I doubt they’ll have the quality of this one. All the parts work great and they all look well done.

What would I improve? Not much, to be honest. I like the rubber hanger bracket that came with the third version of the kit. Neither the Lightning version nor the USB-C version have it, since their microphones plug in directly. So I guess it’s not strictly necessary, but it would have been a good option.

Watch the video above for how the Vlogger Kit sounds in practice, what the light looks like, and more.

Vlogger Kit: $ 150

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