Joby just released a whole bunch of new microphones for content creators
Joby, the company famous for its line of flexible GorillaPod tripods, has always focused on vloggers, social media shooters and self-employed content creators. They’ve also released a microphone or two in the past, but now they plan to take this sector of the creator market head-on with a new line of Wavo microphones. But did they release a single new microphone? Oh no. They are five!
Joby is now owned by Vitec, so you know they’ll go big or go home. And go big, they announced five new microphones at the same time to launch their new line of “Wavo” microphones. Well, I say they’ve gone big, they’re all pretty small, with a set of dual wireless microphones, a lavalier mic, a few on-camera mics, and a large-diaphragm condenser to sit on your desk.
First up we have the Joby Wavo PRO, a new “smart” camera-powered microphone. Although I didn’t hear the sound it records, it has an impressive set of features. It’s got all the usual stuff we’ve come to expect, like auto power on/off, safety channel recording, high pass filter, a boost and a pad, but it also brings some interesting new ones. Like a microphone jack (yes, an input) so you can plug a second mic into the first for things like interviews where you might want to record multiple people on separate microphones.
You get up to 60 hours of battery life on the internal battery which can be charged via USB Type-C. It also has Bluetooth to communicate with a smartphone app that offers real-time, remote visual monitoring of what the microphone is picking up. The app also provides a full EQ to dial in that sound while you’re actually recording to reduce the amount of work you need to do in post when you’re back at your computer editing your video.
The Joby Wavo PRO is available for purchase now for $299.99.
The Joby Wavo PRO DS is a “streamlined” version of the Wavo PRO with some of the bells and some of the whistles. You get the same overall design, the same 60 hours of battery life from an internal battery, the same safe channel recording, and a high-pass filter instead of the active noise reduction found in the PRO model shown. above. It shares many of the same internal components and the built-in LEDs let you know how your battery and audio levels are doing.
Another advantage of the Wavo PRO and Wavo PRO DS is that in addition to offering analog output, they can also act as digital audio devices when plugged directly into the USB socket of your laptop or smartphone. . It’s a feature we’ve seen very little of on-camera microphones so far. In fact, the only other microphones that offer this feature that come to mind are the Rode VideoMic NTG and the recently released Rode VideoMic GO II. It is therefore a very useful feature if you regularly record voiceovers for your videos on the computer or just want to use it as a regular computer microphone for Skype, Zoom, etc. when not shooting video.
The Joby Wavo PRO DS is available for pre-order now for $249.99 and will start shipping in March.
The Joby Wavo AIR is Joby’s answer to the wave of small wireless microphone sets that have come out in the last two years since the world saw the launch of the Rode Wireless GO in 2019. We’ve seen plenty of competition. to the Wireless GO released within the last three years, so it only makes sense that Joby is tackling that one as well, as they release their new range.
This is a “snap-to-pair” wireless dual microphone kit that includes two transmitters, two plug-in lavalier microphones, two furry windscreens for outdoor use, and a single receiver to plug into your camera or your smartphone. Like other microphones in their class, they’re quite small and operate at 2.4 GHz, so you can use them license-free just about anywhere in the world. You can also use them as a wireless transmission for the Wavo PRO and PRO DS microphones above to fly over your subject.
You get up to six hours of working time on each unit via the internal batteries and they recharge via USB Type-C. But you can also charge them while you use them. So if you’ve cut them out of sight on your subject, you can plug them into a power bank to make sure they don’t die mid-shot.
The Joby Wavo AIR is available for purchase now for $249.95.
If you already have a wireless microphone system and just need new lavs, or maybe you want lavalier mics that are a bit better than the ones included in the Wavo AIR kit, there’s the new Joby Wavo Lav PRO. Joby says it’s their first “pro-grade” lavalier mic and is designed for “big sound in a small footprint”. It features a pro-grade pod with a foam windscreen – although there’s no word on a plush one for more extreme conditions.
At 2.5 meters long (or about 8 feet), this thing’s cable is long and it has a standard 3.5mm TRS jack on the end. So you can wire it to your subject pretty much however you want without it snagging inside clothing. Ok so the cable might seem ridiculously long but if you want to send the signal straight into your camera (or one of the Wavo PRO mics above) it’s a few meters away without going through the wireless route then this will be super handy. Also, with the current trend (or regulation, depending on where you are in the world) for social distancing on set, a 2.5 meter cable is going to make it easy for someone to listen to the recorder or camera without getting too close.
The Joby Wavo Lav PRO is available to purchase now for $79.99.
Unlike the microphones above, the Joby Wavo POD is designed to be used only on the computer and not plugged into a camera. Of course, you can still plug it into your smartphone as a sound source for video, because it’s a USB microphone. It’s a large-diaphragm cardioid condenser designed primarily for things like voiceovers and podcasts. But you can also use it for all your regular computing needs, like Skype, Zoom, etc.
Beneath the microphone is a USB jack for connecting to your computer as well as a zero-latency 3.5mm TRS output for plugging in headphones to monitor the audio as it’s recorded. There’s also a 3/8-16″ socket underneath with a 3/8-16″ to what is presumably 5/8-27″ adapter to connect it to things like boom arms or other mounts microphone if you don’t want to have it right on your desk with the included stand. There’s another pair of 1/4-20″ sockets on the side of the mount in case you want to attach it to something like a GorillaPod.
On the front panel, you can choose between cardioid and omnidirectional polar patterns, depending on whether you’re recording solo or want to pick up both sides of the microphone for a “cross-the-table” style interview with one person on each side. There’s also a mute button to mute the microphone without having to mess with the software as well as a volume and gain knob.
The Joby Wavo POD is available to purchase now for $99.99.
It’s certainly a nice collection to announce that Joby is taking audio more seriously than its initial offerings in 2020. And now we have another big player in microphone town, although I don’t expect that they want to compete against Rode, Sennheiser, Shure and others for the high-end sector of the market and expect Joby to stick to its core audience of vloggers and content creators.
That being said, given that Joby is owned by Vitec, I wouldn’t necessarily rule out the possibility that we could see a higher-end offering released under another Vitec-owned brand in the future. And no, that’s not insider info or rumor, but it wouldn’t surprise me, especially since Vitec also owns Rycote, maker of many of the most popular microphone stands on the market today. .