DJI Mic Review
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DJI Mic Review

I thought it would be useful to do a DJI Mic Review. I’m not affiliated with DJI although I seem to have owned an awful lot of their products, including a Phantom 4 Pro Drone and the Mavic Platinum Edition Drone, a Mavic 3 Classic, Pocket 2 Camera, Action 3 Camera, Ronin RS-2 and most recently, DJI Mic. I really should have a word!

What has a DJI Mic got to do with photography? Well, DJI are arguably the world’s most advanced drone company, branching out into mobile cameras and recently going head to head with GoPro in the ever popular Action Camera market. If you shoot video, you record sound. If you did that in the 1970s like I did, you’ll remember miles of cable, gaffer tape, huge unwieldy mis and reel to reel recorders. Fast forward 50 years and you have wireless setups that fit in the palm of your hand. In the case of the DJI Mic, literally.

Why DJI Mic in 2023?

Two things jump out.

  1. Firstly, GoPro has always suffered from rubbish sound and even the recent media mods don’t really address the problem. From the point of view of an action camera pure and simple, GoPro probably still produce the best pictures. From the point of view of the vlogging community, sound is of paramount importance.
  2. Until recently, Rode were the only people to produce a cheap wireless mic set up with the Rode Wireless Go. This has been very popular and enjoyed a free run at the market until a couple of years ago.
  3. OK, three, three things stand out. The popularity of vlogging and the rise of the YouTubers.

These factors combined add up to an opportunity for a tech company like DJI.

The first inkling of serious interest in the wireless microphone market from DJI was the provision of a wireless mic attachment to the Pocket 2 Gimbal Camera. The mic came bundled with the camera, was not easily configurable., simply plug in and record. It worked rather well for vlogging.

Last year, in February, with very little fanfare, the DJI Mic appeared on the scene. Initially it came with two transmitters and one receiver and was squarely aimed at the podcasting and vlogging community. This year a second version has been released at a lower price point – a single transmitter and a single receiver. perfect for walk and talk recordings and How-To videos.

Innovation

As far as innovation goes the DJI Mic is at the front of the pack. The charging box is a very clever idea that simply ensures that the contents are fully charged from a single power source. The box. This can be charged from a single plug or USB. An idea so blindingly simple that one wonders why it wasn’t thought of earlier!

The form factor is near perfect. Small and perfectly formed! The transmitters double up as mics and in another flash of innovation, can record locally, without the receiver. They are also capable of recording an emergency backup at a slightly lower volume than the master so if you inadvertently record a passage too loud, all is not lost.

Workflow and Configuration

Configuration is done via a touch screen on the receiver. The screen, although small is very readable. The system comes with default settings which are perfectly usable in most situations but you can adjust the gain (volume) on the transmitter, the receiver and separately, the device you are recording to.

Workflow

A good rule of thumb here is to treat the sound like a photograph. Get it right in the transmitter first. If it’s overloading in the transmitter (think blown out highlights) nothing can save the sound. If you have to boost it to hear it further down the chain, thank noisy shadows.

Firmware

Firmware updates could not be simpler. Download the binaries from the link on the DJI product page and put the receiver file (dji_wirelessmic_rx_v02.00.72.87.bin) in the root directory of the receiver and the transmitter file (dji_wirelessmic_tx_v02.00.72.87.bin) in the root directory of the transmitters. The numbers should match, these were the latest at the time of writing. Restart the system one by one and they install the update themselves.

Specifications

DJI Mic Transmitters

  • Model AST01
  • Dimensions 47.32×30.43×20.01 mm
  • Weight 30 g
  • Wireless Mode GFSK 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps
  • Equivalent Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) <20 dBm
  • Operating Frequency 2400-2483.5 MHz
  • Battery Type LiPo 1S
  • Battery Capacity 320 mAh
  • Battery Energy 1.23 Wh
  • Battery Voltage 3.85 V
  • Charging Temperature 5 to 45° C (41° to 113° F)
  • Operating Temperature -10° to 45° C (14° to 113° F)
  • Charging Time 70 mins
  • Operating Time 5.5 hours

DJI Mic Receiver

  • Model ASR01
  • Dimensions 47.44×32.21×17.35 mm
  • Weight 24.9 g
  • Wireless Mode GFSK 1 Mbps and 2 Mbps
  • Equivalent Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP) <20 dBm
  • Operating Frequency 2400-2483.5 MHz
  • Battery Type LiPo 1S
  • Battery Capacity 320 mAh
  • Battery Energy 1.23 Wh
  • Battery Voltage 3.85 V
  • Charging Temperature 5 to 45° C (41° to 113° F)
  • Operating Temperature -10° to 45° C (14° to 113° F)
  • Charging Time 70 mins
  • Operating Time 5 hours

Charging Case

  • Model ASB01
  • Dimensions 103.06×61.87×41.50 mm
  • Weight 162.2 g
  • Battery Type LiPo 1S
  • Battery Capacity 2600 mAh
  • Battery Energy 10 Wh
  • Battery Voltage 3.87 V
  • Charging Temperature 5 to 45° C (41° to 113° F)
  • Operating Temperature 5 to 45° C (41° to 113° F)
  • Charging Time 2 hours and 40 mins
  • Operating Time Fully charge three devices simultaneously 1.8 times

General

  • Microphone Direction All Directions
  • Frequency Response Low Cut Off: 50 Hz – 20 kHz. Low Cut On: 150 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Max Sound Pressure Level (SPL)  114 dB SPL
  • Max Input Level (3.5 mm) -17 dBV (THD < 0.1%)
  • Equivalent Noise 23 dBA 
  • Monitor Interface Output Power Max Output 22mW@1kHz, 32Ω
  • Max Transmission Distance 250 m (FCC), 160 m (CE)
    Measured in an unobstructed outdoor environment free of interference.

Best Features

Design, Charging Case, Portability, Sound.

Compatibility with a range of devices including Phones (Adapters supplied), DJI Drones (plug the receiver in to the handset to provide a commentary direct to video), DSLR’s and Mirrorless Cameras (mount receiver on hot shoe with supplied adapter and plugin to the mic socket with provided cable).

DJI Mic Review – Conclusion

I’ve always used Sennheiser mics in my professional video work and more recently, Rode who do a great job of creating affordable sound technology for pro and amateur filmmakers, podcasters, YouTubers etc. However, I’m very impressed with this latest offering from DJI and will be using it as the main recording technology for my YouTube channel which is being relaunched in a couple of weeks.

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