Creators, YouTubers and TikTokers are always looking for a leg up on their videos. An easy way to make better videos is to improve your audio quality.In my early going on YouTube, I couldn’t afford a microphone so my audio sounded like this: tinny, hollow and distant. Eventually I was able to get a proper mic and I can tell you it made a massive difference in my audio quality. Joby has just made it easier for creators to not only get better audio, but to do it without the hassle of hardwired connections and different mics needed for smartphones or cameras. Meet Joby Wavo Air.
Review: Joby Wavo Air wireless microphone kit
In this review I’ll show you what comes in this surprisingly versatile kit, how to use it and I’ll let you know if I think it made my videos easier and better quality.
What you get: Joby Wavo Air
Let’s start with what you’re getting here… The Joby Wavo Air Kit is a wireless microphone kit with two mics. You can use the small microphone transmitters themselves as bold clip on microphones, or connect the small lavalier cables to the transmitters for a more discrete look. Going wireless also means you can stand at a distance from your camera if you like to shoot bigger scenes.
Both mics, however you use them, connect to the single receiver. The kit works with either a smartphone or a camera, and there are special connectors for both.
There’s a lot inside this kit so I’m going to break it down. You get:
2 cables to connect the receiver to a camera or a smartphone
2 lavalier microphones that plug into the transmitters, with windsocks
There’s also Windsocks for the transmitters if you’re using them without a lav connected.
Cold shoe mount
Gorillapod tripod clip mount
2 clips to attach the receiver to your belt or clothes
3 charging cables
Many versatile options for attaching mics, and receiver. From Left: Clip, GorillaPod clip, Cold Shoe, dual Magnetic/Lanyard.
Set up: Joby Wavo Air
Setting this mic up is actually pretty easy. To turn your mic on, Press and hold the power button on both the transmitter and receiver.
This kit should arrive with the microphones already paired to the receiver; look for the blue pairing LED lights.
While my kit did arrive pre-paired, I did make an attempt at doing manual pairing. Everything seems to work fine, though I will say the different flashing sequences of these small buttons is a bit difficult to follow. To the Joby engineers: perhaps some different coloured lights to indicate different things would be helpful.
Let’s touch on those lights briefly… the LED light ring is divided into 4. The bottom left quadrant is your pairing status. It will also show you if your battery is low by turning red.
Adjusting volume/using gain
You can control the volume level your voice is registered in the camera at by using the gain. Gain is simply a fancy TV term for volume.
Using a transmitter as a mic, without lavalier.
On the Transmitter the LED ring will show you your gain or volume output level. Technically there’s 6 levels but only 3 lights; so you’re getting two steps in volume up of down for each illumination of the light, if that makes sense.
You don’t get any kind of VU meter or viewing of actual levels, so it’s wise to try a few test recordings to help set your levels appropriately.
Using Joby Wavo Air: Wireless Range
Joby Wavo Air can manage sending audio both with or without obstacles between you and the receiver. With obstacles between you you can still get about 30m or 98 feet of range. That’s stellar and great for most home uses.
With totally clear line of sight, you can get up to 50m or 164 ft away.
Camera or Smartphone use
If you switch between using a camera and a smartphone, this kit is great because it works with both. The important thing to know is that you need to use a different connector to link the receiver to the camera or the phone. The cables are marked—the smartphone cable has a label If you ever get stuck, look at the aux pin: three bands on a pin means it’s made for a smartphone, While just two bands indicates it’s for a camera.
One last point on smartphone connections; if your phone doesn’t have a headphone or aux jack, you may need to get an adapter that connects to your phone. But these are inexpensive and work great to bridge the gap.
Using these mics is surprisingly easy. Clip them on, turn on both transmitter and receiver, and get to talking.
In my video review, above I give you a quick demonstration of the audible difference these mics make, so make sure to check it out. I’m definitely happy with the audio quality of these microphones, and the kit couldn’t be easier to use. The part I love the most? With wireless mics, I can move freely around the camera, both while I’m recording or while I’m making adjustments to my shot.
Depending on your phone, you may need an adapter.
Battery life & charging
I’ve also been quite impressed with the battery life of these mics. Joby promises 6 hours of battery life on a charge; it doesn’t say if that’s for the transmitter, receivers or both, or if that level drops if you’re using two mics at a time in an interview situation.
You’ll know your battery is dying when the transmitter and receiver show a solid red light; that;’s your 90 minute warning. Once that light starts flashing red, you’re on borrowed time., though Joby doesn’t say how much
Overall Review: Joby Wavo Air wireless microphone kit
Overall, this kit is absolutely a boon to my video production. It makes it much easier to move around my sets, and the kit is compact so I can even take it on vacation. At the same time it has all the clips, mounts and options for video shoots both on a camera and a smartphone.
Downsides? Remembering which quadrant of lights does what isn’t ideal, and the weird flashing patterns aren’t super different to be able to tell if the mic is paired. I’d prefer a couple more pinhole LED lights on the front to be specific.
Even so, I’m putting away the hardwired mic and the Joby Wavo Air is officially my new vlogging mic.
The Joby Wavo Air kit sells for about $249USD/$315CAD.
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I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.