The JOBY Wavo PLUS is the latest member of the Wavo family and in terms of price and functionality, it can be placed in the middle of the Wavo range, being classed by JOBY as a semi-professional mic. The Wavo PLUS is a lightweight directional mic that you can attach to a DSLR or mirrorless camera thanks to its shoe mount.
Shotgun mics such as the Wavo PLUS are great at picking up the sound of an interviewee if they’re relatively close to the camera. They’re also good for quickly picking up audio in busy locations such as a wedding without the need to wire up your subjects. However, if you need to record crisp clear sound from a more distant ‘talking head’ then you’re better off with a wireless mic and receiver set such as the JOBY Wavo AIR.
In our test, we used the mount to attach the Wavo PLUS to a SmallRig smartphone cage carrying an iPhone 14 Pro Max, to see how it compares to the other best iPhone microphones. Check out our accompanying video later in the review to hear the Wavo PLUS in action.
Capsule type: Condenser Electret (line gradient)
Polar pattern: Super cardioid
Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHZ
Signal to noise ratio: 75db
Dynamic range: 110db
Output connection: 3.5mm TRS and TRRS connection
Sensitivity: -16 dBV/Pa at 1 kHz (+-3db)
Maximum SPL: 130 dB SPL(1 kHz, 1% THD, 1-Kilohm Load)
High-pass filter: 100Hz
Output impedance: 10 Ohms
Sound recording is the most likely thing to let down the production values of any video project. If your subject is too far away from the on-camera mic then they may sound too quiet. When you boost the subject’s sound levels in a post-production app such as Adobe Premiere Pro you may also exaggerate unwanted sounds such as room echo from the side and rear of the camera.
The Wavo PLUS has a directional super-cardioid polar pattern that enables it to capture the voice of a presenter standing directly in front of the camera, which reduces the capture of extraneous sounds. When shooting outdoors the presence of wind can ruin a perfectly good take.
Fortunately, the Wavo PLUS has a foam wind jammer that is designed to reduce wind-induced rumbling. As a bonus, there’s also a high-pass filter that you can switch on to reduce the rumble of low-frequency sound.
When recording audio you may not notice problems such as the hum of background machinery or a passing plane. The Wavo PLUS’s built-in headphone jack enables you to monitor audio directly from the microphone so you can spot potential problems and ask your subject to do a retake if necessary.
If you’re shooting on the move then DSLR cameras in particular can suffer from camera handling sounds being captured on the recording. The Wavo PLUS has a rubber suspension mount that helps separate the mic from the camera thereby reducing the presence of handling sounds.
Build and handling
The Wavo PLUS’s plastic body looks and feels like a cheaper mic when compared to the Joby Wavo PRO DS, which is made of aluminum. Indeed, the Wavo PLUS costs around $30/£40 less than the Wavo PRO DS (and it's around $70/£80 cheaper than the Wavo with the highest spec - the JOBY Wavo PRO).
However, the Wavo PLUS looks much more professional than the entry-level Wavo Mobile which costs around $120/£150 less than the PLUS. The Wavo PLUS’s price and build accurately reflect its position as being in the middle of the JOBY Wavo range.
Despite its plastic build, we found that the Wavo PLUS did elevate the production values of our test recording, but only by a relatively small margin. The iPhone Pro Max 14’s built-in microphone did a good job of recording speech from a distance of about 2.5 meters.
When we plugged the Wavo PLUS into the iPhone (with the help of a 3.5mm jack to the lightning adaptor) the audio track sounded a bit ‘fuller’ thanks to the presence of a stronger bass and there was a reduction in the presence of room echo from the side, top and rear of the camera. However, the differences were subtle. You can compare the sound quality of Wavo PLUS with the iPhone’s mic by playing our test video.
By mounting the Wavo PLUS on a SmallRig smartphone cage we were able to give our iPhone 14 Pro Max a bit more credibility as a video camera thanks to the presence of the shotgun mic. The Wavo PLUS powers up as soon as you attach it to your camera and a reassuring green light at the front lets you know that it’s charged and active, which is especially useful if you’re talking to the camera.
This condenser shotgun mic will enable you to improve your audio production values, especially when shooting in noisy environments. The combination of the windshield and the optional high-pass filter help reduce rumble and the super-cardioid polar pattern focuses the mic on the main subject while ignoring extraneous sounds.
When filming yourself you can’t easily monitor the audio quality on headphones so the optional -10db safety track could rescue a shoot if the levels on the main track are too high and distorted.
As a semi-professional midrange mic, it lacks some of the extra 'bells and whistles' on more expensive mics such as the Joby Wavo PRO (such as a light to indicate if the levels peak too high), but it provides good quality sound for a much cheaper price, making it an attractive purchase for those who can’t afford the Wavo PRO.