I've been sitting on this Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit review for too long. Joby let me know about their new kit back in May. Although I was super interested in trying out the equipment based on my experience with the portable Wavo mics, I didn't find the time to create content in the last few months due to work and other engagements.
Joby are most famous for their GorillaPod tripods, which can be attached to anything and everything. However, in recent years, they started expanding their product portfolio in response to the meteoric rise of streaming and podcasting. Joby's Wavo range of microphones was designed from the ground up for content creators and aims to rival the likes of Rode and Logitech for Creators (a.k.a. Blue Microphones).
Can it, though? Joby is a new name on the notoriously spec-crunching audio market, so convincing people to swap their current streaming and podcasting setup to Joby's Wavo POD Streamer Kit might need some work. Who's the kit for? Is it a good value for money? Should you buy it? Let's find out!
Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit review: price and availability
The Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit was announced in Q2 2023 and is available to buy now directly from Joby UK, Joby US and Joby AU for a recommended retail price of £176.90/ $199.90/ AU$ 359.90. The kit includes the Wavo POD microphone and Wavo Boom Arm. One interesting thing to note is that you don't actually save much (any) money by buying the kit; you can buy the two products separately for the same amount of cash.
For comparison, buying the Blue Yeti mic and the Blue Compass boom arm will set you back approx. £230 in the UK. Similarly, the combination of the Rode PSA1 boom arm and Rode PodMic is around £204 currently. So even though you don't save a lot by getting the Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit, you can save some dosh by getting it compared to other (branded) products on the market.
Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit review: setup
I was slightly intimidated by the sheer size of the box of the Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit when it arrived. I'm a proud owner of a Rode PSA1+ boom arm, and that comes in a comparatively large box; the Wavo Boom Arm's box is much bigger. Plus, the Wavo Pod microphone's box is as big as Blue Yeti's, and again, it's supposed to be more compact than that.
You'll calm down as soon as you open the box. The Wavo Boom Arm is almost like-for-like the same in terms of size as the Rode PSA1+ and the Wavo Pod is half the volume of the Blue Yeti (it's not half the size, though, if that makes sense). The setup is straightforward, too. You get everything out of the box, mount the arm on the edge of your desk, screw the mic at the top, plug the USB cable into the mic and the computer, and you're ready to go.
Two cables are included in the box: a USB-C to USB 2.0 and a USB-C to USB-C. I used the kit with my M1 MacBook Air with the USB-C to USB-C cable. The MacBook recognised the microphone immediately, although I noticed that the microphone's volume control seemed to be disabled – it might have something to do with Mac's settings (I know some WLR mics don't play well with Apple products).
Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit review: ease of use
Joby's streaming microphone setup was designed to be used effortlessly. If the microphone is plugged in, it'll be activated as soon as your computer comes to life, allowing you to use it for whatever purpose, including streaming and podcasting, but also video calls or music recording. There aren't gazillions of control buttons, and since it's a USB microphone, there is no need to fiddle around with the DAC unit, either.
The Wavo Pod microphone has two pickup patterns, cardioid and omnidirectional, and you can switch between the two using the button on the front of the mic. You'd want to use the former for solo streaming and podcasting and the latter for music recording or group sessions. There is no stereo pickup pattern, which might be better in specific scenarios, but as long as you make sure your interviews aren't conducted in a Starbucks, the omnidirectional mode should suffice.
Since both products included in the Wavo POD Streamer Kit are essentially what you'd get if you purchased them separately, you get the benefit of being able to mount the microphone on the boom arm or the stand. This adds to the versatility of the setup, as it allows you to take the mic with you and conduct on-site recordings without having to carry the boom arm.
Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit review: performance
The Joby Wavo POD is a large-diaphragm, USB condenser microphone designed for the everyday podcaster or game streamer. It has a 24bit/48kHz high-res sampling rate, a zero-latency headphone monitoring 3.5mm jack, and a volume and gain knob with one-click integrated mute functionality.
The microphone has a frequency response range 20Hz-20kHz, a -36dB sensitivity and an 80dB signal-to-noise ratio. More importantly for beginners, the kit includes a pop filter to remove those 'p' and 'b' (a.k.a. plosives) sounds that often sound much louder and make the listeners' experience poorer.
The sound quality of the Joby Wavo POD isn't entirely on par with XLR microphones, but it's more than suitable for live streaming. Streaming always comes with a loss of video and audio quality anyway, so unless you're hell-bent on buying the most expensive microphone and boom arm on the market, Joby's Wavo POD Streamer Kit will do.
This might sound like I'm belittling the sound quality of Joby's microphone, but that isn't the case. It's just that the setup was created for streaming, and therefore, it matters little how nuanced the audio of the Wavo POD is. Most YouTubers will only use it for shouting at it anyway, and for that, you don't need sophisticated audio equipment.
And as always, you can enhance the sound quality of any microphone by creating the right environment for the recording, making sure the sound doesn't bounce around on the walls, external sounds are kept to the minimum, the microphone is facing the right way and close enough from your face, etc. Should all those criteria be met, you'll be surprised how good the Joby Wavo POD sound.
Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit review: verdict
The Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit, which includes the Wavo POD USB microphone and the Wavo Boom Arm, offers a one-stop solution for beginner streamers and podcasters. It's easy to set up and use and has enough personality to help you stand out from the crowd. It's not as flashy as some other mics featuring an OTT RGB light setup integrated under the grill, which is probably why I like it.
Audio quality is on point for live streaming, although you miss out on the nuanced, intricate sound of XLR microphones. That said, streaming microphones are for, well, streaming, and that's essentially people being loud, and for that, the Joby Wavo POD is more than adequate. The included pop filter is the icing on the cake (for the same reason).
Some might argue there is no need to buy the Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit; you can always buy the microphone and boom arm separately to delay paying for the whole thing. Those people are right. However, considering the (comparatively) low price point, it's not a bad shout to get the full setup, if for nothing else, to save you the hassle of chasing down stock later.
Joby Wavo POD Streamer Kit review: also consider
Focusrite's Vocaster Studio is an excellent all-in-one solution for beginner podcasters and content creators. It includes a quality XLR mic, a DAC and headphones, but you'll need to buy the boom arm separately. It's a must-have audio console for anyone wanting to create quality sound, though. Read my full Focusrite Vocaster Studio review.