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Teaching Yoga Online Part 3: Audio Deep Dive

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

In Part 3, I'll share my review of the products I tested. And I'll show you how to use the Rode Wireless Go, which is my current choice (pictured) for teaching yoga online -recorded and livestream.

You may need a different audio solution. I'll also provide suggestions for how to pick the right audio solution for you.

This post is part of a four-part series on how to teach yoga online (live or recorded):

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My Product Tests

I purchased a couple of products to test using the iPhone's Camera application and Zoom. It was a challenge in and of itself to find products in stock and with easy return policies these days.

In the video above, you can jump to the following product sound tests:

  • My baseline solution: iPad - 1:32

  • Rode Wireless Go's built-in lavalier mic - 1:59

  • My current solution: Rode Wireless Go's built-in lavalier mic with a large carpet in the room - 2:18

  • JLab GO Air True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds - 2:38

  • Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds - 2:56

  • Taotronics SoundElite 72 Wired Bluetooth Earbuds - 3:20

Not Tested: Apple AirPods Pro

I didn’t test Apple AirPods Pro. After researching and attending some classes, the cost seemed too high. If you look at the frequency response of the microphone, it’s optimized for conversation, which is great for phone calls. But it doesn’t do well with the lower range of sounds, which is important for chanting and om’s.

Regular Apple AirPods have a quite similar microphone as the Pro version, so you could save some money if you want an Apple product.

Sound Test: Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless Earbuds

I tested the Jabra Elite 65t True Wireless Earbuds ($120). Compared to Apple AirPods Pro it was reviewed as having an arguably better microphone and better Bluetooth connectivity - at half the cost. The Jabra Elite 65t seemed to have a smoother frequency response with more range into low frequencies than AirPods Pro. The Jabra earbuds also boasted more built-in background noise suppression from additional microphones.

At first, I was really pleased with Jabra’s natural sound quality, comfort, the free app to adjust settings, and listening sound quality. But my hair touching the outside of the Jabra Elite 65t earbuds produced static sounds. This was likely due to the additional noise-cancelling microphones. So they were out of the running.

Sound Test: JLab GO Air True Wireless Earbuds

The low-priced JLab GO Air True Wireless Earbuds ($30) are now my backup microphone option. I originally purchased them to use as my speaker with the Rode Wireless Go.

Based on price, I'd guess that the JLab GO Air would have some reliability issues, but SoundGuys rate their Bluetooth connectivity as equal to Apple Airpods Pro. The JLab's aren’t quite as good at reducing background noise and room reverb, as the Jabra Elite 65t. But they are quite decent in a pinch.

Sound Test: Taotronics SoundElite 72 Bluetooth Wired Earbuds

I purchased wired Bluetooth earbuds, because I thought the microphone on the wire closer to the mouth might produce better sound quality. Unfortunately, the Taotronics SoundElite 72 Earbuds ($46) were a no-go for my use cases. They produced more background white noise than my baseline. The Taotronics wired earbuds produced noticeable static when I spoke and when the microphone piece brushed my face (which they definitely would during yoga class).

They were really comfortable and had excellent listening quality. I like that they are harder to lose than true wireless earbuds.

Sound Test: Rode Wireless Go

Enter the Rode Wireless Go transmitter and receiver set with built-in lavalier mic ($200 + $15 cord), which is my current pick. Here are the results from the sound tests:

  • The Rode Wireless Go produces the richest and most natural sound of any microphone I tested. It has a smoother frequency response. So it handles the low, humming tones of chanting much better than earbuds. Some frequencies still seem to get cut off, but there is a significant improvement.

  • Change in volume and sound as you move your head can be managed to be relatively unnoticeable (see below).

  • It will pick up background noise and room reverb more than earbuds. But processing your recordings afterwards reduces background noise significantly (and I would do this anyways). Zoom's default processing also makes this a non-issue for me.

  • Unlike traditional lavalier mics, the built-in mic is protected by the transmitter case. I’ve experienced minimal accidental noise from clothing or moving.

  • It has the option to plug in a lavalier or headset microphone, if you ever want to upgrade or use it for another purpose. I may test and upgrade to a lightweight microphone headset one day to improve the overall sound quality and the volume consistency (by keeping the mic close to my mouth). There are definitely cheaper ones out there, but I’m curious to try those compared to the more expensive Rode HS2 ($300).

  • There was a noticeable improvement in sound quality when I added a carpet to cover a large part of my hardwood floors. This really reinforces my suggestions in Part 2: Tech Set-up.


Using the Rode Wireless Go

For an overview, skip ahead to 3 minutes and 40 seconds in the video above.

You'll first need to determine which recording devices you're going to use with the Rode Wireless Go, so that you can purchase the right cables.

Otherwise, the Rode Wireless Go is plug & play:

  1. You turn the two units on.

  2. They immediately auto-connect to each other.

  3. Change the gain using the dB button on the receiver unit.

  4. Plug the receiver unit into your recording device.

  5. Clip the transmitter unit with mic onto your clothes.

  6. Test and confirm the microphone is being used by your recording app.

  7. Teach!



If you’re plugging the Rode Wireless Go into a DSLR or camcorder, you won’t need any additional cables. The included TRS black ended cable will work - SC2.

If you’re plugging into a mobile device, you’ll need a TRS (black) to TRRS (gray) cable (Rode's SC7) - pictured. This cable also worked for my laptop and desktop (Dell Inspiron 7000 and Mac mini). Connect the TRS plug (black) into the Rode receiver. The TRRS end (gray) plugs into your recording device.

For iOS devices without a 3.4mm audio jack, you will also need an Apple Lightning to 3.5 mm Headphone Jack Adapter (see photo). If you need to power this iOS device while you're recording, you'll need a dual adaptor like this one: Belkin 3.5 mm Audio + Charge Rockstar.

Depending on your laptop/desktop ports, you may need a TRS to USB (or USC-C) cable instead of the SC2 or SC7. You may also want a USB cable if you want to use the audio jack for any other speakers or equipment.

I would recommend using tape or velcro to secure any cables (into the Rode receiver, into your devices, or intermediate connections). There is no locking mechanism on any of the Rode ports to prevent cables from coming out. My laptop’s 3.5mm audio port is a bit loose, so I accidentally lost audio in the middle of class. I don’t recommend it. :)

Test, test, test

Definitely take the time to test on your camera and/or through Zoom. Test the different gain and application settings in your environment.

Test whether simultaneously charging the transmitter unit while recording causes any interference. For me, the mic produced high-pitched interference when I had the Rode transmitter unit and the USB power cable plugged into my laptop. There was no interference when I used an external power source.

Test how the mic sounds in different poses. I try to talk a little quieter when I’m folded forward (e.g. child’s pose) or turn my head toward the microphone.

I place the transmitter right at or below my collar bone. I try not to lie directly on the transmitter, or it will sound muffled. I’ve noticed minimal static sounds from my clothing or movement, but I take care not to bump it too much. I also try not to wear staticky clothing.

If you plan to chant during class, test this too.