Every GoPro comes with an internal microphone but they are not perfect out of the box. They do a good job for casual use but if you are looking to get decent audio from your GoPro, an external mic would have a huge impact. This is an article to help you find the Best GoPro External mics out there.
Also Read: Insta360 Buying Guide
I’m here to guide you on which mics go with which GoPro. I’m here to tell you everything you need to know before buying an external mic for your GoPro.
An in-depth guide to GoPro External Mics
Things improved with the newer versions. However, one of the worst things about the newer design with a built-in waterproof casing is that onboard sound quality is not good.
And one of the casualties of the newer design of a built-in waterproof casing is that the on-board sound quality isn’t as good. If the video you are shooting requires good audio, you will be better off with an external mic. Whether you are vlogging or using your GoPro as a webcam, using an external mic is your best choice.
Why do I need an External GoPro microphone?
There are three main reasons why you need a GoPro External Microphone.
- The Internal mic is really not that good. If you are recording voice to share something important, it might be hard to get the quality you need.
- Background Wind, Noise, or wind will affect the quality of your audio. The closer you have your mic to your mouth, the better. The camera picks a lot of noise when it is and the end of the selfie stick.
- The waterproof casing eliminates almost all sound, except when submerged in water. You definitely can’t use an external mic underwater but it’s something you to consider. Older models have side cut-outs in the waterproof casing for ports. But I guess you can cut the case with a hot knife to access the port if you really wanted the new models.
There are a lot of good options to choose from when buying a GoPro External microphone. They’re different in what you intend them for. You could be needing one for recording speaking voices or recording music. So, here’s a guide to the ones that we know to work well, combined with some that are recommended by GoPro.
Remember: You have to remove the waterproofing case on your GoPro to use an external mic. The external microphone’s adapter is connected to the USB Port. Plan ahead and keep the camera away from dust, water, dirt, and salt when the access door is open.
We also have to check if your GoPro can accept an external microphone. Here is a list of the GoPros that will accept and the ones that won’t accept an external mic.
GoPro cameras that accept external mics
- HERO3 Black
- HERO3+ Black
- HERO4 Black/Silver
- HERO5 Black
- HERO5 Session
- HERO6 Black
- HERO7 Black
- HERO8 Black
GoPro cameras that don’t accept an external mic.
- GoPro Fusion or Max (360 cameras)
- HERO7 Session
- HERO Session
- HERO4 (2018) / (2014)
- HERO Silver / White
You also have to remember to buy an adapter. I will guide you on the best mic adapter for every GoPro after I’ve helped you find the best external mic for your GoPro.
Best GoPro External mics
There’s a huge variety to choose from ranging from. They come in two main types, wired and on-camera. They also range from simple lapel mounted lavalier microphones to more feature-rich shotgun microphones.
Condensor and Shotgun External Microphones for GoPros
This one is very good quality, reasonably priced, light, compact, and readily available. This is my go-to external microphone right now and is also popular with YouTubers and vloggers. It does not require it’s own batteries and it is easy to use. It also comes with two key parts;
- A furry windshield to reduce environmental noises and wind.
- A shock mount (Rycote Lyre) – to reduce unwanted noise and vibrations from handling the camera and cable movement.
This one comes with an integrated shock mount and is powered by a single AAA battery. It is a compact shotgun mic that is solidly made and is designed for DSLRs and video cameras.
It comes with its own battery (AAA) as a power supply and a shock to assist with noise reduction. Even more, it features a metal housing for improved durability.
You’ll need to buy an adapter to make it work with a GoPro as it uses the 3.5mm plug.
This is a cost-effective, lightweight On-Camera microphone. It is easy to use and it’s generally a good choice for using with a GoPro.
There are other mics in the Rode’s VideoMic series that will work well with GoPro cameras. However, some Rode microphones require a TRRS to TRS adapter to function properly. Read more about that here.
This is a high-end option. It is designed to sit on a camera’s hotshoe. Obviously, GoPros don’t have a built-in hotshoe, but you can mount one by putting the camera in a cage housing.
It comes with its own power source, a mechanical suspension for better noise cancellation, and a hotshoe mount for stability. You connect using the 3.5mm jack.
It only outputs mono but in two-channel. If you’re looking stereo, try the Sennheiser above.
It has a solid aluminum build. Even more, you can remove the microSD and has the audio out.
Lavalier Mics / Lapel External Microphones for GoPro Cameras
When it comes to small and portable mics with great quality audio, rode comes to the rescue. Being so close to your mouth means it picks up your voice over other noises.
You can also with it with any phone that has a 3.5mm jack.
This one comes with GoPro 3.5mm to a mini-USB adapter and form windscreen so you won’t have to buy them separately.
GoPro External Microphone adapters
The current and recent versions of GoPros do not come with a dedicated audio port. This means that you can’t directly plug a mic with a 3.5mm jack. You will need an adapter with a USB jack. The USB jack will vary depending on the GoPro. The older models have a micro-USB or a mini-USB port while newer ones have a USB-C port. You will need an adapter to go from the USB port on the camera to the 3.5mm jack. For mics that use something else like XLR, you need an adapter to go from that to the USB. Some of the mics below come with an adapter.
For the HERO3 Black, HERO3+ Black, and HERO4 Black / Silver come with a mini-USB port. These models can connect directly to an external mic using the mini-USB connector, or with an adapter that converts from mini-USB to a standard 3.5mm jack. There are third-party options that are cheaper, but I prefer to use the official GoPro adapter as it is built better. I wouldn’t recommend the third-party adapters as sometimes the camera refuses to recognize them.
For the new cameras with a USB-C port, you can use the external microphones listed above. However, you will need to use a different adapter.
On the plus side, it has a right-angle connector and it’s out of the way a bit. On the minus side, it is huge as it incorporates some of the tech required.
For the HERO8 Black
With HERO8, you have two options. The easier way to use a mic adapter only. You can get the GoPro Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter. It goes from the USB-C port to the 3.5mm jack on the mic
The other more complicated way is to use the new Media Mod Accessory that offers a mic adapter among other features. It is a little hard to find but it’s a perfect choice if you want to add more features to the HERO8 Black.
You can order one from GoPro