Although it has been said before, it is still important. In videos, poor sound quality has a bigger negative impact than poor picture quality. You will probably experience some setbacks if your camera’s microphone is all you rely on for sound.
The answer with your action camera is more involved than just purchasing an external microphone. An action camera microphone attachment is required. This is due to the lack of a microphone input on the majority of action cameras.
Do you want to raise the level of your sound quality by enhancing the audio? Read our review of the top action camera microphone accessories after that.
a film crew on the sand
[Note: Readers contribute to ExpertPhotography. Links to products on ExpertPhotography are affiliate links. We gain a little amount of revenue if you utilise one of these and make a purchase. Want more details? View the entire process here.]
The best way to use an external microphone
The absence of an audio jack is the first difficulty to be solved. You must acquire your action camera’s audio signal. There is no external microphone input port in action cameras. This implies that in order to utilise an external microphone, you will require a microphone adaptor. However, this could not even be a possibility with certain older or less expensive action cameras.
This assessment is predicated on the idea that action cameras should prioritise small usability. Although any of these external microphones may be connected to an audio recorder, it is not the main topic at hand. (An audio recorder, on the other hand, takes you to the next level in terms of sound quality. mostly because it vastly enhances the microphone pre-amp.)
Let’s go on assuming that’s not the case for you.
GoPro camera adapters for external microphones
You will need a 3.5mm to USB small B converter to connect an external microphone to a GoPro HERO3 or HERO4 action camera. Perhaps this is simply a simple dongle. However, it will let you to attach a third-party microphone to your GoPro.
Action camera microphone attachment for the GoPro dongle
Things get a little bit easier for the GoPro HERO5 and later models. A 3.5mm and USB C connector are provided via a GoPro adaptor that plugs into the USB C port. From the HERO5 to the HERO7 action cameras, this is the most straightforward solution.
Action camera microphone attachment for the GoPro USB C dongle
The GoPro Camera Media Mod is the coolest product for the HERO8, HERO9, and HERO10. The HERO8 Media Mod does not suit the other two action cameras, despite looking identical.
The Media Mod is a wraparound adaptor that plugs into the action camera’s USB port. Additionally, it includes two cold shoe mounts, a directional microphone, and 3.5mm, USB C, and mini HDMI connectors. The extra microphone that comes with the action camera is already superior than its own. A huge number of additional possibilities are added by the mount and the 3.5mm socket.
YouTube Media Mod
However, there are two drawbacks. The action camera’s waterproofness will be compromised by the upgrade because it is not waterproof. This implies that if you believe the camera could become submerged, you cannot use it. It also makes replacing the battery more difficult because it needs to be taken out of the camera entirely.
The Ulanzi line of housings for GoPro action cameras provides an option. They do not have the Media Mod’s built-in external microphone. However, they do provide additional options for mounting accessories. The housings make it simpler to access the SD card and battery. They also offer alternatives for mounting the GoPro using either a tripod screw or a finger. But a USB to 3.5mm adaptor is still required.
GoPro Ulanzi mount
Adapters for DJI Osmo Action and Action 2’s external microphone
The DJI Osmo Action and Action 2 cameras should be compatible with generic USB C to 3.5mm dongles. However, it’s wise to always confirm compatibility before making a purchase. A USB C port is added to the CYNOVA Osmo Action Dual, which also offers a more modular-looking option. The waterproofing is compromised when using the adapter, just like with the GoPro Media Mod.
Camera adapter for Cynova
So, the adapter issue has been resolved. Let’s now discuss picking an external microphone for the video you capture with your action camera.
Which action camera microphone is the best?
Shotgun and lavalier mics are the two major types of action camera microphones that will be discussed. Your needs will determine which is best for you.
While sound is collected by microphones in a similar manner, they are made for various reasons. The microphone on an action camera will be omnidirectional. This implies that it collects sound from all around. However, in practise, these microphones only pick up sound from a 180o field.
You get a more directed sound using a shotgun mic. Additionally, it will give superior wind noise reduction and sound quality. It will exclude or muffle sound coming from the sides and back in order to concentrate on what is in front of the microphone.
Similar to the action camera microphone, a lavalier microphone also captures sound. Its benefit is that it brings you up close for narration or interviewing. This reduces background noise better. We’ll solely focus on wireless options because using cables to tether an action camera is pointless.
The Best Lavalier Microphone to Buy
Lapel or tie-clip mic are other names for the lavalier microphone. We are all familiar with it thanks to television. They are employed in dramas and movies, although this is not usually clear because they are obscured from view. Because you may position them close to the sound source, audio pros prefer them.
In contrast to TV lav microphones, the action camera lav mics we’ve picked for this evaluation have a different appearance. They merge the transmitter and microphone into a single device, which is why. Not the best for watching TV, but excellent for convenience while travelling. For someone using an action camera, it means there are no trailing cables, which is crucial.
The top seven action camera microphone accessories
Rode Wireless Go II, first
Rode is a reputable producer of audio equipment. And a fantastic illustration of why they’re so well-liked is the Wireless Go II. With either one or two transmitters, there are two variants.
They are portable, square, and small in size. The receiver mounts on a cold or hot shoe, while the transmitter is attached to the subject’s clothing. Additionally, you must attach the receiver to the 3.55 input port of your selected adapter.
According to reports, wireless transmission distance is 660′. (200 m). Realistically, it should never be an issue to go any closer than 330′ (100 m). Recording is available onboard the transmitter. This implies that even if the transmission fails, you won’t lose the audio.
Rode’s safety mode is employed by the Wireless Go II. A second audio track is captured using this at -20 dB. Even if you get overexcited as you jump out of a plane, the transmitter saves your sound at a lesser volume without clipping. Safety mode and other functions may be controlled using the Rode smartphone app. Additionally, the receiver incorporates a vivid colour LCD screen for tracking various metrics.
Wireless by Rode Adapter for an action camera microphone
DJI Mic 2.
The DJI Osmo Action is the only device for which the DJI Mic was created. You may use it with various cameras, including your action camera, because it has a cold shoe adaptor. There are two receivers and transmitters with microphones. Additionally, they may all be kept in a sturdy charging carry bag without risk. The units are now easy to travel, couple with, and charge.
The transmitters can be fastened to garments. Additionally, they feature a magnetic mount if that isn’t possible. This is a practical option, for example, for T-shirts or unbuttoned shirts.
The battery life, which is 15 hours, is much longer than the amount of time an action camera can record. And the deadcats that are supplied will lessen wind noise.
Similar to the Rode Wireless Go II, the DJI Mic incorporates a safety track and integrated recording (of -6 dB). Additionally, you may alter the receiver’s gain settings to customise the output to your action camera’s requirements.
action camera microphone adapter DJI Mic
Synco G2 3.
Synco G2 3.
This is a competitor in the market for inexpensive external microphones. The Synco G2 functions using the same theory as the earlier microphone systems. It doesn’t have an inbuilt recorder, therefore you lose that part of the recording if your audio cuts off. Additionally, it lacks a safety track.
When comparing the Rode Wireless Go II with Synco G2, the Rode provides better sound quality. The sound is fuller and there is less noise. The Rode offers superior audio compared to the Synco G2.
But everything is relative. The action camera’s built-in microphone won’t be as effective at speech recording at a distance as the Synco. The Synco is worth considering if you don’t want to spend the cash on the Rode (or the DJI, which is even more pricey).
Action camera microphone adaptor for the Synco G2
Selecting a Shotgun Microphone
Compared to lavalier microphones, a shotgun microphone is more directed. It is intended to record sound emanating from the direction that it is pointed. This lessens undesirable background noise, which enhances audio quality.
The noise communicated via the action camera housing will be lessened with a shock mount. A deadcat will also assist with wind noise. Given how you use an action camera, these are practical features.
You already have a shotgun mic if you choose the GoPro Media Mod approach (of sorts). It may be switched between front- and rear-facing and is by far the smallest choice. It will typically provide audio quality that is better than the built-in microphones. But it differs from an external microphone in certain ways. A deadcat will reduce wind noise more than the provided foam windscreen.
Movo VXR10 Pro 4.
Compact shotgun microphone with shock mounting, the Movo VXR10 Pro. Cables are included with the mic so you may attach it to your smartphone or action camera. A deadcat windscreen and a travel pouch are also included.
Compared to the Rode, the Movo VXR10 Pro provides a fuller sound with less high-frequency response. The Movo tends to take up too much wind noise in really windy settings, which is a drawback. Even with the deadcat installed, this is still true.
Given that action cameras spend so much of their time outdoors, this might be a concern. It is hardly surprising that there is no gain control or high-pass filter at this pricing. But a headphone jack is included so you may listen to your recording.
Attachment for the Movo VXR10 action camera microphone
Sairen VM-Q1 5.
I just recently learned about Sairen. But there have been some favourable evaluations of the VM-Q1 microphone. The price of the mic is quite inexpensive. It has a deadcat, shock mount, and foam windshields and is quite small.
The sound quality is inconsistent, and at least one reviewer complained about how loud the cords that came with the microphone were. Nevertheless, the sound is amazing for the price range with a cable update.
And once more, keep in mind that even a cheap microphone like this one will considerably enhance the audio of your video capture. You can’t use the Sairen VM-Q1 to listen to music on the fly since it lacks a headphone jack.
Action camera microphone adapter Sairen VM-Q1
Rode VideoMicro 6.
The vlogging and YouTube industries are dominated by Rode. They have a variety of microphones, in part. The Rode “sound” appears to live up to both consumer and content creation expectations.
Comparatively speaking, the VideoMicro might sound a touch deficient in lower frequencies. This is because the sub-100 Hz region is nearly entirely eliminated by the frequency response. This is excellent for reducing noise from the road. Additionally, it enhances the mic’s performance in windy settings. When utilising the integrated deadcat windshield, this is especially true.
The higher frequencies are also heavily used in the human voice. The fact that Rode catches speech so well may account for consumer enthusiasm for this brand. It also enables it to stand out from the background noise.
action camera microphone adapter Rode VideoMic Pro
Boya BY-MM1 7.
It is difficult to notice the difference between the Rode VideoMicro and the Boya BY-MM1 in terms of sound quality. The difference will be felt in your wallet, though, as the latter is around half as expensive.
The accessories we would anticipate from this kind of microphone are included in the BY-MM1. A deadcat, shock mount, wires, and carry case are included. The BY-MM1 is a capable performer, and I like the Boya sound better than the Rode. However, you could make your decision based on the somewhat worse performance in the wind.
Boya Action camera microphone adapter BY-MM1
Let’s take a moment to review why we are considering external mics. Your video recordings’ audio quality will be considerably improved by using an external microphone. In practically all circumstances, this is true.
You should think about the kind of recording you make, the environment in which you record, and your financial situation. Which of these external microphones is best for you will depend on this.
The Rode Wireless Go II is a good option for a lavalier microphone because of its simplicity and use. If you have additional cash to spare, the DJI Mic is a highly alluring option. The magnetic mounting choices and charging travel bag are excellent additions.
The decision with a shotgun microphone is to weigh personal taste and performance. The Boya BY-MM1 is my personal preference due to the depth of its sound. A mix between performance, cost, and personal choice will result in the ideal action camera microphone adapter for your requirements.
Need More? Try Our eBook on Travel Photography
Do you want to enjoy taking trip photos without having to buy pricey equipment?
The travel photography is amazing. yet mastering it is challenging. mostly due to the low willingness of photographers to divulge their trade secrets.
It might be nearly hard to figure out how some images are shot without the proper instruction.