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For nearly 20 years, GoPro cameras have been considered some of the best available for vloggers. While the cameras offer some of the best image quality on the market, the microphones can leave a little to be desired.
This is especially true if you are looking to capture professional-grade audio quality that compares with today’s industry benchmarks. Fortunately, microphones can be attached to GoPro cameras, with the following examples suitable for all budget ranges and styles of use.
Sennheiser MKE 200 – Best Overall
If you’ve tried to capture audio of a conversation in a busy area, you’re probably all too familiar with the fact that some microphones pick up excessive environmental noise. This can be a huge issue, especially for your audience, as it becomes difficult to hear the intended focus of the audio.
The Sennheiser MKE 200 (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is an excellent microphone that can help cut down on this unwanted noise. Plus, it’s affordable enough that just about every budget can justify its purchase, especially when the cost is compared to its performance.
Sennheiser is one of the most respected names when it comes to the microphone industry. Their specialization and reputation ensure that you are almost guaranteed a quality product.
The MKE 200 is no exception, featuring a compact design with a super-cardioid design. In a sense, the MKE 200 is a shotgun microphone without the awkward size.
One thing that makes the MKE 200 such a fantastic option is that it has an extreme focus. The microphone will essentially only pick up what it is being pointed at, reducing unwanted environmental noise in the process.
Of course, this does come with the limitation of distance, as you will need to be in somewhat close proximity for the microphone to perform at optimal levels. Talking from behind the camera can be challenging too as the microphone will barely pick up your voice (though this is because it is designed to be a directional microphone).
The MKE 200 has been a favorite in the GoPro community because of its size, performance, and affordability. Even sound professionals have weighed in to say that the MKE 200 produces some of the most-balanced recordings of any other microphone in its class.
Not to mention, it even comes with a handy windscreen that will significantly reduce any audio disturbances caused by moving air.
DJI Mic Wireless Transmission System – Best Premium
If you’ve done any small amount of research before coming to this article, you’re probably not a stranger to seeing the DJI Mic Wireless Transmission System (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) being mentioned. This is an extremely popular microphone system many GoPro users rave about, but it does beg the question as to whether it lives up to its hype.
As a company, DJI is primarily known for its product line of camera accessories, not microphones. However, despite the DJI Mic being their first foray into this niche, it really is one of the absolute best that money can buy.
The DJI Mic is quite expensive compared to other microphones on this list. But it offers quite a host of benefits that, ultimately, makes it the best out of all other microphones in its class.
The DJI Mic is a wireless lavalier microphone system, which is designed to clip onto the speaker’s shirt. Because of its wireless capabilities, the DJI Mic will allow you to walk up to an insane distance of 250 meters without any interruption or degradation in audio quality.
One of the things that many GoPro users love about the DJI Mic is that both its transmitter and its receiver are incredibly small. Plus, the receiver itself has a touchscreen that allows you to make adjustments on the fly without having to tilt the camera to see the screen.
In fact, compared to other offerings of a similar nature, the DJI comes out ahead when considering its ease of use. You can change any setting in the moment, on each device, without first having to open an app to be able to change the settings on the devices.
By far one of the best features of the DJI Mic is the fact that it records 2 separate tracks into the receiver during use. One of these is set to record 8dB lower than the other, ensuring you have a safety net in the event of sound clipping.
Because the DJI Mic is wireless, both the receiver and the transmitters need to be charged. However, DJI makes this incredibly easy by providing a charging kit that doubles as a portable storage container.
Each microphone transmitter is rated for about 5 hours of life. The charging case itself can be charged to provide 15 hours of battery life, ensuring you can charge your devices when no power source is available.
The DJI Mic also comes with a variety of different accessories, including:
- Adapters for use with mobile phones and other cameras
Sure, the DJI Mic is expensive, but the capabilities it provides are going to make your life much easier during the production and editing stages. You can save a bit by purchasing the 1-transmitter version, but opting for the 2-transmitter version means you can have conversations with someone else, or use it to provide an additional 5 hours of operating time while out in the field.
Saramonic SmartMic – Best Budget
Don’t want to spend a sizable amount of money to upgrade your GoPro’s audio quality? The Saramonic SmartMic (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) is ridiculously affordable while providing some pretty decent quality.
Before you get your hopes up, you should probably understand that this budget microphone won’t sound like some of the premium options on this list. However, you can be assured that the SmartMic does have some benefits over the GoPro’s internal microphones.
The SmartMic is a condenser microphone that functions similarly to the focused, directional nature of a shotgun mic. Ultimately, what this means is that it will primarily pick up what is directly in front of it, helping to reduce excess environmental noise.
One of the best things about the SmartMic is the fact that it has a swiveling design, allowing you to point it where needed. In this sense, it’s almost like an omnidirectional microphone, except with the benefit of directional capability.
Using the SmartMic is about as straightforward as it gets, which is a definite bonus if you like to shoot video on other devices. The SmartMic just plugs in and is pretty much ready to go.
Overall, the SmartMic is a fantastic recommendation for anyone who just wants to upgrade their GoPro microphone to something decently respectable without spending a ton of money. Again, it isn’t going to give you professional-grade performance on all fronts, but what it does provide at its affordable cost makes it a value worth pouncing on.
Rode VideoMic Pro+
There are a few things that make the VideoMic Pro+ such a noteworthy investment. The first would undoubtedly have to go to its sound quality.
Quite a few shotgun microphones suffer from noise, which is ironic considering that they are designed to help mitigate that issue. However, time has shown that the VideoMic Pro+ does not seem to suffer this tragedy while providing its studio-grade quality.
This super-cardioid shotgun microphone can be powered in multiple ways, ensuring that you’ll always find a way to use it. It runs off of a rechargeable Lithium battery that can last up to 100 hours, with the option of AA battery operation if needed.
By far, one of the best aspects of the VideoMic Pro+ is that it comes with gain settings and various filters. These can be accessed directly on the microphone, which helps to cut down on editing time when you’re processing your audio.
The VideoMic Pro+ also has a bit of insurance to its design as far as its recorded tracks are concerned. One of its channels functions at 10dB less than the other, ensuring your recorded tracks aren’t compromised by unwanted clipping disturbances.
The VideoMic Pro+ is an excellent microphone on every level, but you will want to see how it fits on your GoPro. It may be too bulky, or could even appear in your shot’s frame, which could be a deal breaker for some.
Rode Wireless GO II
Wireless microphone systems can make things incredibly easy during production. Any vlogger that frequently walks away from their camera would do well to invest in something like the Rode Wireless GO II (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon).
Since its introduction to the market, the Wireless GO II has been a favorite among GoPro users. Not only is it compact, but it provides some of the best sound quality to be found in this particular market niche.
Just like other traditional wireless setups, the Wireless GO II’s microphone is the transmitter, with the receiver attached to the GoPro. The microphone itself is omnidirectional, though it does offer the capability to allow for other lavalier microphones to be plugged into the transmitter.
Size is everything, especially when it comes to the GoPro’s compact design. Both the receiver and the transmitter are also compact, with the transmitter conveniently clipping onto the user’s shirt.
As far as battery charge goes, the Wireless GO II’s transmitter will last up to 7 hours on a full charge. Its receiver has the ability to record up to 40 hours of audio, which is a definite bonus.
Some vloggers spend a decent amount of time away from the camera, which can make shotgun microphones less than ideal. The Wireless GO II, on the other hand, allows up to 200 meters of distance between the transmitter and receiver.
Perhaps the only drawbacks to be found here are in the fact that most of its settings need to be adjusted in Rode’s app. Another is the fact that its receiver display screen can only be viewed from above the camera, which may not be a big deal for some.
Sennheiser MKE 400
Like the MKE 200, the MKE 400 is a super-cardioid condenser microphone that provides shotgun microphone capabilities at a compact size. The MKE 400 is a tad bit longer than the MKE 200, which could be a bit cumbersome for some who want to retain the GoPro’s compact design.
However, if you can get beyond that, the MKE 400 provides some of the best performance to be found at its price. One of the things that makes it so noteworthy is that it has a 3-way sensitivity switch along with a high-pass filter directly on the mic itself.
Not to mention, you’ll also be able to plug some headphones into the microphone so you’ll always know what kind of sound it is producing. This feature is a definite bonus for somebody who spends most of their time as a dedicated camera and post-production person.
The MKE 400 is quite excellent at reducing unwanted noises, especially during windy days. You’ll be able to isolate your subject while ensuring the audio is up to snuff by utilizing the aforementioned headphone output for monitoring purposes.
Rode VideoMic GO II
If you aren’t too concerned with the microphone entering your frame, the Rode VideoMic GO II (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) makes for a worthwhile investment. This microphone has been a community favorite among all who utilize a camera and microphone setup.
The VideoMic GO II is a shotgun microphone that features a super-cardioid pattern which really helps to isolate its subject. This is going to be ideal for those who typically shoot in noisy environments, particularly where wind might be a concern.
In fact, Rode does include a windscreen with the VideoMic GO II to help significantly reduce the sound of moving air. Though, again, you will need to be mindful of whether its size interrupts your framed shot.
With that being said, the VideoMic GO II is priced perfectly for those who have a decent budget but don’t want to spend a bunch of money. Its performance, combined with its price, is what continues to hold its reputation in the community.
Rode VideoMicro II
By now, you’re probably well aware that shotgun microphones can be a bit too large and can interfere with the camera’s shots. The VideoMicro II is significantly smaller than many of these shotgun microphones, though you may need an adapter to lift the microphone out of the camera’s focus.
With that being said, this compact microphone does a fantastic job of isolating its intended subject. You can be sure that you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how great the sound quality is from this affordable microphone.
Unfortunately, the VideoMicro II doesn’t do too well in loud settings, such as at a concert. But, in general, this microphone is best used in conversational situations.
Overall, the VideoMicro II performs very well compared to many other microphones at the same price point. Rode’s reputation for sound quality is on full display with this budget microphone.
GoPro Media Mod
The answer to this really depends on your own preferences as well as how you personally use the GoPro. However, whether you actually do like the Media Mod’s sound, it may be something you end up buying just to use other microphones anyways.
The Media Mod fits around your GoPro camera, which sort of acts like a protective case while providing a microphone upgrade. Perhaps the most notable difference is when using the camera’s front microphone setting, which utilizes the Media Mod’s directional microphone.
The Media Mod’s front microphone comes equipped with a built-in windscreen to deter audio interference from air movement. This does cut down on the wind significantly, though it may be too present for some peoples’ liking.
However, even if you don’t care for the microphone, the Media Mod’s offering of 2 mounts alone makes it worth the investment. In fact, adding external microphones this way is generally how most GoPro users typically use the Media Mod.
Saramonic Vmic Mini II
This shotgun microphone from Saramonic attempts to remedy the size issue that is often experienced by GoPro users. While it won’t perform like some of the more premium offerings, its sound quality is pretty respectable at this price point.
Just like other shotgun microphones, the Vmic Mini II will only pick up audio from the direction it is being pointed at. While this can be a bit of a limitation for somebody who enjoys talking behind the camera, the Vmic Mini II has an easy solution for this.
The Vmic Mini II’s shock mount allows the microphone to be flipped around without compromising the integrity of the mount’s functionality. Plus, the Vmic Mini II also comes with a dead cat windscreen, though this could enter into the GoPro’s frame if you aren’t careful.
In general, this is a viable option for anyone looking to upgrade their camera’s sound without lighting money on fire. It’s practical, though it shouldn’t be held to professional expectations.
Sennheiser XS Lav Mobile
Looking for a lavalier microphone that won’t break the bank, but doesn’t compromise on sound quality either? The Sennheiser XS Lav Mobile (see price on Sweetwater, Amazon) could very well be the solution you’ve been seeking.
This omnidirectional microphone is a breeze to use. All you really need to do is plug it in and you’re ready to go.
By far the best aspect of the XS Lav Mobile is its size, which will never feel like it is bulky or intruding. The microphone clips discreetly to a shirt and delivers some of the best sound quality to be found in an affordable lavalier microphone.
Perhaps the only drawback here is that the XS Lav Mobile is a wired setup, though this might not be a deal breaker for those who rarely step away from their camera. The wire itself is 6.6 feet, however, so there is some room to move about as needed.
With that being said, the XS Lav Mobile is a noteworthy option for somebody that wants to use a lavalier microphone in combination with a wireless microphone setup. Its TRRS connector will easily plug into a transmitter, allowing you to reap the distance capabilities of the wireless rig.
Along with the microphone, the XS Lav Mobile includes a windscreen which will greatly reduce the sound of moving air. Sennheiser also includes a convenient pouch to keep everything together during travel.
On the surface, the XS Lav Mobile might seem like a simple microphone. But you can be sure that its performance is what continually makes it one of the most popular lavalier microphones on the market.
JOBY Wavo Mobile
If there’s one thing that the vlogging community is good at, it’s the ability to suss out affordable options for gear. With the rise of Amazon and its flooding of non-big-brand items, you can be sure that are a number of such microphones that many GoPro users swear by.
One of these types of microphones is the JOBY Wavo Mobile. This is a budget shotgun microphone that features a cardioid pattern, which actually does a phenomenal job at directional sound isolation.
In fact, when attempting to capture audio from the opposite direction of the microphone’s orientation, the amount of sound bleed was significantly less compared to other similar microphones. For being a budget microphone from a somewhat questionable brand, the sound quality is quite superb and produces a rich sound with the slightest hint of warmth.
This microphone won’t be for everyone, but it is ideal to consider for those that want an affordable upgrade to their GoPro’s sound. During blind sound tests, you could easily fool yourself into thinking that this microphone is at least twice the cost that it actually is.
Not wanting to spend a ton of money to get better sound out of your GoPro? You might consider the Edutige ETM-001, which is another product that has come to recognition thanks to the community’s penchant for value products.
This omnidirectional microphone isn’t going to be for everybody, primarily because it comes with a serious limitation. When plugged in, the microphone only faces 1 direction, which happens to be at the back of the camera.
If you’re talking behind the camera, this obviously isn’t an issue. But if you’re trying to capture audio from the front of the camera, well, you might as well forget about it.
Of course, there are some workarounds here in the sense that you could almost use the ETM-001 like a lavalier microphone. However, you would need to source an adapter, cable, and clip yourself in order to use it this way.
You could also likely find a directional adapter, allowing you to point the ETM-001 in different directions similar to the Saramonic SmartMic. Aside from the microphone itself, the ETM-001 only comes included with a windscreen.
Disadvantages aside, the ETM-001 produces some incredibly surprising sound quality for being such an inexpensive microphone. If you can find solutions to its shortcomings, this budget microphone could be all you ever really need depending on the type of content you create.
These microphones do tend to have a bit of a boost in their audio levels, so you will likely have to lower the gain levels on your GoPro. However, you would be hard-pressed to find a more sensitive microphone at this price point.
What To Look For When Buying A GoPro Microphone
Finding the right microphone to use how you intend can be a bit of an intimidating task to conquer. With so many microphones on the market, how can you know what is really worth your time?
If you’re an absolute newcomer to the world of microphones, the following information will serve you well. You can use these points to formulate a better idea of exactly what you are looking for.
By far one of the most important things to establish before you even look at microphones is the budget you have to work with. This will give you a narrower search query when you do finally look at the microphones available on the market.
In the world of microphones, you generally get what you pay for. In other words, a more expensive microphone usually supplies vastly superior sound quality, as well as the possibility of additional features.
Of course, if this article has illustrated anything at all, it’s that you don’t necessarily need to spend a ton of money for a decent microphone. But, even if you did want a top-shelf offering, most of what is available for a GoPro is still relatively affordable compared to the cost of microphones used in recording studios.
Something you will need to think about is whether you really do actually need to upgrade your GoPro’s microphone. Older GoPros do have some poor microphone quality, but the more recent models have microphones that perform surprisingly well.
Granted, you probably won’t want to use it in windy conditions. But, for any situation in closed quarters where you are intimate with the camera, the stock microphone might be all you ever need.
If you’re extra frugal or just generally unsure of what to purchase, consider looking to see what is available on the used market. You’ll be able to snatch up many different microphones at a discounted price from what they would cost brand-new.
Of course, it might take a little bit of patience in order to find the exact microphone you’re looking for at a price you can’t deny. But, patience and persistence usually pay off in these circumstances.
When you do come across a microphone on the used market, do your best to inspect it, and if possible, try it out with your camera. This ensures you are getting your money’s worth, though this isn’t always an option when you’re buying online.
The other major benefit of buying used is that, if you decide that you don’t like the microphone, you can essentially sell it for what you bought it for. When buying new, you will generally always sell it for a loss, even if it is in mint condition.
Lastly, there’s something else that you will need to consider, and that’s the fact that your budget will need to accommodate more than just the microphone. To use an external microphone with a GoPro, you’ll need either a microphone adapter or the GoPro Media Mod.
This is a fact that not many people are aware of, and can be a surprise when you discover that there isn’t a way to plug a microphone in otherwise. So, plan your budget accordingly to ensure you aren’t leaving yourself high and dry.
Aside from your budget, the major thing you will want to consider is the type of microphone you wish to employ with your GoPro. Generally, GoPro users tend to use 3 different microphone types, including:
- Shotgun/directional condenser
Shotgun microphones have the benefit of isolating sound by picking up only what they are pointed at. Of course, this can have its drawbacks too, as distance can play a factor in the microphone’s effectiveness.
Omnidirectional microphones can be fantastic and are often used similarly to lavalier microphones. However, because they pick up audio in all directions, the tracks can be quite noisy depending on the environment.
Lavalier microphones are definitely one of the most popular choices, especially for vloggers. These clip onto the shirt and produce excellent audio during conversational scenes, though they are typically wired, so you will need to be mindful of your distance away from the camera during use.
To mitigate this altogether, many GoPro users opt for a wireless system, which essentially eliminates the distance factor. Many of these systems employ an omnidirectional microphone transmitter, which sends its signal to the receiver that is connected to the camera.
Many of these wireless systems also allow lavalier microphones to be attached to the receivers. This way, you still have some flexibility over the microphone you use, but without the worry of being limited by a cable.
One of the reasons why the GoPro has been one of the most popular cameras on the market is its compact design. Vloggers can essentially hold the camera up without the fatigue that comes with lifting a DSLR camera rig (which is quite bulky in comparison).
However, the type of microphone you choose could almost eliminate the GoPro’s compact nature. Furthermore, some microphones (shotgun microphones especially) are so large that they actually enter the GoPro’s lens frame.
Of course, this might not be such a big deal for some as editing can be done in post-production. However, the GoPro’s video quality is already cropped, so cropping it even more to compensate for a microphone could sacrifice video quality and resolution.
Microphones can also be extremely small, which eliminates the need for worry about this frame interference. However, these can have their own issues, as you’ll discover in the next section.
The GoPro is a bit unique in the sense that you need to be extremely mindful of where the microphone you purchase plugs into the camera. While the camera itself is 2-sided, talking from behind the camera could be an impossibility with directional microphones that face the other way.
As you’ve seen, some microphones have the ability to change their direction, which can help. For shotgun microphones, however, you will likely need to flip the microphone in its shock mount in order to from behind the camera.
Again, this might not seem like such a big deal, but these minor inconveniences can turn out to be a real drag after a while. The only microphone type that doesn’t seem to suffer from these issues is the lavalier microphone.
Some microphones will only face one direction, which can be extremely limiting unless you are okay with only picking up audio from 1 side of the camera. Be sure to do your research before you purchase a microphone to make sure you avoid this if it will be a problem.
In general, you probably don’t need anything too overtly fancy if you are a hobbyist upgrading your GoPro microphone for the first time. However, one of the benefits of spending a little extra is that the microphones will typically include a few extra features.
These features typically include things such as:
- Gain level control
- Lo-pass/high-pass filters
- Sensitivity control
For those that are using the GoPro to produce professional-grade content, these features can make post-production a breeze. Plus, you can tailor the microphone’s operation to accommodate any unique situations you might encounter.
Generally, the more hands-on settings that you can change without having to enter an application, the better. Not everybody has the convenience to pull out their phone or computer while they are in the field and about to start recording.
Many wireless systems will have some safety measures that could really come in handy to save the day. The receivers of these devices will usually record the audio in 2 separate tracks, with 1 of them being at a lower volume.
There’s nothing worse than wrapping up a long day of shooting only to discover that the audio is almost completely unusable. By offering a duplicated track at a lower volume, you might be able to salvage what would otherwise be lost.
Best Brands For GoPro Microphones
It seems that there are more microphone manufacturers now than at any other time in history. This is great for industrial competition, as companies battle it out to provide the best product at the most reasonable price.
Unfortunately, this flood of manufacturers can make it difficult for a newcomer to know what brands have the best reputations. While you don’t necessarily need to buy a name-brand item, you can use their products as a benchmark standard by which to measure other microphones on the market.
The following companies are, by far, the most notorious and respected among GoPro users and other content creators. Be sure to seek these out when you want a quality microphone backed by a stellar reputation.
If there is 1 company whose products are widely endorsed by content creators of all kinds, it’s Rode. This company specializes in microphones and other equipment that have been specifically designed for content creation.
Rode is an Australian company that has roots dating back to the late 1960s, with a formal start in the 1990s. The company built a reputation for studio microphones before absolutely dominating the on-camera market throughout the 2000s and beyond.
Sennheiser is a German company that is, by far, one of the biggest names in the microphone industry niche. The company made its start in 1945 and is still family-owned and operated after all these years.
Sennheiser was the first company to develop the directional microphone, and in turn, created the industry standard by which all other companies have attempted to match and innovate. Today, Sennheiser is still known for its range of world-class microphones and audio accessories available for every budget level.
Top GoPro Microphones, Final Thoughts
Upgrading the microphone that you use in conjunction with your GoPro can be the missing link in achieving professional-grade quality. Fortunately, there are many options available for this intended purpose, though some do have their drawbacks alongside their benefits.
With that being said, research is going to be your best friend when seeking something that meets all of your needs. Considering the time-tested nature of the microphones in this article, these provide worth starting points.