Last Updated: March 23, 2021

Best GoPro Externals Mic & How To Connect It

The GoPro is great at what it does well – shooting action video. But, like a lot of cameras out there, it kinda sucks at recording great audio.

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Sure, things have improved a lot with the newer versions of the GoPro (Hero8 and 9). They both have stereo mics on the front and a rear mic which can help with wind noise canceling. But, ultimately, if you want great sound you have to add an external mic.

There are lots of options ranging from simple lapel-mounted lavalier mics, to more feature-rich and top audio shotgun mics. 

It will depend on your purpose and budget, so I have separated them out into categories for you to easily find the one for you.

But before you go buying a microphone for your GoPro Hero, you have to first figure out how to attach and connect it…

How To Add An External Mic To A GoPro 

First things first. Before you run off and buy the best external mic you can find, you need to know the limitations and possibilities for your GoPro. Just like with tripods, not all mics and connectors are created equal.

Below I will break it down by GoPro Hero model because things have changed from the earlier GoPro Hero4, 5 and 6, all the way up to the more recent GoPro Hero 8 and 9.

Mic Connection Options For

GoPro HERO8 and HERO9

In general, with the later model GoPros (HERO9, HERO8 etc) you have two options:

Media Mod for HERO9 or HERO8

The Media Mod for the HERO9 is the simplest option because you just attach it to your GoPro and you get a built-in external mic with noise reduction.

It also comes with lots of other useful media features including:

  • 2 cold-shoe mounts to attach your favorite lights, mics or LCD screens
  • 3.5mm mic port lets you add an external
  • HDMI-out port to monitor

So, it also allows you to attach other external microphones, which means more options in the end.

Media Mod (HERO9 Black) - Official GoPro Accessory (ADFMD-001)
  • Built-in directional mic highlights voice audio and reduces ambient noise
GoPro Media Mod (HERO8 Black) - Official GoPro Accessory (AJFMD-001)
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GoPro Media Mod (HERO8 Black) - Official GoPro Accessory (AJFMD-001)
  • Built-in directional mic delivers crystal-clear audio and reduces wind and ambient noise

GoPro Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter

If you don’t want all the fuss of the Media Mod, or just don’t need all the features, then the 3.5mm adapter is the simplest approach. It is a little on the chunky side of things given how little it does, but it also has some benefits. It is a cheaper and simpler option than the Media Mod and it has a right angle built in which is handy for attaching microphones.

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GoPro Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter for (HERO8 Black/HERO7 Black/HERO6 Black/HERO5 Black) - Official GoPro Accessory
  • Enables high-quality audio capture when using a pro-level external mic
  • Usb-c power and data extension with 90 Degree connector

HERO7, HERO6 HERO5 & HERO5 Session

In all their wisdom, GoPro decided to change how things worked in these models. For any models later than the GoPro 4 you have to buy the official GoPro adapter and it is needed for both mini-USB and 3.5mm audio connectors.

There is also another plus and minus with this connector.

Plus: it now has a right-angle connector, which moves it out of the way a bit.

Minus: It is massive because it has some of the required tech inside it.

Sale
GoPro Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter for (HERO8 Black/HERO7 Black/HERO6 Black/HERO5 Black) - Official GoPro Accessory
  • Enables high-quality audio capture when using a pro-level external mic
  • Usb-c power and data extension with 90 Degree connector

HERO4, HERO3+ Black, & HERO3 Black

Things were kind of easier back in the day. So, if you have a GoPro Hero 4 or 3, you are in luck.

These models could connect to an external microphone either directly – via the mini-USB connector (normally for charging).

OR via an adapter, which coverts from mini-USB to a standard 3.5mm microphone connector. The official one is now quite hard to get, so this one from Movo is the best option – because many of the cheaper/non-official alternatives are a bit flaky. Feel free to try them, but there are so many bad reviews out there I don’t feel comfortable listing any.

Movo GMA100 3.5mm Female Microphone Adapter Cable to fit The GoPro HERO3, HERO3+ and HERO4 Black, White or Silver Editions (NOT Compatible with Other Versions)
  • Adapts any standard, TRS 3.5mm microphone cable to fit the GoPro HERO3, HERO3+ & HERO4
  • Versatile heavy-duty cable maintains connection and audio quality

 

Top Product Overview

Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone with Rycote Lyre Shock Mount
Best Overall
  • Great sound quality
  • No battery required
SEE ON AMAZON →
Rode VideoMic GO Lightweight On-Camera Microphone with Integrated Rycote Shockmount
  • Cheaper option
  • Simple connector for audio
SEE ON AMAZON →
Shure VP83 LensHopper Camera-Mounted Condenser Microphone for use with DSLR Cameras and HD Camcorders
  • Great sound
  • Does not use battery from GoPro
SEE ON AMAZON →
Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun Microphone - Black, MKE 400 Microphone
  • Great sound
  • Uses its own batteries
SEE ON AMAZON →
Rode SmartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and Smartphones, Black
Best Lav Mic
  • Very portable
  • Easy to hide
SEE ON AMAZON →
Shure MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone [1/8' (3.5mm)] + Windscreen, Tie-Clip, Mount and Carrying Pouch
    SEE ON AMAZON →
    Rode Wireless GO Compact Microphone System Includes Tansmitter and Receiver - With Stony Edge Lav Condenser OmniDirectional Lavalier/Lapel Microphone
    Wireless option
    • High quality from Rode
    • Full kit to get started
    SEE ON AMAZON →

    Best GoPro External Microphones


    Shotgun Microphones

    The following shotgun microphones are great if you are not zooming down a slope on your bike or skis They offer great audio and in fact a lot of vloggers use them on their bigger cameras too.

    TR, TRS & TRRS Audio Jacks

    TRRS refers to Tip Ring Ring Sleeve as shown above.

    The only thing to be aware of is that because of the TRRS connector they come with, you will need a TRRS-TRS adapter.

    Best Overall

    Rode VideoMicro

    Rode VideoMicro Compact On-Camera Microphone with Rycote Lyre Shock Mount

    One of the best and most popular external mics around is the Rode Video Micro.

    It’s compact, relatively cheap, high quality and easy to connect to your GoPro HERO.

    Rode is renowned for producing quality audio, so you know you are in good hands, and this thing comes with a windshield (awesome for recording while on the move).

    It comes with a shock-absorbing mount attachment, which you can attach to a shoe mount. For the GoPro, this means adding it to the hotshoe mount on top of the Media Mod. Some smartphones also have such mounts if you plan on using it on that too.

    TIP: If you are shooting wide-angle you might want to raise the Rode Microphone a bit and this adapter from Ulanzi is a great way to do that.

    Pros

    • Great sound quality
    • No battery required

    Cons

    • More expensive than others

    Product Information

    • Length: 13 inches (80mm)
    • Weight: 1.5 oz (42 g)
    • Power: 3V via camera
    • Connector: 3.5mm audio
    • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
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    Rode Video Mic

    Rode VideoMic GO Lightweight On-Camera Microphone with Integrated Rycote Shockmount

    Perhaps the second best Rode option is this directional microphone that delivers nice and crisp auto every time.

    It is also quite compact for what you get and at just over 2oz, also super lightweight – which is ideal for a small camera like the GoPro HERO.

     

    Pros

    • Cheaper option
    • Simple connector for audio
    • Has right angle to move out of the way

    Cons

    • A bit oversized for what it is

    Product Information

    • Weight: 75g / 2.3oz
    • Polar Pattern: Supercardioid
    • Connector: TRRS
    • Length: 6.5 inches
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Shure VP83 LensHopper

    Shure VP83 LensHopper Camera-Mounted Condenser Microphone for use with DSLR Cameras and HD Camcorders

    Shure is another great brand for capturing that audio you wish the GoPro could. This one is a very high-end option.

    This is more of a serious model, with its own power source, mechanical suspension for better noise isolation, and hot shoe mount for stability. It also connects with the 3.5mm jack, which is nice and easy.

    Like the Rode above, this mic outputs only mono, but in two channels, so for those looking for stereo try the Sennheiser below.

    Most people love this mic because of its solid aluminum construction, ability to remove the microSD card (for separate recording), and the audio out (for monitoring). It also has a screen for easy adjustment of settings.

    It is a little heavy though at around 10oz with batteries, and they don’t last that long (10hrs or more). But with AA are easily replaced.

    A dead cat windshield is also sold separately and adds quite a lot to the price.

    Pros

    • Great sound
    • Does not use battery from GoPro

    Cons

    • More expensive
    • Requires batteries

    Product Information

    • Size: 4.2 x 5.4 x 10.1 inches
    • Weight: around 10oz with batteries
    • Power: Claimed 125hrs, but reviews suggest closer to 10hrs
    • Connector: 3.5mm audio
    • Polar Pattern: Lobar
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    Lavalier Microphones

    Lavalier microphones are a great option if you are the only one talking to the camera and don’t want to fuss around with more complex options. I used to use the below Rode lavelier on screencast Youtube videos as well and the sound was quite amazing considering the size of them.

    These microphones also tend to come with a TRRS connector, so don’t forget the adapter.

    Sennheiser MKE 400 Compact

    Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun Microphone - Black, MKE 400 Microphone

    Another solid choice from Sennheiser, who you probably know from their great earphones. The Sennheiser MKE 400 is quite similar to the Shure mic above, having its own battery (AAA) as a power supply and a shock mount to help reduce noise.

    It also features an all-metal housing, which is great news for a robust and long life (not that you are going to throw this around, but it helps).

    The controls are not as fancy as those on the Shure, but there are enough to allow you to tweak the settings (for long and short distances) and also a wind setting to help reduce the noise we all love to hate.

    All in all, this is a simple but quality mic for those that just want something that works.

    Pros

    • Great sound
    • Uses its own batteries
    • Sturdy metal housing

    Cons

    • Heavier than smaller mics

    Product Information

    • Size: 2.4 x 0.8 x 5.1 inches
    • Weight: 2.1 oz (60g) without battery
    • Power: 1x AAA battery
    • Connector: 3.5mm audio
    • Polar Pattern: Lobar
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    Lavalier Microphones

    Lavalier microphones are a great option if you are the only one talking to the camera and don’t want to fuss around with more complex options. I used to use the below Rode lavelier on screencast Youtube videos as well and the sound was quite amazing considering the size of them.

    These microphones also tend to come with a TRRS connector, so don’t forget the adapter.

    Best Lav Mic

    Rode smartLav+

    Rode SmartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and Smartphones, Black

    Rode once again comes to the rescue when it comes to small and portable microphones that deliver great audio.

    I own this one personally and use it for audio on my main camera for Youtube videos.

    It beats my camera’s audio by a mile and delivers great quality.

    You can use it with their app on your phone (which they focus on) but you can also just plug it into any device that accepts audio input like the GoPro HERO. You just need to grab the SC3 adapter as you do with all Lavalier mics to get them to work with the GoPro.

    Pros

    • Very portable
    • Easy to hide
    • Light and compact

    Cons

    • Not as good as a shotgun
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    Shure MVL Lavalier Microphone

    Shure MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone [1/8' (3.5mm)] + Windscreen, Tie-Clip, Mount and Carrying Pouch

    I thought I would include another microphone from Shure because they are so well-reviewed and produce such great sound.

    Like the Rode above, it comes with its own small pouch which is great for keeping it protected and clean. It also has a clip to easily attach to your shirt or elsewhere.

    There is a small noise reduction deadener included, which should be enough for most.

    Product Information

    • Weight: 50 Grams / 1.7 oz
    • Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
    • Connector: 3.5 mm Jack
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Wireless Microphone Systems

    If you really want to go the “whole hog” then wireless microphone systems are the way to go. Reduce the cables, keep the sound quality.

    The only downside if you need to always keep everything charged.

    Wireless option

    Rode Wireless GO

    Rode Wireless GO Compact Microphone System Includes Tansmitter and Receiver - With Stony Edge Lav Condenser OmniDirectional Lavalier/Lapel Microphone

    The Rode Wireless Go offers the basic setup for wireless with a lav microphone and the sender/receiver kit. It operates at 2.4GHz digital with 128-bit encryption, in case privacy is something you are concerned about.

    It uses a high quality omnidirectional condenser microphone so you know you are getting great sound from Rode. And you get reception up to 230ft / 70m, so a decent enough distance to still be in frame but audible. Anymore more kinda doesn’t make too much sense for shooting video, right?

    Pros

    • High quality from Rode
    • Full kit to get started
    • Encryted

    Cons

    • Not cheap
    SEE ON AMAZON

    Which Best GoPro Microphone For You?

    One of the best solutions you can get is a shotgun mic. It provides you with great audio quality and control. If you just want to give that a try, and not break the bank, the Rode VideoMicro Compact is your best option. There are more expensive options in the Shotgun Mic section, but Rode produces awesome stuff at a reasonable price.

    If you like the sounds of a lavalier/lapel mic to help capture your voice while you are doing your “thang”, I would again go with the tried and true Rode smartLav+ which is one of the best and reasonably priced on the market. There are cheaper, but you pay for what you get.

    Lots of options, lots of choices, but in the end it comes down to purpose and price!