Which action camera microphone attachment is best?
Video footage of an exhilarating activity can visually convey what is going on. But without sound, the experience simply won’t be complete. However, not just any sound will do. It can be frustrating to viewers if the audio is unclear.
While almost all action cameras have built-in microphones, the audio quality is often hampered by strong winds, the camera’s housing or low-quality recording devices. The easiest fix for that is to attach a separate device, such as the durable, weather-resistant GoPro Media Mod with Built-In Microphone.
What to know before you buy an action camera microphone attachment
Not all camera housings allow for a microphone
The most important aspect that you need to consider before buying a microphone attachment is whether your action camera is compatible. But even if it is, there are different mounting methods or steps depending on your camera’s model. For example, if you have a GoPro camera, you need a frame or the skeleton housing. Other models might have similar restrictions on the housing that can be used if a microphone comes into play.
The microphone’s connection method
Action cameras are available in a variety of models and often use different connection types for accessories. The same goes for microphones, and you must check which connection is supported by your camera. Most affordable action cameras use a 3.5-millimeter connection or the older USB-A. If your action camera is capable of wireless connections, you could opt to connect a wireless microphone to it.
The audio that you want to record can determine the microphone
Action cameras aren’t just used to capture the thrills and excitement of extreme sports. While that is primarily the case, the small devices are also excellent at recording voices, live performances or are used for vlogging. So, consider what kind of audio you want to record, and get an attachment that meets the need. A shotgun or lapel microphone might be better for talking, while a housing with a built-in microphone is better for outdoor activities.
What to look for in a quality action camera microphone attachment
Quality of recorded audio
When you attach a microphone to an action camera, you would expect a certain quality in the audio. After all, the additional device is meant to replace the standard, built-in microphone of the action camera. A good-quality microphone attachment will clearly record any audio that is directly in front of it and reduce background noise.
Stability of placement
If the microphone attachment is separate from the action camera, you must ensure that it is kept in place with robust tools. For example, a wireless microphone can clip onto a collar or sleeve, but it might fall off during action sports. A good-quality microphone is often built into the camera’s housing, as that is the most sturdy of places.
Robust construction materials
The microphone attachment is going to work almost as hard as the action camera is, so you must ensure that it’s built to last. Your video will have no audio at all if the microphone flies off after the first hump, bump or rough terrain you encounter. Depending on how it attaches to the camera, a good-quality microphone attachment will be able to withstand winds, dust and the occasional fall.
How much you can expect to spend on an action camera microphone attachment
The average price of a microphone attachment will depend on who the maker is and the capabilities of the microphone. An entry-level device can retail for $20-$30, while a complete system can retail for $70-$100.
Action camera microphone attachment FAQ
Can you use a microphone attachment with a head mount or chest strap?
A. Generally, this would be possible, but it also depends on how the microphone is connected to the camera. If the microphone is built into the casing, then it can be used as normal. If not, you would need to find a way to connect the two devices without losing functionality.
Are microphone attachments waterproof?
A. For the most part, they are not. Even if you find an attachment that is waterproof, the audio quality won’t be great. You would be better off looking for a dedicated underwater microphone that you can affix to your action camera.
What’s the best action camera microphone attachment to buy?
Top action camera microphone attachment
What you need to know: If you prefer to use the official GoPro microphone attachment, the Media Mod is your best option.
What you’ll love: The Media Mod is a complete action camera system that consists of a rugged, water-resistant housing that protects the camera and a built-in directional microphone that sits on the outside. The case has two cold-shoe mounts for additional microphones, lights or an LCD screen. If the built-in microphone isn’t enough, it features a 3.5-millimeter port for an additional recording device. It comes with a removable windsock that reduces ambient noise.
What you should consider: It is only compatible with GoPro Hero 9 Black and Hero 10 Black models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top action camera microphone attachment for the money
What you need to know: This microphone attachment is incredibly easy to use, as it simply plugs into your action camera through the 3.5-millimeter connection.
What you’ll love: Designed to be used on the go, the omnidirectional microphone comes with a windsock to reduce noise and sits on an adjustable base that can be rotated up to 90 degrees.
What you should consider: Weighing only 0.7 ounces, it is relatively small. It is best suited for recording voices or nearby sounds but will struggle with live music events.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: Using wireless technology, you can position this microphone where it suits you best, whether that is on your chest, head or on a surface.
What you’ll love: Depending on the surroundings, the microphone can record audio from up to 40 feet away. It comes with a removable clip and waterproof housing for recording underwater sounds. The rechargeable battery has enough power for around six hours. The wireless receiver clips onto the back of a GoPro camera and fits in the GoPro BacPac housing.
What you should consider: This microphone is only compatible with GoPro Hero 3 and Hero 4 models.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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