For years, GoPro has been seen as the industry standard in portable action cameras. They are compact, easily transportable, and collect great footage of your travels. They are a camera that fits in your pocket and can travel basically anywhere. But while the videos might be incredible, the audio is something else. Not to say that it is entirely bad, but as sound people here at Hooke Audio, we want to make sure that everyone has the best sound that they have when using their favorite pieces of tech. And not all tech is made the same! There is just no way that you can get the best of both worlds–you can get pretty close but in regards to technology and equipment, there will always be something that got more attention. As for GoPros, the focus is really on the visual and not the audio. But that’s where external microphones come in. So let’s discuss what microphones work best with GoPros.
More and More Tech (And Better Quality)
Before we actually get down to discussing microphones, let’s talk about why we need to talk about it. In regards to building and producing, there is always going to be the soul focus of the project–the main reason people make what they make. That is always going to be the driving force behind the product. It’s what has brought people and teams together to deliver exactly what they are dreaming of. Everything else is just the details that go into the idea–things that they have to think about because they have to, because they go together. But the main idea behind the product will always be what companies are most concerned about.
So with GoPros, the main idea is the visual experience. The size, memory, and sound are all details that float around that basic idea and make the product what it is. And it is a great product–it’s great for what it does and is supposed to do. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t help improve some part of it.
External microphones are probably some of mankind’s greatest invention since sliced bread. (Play along, everyone) With external microphones, we don’t have to just be satisfied with the audio quality of the equipment we buy because we have nothing else. External microphones let us pick and choose our personal auditory favorites to go along with our favorite visual pieces of equipment, so that we can get the best of both worlds. We don’t have to just be satisfied because we have to be–we can make it what we want to because we can.
The GoPro website has a page dedicated to external microphones that it supports. What you will find is a list of high quality microphones from similar companies and upgraded versions of themselves. It is really helpful for everyone, especially people who really want to get the best out of what they have. While all of the options listed there are great in themselves, it states that the list is not 100% comprehensive and that there are other microphones that might work. Those are just ones that they know support the technology.
There are plenty of options out there for you to choose from! However, if your GoPro doesn’t have a port then you will need to buy one so that you can connect an external microphone to begin with. It will allow you to connect with a 3.5mm cable. This can only be done with certain versions, because not all of the versions allow you to connect to an external microphone. Here is a list of external microphone capability:
- HERO6 Black
- HERO5 Black
- HERO5 Session
- HERO4 Black
- HERO (2018)
- HERO (2014)
- HERO4 Session
While it is a little bothersome that your equipment might not even have the ability to use external pieces, this is just a reminder about researching what you need before you make a final purchase. Just something extra to think about when you are browsing! It’s always good to be a little more careful in regards to what you are looking for, or even what you think you are looking for.
There are a ton of options for what works and what doesn’t when it comes to your GoPro. As long as your device works when it is attached, then there really is no harm done. There is so standard on what equipment needs to be used or how–while there are certain technical things that have to be connected, creating art is all done how you enjoy it. There is so strict “do this, do that” when it comes to devices and technology. Sure, there might be an industry standard, but do not let that sway you into getting something that you do not need. Equipment is expensive and you should use what you are comfortable with, what you know how to use and know what works. As long as it sounds great and it works, then what do you have to lose?
Keep on creating and keep listening,