A Quick Overview
Best overall - Editor’s choice
Best for GoPro action cameras
Best for Osmo action cameras
Best Microphone adapter connector
Best Action Camera adapter with microphone
Our Review of the Top 5 Action Camera Microphone Attachments
Best overall - Editor’s choice — GoPro Media Mod for Hero 10 & 9
The GoPro Media mod is an official accessory for the latest GoPro action cameras, Hero 10 and Hero 9. And as many action camera users readily prefer to use the latest GoPro gadgets, this device stands as our top choice for action camera microphone attachments.
So, here’s how the media mod works. It comes in a weather-resistant case shaped to fit the Hero camera body. There’s a USB type-C internal connector which serves as the audio input to the camera. Then, at the top of the mod is the built-in directional microphone which captures sound from the front or back depending on the settings.
You can switch between the front and back microphone on the GoPro. Then, the back screen acts as an indicator as it displays audio levels when speaking into the mic. This GoPro mod also comes with a microphone windscreen, which helps to reduce ambient noise when shooting outdoors.
On its own, the GoPro media mod is a brilliant audio upgrade for Hero action cameras. Even at that, you can get better sound quality using external microphones through the 3.5mm mic port. It supports both standard mics and powered mics, and even has two cold-shoe mounts at the top to hold external mics in place.
Best for GoPro action cameras — GoPro Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter
If you own an older GoPro action camera, like the Hero 8, Hero 7, Hero 6, or Hero 5, then, this is the camera microphone attachment for you. The Pro Mic adapter is an OEM device for GoPro action cameras. It comes with a USB-C outlet which connects to the camera and a 106dB stereo converter head which connects to the mic jack.
The 3.5mm audio mic port can be used for microphones or as a line input for sound from other sources like a mixer. The USB-C connection to the camera serves as both a data transfer route and the power source for the converter head. So, this makes it possible to use both standard and powered mics with this device, and you’d get crispy clear audio for your video recordings.
The GoPro Pro mic adapter can also be connected to a sound source using the USB inlet on the converter head. This device is notable for amplifying and delivering clear sound with low noise. A tip to using this well is to power on the GoPro action camera first, then connect the adapter with the external microphone or sound source already plugged in. This ensures the camera recognizes the device as a sound source and there would be no connection problems.
Best for Osmo action cameras — CYNOVA Osmo Action Dual 3.5mm USB-C Mic Adapter
The Cynova microphone adapter is DJI’s official microphone attachment for Osmo action cameras. Like the Pro Mic adapter for GoPros, this microphone adapter also comes with a 3.5mm mic port and a USB-C port as well. The design of the adapter is quite chunky, but it’s not going to add any unbearable weight to your action camera setup.
With the Cynova adapter, you can use any external microphone with your DJI Osmo action cameras with a USB-C port. When connected, you can choose the type of microphone connected, whether it’s a standard or a powered mic. The mic jack connects through the 3.5mm port, while the USB inlet allows for media transfer. So, videographers can get clear sound from other audio sources like a mixer or sound card. Then also transfer media files from the camera to PC.
Best microphone adapter connector — Movo MC4 TRRS to TRS Adapter
For many videographers the problem is that their microphone aux doesn’t fit into the camera adaptor port. It’s not only about the 3.5 mm jack length but also about the number of sections that connect. This is where the TRS and the TRRS audio jack types come into play. But with this connector you don’t need to worry much, as you can always connect any 3.5mm jack to your camera using this microphone attachment.
This product likely won’t work alone with your camera so you need to have figured out a working microphone attachment with a 3.5 mm auxiliary input. Then you can plug the longer TRRS jack of your microphone into the female port of this connector.
With the gold plated ends of this microphone attachment, you get less interference and the distortion of sound. The sound quality of your microphone will be preserved. This is great for videographers who pay attention to using external mics that have good quality both non-fitting jacks.
Best budget option — Movo PMA-1 DJI Osmo Pocket External Sound Adapter
To cap off a list of microphone attachments for action cameras, we have the Movo PMA-1 DJI external sound adaptor. As the header for this product already suggests, it is probably the cheapest microphone attachment you would find on the market. Be that as it may, the sound quality delivered by this auxiliary sound device is quite clear.
While the manufacturer recommends that this product be used for DJI osmo pocket cameras, several users online have also tested this connector with other cameras and some I’ve reported positive feedback. Notably with the DJI osmo action camera, some older GoPro Hero cameras, a few Akaso action cameras, amongst others.
On one end of this microphone adapter is an auxiliary input for connecting 3.5mm jack microphones and on the other hand is a USB type-c plug which goes into the camera port. This works well with quite a handful of external microphones as long as the connection is right. It works best with standard microphones.
How to choose the best action camera microphone attachments
Like with every other camera gear, external microphones and microphone adapters have specific functions you need them to perform. A quality action camera microphone attachments must do the work of connecting an external microphone to an action camera, and should deliver crisp and clear audio for the video being recorded.
The question now is, how do you choose the best action camera microphone attachments? What functions and features should you pay attention to? We delve into all these details in this section.
TRS and TRRS jacks
So before getting a natural camera microphone attachment you should be sure which type of external microphone you will be using for your recording. Most microphones come with a 3.5 mm auxiliary input. But this comes in two connection types based on the number of rings on the jack.
The TRS auxiliary input and the TRRS auxiliary input require slightly different ports to work appropriately. This can greatly affect the sound quality the camera picks up when recording. In most cases, when the connectors don’t match, the microphone would not even work. Hence, you need to pay particular attention to both the camera attachment auxiliary input type and your external microphone auxiliary end.
This goes without saying, the type of USB connection on your camera will definitely determine the microphone attachment that can be used with it. If your camera has a USB Type A port, it will be useless to buy a microphone attachment with a USB Type-C inlet. The same applies for a camera with Type-C port.
The good news here is that most action camera microphone attachments come in USB Type-C. As they are compatible with the popular and latest action camera models.
Distance from camera during use
Usually, microphone attachments for action cameras are designed to fit closely the camera body. This is necessary for better audio quality. However, in some cases the microphone attachment comes with a lengthy cord between the USB end and the aux end.
In all, you want to keep the length as short as possible (1). If you need to stay a sizable distance away from your action camera while recording, then you should consider using a wireless external microphone for that.
While each camera microphone attachment can work with most microphones as long as the aux female and male ends fit, the manufacturers sometimes specify the type of microphone to use for the best sound quality.
Lavalier vs shotgun
Most action camera microphone attachments are designed for use with lavalier mics. This is because lavalier mics are easy to use on the go, which is often the use case for action cameras. E.g Recording while mountain biking needs a microphone as compact as lavalier worn on the chest.
For videographers who use their action cameras in a stable environment like for vlogging or making indoor shoots, a shotgun microphone might deliver better results. Hence, the microphone attachment to use for such a situation should be one designed to hold a large microphone connection.
Powered vs line
A powered microphone requires a power source while a line microphone functions in the standard way, by just plugging in the auxiliary. Powered mics tend to deliver more crisp and clear sound, but they also drain camera power faster.
If you’re using a powered mic, be sure to get a high-quality microphone adapter to work alongside, this is the way you can achieve best audio quality. Wire connectors like the Movo PMA-1 are designed for simple line microphones. These are perfect fits for any of the best action cameras under $100 available. The power consumption is lower, and the video quality is kept at standard level.
Action camera brand
Most action camera brands have OEM microphone attachments which are specifically designed for their action cameras. Oftentimes it is best to go with these original manufacturer options because they are specifically designed to work with the action camera.
But in situations where the action camera brand does not have a microphone attachment designed to work with their product, then filmmakers have no choice but to go for microphone adaptors that work for more than one action camera type. And in some specific cases where the OEM product isn’t a great fit for the microphone type available, you can try out other products recommended by other action camera users online.
The price of microphone attachment for an action camera generally shouldn’t be as costly as the microphone or the action camera itself. So depending on the action camera you have returned this should also play a part to determine the quality of audio that you will get to supplement it.
For most action cameras, the pricier the camera itself, the pricier the microphone attachment. This is to ensure none of the components would compromise the overall sound quality you will get. Overall, the quality of the microphone attachment auxiliary and USB ports should determine how much it would command.
Again, this is another important feature to consider before procuring a microphone attachment for your action camera. If you’re going to be doing a lot of outdoor shoots or filming extreme sports, then you need a product with a compact design. One that can stand the rough conditions such as weather action, occasional falling off, and long usage time.
Yes, you can connect an external microphone to your action camera using a microphone attachment. These adapters can either be from the camera brand or from third-party makers.
Yes, a quality microphone attachment comes with a converter that improves sound quality fed into the camera.
Even though action cameras come with internal microphones, sometimes they just can’t capture clear sound when recording a video. This is where external microphones come into the picture. Action cameras aren’t designed with auxiliary ports to connect to mics, hence the need for a microphone attachment to deliver better audio quality.
Don’t know which one to use? I’d recommend the GoPro Media Mod but that only works if you own a recent Hero version. Alternatively, if your action camera isn’t from a big brand, the Movo PMA-1 is a good product to solve your basic external microphone needs.
Do you have a particular microphone attachment that you use with your action camera? Share with us and let’s know the new products to watch out for.
- Robert. (n.d.). Do Aux Cords Really Affect Sound Quality? Published on Playbutton. Retrieved from https://playbutton.co/do-aux-cords-affect-sound-quality/#:~:text=The%20length%20and%20thickness%20of,length%2C%20preserving%20the%20sound%20quality.