11 Best Action Camera Microphone Attachments for Top-Notch Audio [GoPro, DJI, Drift]

best action camera microphone attachment

Short on time? Our pick for the best action camera microphone attachment is the Rode Wireless GO II.

Find the best action camera microphone attachment to capture audio for every camera and digital recording device.

These days, everyone and their mom is making content. 

It seems like everyone has their thing, whether it’s gardening tips, makeup tutorials, Tik-Tok dances, off-the-cuff musings in traffic, or podcasts. 

One of the first things you’ll realize when you start making videos is that the built-in microphone just doesn’t cut it. 

That’s especially true for action cameras, which are small, rugged digital cameras that are specifically designed for recording a lot of movement. 

The built-in mic on an action camera usually offers fewer file formats and a lower frequency range. 

It will also pick up more background noise than an external microphone (think wind, traffic, bumps, and thuds from walking). 

You can get much better audio quality and a more comprehensive frequency range if you have an external camera microphone attachment.

However, there are about as many camera microphone attachment choices as there are YouTube channels, which makes it tricky to choose one. 

Plus, when you get down to it, microphones and sound waves involve physics (*soft scream*), and who has time to figure that out when you have dance moves to learn? 

In this article, I’ve done all of the hard work for you and extensively researched the best action camera external mics to find the best of the best. 

Plus, if you’re confused by terms like shotgun microphone, deadcat, cardioid polar pattern, or hot shoe mount, you can check out my jargon buster at the end.

Note: You’ll notice I list popular action cameras like GoPro and DJI for most of these mics. While most of these mics are compatible, you’ll need to get the right adapter cable for your model of action camera. Check out my buying guide at the end for help!

Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.

microphone attachment for action camera

#1 Rode VideoMicPro

rode videomicpro

Our Rating: 4.9/5
Connector Type: 3.5mm jack
Compatible Devices: Any action camera that’s compatible with 3.5mm jack (also works with DSLR cameras)
Power Source: 1 9V battery
Audio Sensitivity: 14 dB
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional (super-cardioid)

The Rode VideoMicPro is the best microphone for filmmaking, and it also happens to be the best microphone for the DJI Osmo action camera. 

With that said, the Rode VideoMicPro is often used for DSLR cameras as well and features a Rycote Lyre shock mount for reducing background noise. 

This shotgun microphone features a ½’’ condenser capsule which delivers excellent sound quality. 

The super-cardioid polar pattern will capture sound in front of the mic while reducing ambient noise behind and to the sides of the action. 

The cold shoe mount has a ⅜’’ thread that can attach to a professional boom pole and comes with a foam windscreen.

PROS

  • Professional sound quality
  • The condenser capsule offers very clear audio
  • Super-cardioid polar pattern can isolate external noise
  • It can be attached to a boom pole

CONS

  • Requires a 9V battery
  • It doesn’t come with a deadcat windscreen

#2 PowerDeWise Lavalier Clip-On Microphone

powerdewise lavalier clip-on microphone

Our Rating: 4.5/5
Connector Type: 3.5mm jack
Compatible Devices: Any action camera that’s compatible with 3.5mm jack (also works with iPhone 7, DSLRs, Canon, Nikon, and Sony digital cameras)
Power Source: 1 lithium-ion battery
Audio Sensitivity: 74 dB
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional

If you like to record audio in a variety of settings and you don’t want a giant microphone in your face, consider the PowerDeWise lavalier clip-on microphone

While it’s by no means a professional microphone, it’s certainly a step above built-in microphones. 

This action camera microphone attachment features a 79’’ cord length so you can play with the distance between you and your camera. 

The 2022 version of this clip-on microphone comes with a deadcat windscreen to help reduce background noise, which can be a problem with omnidirectional mics.

PROS

  • Very affordable
  • Good sound quality for the price
  • Comes with TRS and TRRS mic adapter
  • Discrete clip-on

CONS

  • Will pick up background noise on shirts

#3 Sennheiser Professional MKE 200

sennheiser professional mke 200

Our Rating: 4.7/5
Connector Type: 3.5mm jack
Compatible Devices: Any action camera that’s compatible with 3.5mm jack (also compatible with DSLR cameras and iPhone/Android smartphones)
Power Source: Corded electric
Audio Sensitivity: -33 dB
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional (super-cardioid)

The Sennheiser Professional MKE 200 is a small but mighty microphone unit that works great for GoPros with the right adapter. 

The Sennheiser Professional MKE 200 provides directional audio with an internal suspension shock mount to reduce handling noise. 

This battery-free microphone unit is the best action camera microphone attachment for vlogging because, although this is a shotgun mic, it seems to pick up sound best at arm’s length.

PROS

  • Best mic for vlogging
  • It comes with a carrying case and deadcat
  • Sleek design
  • Clear sound and good sensitivity

CONS

  • It picks up background noise
  • Best use is at arm’s length

#4 Movo VXR10 Universal Video Microphone

movo vxr10 universal video microphone

Our Rating: 4.6/5
Connector Type: 3.5mm jack
Compatible Devices: Any action camera that’s compatible with 3.5mm jack (also works with iPhone and Android smartphones, Canon EOS, and Nikon DSLR cameras/camcorders)
Power Source: Corded electric
Audio Sensitivity: 76 dB
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional (cardioid)

The Movo VXR10 Universal Video Microphone is a shotgun mic with an aluminum casing and an internal shock mount. 

This compact external microphone is about the size of your middle finger. 

It comes with a complete suite of accessories, including a carrying case, a deadcat windscreen, and mic adapter for both mobile devices and DSLR cameras (these two adapters are referred to as TRRS and TRS, respectively).

PROS

  • Compact size is great for small cameras and mobile devices
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Deadcat windscreen is very helpful in eliminating wind noise
  • It has a complete suite of accessories

CONS

  • It doesn’t handle loud noises well

#5 Drift Ghost 3.5mm External Microphone

drift ghost 3.5mm external microphone

Our Rating: 4.8/5
Connector Type: 3.5mm jack
Compatible Devices: Drift Ghost XL, Drift Ghost 4K, Ghost X, Drift Ghost-S, and HD Ghost
Power Source: 1 lithium-ion battery
Audio Sensitivity: 100 dB
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional (cardioid)

Drift brand action cameras have many uses but are especially popular with motorcyclists as helmet cams. 

The problem with external microphones on helmets? Wind noise, baby! That’s why the Drift Ghost 3.5mm External Microphone is so valuable. 

This camera microphone can go inside your helmet, eliminating wind noise and allowing for commentary while driving.

Note that while this mic fits with most Drift cameras, you’ll need the Drift Ghost XL microphone adapter if you have the Drift Ghost XL.

PROS

  • Best action camera microphone attachment for motorcycles
  • Reduces wind noise considerably
  • Reasonably priced

CONS

  • It will need the adapter if you have the Drift Ghost XL

#6 Rode Wireless GO II

rode wireless go ii

Our Rating: 5/5
Connector Type: USB-C and 3.5mm jack
Compatible Devices: Any action camera that’s compatible with 3.5mm jack or USB-C (also compatible with iPhone/Android smartphones)
Power Source: Corded electric
Audio Sensitivity: Unknown
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional

The Rode Wireless GO II is the second generation of the extremely popular Rode Wireless Go and my choice for the best wireless action camera microphone attachment. 

The new version has a similar (excellent) sound quality to the GO but has many more features, including the Rode Central app to control sound settings remotely. 

Two small transmitters and one dual-channel receiver comprise the Rode Wireless GO II. You can clip the transmitters on and use them as-is or with lavalier microphones (not included). 

It has a built-in internal storage of up to 40 hours of audio and includes two tiny, furry wind muffs.

PROS

  • Professional audio quality
  • Tiny size
  • Wireless connectivity
  • Will stay connected with the receiver within 200m (line-of-sight)

CONS

  • Expensive

#7 BOYA BY-MM1

boya by-mm1

Our Rating: 4.4/5
Connector Type: 3.5mm jack
Compatible Devices: Any action camera that’s compatible with 3.5mm jack (also compatible with camcorders, tablets, and iPhone/Android/Huawei smartphones)
Power Source: 1 lithium-ion battery
Audio Sensitivity: -42 dB
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional

The BOYA BY-MM1 is an excellent budget shotgun microphone for those who want to mount their video mic on something stationary like a tripod. 

For the price, it offers outstanding directional audio. It has an internal shock mount system but will still pick up ambient audio from rough handling. 

Like the other digital voice recorders on this list, you can use the BOYA BY-MM1 with action cameras as long as you have the right adapter. 

It also works with mobile devices and DSLR cameras, and it comes with adapter cords for both. 

On the downside, the mounting system for this camera microphone has a slightly flimsy supporting structure that is prone to breaking right out of the box.

PROS

  • Affordable
  • Much better audio than built-in mics
  • It comes with a carrying bag, two adapters, and a deadcat

CONS

  • Flimsy mounting bracket

#8 Rode SmartLav+

rode smartlav+

Our Rating: 4.8/5
Connector Type: 3.5mm jack
Compatible Devices: Any action camera that’s compatible with 3.5mm jack (also works with iPhone/Android smartphones, tablets, and laptops)
Power Source: Corded electric
Audio Sensitivity: 67 dB
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional

If you create content primarily with your smartphone, the Rode SmartLav+ is an excellent choice. 

This omnidirectional lavalier mic is specifically for mobile devices, but can also work with various action cameras as long as you have the right adapter. 

The tiny (4.5mm diameter) design comes with a foam windscreen and a sturdy but discreet clip-mount. 

It plugs directly into a smartphone headphone jack and has a solid, kevlar-reinforced cable. 

One con about this camera microphone is that you have to use the Rode app, which is a paid app (boo) and a bit buggy sometimes.

PROS

  • High-quality audio for smartphones and action cameras
  • Sturdy, kevlar reinforced cable
  • Discrete design

CONS

  • The required app is paid and possibly buggy

#9 Movo Smartphone Rig

movo smartphone rig

Our Rating: 4.9/5
Connector Type: 3.5mm jack with a cell phone clamp
Compatible Devices: Although it can work with any action camera that’s compatible with 3.5mm jack, it’s best to use this one with iPhone X, XS, XS max, 11, 12, 13, and Androids since it comes with a clamp
Power Source: Corded electric
Audio Sensitivity: 76 dB
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional (cardioid)

The Movo Smartphone Rig is another fantastic option for creating content with an action camera or a smartphone. 

I like that this setup features unidirectional sound capture, making it better at canceling background noise, and it comes with a little clamp that fits 2.2-3.6’’ wide smartphones. 

The clamp provides a stable platform for the mic, which helps eliminate other handling noise. 

Additionally, the rig comes with a little carrying strap for your wrist, which is *so* helpful for accidental slips.

Finally, this microphone provides crisp, clear audio and is still pocket-sized. The mic itself is just 3.1’’x1.2’’. 

While this video mic performs admirably, it falls into the budget portable microphones category, so it won’t work miracles. Lots of wind will overwhelm it.

PROS

  • Directional audio for better sound quality than omnidirectional styles
  • It comes with a clamp that fits most smartphones
  • Wrist strap
  • Pocket-sized
  • Budget-friendly

CONS

  • Won’t perform well in very noisy/windy environments

#10 TAKSTAR SGC-598

takstar sgc-598

Our Rating: 4.7/5
Connector Type: 3.5mm jack
Compatible Devices: Any action camera that’s compatible with 3.5mm jack (also works with Nikon/Canon DSLRs)
Power Source: 1.5V AA alkaline battery
Audio Sensitivity: -32dB
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional (cardioid)

The Takstar SGC-589 is one of the best action camera microphones if you want the versatility to use the same mic for both your GoPro or DJI and your DSLR camera. 

It has a unidirectional polar pattern and a hot shoe mount to fit on top of a DSLR and an adapter will allow you to use it with your action camera as well. 

Although this video mic is battery operated, it has 100 hours of battery life and a low power indicator. The rig also comes with a carry bag and a foam windscreen for added noise reduction. 

DLSR cameras tend to be a bit heavy, so I’d be hesitant to add a big, clunky camera microphone on top. Luckily the Takstar SGC-589 is just 154 grams.

PROS

  • Specifically designed for DSLR
  • Hot shoe mount
  • Lightweight

CONS

  • Battery operated

#11 Akaso External Microphone

akaso external microphone

Our Rating: 4.5/5
Connector Type: Micro USB
Compatible Devices: Akaso V50X, Brave 4 Pro, Brave 7 LE
Power Source: 1 lithium-ion battery
Audio Sensitivity: Unknown
Polar Pattern: Unidirectional

Akaso is an action camera brand with audio input similar to GoPros, but they have notoriously lousy sound quality. 

The best action camera microphone attachment for Akaso products is the Akaso External Microphone because it’s specifically made for Akaso cameras. 

The Akaso external mic adapter produces excellent sound quality on a wide range of recorded sounds. This clip-on lavalier mic has a rotatable clip and unidirectional sound pattern. 

One thing to note–I couldn’t find the audio sensitivity information on this mic, but I’d give it a relatively low rating because it only works with Akaso cameras.

PROS

  • Made specfically for Akaso action cameras
  • Excellent audio quality

CONS

  • Not very versatile, only works with Akaso action cameras

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Action Camera Microphone Attachment

action camera microphone buying guide

What to Look for in Microphone Attachments for Action Cameras

Compatibility

First and foremost, make sure your external microphone attachments are compatible with your camera. 

Some action camera microphone attachments are universal, but some are compatible with specific models of action cameras. 

Along those lines, be sure your external mic comes with an adapter, as many action cameras don’t have a 3.5mm jack built in. 

Here are the best action camera mic adapters:

Polar Pattern

The polar pattern of a microphone is the direction the mic will pick up sound the best. 

Some action camera microphone attachments have the option to toggle between polar patterns, but many only have one setting. 

  • Omnidirectional: Picks up sound from every direction. This pattern would be good if, for example, you’re recording several people speaking around a table.

    The omnidirectional pattern is also typical on lapel mics because they need to pick up sound and aren’t directly in front of your mouth.
  • Unidirectional (Cardioid): The most common polar pattern, cardioid action camera microphone attachments pick up sound right in front of them while ignoring sounds behind them.

    This pattern is ideal for a single-person interview or personal vlogging. A variation on cardioid is super-cardioid, which is a little more focused towards the front of the camera.  
  • Shotgun: Shotgun mics’ pattern is long and thin and is the most highly directional microphone.

    This microphone attachment is perfect for videos of two actors speaking to one another and offers excellent ambient noise reduction.
  • Bi-directional: This pattern is similar to the shotgun pattern but is less directionally focused. The pattern is more like a fat figure eight, with the best sound quality coming from the front and back of the mic.

Shock Mounting

A shock mount minimizes the background noise you get from handling your action camera. 

Shock mounting is particularly valuable if you’re recording while walking so that the vibration of your steps doesn’t interfere with the overall sound quality.

Windscreen Type

There are two main types of windscreens. Either option will produce better sound quality than a naked mic, but there are tradeoffs. 

  • Foam: Foam windscreens are relatively standard and often cheaper than deadcats. They do an adequate job of blocking external noise from wind, but they’re not perfect.

    On a windy day, you may have to do a couple of takes to get the best audio quality. 
  • Deadcat: Deadcat windscreens are the furry microphone covers that look like, well–a dead cat.

    These windscreens completely block wind noise and cut down on higher frequency sounds. 

Check out this video to hear the audio quality with a foam vs. a deadcat windscreen for yourself.

Shoe Mounting

A shoe mount is where you can slide an external mic or external flash onto your camera. 

  • Hot Shoe Mount: A hot shoe mount has electrical connectivity in the mounting platform so you can connect your device directly to the mount. 
  • Cold Shoe Mount: A cold shoe mount doesn’t have that electrical connectivity.

Audio Sensitivity

The audio sensitivity of a microphone is a measure of its ability to pick up sound. Good audio sensitivity ranges between 8 to 32 mV/Pa or -42 to -30 dBV/Pa.

Transducer Type

Microphones are transducers. They convert one form of energy (physical sound waves) into another (electrical energy). 

There are three ways that microphones turn sound waves into electronic audio signals. 

  • Dynamic: Dynamic mics are good all-around mics so long as you’re not trying to capture crisp and clear details.

    These mics are great for general podcasting, outdoor recording, and loud noises (i.e., drums). 
  • Condenser: Condenser mics capture very clear audio, making them great for studio recording or voice acting.
  • Ribbon: You probably won’t see a ribbon mic as an action camera microphone attachment, but they produce the best audio quality of the three transducer types.

    The problem with ribbon mics is they’re expensive, finicky, and wouldn’t hold up well on an action camera.

Types of Action Camera Microphone Attachments

types of action camera microphone attachments

Lavalier Mics

Lavalier Mics are also known as lav mics or lapel mics. 

These clip-on mics offer a compact and lightweight design. They’re handy for voice recording on the go (think in the car, while walking, etc.).

Shotgun Mics

“Shotgun” refers to both the polar pattern of a microphone and the shape of the mic. A shotgun microphone is usually long, thin, and mounted on the camera.

Handheld Mics

It’s uncommon to have a handheld mic attachment for an action camera but not unheard of. You can also hold lav mics or shotgun microphones, effectively making them handheld mics.

FAQs About Microphone Attachments for Action Cameras

faqs for action camera microphone

Can you attach a microphone to a GoPro?

Yes, GoPro supports external microphone input. All you need to improve the audio quality from your GoPro is an adapter that will convert USB power to 3.5mm audio output.

Of course, GoPro makes an audio adapter (Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter), but others on the market will fit as well.

How do I attach a microphone to my action camera?

Many action cameras have a USB type C plug-in, requiring a separate microphone adapter cable.

Some action cameras come with a 3.5mm audio jack, so you can plug your action camera microphone into the camera.

How do I make my action camera sound better?

Action camera microphones don’t always produce the audio quality you need. The best way to improve sound quality on an action camera is to get an action camera microphone attachment. 

External microphones record high-quality audio, reduce background noise, and provide a more extensive frequency range than built-in microphones. 

Always make sure to record your audio uncompressed, as compressed audio is lower quality. Uncompressed audio gives you more control.

Do you need a mic for a GoPro?

You don’t need an external microphone for a GoPro, but purchasing an action camera microphone attachment can dramatically improve the sound quality of your videos.

Can you connect a USB mic to an action camera?

You can connect a USB mic to an action camera if your camera has a USB adapter port. Some DSLR cameras have USB ports, but many action cameras require a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Conclusion: Our Pick for the Best Microphone Attachment for Action Cameras

our pick for the best microphone attachment for action cameras

Choosing the proper camera microphone attachment can mean the difference between spending your time honing your interview or spending it troubleshooting poor sound quality and dysfunctional equipment. 

While every camera mic on this list has perks, my number one overall choice would be the Rode Wireless GO II

The Rode Wireless GO II produces a professional-level audio signal of tiny size and is universally compatible with almost any camera, so it’s versatile too. 

Plus, it has an internal memory, which means you can use it on its own without a camera. 

The wireless connectivity feature makes it the best mic for outdoor recording, where moving around unrestricted is vital.

Lastly, this model is the only one on this list with two transmitters, making it versatile for interviews as well.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

author bio - Meredith Dennis

Meredith Dennis

Meredith is a biologist and writer based in California’s Sierra Nevada. She has lived in 6 states as a biologist, so her intel on hiking and camping is chef’s kiss next level. One of her earliest camping memories was being too scared to find a bathroom at night on a family camping trip. Thankfully, she’s come a long way since then and she can help you get there too!


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11 Best Action Camera Microphone Attachments for Top-Notch Audio [GoPro, DJI, Drift]

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