Best External Mic for a GoPro

The original GoPro is a pretty good camera, but it has some audio limitations that make it less than ideal for certain situations.

Choosing the best external microphone for your GoPro camera can be tricky. Not only does the quality of sound matter, but also its size and portability.

https://youtu.be/DML2qWAbZHY

What to look for in a GoPro Microphone

The first thing you should consider when choosing an external mic for a GoPro is how much noise you will be capturing in the environment where you’re shooting.

You don’t want to have to turn down the volume on your recording because of ambient noise. This can be especially problematic if you’re using the camera underwater or in windy conditions.

When it comes to buying microphones, there are two main types: omnidirectional mics and directional mics. Omnidirectional mics capture sound equally well in all directions. They’re great for capturing sounds from far away, like voices coming from speakers or music playing through headphones.

Directional mics focus their sound directly into a specific direction. These are better suited for capturing sounds that come from close by. 

Sennheiser MKE 440 microphone?

The Sennheiser MKE 440 has a cardioid polar pattern and is perfect for recording vocals, instruments, speech, conferences and more. The microphone has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz and is well suited for both professional studios as well as home studio use.

PROS:

• Cardioid Polar Pattern • Well Suited For Both Studio And Home Recording Use • Good Sound Quality With A Wide Dynamic Range • Easy To Set Up & Operate CONS:

• Noisy When Used In Loud Environments • Not Ideal For High-End Audio Applications

Countryman Lapel on a GoPro?

The Countryman Lapel is a directional microphone that can be mounted on the top of the camera, held in hand, or clipped on a shirt collar. The mic has four polar patterns to choose from and a -10dB pad. You can adjust the sensitivity by turning the dial at the back of the mic.

PROS:

Can mount anywhere you want it – Adjustable sensitivity

CONS:

Not as good for windy conditions

Sound Professionals SP-TFB-2 microphone

Sound Professionals SP-TFB-2 microphone is an affordable option for the budget-conscious producer. This microphone is perfect for podcasts, voice overs, or any type of recording where a sensitive front microphone is needed. It has a low mass diaphragm with an aluminum voice coil that produces a warm sound signature with a wide frequency range.

PROS:

• Low Mass Diaphragm • Aluminum Voice Coil CONS:

• No EQ control (only gain)

CONS:

• Poor Wind Protection

Opteka VM-100 Video Condenser Shotgun microphone on a GoPro

Opteka VM-100 Video Condenser Shotgun video condenser shotgun mic is the perfect way to up your video quality. With this device, you will be able to record crystal clear audio with minimal interference. This mic connects to the 3.5mm, so you can plug it in to your GoPro and start recording.

PROS:

  • The Opteka VM 100 has an omnidirectional pattern which allows for more natural sound than other directional mics. It also features a cardioid polar pattern that reduces background noise while capturing voice or music.
  • Its frequency response of 20Hz -20kHz makes it ideal for use as a vocal mic.
  • You can connect it directly to your camera via its 3.5 mm input jack.

CONS:

  • It’s quite expensive compared to some other options available.

Sony ECMCS3 clip style omnidirectional stereo microphone 

The Sony ECMCS3 clip-on style omnidirectional stereo mic has been designed to fit any GoPro camera. It features a strong, yet flexible gooseneck that rotates 360 degrees and a clip to attach the microphone to your clothes.

After testing the GoPro Hero7 with other mics as well as built in mic I have found this mic under stereo settings produces the best audio recording. The over all sound quality in my application (POV Recording) is warm and in the meduum range. The overall reach was surprisingly wide. I was able to make out conversations clearly both in front and behind me within 15′ to 20′ while clearly hearing the crisp trail sounds happening around me while riding.

PROS:

  • Strong, flexible gooseneck for easy mounting of the microphone onto clothing or equipment.
  • Clips easily into place with no tools required.
  • Easy to use – just slide it over the top of the camera lens.
  • No need to remove the battery from the camera before attaching the microphone.

CONS:

  • The microphone is not waterproof so you will have to be careful when using in wet conditions
  • If you are wearing gloves while filming then this may cause problems as the microphone

Shure VP83 LensHopper

The Shure VP83 is a lens-mounting microphone that can be used with the Shure VX Series, Sennheiser MD421 and AKG C414 microphones. The VP83 is an omnidirectional condenser microphone that provides high-quality sound at a great price. 

It’s made of durable plastic and comes with a shock mount that attaches to the side of the camera. It includes a 1/4″ tripod socket and a 6′ cable with a standard XLR connector. It is also waterproof. 

PROS:

  • Easy to set up and use.
  • Low profile design keeps the microphone away from the lens.
  • Lightweight and portable.

CONS:

  • Not suitable for handheld shooting.
  • Can’t be mounted on a helmet.

What GoPro Cameras Accept External Mics?

When your camera is at the end of a 3 foot selfie stick, your mic is going to pick up lots of nearby sounds. Remember: When you’re using an external mic, your GoPro will no longer be waterproof. What GoPro Cameras Accept External Mics?

If you own any of these cameras, they will work with most external microphones.

  • Hero2/HERO+
  • Black Edition HERO4 Session
  • HERO5 Black Edition
  • HERO6 Silver Edition
  • HERO7 Black Edition
  • HERO8 White Edition
  • HERO9 Black Edition
  • HERO10 Black Edition
  • HERO11 Black Edition
  • HERO12 Black Edition
  • HERO13 Black Edition
  • HERO14 Black Edition
  • HERO15 Black Edition

Which GoPro models don’t accept external mics?

  • Hero7 Silver / White
  • Hero (2018) / (2014)
  • Hero+LCD
  • Hero4 Session
  • Hero Session

TRRS or TRS Jack for GoPro Mics?

The TRRS jack has been around since the early 2000s when Sony introduced its line of camcorders. It allows you to attach microphones directly to the body of the device without having to run wires through the housing.

However, if you want to buy a microphone specifically designed for mounting onto a GoPro, then you should look for a TRRS compatible product.

Previous Best USB Microphone Under 100 – Podcasting, Gaming and vocals Next Best Microphones for Voiceover

Best USB Microphone Under 100 – Podcasting, Gaming and vocals

There is a ton of options at this level. But whatever you need it for – singing, podcasting, YouTube, whatever – well-rounded sound quality is what we’re looking to get. 

That is our guiding star in this list of the best USB microphones under 100.

But you can easily over spec these things and be left with something unsuitable for what you want. So we will focus on the overall quality and value. Something that’ll get you up and running and get you 80% there whatever your needs.

There’s a help section below. But if you haven’t got the time, our top pick is the Blue Snowball. However, if you have some specific uses like Gaming then we have you covered with some alternate suggestions.

ModelPolar DirectionFrequencyCheck Price
Blue SnowballCardioid or Omnidirectional40 –18 kHzHERE
Samson MeteorCardioid20Hz–20 kHzHERE
Marantz Professional UmpireCardioid 80Hz to 15kHzHERE
Blue SnowflakeCardioid35Hz – 20kHzHERE
Zaffiro Home StudioCardioid50Hz-18KHzHERE
Best USB Microphone Under 100

To make things easier, there’s a guide to how to buy a USB mic below. Just check out the menu below.

Blue Snowball USB Microphone 

The Blue Snowball USB condenser mic has been around for a few years. Originally launched in 2006, as with other ball mics in the Snowball range, it comes with a distinctive resin casing with a wire mesh grille at the front and rear.

Blue markets the Snowball to podcasters, musicians, and people who want good quality voice recording for conversation. So a good all-rounder then.

Pros

  • It features a cardioid unidirectional mode, so it’s well suited to podcasts and vocals. It has three settings on it – Omnidirectional, Unidirectional, and a second unidirectional setting for louder sounds.  
  • 16-bit recording. Pretty much all of the microphones here are in this range. It could be 24-bit, sure, but 16-bit will be good enough in a majority of cases. 
  • There is also a second cardioid (unidirectional) mode, made for recording in louder environments. This puts a -10 dB pad to keep the microphone from overloading and distorting.
  • Lastly, there is an omnidirectional mode, which records from all sides. It’s great to have these options. 
  • An adjustable tripod lets you point the microphone in the direction of the sound source, improving sound quality. 
  • There is a LED indicator, which lights up red if the microphone is switched on.

Cons

  • No Pop Filter.
  • Ensure you have the right USB port. You may need an adapter if you have USB-C.

Overall 

The fact the Snowball comes with three modes – cardiod, cardiod alternate, and omnidirectional makes it a really versatile mic.

The size is pretty distinctive. Be aware it is more like a softball than a tennis ball. The tripod legs stick out a bit so it takes more space than you’d think. But it’s ok to move around. Sadly it doesn’t come with a pop filter, and it would have been great if one was made specifically for this model

Most people who buy this will be podcasting, and gaming. If you’re looking to get into podcasting but don’t have the money to invest in the full setup this will do the job nicely. The Blue Snowball is a great choice as a USB microphone.

There are no additional power connectors required. It is self condensing and the three separate modes make a real difference at this price point. It is pretty sensitive but you can adjust this with the mode change.

Samson Meteor – Close Runner Up

Samson Meteor

Samson’s Meteor USB Microphone features a cardioid unidirectional pickup pattern. With headphone volume control and microphone mute switch. It also comes with a built-in tripod and of USB case pouch. As with many of the microphones in this category, it is 16-bit.

Pros

  • The Samson Meteor has one of the largest condenser diaphragms of the USB microphones in this price bracket. So it is suited for someone who wants to record vocals.
  • There is an integrated mic stand adapter at the bottom of the microphone. So it is easily transportable and can be used in different situations or fitted with a boom arm. 
  • It comes with zero-latency headphone monitoring. So you can plug in your headphones into the headphone jack and hear your voice recorded without delay or echo.
  • There’s a standard plug and play operational capability. Samson says it also works with iPhones and iPads via Apple’s lightning to USB camera adapter. Or Android smartphones and devices via a host over TG cable. Although, as we often advise, it always depends on applications and an individual device (see below).

Cons

  • Yes, there have been some reported issues of the mic failing to connect to iOS devices. Again this comes down to individual devices.

Overall 

Podcasting and gaming is one thing. Recording vocals is something else, and this mic can handle it. It’s also portable (so worth considering if you’re often on the move). The build quality feels expensive and durable. In chrome it looks more expensive than it is. The legs are a nice touch and are pretty sturdy.

On the downside, it lacks some of the recording versatility of the Snowball. But it makes up for it in overall quality and picking up the sound you want it to pick up, i.e. you.

Marantz Professional Umpire – Best Budget Mic

Marantz Umpire

Okay, the Marantz Professional Umpire at the lower end of the sub-100 threshold. But if you are looking for something to use outside and in – and don’t have the budget for the Snowball – this will work.

Pros

  • There is an integrated switch for a -10 DB pad to prevent distorting when recording loud noises or voices. 
  • Includes a Pop Filter to suppress distortion on loud voices.
  • A shock mount is also supplied, designed to suppress unwanted noise transfer—something lacking in some of the other products. It’s a nice touch, although there are other ways around it. 
  • Plug and play capability for windows and Mac OS. Although, again be aware that it depends on the individual machine. 

Cons

  • The cable, which although long is permanently attached to the microphone.
  • No headphone jack.

Overall

So how does the recording work? For the price is pretty solid. Yes you need to get quite close to the microphone and there is a lack of options. But for the price it’s not too shabby.  

Okay this microphone is at the lower end of the sub-100 threshold. But if you use cases it holds up fairly well despite its rather distinctive look. The starters, when you hold onto it it seems very well made although the stand itself is not particularly heavy.

Blue Snowflake USB Microphone – Best for Portability

Blue Snowflake

It’s hard not to be bowled over by the designof the Blue Snowflake. The design allows it to be used in two ways. One is to hang it over the laptop screen, and the other is resting as you see here on the desk.

This is your basic a condenser microphone with a sample work rate of 44.1 kHz at 16 bits. Its frequency response is 35 Hz by 20 kHz, so its basically targeting vocals.

Pros

  • Great compact design and nicely adaptable in terms of how you want to position it. 
  • Plug-and-play on both Mac and PC.
  • The foldable design means it’s easily transportable if you want to keep your kit to a minimum. 
  • We found it worked well with vocals, even guitar, with minimal distortion. It also did not pick up much in the way of ambient sound.

Cons

  • No Pop Filter. So be prepared to pick up some ambient noise. 

Overall

It works well, and it integrates well with both Mac and PC. We like the way that it stood up in the design. The cardioid setting works well for a microphone of this price point. It is suited well for podcasters or people recording demos. Maybe not the best for gamers. 

The Snowflake is good for recording high quality sound to a laptop or broadcasting via video conferencing apps. The ability to hang it over the screen means it can work well filming via the laptop camera. 

It’s lower spec than the Snowball – but cheaper and a solid all-rounder. Ideal if you want to just plug it in hit record and start talking. But if you want more flexibility then look elsewhere.

Zaffiro Home Studio – Best Home Studio on a Budget

Zaffiro Home Studio

The first thing you think when you see the Zaffiro Home Studio is wow (in addition to being a bit of a mouthful), there’s a lot of kit included here. For selection, this one is the wildcard.

Why?

Well, on paper, it has a lot going for it. For a start, it is the only one here that is 24 bit. As well as that, though, it comes with everything you are going to need in the way of accessories. This includes an adjustable arm stand, deskbound clamp, metal shock mount, fomite cover, and other components. But it lacks the brand assurance of a product like Blue.

Pros

  • Includes a Pop Filter, so it softens those hard sounds you make. There is also a shock mount and a wind guard. Not many mics at this price point come with these items. So you have everything you need to get going if you want to set up a home studio.
  • It’s 24-bit. This means you get blu-ray quality sound recording.
  • Nice and easy to set up. 

Cons

  • Although you get all of the accessories, some of them don’t feel of the highest quality. Perhaps that is a pay off compared to a product from a known brand like Blue. 

Overall

The recording quality is good enough if you are doing vocal work, for example vocals, gaming by casting. But it is not going to go much further than that. 

We feel this microphone is best suited to gamers. With the additional accessories, you can avoid annoying ambient sound like picking up keystrokes. 

Want to shop around? Then check out this guide below. It covers what to look for in a USB mic as well as what the choices above were based on.

Why pick a USB microphone

The USB microphone is an excellent device if you want to hook up to a laptop or computer and start recording.

But it’s worth remembering a few pointers. The microphone uses the USB port and is powered by the laptop’s power source. But it can also be integrated with other devices such as a camera or headphones.

At this price point, the USB mics that we are looking at cover many uses. These include podcasting, recording music in a DIY studio, gaming, or merely using it to communicate with others on conferencing applications like Zoom. 

There are quite a few reasons for this. But if you’re looking for an all-around tool, there are some great options at this price point.

How to choose the best USB Microphone

It depends on what you want to use a USB mic for. But let’s assume you are looking to make some vocal recordings or instrument recordings.

The first point would be that you should look for a large-diaphragm condenser microphone. A dynamic microphone is more restricted in terms of its frequency range and does not tend to be used for vocal recording.

Try and pick up a mic with a frequency range of between 20 to 20,000 Hz. The reason for this? It’s the human hearing range. Anything much within that and the sound quality will suffer in certain situations.

USB mics and what they are

Focusing on the particular use case right now, you probably have a specific idea of why you want USB microphone. It might be live streaming games, might be recording demos, or it might be a podcast.

But they are not all the same.

One thing to note is that USB microphones work in a very different way to regular microphones (i.e., those that send a signal via an XLR cable to a mixer). In this case, the signal is digitized in the microphone. USB mics also tend to have their gain knob built-in.

Another aspect is they will often have their headphone jacks. An XLR mic will have theirs by the mixer.

Possibly the most significant point of difference between a USB microphone and an XLR microphone is how they use digital signal processing (DSP). Essentially DSP processes the audio into digital. Most sound storage uses these days however, some use it more than others. The main outcome is that the more DSP is used less “pure” it will be suppressed in some cases. 

Last most USB microphones are plug and play. However, be aware that just because it says it works on Windows or MacOS this doesn’t necessarily mean it will be happy with the application you are using.

Zero-latency Monitoring

One of the later additions to USB microphones has been the ability to listen to your voice be recorded without any sound delay. Back in the day, you used to have two play the music through your computer and then back again through the earphones, which led to a delay.

Many microphones have this now as these two below. But it is worth being aware of in case you are shopping around.

24-bit versus 16-bit

The latest top-end mics use the 24-bit chip set ensures Blu-Ray standard recording. Whereas 16-bit gives you a range of around 96 dB, 24-bit produces a range of 144 dB. It means the 24-bit picks up lower sound levels.

What are the advantages of a USB microphone?

Firstly, the most obvious one. The laptop powers it so you can go straight into the digital processor. Secondly, it is very portable. All you need is your laptop on the microphone, and you are good to go. With just a laptop you can record quality audio on the road. 

In fact, the ability to plug and go can not be underrated. Many microphones require additional accessories. If you are working remotely, you have to weigh up that extra sound quality is worth hiking around all that gear.

Beyond simplicity, there is the cost. USB microphones are much. 

Downsides to a USB microphone

So keep your expectations in line. For the economy and the portability, there will be a loss in quality. How much is down to you.

Another issue is that you can only record with one microphone at a time. For example, if you want to record some vocals and guitar, it will come through the same microphone.

Latency can be an issue. As explained above, there is a delay in the recorded voice coming through your headphones, causing an echo effect. The obvious point here is sound quality is never going to be as good as something with XLR.

Things that differentiate these products

The biggest differentiator between USB mics themselves is how they use digital signal processing (DSP). Some mics have it and utilize it subtly. Some mics prevent DSP entirely and provide you the purest high-bitrate signal they can.

The condenser microphones that we’ve picked out here are all excellent quality for this particular price point. However, be aware, they are limited in terms of the different types of recording that you can do.

We also try to look at the design quality. Sound is essential, but portability is also important and works with you and what you’re doing. Not all of us are going to be recording from a desk at home.

Lastly, try to take account of some of the issues people had integrating these microphones with Mac or Windows machines. Although the micro manufacturers say they have black and play capacity, it is known to have drivers and compatibility problems. Hopefully, the products we have picked here will minimize that.

Mainstage Post

Unveiling the Art of Sonic Mastery: Navigating Microphone Technology on Glastonbury’s Grand Stage

Conquering Challenges: Microphone Technology in a Vast Arena

Let me take you on a journey behind the scenes of the Glastonbury Pyramid stage, where the magic of music meets the precision of microphone technology. As a sound specialist amidst the grandeur, I’ve faced challenges that would make even the boldest musician flinch. But it’s all worth it to witness the power of music enveloping the crowd.

Precision Amidst Proportions: Microphone Selection and Placement

Choosing the right microphones is akin to picking the perfect instrument for a virtuoso. I recall one performance where the artist’s soft, mellifluous voice needed to be captured with utmost clarity. I carefully selected a premium condenser microphone, its diaphragm poised to catch every subtle inflection. Placing it at just the right distance, I held my breath as the artist started singing. The moment her voice blended with the instrumentals, I knew we had struck gold – a perfect harmony.

The Battle Against the Elements: Weatherproofing Microphones for Optimum Performance

Ah, the unpredictability of the elements! I’ll never forget the day when raindrops began to patter down during a breathtaking guitar solo. Swiftly, we adorned the microphones with their trusty windshields, shielding them from the rain’s eager attempt to meddle with the sound. And guess what? The performance went on seamlessly, and the crowd was none the wiser.

Cracking the Code of Clarity: Microphone Techniques for Vocals and Guitars

Vocalists are storytellers, and their microphones are the pens that write the musical narrative. On a particularly soulful night, a blues singer took the stage with emotions running high. With a mix of excitement and nerves, I adjusted the microphone to capture the raw emotion in her voice. It was like watching her words come alive, reverberating through the audience and leaving them spellbound.

Continuous Adaptation: The Dance of Sound Specialists and Live Performances

Live performances are like high-wire acts – you never know what’s coming next. During a rock band’s electrifying set, the guitar amps were screaming, and the drummer pounded the kit with fury. I kept a keen eye on the levels, riding the faders like a skilled surfer catching waves. Suddenly, the bassist cranked up the volume, and I could feel the vibrations through my bones. A quick adjustment, and the sound was back in perfect balance – it was like catching lightning in a bottle.

The Unseen Architects of Glastonbury’s Sonic Bliss

At Glastonbury, we sound specialists are like the unsung conductors of a musical symphony. We weave our technical expertise and artistry together, creating an auditory tapestry that connects artists and their fans in a timeless embrace. I’ll never forget the sight of an artist stepping back to admire the cheers and applause of the crowd – a testament to the harmony we crafted together.

A Symphony of Sound Engineering: Applauding the Masterful Microphone Maestros

So, the next time you find yourself lost in the euphoria of Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage, remember the team of sound specialists working tirelessly behind the scenes. From battling the elements to adapting on the fly, we are the guardians of sonic bliss, striving to make every performance a transcendental experience. In the end, it’s the harmony between microphone technology and our passion for music that creates an unforgettable experience for all.