July 19, 2024

gopro & case


Previously I’ve written about the Go Pro Sound issues (click here).  Time for an update and review.

I continue to love my Go Pro. (I shoot with the Hero 3+ but the audio information really applies to all models by the way.) It shoots great video and is so small and light and mobile that it doesn’t get in the way.  It’s great for those action shots when you are on the go and want to take the viewer with you.  Unfortunately, Go Pro continues to have really rather poor audio.

Five Sound Solutions for the Go Pro –

1) Go Pro Internal Microphone. The Go Pro does have a microphone built in to the “box”, but the box is small and so is the mic.  As a result the sound quality is poor and the mic is  also very susceptible to wind noise.  Use the internal mic when nothing else is available and you need some type of sound.  The biggest plus is that it is built in and is therefore very easy to use.

2) Use the Frame Go Pro Case. When using the internal mic on the Go Pro it works best to use the “Frame” case / holder.  It provides the least protection for you camera and is really just a device to allow you to connect the Go Pro with various attachments.  But it also provides the best sound because it does not block sound reception for the mic. While other cases provide better protection they all, to one degree or another, block the microphone.

Go Pro in Frame Mount with mounting base attached
Go Pro in Frame Mount with mounting base attached

3) Use a Connected External Microphone.  Depending on you shooting situation you might consider using an external microphone.  Adapters are available via Go Pro.  Many external microphones are available for the camera.  Check with Amazon to see a large listing.  Prices vary considerably, and as with most things, you get what you pay for.  Most are wired connections although there are bluetooth mics as well.  If you are serious about your video you will be more satisfied with a higher end external mic.  Video Maker recently did a good review of several high end options.  Read their review HERE.

Using a connected external microphone still requires that you have open access to the mic plug  input on the camera.  As a result you will be limited as to what cases you can use on your Go Pro and what mounting options you can use.

4) Use a Separate Unconnected Microphone.  Using a separate, unconnected microphone with your Go Pro is a great option.  This is frequently my “go to” sound solution. Basically this involves using the Go Pro as a camera only and using a totally separate device to record audio.  With no direct connection you are free to mount and use your Go Pro any way you want.

I have had really good results using the Zoom H1, again available from Amazon (ZoomH1) for recordings for my Go Pro work as well as other uses (such as recording interviews, etc.) . An external mic, it is small but effective and it is reasonably priced with many nice features. It produces really good audio quality. You can eliminate wind sound with this mic by using a “wind muff” or “dead cat” covering the inputs. These little devices simply eliminate direct wind access to the mic and work great. Again – Amazon is a good source for various wind muffs (WindMuff).

zoom 1 naked
Zoom H1 Audio Recorder

If you are on a budget you can also get fairly good audio using your iPhone or smartphone as a recording device.

Be aware.  If you use a separate recording device you will later need to “sync” up the sound with your video in “post” processing on your computer.  It’s not a difficult process and you will likely be doing post processing anyway with your video.  I’m not going to go into this syncing process here but I will offer this YouTube link for your reference (AudioSync).  It’s a good explanation buy a guy who really knows audio.

5) Use No Recorded Audio.  Again, depending on the requirements of your project, you may not even need recorded audio.  Turn the mic off or eliminate the audio track in post.  Instead of recorded audio, add a background music track in post processing, allowing the video to carry the project.  If necessary, add voice overs in post as well.

Bottom Line – the best solution to your Go Pro Audio needs depends on the nature of your project.  But for most applications I recommend using an external recording device such as the Zoom H1 or your smartphone.  This approach will give you good sound and lots of production flexibility.


Travel with Go Pro Sound ………… And Enjoy The Adventure!


 BONUS – If you like travel photos – visit my new photography site


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