Why do you need an action camera with a microphone attachment?
Let us look closer at the best camera models this year.
Why would you want an action camera when you cannot move freely due to all wires.
Rode Wireless GO II
Rode Wireless Go II is the best microphone mount for an action camera this year.
The first version was great, but this latest version adds some neat features, making it more than usable for running-and-gun-style high-quality sound recordings. It is still compact and lightweight, and combined with its unique ClipNGO design, it is incredibly versatile and straightforward.
The device comprises three units: two transmitters and one two-channel receiver — they weigh just 31g each. The transmitter is 44mm x 45.3mm x 18.5mm, while the receiver is 44mm x 46.3mm x 18.5mm.
The essential advantage of this second-generation Rode Wireless Go is recording two audio sources simultaneously, making it easy for a two-person interview or even for creating backup recordings from just one start. The built-in internal storage is a convenient feature, too, allowing for up to 24 hours of compressed audio to be stored inside the device — for non-compressed recordings, you would be limited to around seven hours of internal memory.
The first version had a 70m range, while this latest model uses 2.4GHz digital Series IV transmission technology with 128-bit encryption, allowing up to a 200m (656ft) range in outdoor environments. The Rode VideoMic Pro is compact and lightweight, but it is also a professional-grade piece of gear, so you will be getting excellent audio quality. It is probably the most common action camera microphone accessory for video bloggers and YouTubers in 2022, even though it is pretty significant for GoPro — sometimes, you will see it used as part of a rig or cage that supports other accessories, like light sources or external screens for action cameras.
Its rugged construction makes it ideal for outdoor use, and it has an integrated high-pass filter to reduce ambient noise. It also features a built-in Rycote(r) Lyre(r) damper mount to improve noise isolation and a quality foam windscreen to provide superior audio quality.
The Rode VideoMic Pro uses a 9-volt battery, which gives it a maximum runtime of 70 hours. The device comes with a one-year warranty, but it can be extended to 10 years free if you register. As with everything related to action cameras, you will want to choose an extended warranty to ensure you have peace of mind while shooting action sports or high-energy POV shots.
Sennheiser MKE 400
The Sennheiser MKE 400 is a rifle-style, unidirectional microphone. The design helps reduce environmental noise and also vibrations while moving. Audio quality is superb, as we have come to expect with Sennheiser, a brand that is synonymous with high-quality recording and playback.
It has a headphone jack with built-in controls, helpful if your action cam also has a headphone jack. It comes with a TRS-to-TRS cable for connecting to your camera. You can also buy an MKE Mobile kit with a Manfrotto tripod and TRS to TRS cable for connecting with your mobile devices. The MKE 400 runs on two AAA batteries, which gives you a whopping 100 hours of audio recording.
It has a cold-shoe mount that fits on any camera, and it weighs in at 344g. As with other options for attaching microphones to action cameras in this list, you will want to use this one with a case or amount. The compact, lightweight design makes the Rode VideoMicro an excellent option for action camera microphone attachments. It weighs just 42g, with dimensions of 21mm by 21mm by 80mm.
The Rode VideoMicro has an integrated Ricote(r) Lyre(r) shooting cradle and comes with a padded windscreen that helps to insulate it from outside noise. One of its most significant selling points is that you do not have to replace or recharge its battery since it is powered by the action cam itself. The Rode VideoMicro is a directional condenser microphone which provides better audio quality for your recordings, even if recorded outside. You can use it with any action camera that supports external mic inputs or your smartphone.
The one drawback that we found in our review of the VideoMicro is its somewhat fragile backing, designed so the mic module will be floating on top of your action camera — any minor movement of your camera will bounce it. The bounce does not affect sound quality but seeing it bobble while recording can be alarming.
- Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Condensor Microphone
The Rode SmartLav+ is a 360-degree, omnidirectional lav mic. It is incredibly lightweight and compact and has a simple Clip-on-Stick-on system. The audio quality of the Rode SmartLav+ is much better than the original Rode SmartLav, so if you own the original, this is an objective worth upgrading. Look out for the grey plugs that separate the new version from the older version!.
You just plug a Rode Smartlav+ into your smartphone or action cam, and it will record the sound signals, improving your audio recording instantly on video. You can download the Rode app to your smartphone, but the lighter version (free) does not allow you access to the more advanced settings and offers fewer file formats for registration — the Pro version is paid. To use the Rode SMALLAV+ with specific action cameras, you need a 6-metre-long SC3 adapter available from Rode.