Best Microphone for the GoPro Hero 4 Silver

GoPro microphone test

I’m trying to find the best microphone for the GoPro Hero 4 Silver. As a travel vlogger living in Indonesia I get to vlog in many locations that are not ideal for recording sound. In my opinion, the ambient noise is interesting and should be part of any good travel video but I don’t want it to be overly distracting.

In this video I test five microphones with my GoPro Hero 4 Silver trying to find the best microphone for vlogging in challenging locations.

In order to record sound through an external microphone on the GoPro Hero 4 Silver the first thing that you will need is the GoPro 3.5mm Mic Adapter. This adaptor will allow you to plug your microphone in to the GoPro.

Here are the microphones I tested.

GoPro Hero 4 Silver Built in Microphone The built in microphone on the Hero 4 Silver sounds great in quiet locations. It doesn’t do too bad in semi-noisy locations either. However, when you get to a very noisy location like the side of a busy street it is not so good.

Audio Technica ATR-3350 The Audio Technica ATR-3350 does a great job of cutting out most of the traffic noise when compared to the on board microphone of the Hero 4 Silver. The sound seemed a little tinny but that may improve by changing the microphone’s location. One problem with this microphone is that it requires a battery and you have to remember to turn it on. That is hard for me!!

Sony ECMCS3 Microphone The sound produced by the Sony ECMCS3 microphone sounded a bit muffled and not as tinny as the Audio Technica ATR-3350. One thing that I noticed was that the background noise got progressively louder during pauses in speech. Once I started speaking again the background noise would drop back off. A big plus for this microphone is that it does NOT require a battery or to be turned on.

Rode SmartLav+ The Rode SmarLav+ also did a good job of cutting out the background noise. The sound was comparable to the other microphones already tested. One plus about using the Rode SmarLav+ is that it also works with your iPhone. So if you record a lot of video on you iPhone this might be a great option. However, when using it with the iPhone as an external audio recorder you will have to sync the sound in your video editor.

iPhone 6 DIY Earbuds Microphone As with the Rode SmarLav+ using a DIY earbuds mircophone might be a great option for you if you record a lot of video on your iPhone. However, you will also have to sync the sound in your video editor.

The Verdict

I like the built in microphone in most situations but when I’m in a really noisy situation I think I’m going to use the Rode SmartLav+ or my DIY microphone because I already use them a lot on my Indonesian daily vlog recorded almost exclusively on my iPhone.

Which microphone did you like the best and what other solutions have you found for getting great audio in difficult situations?