You’d be hard-pressed to find a video content creator who doesn’t like GoPro cameras. They produce high-quality videos, are hardy, easy to use, and more attainable in terms of price compared to high-end cameras. They are, without a doubt, absolute powerhouses in such small packages.

GoPro cameras are also feature-rich. One functionality that many might not be aware of is you can use certain GoPro models as a live stream camera using the GoPro mobile app. You can even use them as a webcam in a desktop setup, which we’ll delve into much deeper in a future post.

Using a GoPro as an on-the-go live-streaming camera also taps into the device’s built-in microphone for audio. An issue that many users have with the default mic in older GoPro cameras is mediocre sound quality. One of the reasons why these models don’t put out notably good audio is because of waterproofing, which significantly affects how their mics take in sound.

From the HERO8 onward, GoPro made substantial changes in their cameras’ build, which improved overall audio quality. Even though GoPro addressed the onboard mic issue, many users and reviewers aren’t blown away by the sound quality produced by the upgrade. Default mics on most cameras are notorious for their lackluster noise-cancellation, and GoPros—even the newer iterations—aren’t an exemption.

If you want to get pro-level sound, you may want to consider using an external microphone. One immediate enhancement from using an external microphone is you get crisper, clearer audio. The best GoPro microphone for you is out there, and we’ve narrowed it down to several options that we think are the best for live streaming.

Just a few caveats. We’re focusing on on-location GoPro live-streaming, so we’ve only included compact choices. That means we’ve excluded dynamic XLR and bulky condenser microphones.

But before we get into our recommendations, allow us to give you a primer on the factors that you may want to mull over when shopping for a GoPro microphone and the supplementary hardware you’ll need. We’ll also list which GoPro models accept external mics and which ones are live stream-capable.

Things To Consider When Looking for an External Mic for a GoPro

External mic capabilities vary greatly. Which one you’ll get will depend on how you’re going to use it mostly. If you already have a pretty solid idea of this, it’ll be easier to align a product with your needs. The following factors should assist you in narrowing down your options.

Wired or Wireless?

In general, wired connections are more reliable and least prone to operational issues and audio deterioration. But there’s no denying the conveniences that wireless microphones offer.

Lavalier microphones—otherwise known as lav, clip-ons, and lapel mics—are the most common wired external microphones. They usually have an extra-long cable, so you can use them from a good distance from your camera. Mini-shotgun condenser mics also come in a wired format. You fix them on the cold shoe mount on your GoPro’s casing. They’re cheaper than wireless options usually and draw power from the camera’s battery or a dedicated power source.

If you’re vlogging solo with your GoPro, a wired mic should be enough. The cable of a lav mic shouldn’t be much of an issue if you’re just shooting yourself selfie-style. The same goes for cold shoe-mounted microphones. It’s a quick, simple, and stress-free way to get good audio into your footage.

On the flip side, a wireless setup involves two main components: a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitting unit can be integrated with the mic itself in a single piece of hardware or as a separate, belt-clipped unit, which connects to the mic via a short length of cord. The transmitter sends the audio signal to the receiver, which is connected to the camera. The transmitter and receiver usually get power from their own batteries.

The draw of wireless mics is you get to move around freely and at great distances from your camera and still get studio-quality audio. Some wireless microphones also have isolated audio recording capabilities built into the transmitter. If your receiver fails to record sound with your video, you have a backup in the transmitter. High-quality wireless systems also allow the use of multiple transmitters with just one receiver.

Wireless microphones are incredibly useful for a more professional broadcast but they’re susceptible to interference from other signals flying about in the air. You’ll also be concerning yourself with managing the battery life of multiple pieces of equipment. They’re a lot pricier than simple wired mics and not great for beginners, but the payoff is significant.

What Will You Use It For?

A huge part of a microphone’s usability depends on its polar pattern—the direction from which it takes in sound. If you’re vlogging and mostly going to speak, you may want to focus your attention on lavalier mics. Most lav mics are omnidirectional, which means it takes in sound from all directions. They’re designed to capture voice with minimal noise. A decent lapel microphone will produce crisp audio that’s about the same quality as what you hear from television presenters in an outdoor setting.

A directional microphone, like a compact shotgun mic, has a supercardioid polar pattern. It will capture sound from a narrow focus at its front. It’s also good for voice recording but it will pick up some background noise, which isn’t always a bad thing, especially if you want some ambient sounds to flavor your vocal audio. It may not be as clear as a lapel mic, which has the advantage of being closer to the speaker.

Other mic polar patterns are stereo and cardioid. Stereo mics focus on the left and right directions and are great for taking in relaxing ambient sounds. If you’re doing an ASMR stream then a stereo mic will do a great job. The built-in mics on most GoPros are stereo. Cardioid is like a shotgun but casts a wider sound capture field at the front. It works well if there are more than two speakers in front of the camera.

We’ve mentioned what water or splash-proofing can do to a mic’s sound recording capability. The compromise takes a huge toll on audio quality. External mics that have some weatherproofing measures are out there. Just don’t expect too much from them.

Size

Wired and wireless lavalier mics are small enough to be concealed in clothing to the point that they’re practically invisible.

On the other hand, larger mics, such as shotguns and some condenser cardioids, protrude at the front far enough to get within the frame of your video. Even though they’re camera-mounted, some models that are classified technically as “compact” or “mini” are long enough to get in shot. The addition of accessories, like a windscreen, adds more volume to the microphone and will likely aggravate the situation.

A workaround is to mount them on a tripod or a boom arm. But it sort of defeats the purpose of having a tight, portable streaming setup. Another possible solution is getting a mic with a built-in shock mount. It slightly raises the microphone and may take it out of frame.

Which GoPro Can You Live Stream With?

Through the GoPro app, you can live stream remotely with the following GoPro models.

  • HERO10 Black
  • HERO9 Black
  • GoPro MAX
  • HERO8 Black
  • HERO7 Black

As of the writing of this post, GoPro streaming supports the following platforms.

  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitch
  • Other RTMP URL video platforms (Vimeo; Facebook Groups and Workplace)

If you have $50 to spare, you can get a yearly GoPro subscription, which will allow you to generate a private stream link to share with viewers. You will also get access to cloud storage, exclusive editing tools, discounts, and other perks.

Getting the Right GoPro Mic Adapter

One of the more annoying quirks of newer GoPro cameras is they don’t have the typical 3.5mm mic jack. Most, if not all external microphones pass information to the camera through a wire with a 3.5mm plug. The live stream-enabled GoPro models listed above accept external mics via USB-C. You’ll need a USB-C-to-3.5mm adapter. What further complicates this is the type of adapter you’ll need depends on your GoPro model.

Use the guide below to determine which GoPro mic adapters are compatible with various live-stream-capable GoPro models.

You can live stream with a GoPro Max but it doesn’t take in an external mic since it’s a 360° camera. Attachments will affect how the camera stitches images together.

The Media Mod is an official GoPro accessory. It’s a special casing that doesn’t just function as an adapter but also has two cold shoe mounts, an HDMI-out port, and a built-in directional mic as opposed to the GoPro’s default stereo microphone. GoPro units and Media Mods do not have a hot shoe mount. Media Mods also don’t have a supplementary power capability.

The Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter works solely as an external microphone adapter. It’s a bit cumbersome as it’s like having a power block dangling from your camera. You can, however, get a third-party casing that has a built-in compartment for this adapter. For example, if you’re going to use the GoPro Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter on your HERO9 or HERO10, you can pick up the ULANZI G9-5 housing, which has an adapter block slot at the bottom.

For the sake of completion, here are the other GoPro models that are external mic-capable and their corresponding adapters. Note that these are not live stream-enabled.

  • HERO5 Black; HERO5 Session; HERO5 Black; HERO6 Black
    • GoPro Pro 3.5mm Mic Adapter
  • HERO3 Black; HERO3+ Black; HERO4 Black/Silver

If you own any of the GoPro versions below, then you’re out of luck since they don’t accept an external mic.

  • HERO (20142018)
  • HERO Session
  • HERO+ LCD
  • HERO4 Session
  • HERO7 Silver/White

We should mention that there are third-party versions of the adapters mentioned here. Most of them are much cheaper than official versions. Do your research on them to see if they’re good enough for you.

The Best GoPro Microphones for Streaming

Here are our top picks for the best external GoPro microphones.

1. Purple Panda Lavalier Microphone: Best Budget GoPro Lapel Microphone

There are other cheaper lav mics than the Purple Panda but since it’s an expansive kit that retails for just $34, we think it offers the best value for money.

This omnidirectional clip-on produces serviceable voice audio with minimal fuss. It has a wide frequency response but thrives in the mid-range, which is a good spot for spoken sound. Noise cancellation is good enough for motovlogging.

The bundle includes the main mic unit with a 4.9-ft. fixed cord and a three-ring (TRRS) 3.5mm plug, a 9.8-ft. extension cord, a two-ring (TRS) adapter, a micro-USB-to-3.5mm adapter, a handy drawstring carrying pouch, and a jaunty purple fuzzy windscreen, for extra-windy situations.

It has high-quality plastic construction, which seems quite durable and able to withstand getting knocked around. As with most wired lavalier microphones, it’s pretty much plug-and-play and lacks any other features other than being a mic.

The accessories, however, give this kit some level of versatility. You can use it on your mobile phone, other cameras, field recorders, and even on gaming controllers.

Pros:

  • Good value for money
  • Works with other devices
  • Long cord

Cons:

  • The color of the fuzzy windscreen is not very discreet
  • Unremarkable audio quality

2. RODE VideoMic GO II: Best Mini-Shotgun Mic for GoPro

The RODE VideoMic NTG came out in 2019 with tremendously positive reviews. It was lauded for producing crystal clear audio. But, at around $230, it was relatively expensive and not traveler-friendly on account of its size.

Early 2022 marked the release of the RODE VideoMic GO II, which is essentially a condensed version of the NTG. It’s much shorter—about six inches—and lightweight, at 96 grams with all the accessories. It also has no onboard controls and is just a plug-and-play device. This microphone doesn’t even have an on and off switch.

The VideoMic GO II will set you back at least $100, which is more than half what the NTG costs. It accommodates both 3.5mm and USB-C connections. But you have to buy the USB cord separately. The package comes with a double Rycote Lyre shock mount. Rycote is a leading brand in reliable and durable shock mounts. The one that comes with the VideoMic GO II provides enough height to keep the mic out of shot. You can also adjust it further by sliding the mount’s base forward or backward.

This mic does an excellent job at isolating voice audio and rejecting ambient noise even outdoors. Sound quality is rich and full-bodied without hisses and crackles. There aren’t any physical controls but you can adjust the mic’s input gain as well as other audio elements through an app that’s available on desktop and mobile. Be aware that changes in these settings only apply when the mic is connected via USB. It will use the default factory settings when linked through the 3.5mm jack.

The VideoMic GO II uses camera plug-in power. The lack of a dedicated battery can either be a plus or a minus, depending on the user. If you’re using the USB-C as your input connection, the 3.5mm port turns into a zero-latency audio out monitor. This means you can plug in headphones and use them to monitor the audio coming into the VideoMic GO II without delay. The USB-C connection also effectively turns the VideoMic GO II into a USB microphone. You can use it not just on your GoPro but also on your computer and mobile devices.

The RODE VideoMicro is a much more compact shotgun mic—at about half the length of the VideoMic GO II—and is also cheaper. But the latter performs better and we think it will serve you better in the long run. If you want a lightweight premium travel vlog microphone that won’t take up too much space in your luggage, then consider the RODE VideoMic GO II.

Pros:

  • Great sound quality
  • Compact shotgun mic
  • Battery-free
  • Integrated shock mount

Cons:

  • Needs an app to access controls and other features
  • Battery-free

3. Comica VDLIVE 10: Best Budget Wireless GoPro Microphone

In the world of wireless GoPro microphones, a $170 model falls under the budget-friendly category. And it’s what it’ll cost you to get the Comica VDLIVE 10 2.4G wireless microphone system.

What’s in the box? The “box” doubles as a portable charger and carrying case, which houses two transmitters and one receiver. You also get a USB-A-to-USB-C adapter, a 3.5mm TRS-to-TRS cable, a TRRS-to-TRRS cable, a charging lead, and a couple of fuzzy windscreens.

The transmitters and receiver’s batteries will give you up to four hours of use time. Charging them from empty to full takes two hours in the charging box. The case has a charging time of about four hours and carries enough power to charge the transmitters and receiver thrice before it needs to be topped up. It’s a relatively light system. Each transmitter weighs 14g, the receiver is 20g, and the case weighs about 170g. They’re all a bit on the chunky side, though.

The VDLIVE 10 has a maximum range of 30 meters. Tests show that beyond 20 meters, there will be signal drops if you break the line of sight between the instruments. It has two-way monitoring and interaction. This means you can listen and monitor your audio through both the transmitters and receiver. The transmitter also has interfaces for a 3.5mm plug and USB—making it compatible with a slew of devices. It has a switch that allows you to go between stereo and mono in an instant.

The transmitters are clip-ons with internal microphones, which put out decent audio albeit with occasional distortions. If you want better sound quality, you may want to wire a lavalier mic (not included) to the transmitters’ 3.5mm jack. It should also make the setup more discreet since, as mentioned, the transmitters are quite big and obvious on camera. Noise reduction is good, especially with the windsocks included in the kit.

The Comica VDLIVE 10 is a commendable entry-level wireless lavalier microphone system even with its faults. If you want to move up from a wired setup or from using your GoPro’s default mic, then you can do much worse than this microphone.

Pros:

  • Reasonable price
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Range, audio, quality, and battery life could be better
  • Not very discreet for a wireless mic
  • Exposed male USB connector on the transmitter
  • No native storage for audio files

4. RODE Lavalier GO: Best Premium Wired Lavalier Microphone for GoPro

The RODE Lavalier GO is a professional-grade lavalier mic that comes as a barebones kit. You get the wired mic unit, a clip, a foam filter, and a rather nice leatherette pouch. It’s based on the super popular RODE Smartlav microphone line with one huge difference.

The Smartlavs were designed with smartphones in mind. As a result, they have a 3.5mm TRRS plug, which works with mobile devices and not with devices, such as cameras and field recorders, that take in a TRS-type plug. You can still use a Smartlav on your GoPro, but you’ll need a TRRS-to-TRS adapter. The Lavalier GO has a fixed TRS connector by default, so you can dispense with buying another adapter on top of the one that you’ll definitely need for your GoPro.

It has a Kevlar-reinforced cord, which withstands sudden yanks and bends. The 3.5mm plug is gold-plated, making it more resistant to oxidation, corrosion, and discoloration. As far as sound quality goes, it has excellent wind noise and vocal plosives—those harsh “b”, “p”, and “t” sounds—even without the foam filter.

An immediately noticeable downside of the Lavalier GO is the short cable. At just 4ft (1.5m) in length, it’s certainly not for live streams that require you to be farther than 4ft from your GoPro camera. It should work well for videos where you’ll just be sitting in front of a camera with minimal movement.

What the RODE Lavalier GO is great at is as an alternative mic for a wireless system that takes in a 3.5mm external lapel unit. If you already own a wireless microphone but aren’t happy with the audio quality, you can attach the Lavalier GO and get the pro-level sound that RODE mics are known for.

Pros:

  • High-quality audio capture
  • Premium build
  • TRS connector

Cons:

  • Very short wire
  • Not affordable

5. DJI Mic: Best Premium GoPro Wireless Microphone

The DJI Mic is also our top GoPro streaming microphone pick overall. It was a tough choice between it and the RODE Wireless GO II. Both have certain qualities that make one better than the other. However, the DJI Mic’s more intuitive features won us over.

The bundle comes with two transmitters, one receiver, a 3.5mm TRS audio cable, a USB-C adapter, a lightning adapter, a hot shoe mount adapter, two windscreens, two clip magnets, a travel pouch, a carrying and charging case, and a charging cable for the box. Already, the $329 price sounds reasonable. The Wireless GO II kit is around $50 cheaper but it lacks many of the DJI mic’s useful accessories. It doesn’t even include a charging case.

This system is rated to have an impressive 250m line-of-sight range. You get crystal clear audio with hardly any dropouts at great distances. Each transmitter holds up to 5.5 hours of battery life while the receiver goes up to 5 hours on a single charge. The charging case charges all three at the same time and holds enough juice to charge them twice. That’s around 15 hours of total use time on each component. The transmitters and receiver each have a dedicated USB-C port, allowing you to charge them separately and independently from the case.

You can store up to 14 hours or 8GB of audio on the transmitters’ onboard memory. You basically get a backup copy of your audio in case of signal interferences or other recording issues. The USB port also functions as a data transfer interface. Just plug it into your computer and it will detect the transmitter as a regular storage device. You can retrieve your audio files with ease without any first-party applications.

The transmitters have both a traditional clip and a magnetic mechanism for fixing them onto your clothes. The latter makes your mic setup more discreet. But if you want to make things more subtle, the DJI Mic also accepts wired lavalier clip-ons (not included).

The DJI Mic’s transmitter has a touchscreen interface, from which you can monitor your transmitters’ status (battery, audio levels, etc.). The transmitter can be front or back-facing as the cold shoe mount can slip on your GoPro camera’s Media Mod in both ways. You can access and modify all controls from the transmitter menu—no need to dig deep via a computer or mobile app.

In theory, you can use the DJI Mic without a Media Mod or a GoPro mic adapter through the USB adapter piece that comes with the bundle. However, without the mod’s cold shoe mount, the receiver is fixed to the camera without any structural safeguards. And this could damage your gadgets’ connectors.

The DJI Mic is for people who like a lot of flexibility when they’re streaming. Its impressive range and the mobility that only a wireless mic kit provides will boost your video’s production value. The studio-quality audio doesn’t hurt as well. Lastly, it’s perfect for live-streamers who want the security of a backup recording for when they make edited versions of their broadcasts.

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced for what you get
  • Intuitive interface
  • Loaded with features
  • Excellent audio quality

Con:

  • Mediocre battery life compared to other premium wireless mics

Conclusion

GoPro HERO cameras are amazing and are capable of many things, including live-streaming. But their internal microphones tend to fall short in the sound quality department. This makes getting an external mic almost a requirement when you’re using your GoPro camera outside of extreme situations.

What makes a GoPro microphone exceptional is your personal experience with it. This guide is meant to help you get the external mic that best fits your circumstances as a user. Hopefully, we’ve made things easier for you by detailing the gains and losses of using each product. If you need more help, check out our other shopper’s guides and in-depth tutorials for making your live streams stand out.