Sennheiser has released a new microphone for the GoPro HERO4 Black and Silver. It’s the MKE 2 Elements (not to be confused with the MKE 2 or MKE 2 Digital, which are lavalier mics). It’s an omnidirectional mic that attaches directly to the camera and has a frequency response from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Sennheiser, of course, has a long and well-earned reputation as one of the best makers of microphones and headphones. This particular microphone is interesting for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, it’s a dedicated microphone for GoPros. That might seem an unusual choice for a high-end audio company like Sennheiser, but this isn’t the first mic Sennheiser has designed for action cams. There are a lot of people who use their GoPros for recording music footage and other subjects where the sound quality matters but also want the convenience of on-board–or at least, attached–audio without the hassle of a separate audio rig. This particular mic will probably appeal more to those recording environmental audio in less-than-ideal weather conditions.Secondly, and more importantly, this one is waterproof. That’s unusual for external microphones on GoPros. Normally when you add an external mic to a GoPro it exposes the USB port. The way they’ve gotten around the connection issue with this one is that the microphone is hardwired into a new backdoor for the camera’s housing. It has a waterproof rating of IPX7, a rating that specifies it can safely be submerged at a depth of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes. So yes, that means you can even take it surfing. It’ll be interesting to see how people put this to use in capturing good-quality sound in places where that’s been hard to do.
It comes with a replaceable windscreen to help with wind noise.
As a nice added assurance, this is part of GoPro’s “Works with GoPro” program, which means it has their official stamp of approval for compatibility.
It’s worth clarifying something on the packaging, though. It says that it’s for “HERO4 cameras.” To be specific, it’s designed for the HERO4 Black and HERO4 Silver. It won’t work with the HERO4 Session, which has an entirely different physical design. It’s also worth pointing out that if you use it on the Silver, the Sennheiser backdoor is going to completely cover the built-in screen.
Here’s the promo video Sennheiser has put together:
If you’re looking for it, don’t forget the “Elements” bit–there’s also an MKE 2 and MKE 2 Digital, which are different mics.