All GoPros come with a built-in mono microphone. While it does a serviceable job, if audio is important to the video footage you’re shooting you’ll probably want to use an external mic to get much improved sound quality.
There’s a huge variety of external microphones available on the market. Some are better for recording speaking voices, others for music, and others for ambient sounds. So here’s a rundown of some popular external mics to use with the GoPro HERO4 Silver and Black (you can’t use external mics with the HERO, HERO+LCD or HERO4 Session). The lists below aren’t by any means exhaustive, but they’re a combination of ones that GoPro officially recommends as well as others that are known to work well.
GoPro Microphone Adapter
But first, you’ll need a way to attach your microphone to the GoPro. The current and recent generations of GoPros don’t have a dedicated audio input port, so you have to use the mini USB port (the GoPro HERO2 was the last one with a dedicated 3.5mm audio input).
To do that, you’ll need an adapter to go from a 3.5mm plug (or 1.8″) to either mini USB or USB-C, depending on which model of camera you’re using. If your mic uses something other than a 3.5mm plug, such as XLR, you’ll need an adapter to go from that to mini USB or USB-C. A few of the mics below come bundled with an adapter, but most don’t (and make sure it’s the right one for the camera model (see below).
HERO5 Black and HERO5 Session
If you’re using the new HERO5 Black or HERO5 Session, these same external microphones will work in most cases. But you’ll need a different adapter. GoPro have done away with the mini USB port and now use a USB-C port. You can find the new adapter here.