When it comes to creating action videos, great audio quality is just as important as stunning visuals. Whether you’re filming extreme sports, outdoor adventures, or fast-paced action scenes, having clear and crisp audio can make all the difference in creating an immersive experience for your audience.
Unfortunately, most action cameras come with built-in microphones that are not optimized for high-quality audio recording. This is where DSLR microphones come in. Designed to capture clear and rich sound, DSLR microphones can be easily mounted onto your action camera to improve your audio quality.
In this article, we’ll explore the top DSLR microphones for action cameras, including their features, pros, and cons, to help you find the perfect microphone for your needs.
What is a DSLR Microphone
A DSLR microphone is an external microphone designed to capture high-quality audio for DSLR cameras, which are commonly used for professional photography and videography. DSLR microphones are directional microphones, meaning they capture sound from a specific direction while rejecting sound from other directions.
They are typically mounted onto the camera’s hot shoe, which is a bracket on top of the camera used for attaching accessories, such as a microphone. DSLR microphones can significantly improve the audio quality of your videos by reducing ambient noise, capturing dialogue more clearly, and enhancing the overall sound experience for your viewers.
There are various types of DSLR microphones available, including shotgun, lavalier, and handheld microphones, each with their unique features and benefits.
How to Choose the Best DSLR Microphone
One of the most important factors to consider when choosing a DSLR microphone is its directivity, or how it captures sound. Shotgun microphones are a popular choice for action cameras because they are highly directional and can capture audio from a specific direction while rejecting sound from other directions. This makes them ideal for outdoor use and noisy environments where ambient noise can be an issue. Lavalier and handheld microphones are less directional but can be more suitable for capturing dialogue or voiceovers.
Another important factor to consider is the size of the microphone. Since action cameras are often used in outdoor environments, it’s important to choose a microphone that is compact and lightweight, making it easy to carry around and mount onto your camera.
Your budget is also an essential consideration when choosing a DSLR microphone. Microphones can range from budget-friendly options to more expensive professional-grade models. Decide on your budget before you start shopping, and look for microphones that fit your budget without sacrificing too much quality.
The polar pattern of a microphone refers to the directionality of the microphone’s sensitivity. Some popular polar patterns include cardioid, supercardioid, and omnidirectional. Cardioid microphones are most sensitive to sounds directly in front of the microphone, while supercardioid microphones are even more directional and reject more sound from the sides and rear. Omnidirectional microphones, on the other hand, capture sound from all directions, making them useful for recording ambient sound.
The frequency response of a microphone refers to the range of frequencies that it can capture. Look for a microphone with a wide frequency response range to capture a broad range of sounds accurately.
Some microphones have built-in filters that can help reduce wind noise, ambient noise, and other unwanted sounds. Look for microphones with these features if you plan on using them in outdoor environments or other noisy locations.
Finally, consider how the microphone mounts to your camera. Most DSLR microphones mount onto the hot shoe of your camera, but some models also come with other mounting options, such as a clip or adhesive mount. Choose a mount that is compatible with your camera and is easy to use and secure.
By considering these factors, you can choose the best DSLR microphone for your needs and enhance the audio quality of your action videos.
Different Types of DSLR Microphones
Shotgun microphones are the most popular type of DSLR microphone for action cameras. They are highly directional and capture audio from a specific direction while rejecting sound from other directions. Shotgun microphones are great for outdoor use and noisy environments, making them ideal for action and adventure videos. They are also typically compact and easy to mount on top of your camera, making them a great option for on-the-go recording.
Lavalier microphones, also known as lapel microphones, are small, clip-on microphones that are commonly used for interviews, voiceovers, and other applications where the microphone needs to be hidden from view. They are less directional than shotgun microphones but can be more suitable for capturing dialogue or voiceovers.
Handheld microphones are another type of microphone that can be used with DSLR cameras. They are typically used for interviews or live performances and are less commonly used for action and adventure videos. Handheld microphones are great for capturing clear and rich sound, but they are not as practical for on-the-go recording as shotgun or lavalier microphones.
Stereo microphones are designed to capture audio in stereo, providing a more immersive audio experience for your viewers. They are great for recording ambient sound, music, and other applications where a stereo recording is desired. Stereo microphones can come in various shapes and sizes, including shotgun and handheld models.
By understanding the different types of DSLR microphones available, you can choose the right microphone for your needs and capture high-quality audio for your action videos.
Top 14 DSLR Microphones for Action Cameras
Polar Pro for GoPro Hero Cameras
For beginners who want to improve their audio quality without breaking the bank, the Polar Pro microphone is an excellent choice. Unlike many other microphones, this model doesn’t require batteries and can be directly plugged into your camera, making it easy and convenient to use.
One of the key features of the Polar Pro microphone is its specially designed windscreen, which effectively removes wind noise and other unwanted background noise, making it ideal for recording in outdoor environments.
Additionally, the included right angle adapter helps to minimize cable clutter and allows for easy access to your camera’s controls. The Polar Pro microphone is a great option for recording concerts, motorsports events, and interviews, and is compatible with a range of GoPro cameras, including the Hero3+, Hero3, Hero4, and Hero2.
At a price point of $29.99, it’s an affordable and efficient option for those looking to improve their audio recordings in windy areas.
The Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Shotgun microphone is an excellent choice for videographers who want to achieve great sound quality, even in challenging environmental conditions. Its moisture-resistant design ensures that it can withstand high humidity, wind, or rain, making it suitable for shooting videos in any weather.
One of the key features of the MKH416-P48U3 microphone is its ability to provide clear sound direction, low noise level, and a strong output signal. This results in recordings with full dynamics and sharpness, thanks to the microphone’s wide frequency response.
Another advantage of the Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Shotgun microphone is its simple design. Unlike many other microphones, it lacks switches, buttons, and dials, making it easy and straightforward to use.
The microphone’s windscreen is also noteworthy, as it effectively reduces wind noise to a minimum, ensuring that your audio recordings are clear and free from unwanted background noise.
The MKH416-P48U3 was developed by professionals based on their experience. Its low intrinsic noise of 13 dBA and high sensitivity of 32 dB ensure that you get a clear signal, as if it was recorded in a studio, without the necessity to remove noise or adjust amplification during post-production.
The Sennheiser MKH416-P48U3 Shotgun microphone is a reliable and high-quality option for videographers who want to achieve excellent sound quality, even in challenging environmental conditions. With its simple design, impressive windscreen, and wide frequency response, this microphone is an excellent investment for those who take their audio recordings seriously.
The Opteka shotgun microphone is a great option for videographers looking to capture high-quality sound in noisy environments. This shotgun mic is specifically designed to fit perfectly on Hotshoe DSLRs and is capable of capturing sound from various sources with impressive clarity.
One potential downside of this microphone is that it can pick up sharp pop noises, which may cause some disturbance in the signal. However, Opteka has developed a solution for this with their advanced Noise-Reducing Suspension System, which reduces unwanted noise and improves overall sound quality.
Additionally, the Opteka shotgun microphone has directional properties, meaning it can focus on capturing sound from a specific direction while minimizing background noise.
In terms of power, the Opteka shotgun microphone can run on either a 9V lithium or alkaline battery, which can last up to 100 hours. This ensures that you can record for extended periods without worrying about running out of power.
Included in the package are indoor and outdoor windscreens, a shock mount, one-year warranty, extra suspension bands, and a user guide. The microphone is also compatible with camcorders and digital SLR cameras, making it a versatile choice for a variety of videography needs.
Overall, the Opteka shotgun microphone is a solid investment for those looking to improve their sound quality in challenging environments. With its advanced Noise-Reducing Suspension System, directional properties, and long battery life, this microphone is a great option for capturing high-quality audio at sporting events, during dialogues at the camera, and more.
One of the standout features of the Canon Directional Microphone is its ability to record a wide variety of sounds thanks to its three recording modes: shotgun, 90° stereo, and 120° stereo. It offers versatility in capturing audio for different types of videos. The microphone is compatible with Canon cameras as well as other devices with a 3.5mm jack.
This mic is designed to protect against wind noise with its windscreen, and the built-in shock mount construction minimizes camera and lens noise during recording. The frequency range of 50Hz to 16kHz ensures accurate capture of different sound frequencies.
One of the best things about the Canon Directional Microphone is its own power source, allowing it to function for up to 100 hours without requiring a battery replacement. However, the battery indicator doesn’t always show the actual charge level. Additionally, the device turns on and off automatically along with the camera. Overall, this mic is a great option for capturing high-quality audio for a range of videos.
Removu RM-M1+A1 Wireless
The Movo WMIC80 Wireless UHF Lavalier Microphone System is a perfect option for those who need to record audio from a long distance with precise details. With a maximum range of 40 yards, it can capture sounds from a considerable distance with ease. This microphone system uses the latest Bluetooth technology, allowing it to perform long-distance recording with finer results.
This model has an integrated waterproof housing, which makes it ideal for recording underwater or in challenging environmental conditions. The waterproof housing provides better protection to the microphone, ensuring the safety of the equipment during wet or rainy conditions.
The Movo WMIC80 Wireless UHF Lavalier Microphone System includes a receiver and a microphone, and each end requires a separate battery. It uses a Lithium-Ion battery with six hours of backup, which ensures that you can record for extended periods without worrying about running out of power.
This microphone system is compatible with GoPro Hero4, Hero3, and Hero3+ cameras, making it an ideal option for sporting events and other long-distance recording applications. Additionally, it comes with a waterproof housing and a mini USB connector, making it easy to use and carry around.
Rode VideoMicPro is a high-quality mobile microphone that is perfect for capturing sound while on the go. This microphone is designed with a range of features that help produce clear, detailed recordings. The 9V battery that powers this microphone can last up to 70 hours, so you can record for extended periods of time without worrying about the battery running out. The gain and bass roll-off features enable you to customize the recording settings to achieve the desired level and tone.
Connecting this microphone to your camera is also easy, thanks to its simple and straightforward design. Additionally, Rode VideoMicPro comes with a 10-year warranty, which provides users with added peace of mind.
One downside to this microphone is that the windscreen can only protect from light wind. In areas with stronger wind, additional wind protection may be needed to achieve the desired sound quality. Nevertheless, the foam windscreen can still help reduce wind noise and ensure that your recordings are clear and free from unwanted background noise.
The Rode VideoMicPro is an excellent option for those looking for a mobile microphone that can provide high-quality recordings with minimal effort. Whether you are a professional videographer or a beginner, this microphone is sure to help you produce better quality sound recordings.
Rode Wireless Go
In addition to being compact and lightweight, the Rode Wireless Go offers a range of receiver gain settings, allowing you to adjust the level of the audio signal depending on the conditions. The three gain settings include low, medium, and high, and can be easily changed by pressing a button on the receiver.
The system also features an automatic scanning function that helps to find the best available signal and connect to it quickly. This makes the setup process easy and fast, allowing you to start recording audio right away without any additional adjustments.
While the built-in battery of the transmitter cannot be replaced, it provides up to 7 hours of continuous use on a single charge. The transmitter can also be charged via USB-C, which makes it convenient to charge on the go.
One downside of the Rode Wireless Go is that there can be interference when moving the transmitter, especially when it is close to the body. However, the system still provides reliable performance in most situations, making it a versatile choice for a range of recording applications. Additionally, it comes with a 10-year warranty for added peace of mind.
The Rode VideoMicro is a highly durable and portable microphone that comes in a small size, making it easy to carry around. Its user-friendly design makes it an affordable and lightweight option for those who need to record audio for their smartphones or cameras. With its all-metal construction and attention to detail, this microphone is built to last.
Despite its compact size, the Rode VideoMicro has a high level of sensitivity, which enables it to capture even the faintest sounds. The microphone’s frequency response’s lower limit is relatively high, which may make it less effective when recording sounds from a distance. However, it performs excellently when recording sound in close proximity.
The microphone connects directly to the camera’s microphone jack, and it is compatible with all smartphones and cameras. With its impressive sensitivity, the Rode VideoMicro is an excellent option for recording the sound of nature or for those who need to whisper or talk in low tones. You simply need to aim the mic at the source, and it will do the rest, making it an ideal tool for videographers, journalists, and content creators who need to record high-quality audio on the go.
Edutige Uni-Directional ETM-008
The ETM-008 is a unidirectional electret condenser type microphone that is specially designed to provide high-quality audio recordings in windy conditions. With an impressive S/N ratio of 69dB, this microphone ensures that you capture crystal clear audio without any background noise or distortion.
This microphone is perfect for outdoor activities like vlogs, independent film production, and even recording audio inside your car. It is also ideal for Skype calls, digital voice recorders, MP3 players, DSLR cameras, and camcorders. With its plug-in power capability, you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries.
The ETM-008 comes with several accessories to help you achieve the perfect recording. The lapel clip ensures that the microphone is always in the correct position, while the foam windscreen protects it from wind and other external noises. The cable is 1.3 meters or 4.3 feet long, giving you the flexibility to move around while recording.
At just $67.00, this microphone is affordable and delivers high-quality audio recordings. It also has a 3.5mm jack plug that makes it compatible with all smartphones and cameras. Overall, the ETM-008 is an excellent investment for anyone who wants to capture audio in a professional manner.
The TAKSTAR microphone is a cost-effective solution for recording high-quality audio while vlogging or conducting an interview. Its cardioid directivity helps to reduce extraneous sounds and focus on the audio source.
This camera microphone is also designed to be shockproof and can reduce mechanical noise and vibration. The battery life of the microphone is impressive and can last up to 100 hours. Moreover, the low power indicator ensures that you know when the battery needs to be recharged. The microphone comes with a windscreen and shock-resistant mount, which is a great addition for outdoor recordings.
However, some users have reported that the device does not tighten up on some cameras, and it has limited dynamic range. Nonetheless, considering its affordable price, the BOYA BY-MM1 microphone is a great option for those looking for an entry-level microphone for their camera.
The Omnidirectional condenser microphone is an advanced piece of equipment that is specifically designed to cater to those who own a GoPro. The microphone has a unique feature, as it can be plugged directly into the GoPro device without the need for any additional adapter. The device is extremely affordable, with a price tag of just $26.94.
This microphone is powered by an LR-44 button battery, which has a long lifespan of up to 700 hours, making it an ideal choice for extended recordings such as interviews or voice recording. The microphone also comes with a foam windscreen to help reduce wind noise and ambient noise elimination. The windscreen is particularly useful when recording outside or in noisy environments.
In terms of compatibility, the microphone works with a range of GoPro devices, including the GoPro HD Hero, Hero4 Black, Hero4 Silver, Hero Plus, and Hero3. The microphone comes with a 20-foot long cable, which is ideal for those who need to move around while recording. Additionally, the microphone comes with other essential accessories such as a compatible USB adapter, LR-44 Button battery, foam windscreen, and lapel clip.
Overall, this Omnidirectional condenser microphone is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a microphone that is specifically designed for their GoPro device. Its affordable price, long battery life, and compatibility with a range of GoPro models make it a great investment for anyone who wants to enhance their audio recording capabilities.
Comica CVM-V30 PRO
The Comica CVM-V30 LITE is a highly versatile microphone that provides excellent sound quality. It is incredibly lightweight, making it more portable than other small microphones on the market. The microphone does not require batteries to function, so you can use it for extended periods without worrying about running out of power. The quality mount included ensures that the microphone stays secure when attached to your device.
One of the most impressive features of the Comica CVM-V30 LITE is its versatility. It is compatible with both cameras and smartphones, making it an excellent choice for those who use both types of devices. This flexibility is not always found in other microphones, which may only work with one type of device.
In terms of sound quality, the Comica CVM-V30 LITE performs exceptionally well. We tested it thoroughly and found that it outperformed other microphones in its price range. The built-in cable with a plug-and-play functionality eliminates the need for a connector, making it incredibly easy to use. We did not encounter any issues with this microphone, and we highly recommend it to anyone looking for a high-quality, versatile microphone.
The Sony ECMCS3 is a versatile and flexible microphone that delivers exceptional results for capturing clear and high-quality audio. The microphone is specifically designed to pick up louder and richer vocals with its omnidirectional polar pattern.
It rotates flexibly, which allows users to adjust it for better placement and perfect recording angles. This makes it ideal for a variety of uses such as recording voiceovers, lectures, vlogging, and even for MotoVlogging.
Additionally, the microphone comes with a clip that can be used for better placement, and it is also suggested for mounting on helmets, ensuring that it stays securely in place during use. The best part is that there are no batteries required, making it very convenient to use, especially for those on the go. With a cable length of 1 meter, users have enough length to move around and position the mic for the best possible recording.
At a price point of $17.63, this microphone is affordable and perfect for indoor close proximity usage. Overall, the Sony ECMCS3 is a reliable and effective microphone that delivers high-quality sound and is versatile enough to be used in various situations.
The Movo VXR10 comes equipped with a furry windscreen that prevents wind noise from interfering with the audio recording. The included shock mount also helps reduce unwanted mechanical vibrations and handling noise.
It should be noted that while the microphone can be handheld, it’s better to use it with a tripod or other stable mount to ensure the best recording quality.
Another advantage of the Movo VXR10 is that it comes with a 1-year warranty, giving users peace of mind knowing that they can get a replacement or repair if necessary. Overall, the Movo VXR10 is a versatile and reliable option for anyone looking to improve their audio quality while recording videos or podcasts.
How to connect a wireless mic to DSLR?
Connecting a wireless microphone to your DSLR camera is a great way to capture high-quality audio wirelessly. Here’s how you can connect a wireless mic to your DSLR:
- Choose the right wireless microphone: First, choose a wireless microphone that is compatible with your DSLR camera. Look for a wireless microphone system that comes with a receiver and a transmitter. The receiver will plug into your DSLR camera, and the transmitter will connect to the microphone.
- Set up the wireless microphone system: Follow the instructions that come with your wireless microphone system to set it up. You will need to turn on both the receiver and the transmitter and make sure they are on the same frequency.
- Connect the receiver to your DSLR: Plug the receiver into your DSLR camera’s audio input jack. This is typically located on the side of the camera and may be labeled as “mic in” or “audio in.”
- Adjust the audio levels: Once you have connected the receiver to your DSLR camera, adjust the audio levels on your camera to ensure that you are capturing the audio at the right levels. You may need to adjust the audio levels on both the transmitter and the camera to get the right balance.
- Test the audio: Before you start recording, test the audio to ensure that everything is working correctly. Speak into the microphone and listen to the audio through headphones connected to your camera to ensure that the sound is clear and free of interference.
By following these steps, you can easily connect a wireless microphone to your DSLR camera and capture high-quality audio wirelessly.
How to connect a wired mic to a DSLR?
Connecting a wired microphone to your DSLR camera is a simple process. Here’s how you can connect a wired mic to your DSLR:
- Choose the right microphone: Choose a microphone that is compatible with your DSLR camera’s audio input jack. There are several types of wired microphones available, including shotgun microphones, lapel microphones, and handheld microphones. Make sure to choose a microphone that suits your recording needs.
- Connect the microphone to the camera: Connect the microphone to your DSLR camera’s audio input jack. This is typically located on the side of the camera and may be labeled as “mic in” or “audio in.” Some cameras may have separate jacks for stereo and mono microphones, so make sure you are connecting the microphone to the correct input.
- Adjust the audio levels: Once you have connected the microphone to your DSLR camera, adjust the audio levels to ensure that you are capturing the audio at the right levels. You may need to adjust the audio levels on your camera to get the right balance.
- Test the audio: Before you start recording, test the audio to ensure that everything is working correctly. Speak into the microphone and listen to the audio through headphones connected to your camera to ensure that the sound is clear and free of interference.
By following these steps, you can easily connect a wired microphone to your DSLR camera and capture high-quality audio for your videos.
Why do I need a microphone for my action camera?
Having a microphone for your action camera can greatly enhance the quality of your videos by improving the audio quality. Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider using a microphone with your action camera:
- Better sound quality: The built-in microphone on most action cameras is often of lower quality and may not capture audio as clearly as an external microphone. By using a microphone, you can capture higher-quality audio that is free from background noise and interference.
- Directivity: A directional microphone can help you capture audio from a specific direction, such as your voice or the sound of your activity, while rejecting sound from other directions. This can help you capture clear audio even in noisy environments.
- Versatility: Depending on the type of microphone you choose, you can use it for a variety of different applications, such as interviews, voiceovers, and music recording. This can make your action camera more versatile and useful for a wider range of video projects.
- Professionalism: Using a high-quality microphone with your action camera can make your videos sound more professional and polished. This can help you stand out from other creators and attract a wider audience.
In summary, using a microphone with your action camera can greatly enhance the audio quality of your videos, making them more engaging and professional. If you’re serious about creating high-quality videos, using a microphone is a smart investment.
What type of microphone is best for action cameras?
In general, a shotgun microphone is often the best choice for action cameras as they are directional, allowing you to capture clear audio from a specific direction while reducing background noise. However, the specific type of microphone you choose will depend on the type of recording situation you are in and your specific needs.
What are some tips for getting the best sound quality when using a DSLR mic?
Here are some tips for getting the best sound quality when using a DSLR microphone:
- Choose the right microphone: Make sure to choose a microphone that is compatible with your camera and suitable for the recording situation. Consider factors like directional capabilities, frequency response, and sensitivity when selecting a microphone.
- Use a shock mount: A shock mount can help reduce handling noise and vibrations, which can be picked up by the microphone and result in unwanted noise in your recording.
- Position the microphone correctly: Make sure to position the microphone close to the sound source and aim it in the right direction to ensure optimal sound quality. For example, if you’re recording a person speaking, position the microphone near their mouth and aim it towards their face.
- Use a windscreen or deadcat: Wind noise can be a major issue when recording outdoors. Using a windscreen or deadcat can help reduce wind noise and ensure that your recordings sound clear and crisp.
- Monitor your audio: Use headphones to monitor your audio levels while recording. This will help you catch any issues with the sound quality in real-time and make adjustments as needed.
- Adjust your camera’s audio settings: Most DSLR cameras come with audio settings that you can adjust to improve the quality of your recordings. Experiment with these settings to find the optimal settings for your specific recording situation.
By following these tips, you can get the best possible sound quality when using a DSLR microphone. Remember to choose the right microphone and accessories, position the microphone correctly, and monitor your audio levels to ensure that your recordings sound clear and professional.
How can I reduce wind noise when recording outdoor videos?
Wind noise can be a major issue when recording outdoor videos, particularly when using a microphone. Here are some tips for reducing wind noise when recording outdoor videos:
- Use a windscreen or deadcat: A windscreen or deadcat is a cover that fits over your microphone and helps reduce wind noise. These accessories are designed to diffuse wind and other noise, ensuring that your recordings sound clear and crisp.
- Position the microphone correctly: The position of your microphone can have a significant impact on wind noise. Try to position the microphone away from the direction of the wind, or use a microphone with directional capabilities to reduce wind noise.
- Use a low-cut filter: Many microphones come with a low-cut filter, which helps reduce low-frequency noise like wind noise. This filter can be adjusted in your camera’s audio settings.
- Block the wind: You can also try to block the wind using a physical barrier, like a windscreen or a piece of foam. This can help reduce wind noise and ensure that your recordings sound clear.
- Wait for calm weather: If possible, try to wait for calm weather before recording. This can help reduce wind noise and ensure that your recordings sound clear and professional.
By following these tips, you can reduce wind noise when recording outdoor videos and ensure that your recordings sound clear and professional. Remember to choose the right microphone and accessories, position the microphone correctly, and monitor your audio levels to ensure optimal sound quality.
In conclusion, a DSLR microphone is a crucial accessory for anyone who wants to record high-quality audio with their camera, especially in action-packed environments.
Choosing the right microphone can make a significant difference in the sound quality of your recordings. With the right microphone, you can capture clear and crisp audio that enhances the overall quality of your videos. Whether you’re a professional videographer or a hobbyist, investing in a high-quality DSLR microphone is a smart choice.
By following the tips and recommendations provided in this article, you can select the right microphone for your needs, connect it to your camera correctly, and produce exceptional audio recordings.