Action Cameras with External Mic Input

Sometimes action camera onboard mic's just don't cut it, you want a better sound quality and you already have or want to invest in some decent microphone and audio recording equipment.

After all, you have your action camera for recording amazing video and photography footage, why not use stand alone audio equipment which was also made to do it's job better than a camera ever could.

In this page we have listed and ranked the best action cameras with external mic input or at least have the potential to connect an external microphone to with the use of mini USB or straight in with a 3.5mm jack. Some of the cameras that are in this list have mini USB and this is so that you can easily add a mic by using a Mini USB to 3.5mm Female jack adapter.  So you may need to buy this adapter to get better audio with your microphone equipment.

You can also get an action camera to work with an external mic if it has USB Type-C connection as this also has the 10pins required to send the audio signal through like mini USB.

We have also added sorting options for you, so if you don't want to spend that much you can find a cheap action camera with external mic input as well as sort by battery length if you'll be out all day in the field and that is your main requirement after the mic feature.

The Garmin Virb Ultra 30 has an amazing amount of features, it's a great alternative to a GoPro and most importantly, can be connected to a myriad of other devices to show cycling data/telemetry and more.

Water Resistance with Housing
Removable Battery
Yes
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life
135 minutes (at 1080p 30fps)
Weight
88grams
Field of View
148 degrees
Photo Resolution
Screen
Yes
Sensor
 
Chipset
 

This is a very sensible action camera, it uses latest tech in Novatech and Sony processor and sensors which are decent hardware. It isn't trying to hit marketing terms by adding 4k when it doesn't need to and is good in low light conditions. If you are after something for VLOGs, drone footage or require better sound quality with your recordings this could be perfect for you and not break the bank.

Video Features
Water Resistance with Housing
Removable Battery
Yes
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life
90 minutes (at 1080p 30fps)
Weight
63grams
Field of View
170 degrees
Resolution & FPS
Photo Resolution
Screen
Yes
Sensor

An incredible entry level action camera, records in HD 1080p at up to 60fps and does it well. No crazy gimmicks, no fake 4K video recording and a trusted support offering from Apeman who seem to be making good action cameras and dash cams.

Video Features
 
Water Resistance with Housing
Removable Battery
Yes
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life
120 minutes (at 1080p 30fps)
Weight
78grams
Field of View
170 degrees
Resolution & FPS
Photo Resolution
Screen
Yes
Sensor
 

A fantastic action camera by Sony, very easy to hold and frame shots in with its super wide FOV. You get very good low light and image stabalization which a lot of expensive cameras are still struggling with.

Video Features
Water Resistance with Housing
Removable Battery
Yes
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life
125 minutes (at 1080p 30fps)
Weight
109grams
Field of View
170 degrees
Photo Resolution
Screen
No
Sensor
 
Chipset
 

A great build quality and an improvement on image stabalization compared to the GoPro, the battery also outlasts the latest GoPros at well over an hour when in use.

Has real 4K video recording but the low light image quality is not the best, which is to be expected on an action camera of this price

Shooting Modes
Video Features
Water Resistance with Housing
Removable Battery
Yes
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life
70 minutes (at 1080p 30fps)
Weight
70grams
Field of View
170 degrees
Photo Resolution
 
Screen
Yes
Sensor

A fantastic dive camera, aimed specifically at scuba diving, freediving and spearfishing. The camera doesn't have a screen but is very easy to handle and place on the side of your mask if you want a head POV. It has an easy to use interface even with thick diving gloves on and captures fantastic video footage for such a small device.

Shooting Modes
Water Resistance with Housing
Removable Battery
No
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life
180 minutes (at 1080p 30fps)
Weight
155grams
Field of View
140 degrees
Photo Resolution
Screen
No
Sensor
 
Chipset
 

A nice camera setup from SJCam but like others have produced a fake 4K video recording action camera, which actually records at a lower resolution and then adds on extra pixels to make a 4k look. Other than that, the camera only seems to have a couple of bad points, such as the external mic needs to be an SJCam specific one but overall the camera is good.

It produces some quality 1080p video and has a nice screen which is easy to navigate and use.

Video Features
Water Resistance with Housing
Removable Battery
Yes
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life
130 minutes (at 1080p 30fps)
Weight
82grams
Field of View
166 degrees
Photo Resolution
Screen
Yes

A super camera that packs a punch in both hardware and software. It records at 4K at 60fps, which is only the 2nd action camera to do this, after the GoPro 6. Has a great touch screen and records some lovely photos and video footage in sharp detail.

It is let down by a couple of small build problems but nothing too serious. The fact that its less than half price of a GoPro 6 also makes this a super camera to think about getting.

Water Resistance with Housing
Removable Battery
Yes
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life
70 minutes (at 1080p 30fps)
Weight
59grams
Field of View
155 degrees
Photo Resolution
Screen
Yes
Sensor
Chipset
Shooting Modes
Video Features
Water Resistance with Housing
Removable Battery
Yes
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life
80 minutes (at 1080p 30fps)
Weight
78grams
Field of View
170 degrees
Resolution & FPS
Photo Resolution
Screen
Yes
Sensor
Chipset

We spent hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what the experts think:

Water Resistance with Housing
Removable Battery
Yes
Manufacturer Claimed Battery Life
120 minutes (at 1080p 30fps)
Weight
74grams
Field of View
165 degrees
Photo Resolution
Screen
Yes
Sensor
Chipset

You may want separate audio recording for many different things and a lot of you out there will have totally different requirements after needing an external audio mic, here on the best action camera with external microphone input we hope we have you covered.

What types of things could you be needing this for? The first things that come to mind are for vloggers, you come in all shapes and sizes and vlog about a multitude of things; from doing product reviews, to your daily life, through to motorcycle vlogging. Each and every one of you will definitely benefit from having an external mic input on your action camera so that your audience can hear you more clearly, especially if you're motorcycling or doing anything that involves separating you from your camera.

How Do I Connect A Microphone To An Action Camera

You have various connection options to decide from when choosing an action camera and you may or may not have to buy extra equipment to connect your audio mics to the camera you want to purchase.

First of there is the 3.5mm female jack input, which of course will take a 3.5mm male jack lead directly from a microphone that you have or wish to buy. This is a simple option but this feature is not the most abundant on action cameras.

The other option is to choose a camera which has mini USB or micro USB Type-C, as these have the 10 pins required to send the audio signal from the mic in to the camera. You will though need to buy an adapter for these so that you can convert them in to a female 3.5mm audio jack. From there, you can plug your microphone in to the camera.

USB Type-C to 3.5mm female jack converter.

Mini USB to 3.5mm female jack converter.

Some action cameras, not many have their own branded mic input equipment but they are made by many different companies now and are a plenty on Amazon, Banggood, Gearbest etc.

Once you have that, you can look in to getting a simple Lavalier Mic Setup for your action cam and you're well on your way.