Over the last few weeks there’s been a steady stream of leaks about the possible specification of the GoPro Hero6 Black but one area we haven’t heard much mention of is the audio side. Nevertheless, we were hoping that the CEO, Nick Woodman, might spring a surprise at the GoPro launch event.
Here at Camera Jabber HQ we sat glued to the live stream of the launch event and while there were some powerful tunes to accompany the fantastic video footage, there wasn’t one mention of the audio side of video – other than the fact that you can add music to your video via the GoPro QuikStories app. That’s disappointing.
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What’s the problem with GoPro Audio?
The problem is that the GoPro Hero5 Black’s little on-board mic doesn’t pick-up the greatest audio. It’s not terrible (actually it is terrible in windy conditions) but it’s not great.
One solution is to use the GoPro mic adaptor that lets you connect a 3.5mm mic cable to a Hero6 Black or Hero5 Black or Hero5 Session. But it’s not elegant and the GoPro isn’t designed to be tethered like that. It’s an action camera that’s supposed to be capturing the fun side of life: the wheelies, the jumps and the wipeouts. With a cable catching and pulling at it you’ll wind-up with terrible footage.
Further bad news is that the GoPro Karma Grip, which is designed to stabilise your on-the-go footage, connects to the camera via the USB and HMDI ports. That’s great news from an operational point of view because you can power-up the camera and start/stop recording via the Grip’s controls, but it means there’s no way to connect a mic to the camera.
GoPro Karma Grip Audio Solution
A potential solution exists at the base of the Grip in the guise of the USB-C port. This would seem like the logical place to connect a mic via an adaptor.
You could, for example, run a lapel mic cable up your sleeve and keep things nice and neat, letting you commentate your footage live as you bomb down a hill on your board or chase after your kids on the beach. As the cable would connect to the grip below the gimbal it would have minimal impact on the quality of the footage.
But sadly it doesn’t work; the sound doesn’t record.
We were hoping that GoPro would announce a firmware upgrade to the Grip and the Hero5 to enable a mic connection via this port. We were assuming/hoping the Hero6 would be good to go from the outset. But, sadly, there wasn’t a peep about it.
Of course it’s possible that the audio update will be a feature of the Hero6 Black and we’ll certainly check it out, but the silence suggests otherwise. Bummer.