The GoPro Media Mod is an add-on for the GoPro HERO line, adding a directional mic for improved voice capture, alongside various ports and mount options. While the GoPro HERO 10 Black and GoPro HERO 9 Black are both pretty handy video capture tools, the audio isn't always stellar, and there's no option to plug in extra cabling when on the move. The GoPro Media Mod promises to solve these issues at a stroke, adding a solid slice of value and making today's best GoPros even better.
I've been testing one of these nifty accessories out to see how it performs in practice – read on for my full GoPro Media Mod review.
GoPro Media Mod Review: design and build quality
The GoPro Media Mod is essentially a skeleton case for the GoPro HERO 10 Black and HERO 9 Black, that adds a range of media-specific enhancements to the already-powerful GoPro Hero experience. Priced at GBP £89.99 / USD $79.99, the GoPro Media Mod features a built-in directional mic for enhanced voice capture, 3.5mm mic port, HDMI-out for playback on external monitors, plus two cold-shoe mounts for lights or other accessories. In addition, there’s a removable foam mic cover which GoPro claims suppresses wind at up to 20 mph (32 kph).
Two rubberised buttons top and side replicate the existing GoPro buttons exactly, and although fitting the mod means removing the original battery cover, the new case slots in comfortably – although GoPro specifically mentions ‘weatherproof’ in conjunction with the GoPro Media Mod, rather than the standard GoPro’s 10m waterproofness. The instructions also warn that the mod is not waterproof - in spite of marketing images of snorkelling influencers.
That new USB-C port can now be used to charge the GoPro (tested on the GoPro Hero Black 10), so doesn’t need to be taken off. The GoPro Media Mod also allows the standard GoPro mounting ‘ears’ to be used as normal, so there’s no additional weight or camera security issues to worry about. This is a double-edged sword though, as changing the battery ‘in the field’ means removing the mount, closing the ears and removing the GoPro Media Mod to get to the battery.
Overall, although it does add a little extra bulk to the slimline GoPro, the GoPro Media Mod doesn’t change much physically, apart from adding the improved mic and ports.
GoPro Media Mod Review: performance
As mentioned, there’s little to complain about on the physical size front, although the extra layer of insulation doesn’t help the GoPro’s ability to overheat when set to full-resolution capture. The necessity to unbolt everything to get the battery does encourage using an external power pack, such as the GoPro Volta Mod, which pairs up nicely with the GoPro Media Mod, but the combination does get increasingly spendy.
The directional mic enhancement is a considerable enhancement to the stock GoPro mic, capturing voice with great clarity indoors, noticeably from much longer distance and with greater clarity. Blurry background noise is now rendered clear and intelligible – whether that’s useful or not is down to what you’re shooting and why. In outdoor and noisy areas the same clarity is also evident, and the wind cancelling foam mic cover does a reasonable job of knocking back wind noise – especially those annoying random gusts.
GoPro Media Mod review: verdict
The GoPro Media Mod’s extra ports are a useful expansion pack, allowing you to connect external mics as well as HDMI-out and access the USB-C while still using the camera – particularly useful when you’re using the GoPro Volta Mod, for example. The two SLR-style cold-shoe mounts are exceedingly useful too, especially for attaching the GoPro Light Mod. The audio quality is a considerable improvement on the stock GoPro, albeit not up to the potential quality of an external mic, although the 3.5mm jack allows you to add one if you need genuine pro-level audio.
For all species of vlogger, the GoPro Media Mod makes a pile of sense, letting you juice up the battery while still using the camera, light subjects quickly and easily, and capture better audio in most situations. Apart from cost and the slight increase in bulk, the major disadvantage is losing the 10m waterproofness of the stock GoPro – a compromise that for many will be well worth it.