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Turn Microphone OFF on Action Camera: Insta360, GoPro, DJI

Yesterday, I wanted to record video only (no audio) with my Insta360 X3. As it turns out, there are no settings to disable the microphone. So, here’s what I did.

The best way to turn off audio recording is with electrical tape. Just cut small pieces of electrical tape to cover the mic openings. You’ll be surprised how silent your mics are. This works on Insta360, GoPro, and DJI action cameras.

Turn Microphone OFF on Insta360 Camera

In this guide, I’ll also discuss mic locations, some tricks I learned, and some situations why you might want to turn the microphone off on your action camera. This is different than turning off your camera sounds, which silences beeps and artificial shutter sounds.

Turn Microphone OFF on Action Camera

When I tried to find the setting to disable the mics, I learned there isn’t a simple way to do this.

I’ve heard the opinion that this isn’t a feature, because it could be confusing to beginners. And while I agree, it’s too bad this isn’t available. Many settings can be confusing for beginners. I’m not sure this is a valid reason to avoid the feature.

A few years ago (October 2020) this was requested to Insta360, and here is their response.

Hey there, thank you for the suggestion! We will discuss it with product manager to see if we can add this feature in the near future!

Forum on Insta360

Is it possible that this will be available in the future?

For now, electrical tape is a good choice. It sticks well but also removes without leaving a weird and sticky residue.

If you’re getting the camera wet, electrical tape might not hold. You might need some experimentation for the best material for wet situations.

If you’ve tried something else, I would love to hear what worked (or didn’t work) for you.

Insta360 Mic Locations

Most mic locations can be identified by small pin holes in the case. But not all of these are mics. On the X3, one of them is a speaker. But it shouldn’t hurt anything if you cover one by mistake. I did that yesterday, and it was fine.

The X3 has 4 mics: one on front and back, and one on each edge.

insta360 mic locations
Insta360 mic locations
disable mics on insta360 x3
turn off audio recording on insta360
Mic location on Insta360 X3 camera

More reading: Insta360 Release Dates (All Models)

Of course, this little trick can work on all action cameras. Here are the mic locations on GoPro cameras.

do gopros record sound
Mic locations on GoPro camera

More reading: Turn off GoPro Beep

If it’s really important that you don’t capture audio, I recommend testing before you begin filming. I thought I had covered all the mics, but I missed one. It will take just a second, and this way you’ll be sure that it’s working correctly.

4 Reasons Not To Record Audio

So, what are some reasons to avoid recording audio?

  1. Copyrighted Music: If you’re live streaming or want to auto-upload your footage, you’ll want to avoid copyrighted background music.
  2. Save Editing Time: You can remove any unwanted audio in the post, but it takes time and adds another step.
  3. Confidential Details: If you’re in a deep conversation, you might not want your conversation recorded at all. Or maybe you’re filming in a setting where you can’t film background conversations. Blocking the mics is a good way to avoid capturing anything private.
  4. Questionable Content: At sporting events and large gatherings, you might want to avoid capturing agressive or unkind language by other attendees.

With the audio blocked, you can either use your footage as b-roll or you can add a nice background music track.

Your Turn

Did you try the electrical tape trick to disable your audio? So far, I’ve only tried it on my Insta360 camera, but will use it on my GoPro and DJI cameras as needed.