Sony HDR-AS30V Audio vs. Wind Noise

With the Sony HDR-AS30V in its skeleton frame atop my bike helmet, the audio track for all my rides consists entirely of horrendous wind noise. You can get an idea of the baseline quality from the sound track of a recent Walkway Over The Hudson crossing.

The camera has two mics, although I’m not sure 15 mm of separation really produces meaningful stereo sound:

Sony HDR-AS30V - front view

Sony HDR-AS30V – front view

Note that two of the five pores on each side are closed flat-bottom pits. As with earbud vents , it must be a stylin’ thing.

I added a rounded pad of the same acoustic foam that forms an effective wind noise buffer for the boom mic:

Sony HDR-AS30V - foam mic cover

Sony HDR-AS30V – foam mic cover

That reduced the overall noise load by buffering direct wind impact, but non-radio conversations remained unintelligible; there’s just too much low-frequency energy.

Surprisingly, closing the mic pores with ordinary adhesive tape didn’t impair the audio in a quiet room:

Sony HDR-AS30V - closed mic pores

Sony HDR-AS30V – closed mic pores

Out on the road that’s even better than foam over open mic pores; I think it reduces the peak volume enough that the internal compression can regain control. Sticking the foam pad over the tape slightly reduced the noise during high-speed (for me, anyhow) parts of the ride, but didn’t make much difference overall.

The wind noise remains too high for comfort, even if I can now hear cleats clicking into pedals, shifters snapping, and even the horrible background music when I’m stopped next to the Mobil gas station on the corner.

Next step: raid the cloth scrap box for a flap of faux fur to make a mic mop. This might be an opportunity to recycle some roadkill


  1. #1 by Red County Pete on 2014-11-21 - 17:04

    Hmm, they must have hired some of Whizzo Chocolate Company’s marketing staff. Crunchy Frog, anyone?

    • #2 by Ed on 2014-11-21 - 18:09

      As best I could discover, all reviews mentioning AS30V audio quality say it’s terrible in the typical “use case”: strapped onto your person while in motion. That’s no different than GoPro Hero reviews, which surely explains why action cam movies have such inspiring background music tracks…

      • #3 by Red County Pete on 2014-11-21 - 21:52

        Sorry, I was referring to Rode’s product naming… OTOH, some of the audio types I’ve known would appreciate the image, especially if it solved such a problem.

        • #4 by Ed on 2014-11-22 - 08:08

          Ah! Gotcha.

          You must admit that’s a very accurate and descriptive name…