In this article, we are leaping into the world of lavalier microphones, for an in-depth overview of their capabilities as we announce the 10 best lavalier mics in 2021.
21st-century life heavily revolves around media and many more of us are seeking microphone options for capturing our camera narrations.
Aside from their compact nature and the greater freedom of movement they bring to the table they have many other notable merits and can be a wise choice for many out of the box performances.
Table of Contents
- View The Best Lavalier Mics Below
- 1. PowerDeWise Grade Lavalier Lapel
- 2. PoP voice Omni-directional Lavalier Lapel
- 3. Fifine 20-Channel UHF
- 4. AUFGELD Small Mini Lavalier
- 5. Purple Panda Lavalier Lapel
- 6. Rode smartLav+ Omni-directional
- 7. FIFINE Wireless Lavalier Microphone System
- 8. MAONO AU100 Lavalier Mic
- 9. FIFINE 20-Channel UHF Wireless USB
- 10. YouMic Lavalier Lapel Microphone for iPhone
- Lavalier Mic Buyers Guide
Some have more desirable characteristics than others so today we are taking through our top ten choices and as lavalier mics might be a completely new field for some, we have done our best to give a good write up in our buyers guide section.
View The Best Lavalier Mics Below
Use Case - Be sure to determine your use case before picking out your lavalier microphone set of choice. Will you be using this microphone to record interviews? Create a voice over recording? Perform or present in front of others? Each of these applications are best suited for different types of lavalier and receiver types.
1. PowerDeWise Grade Lavalier Lapel
We are opening our top ten section with this attractively priced lavalier option from the folks at PowerDeWise. It is a very well designed little lavalier which provides a pretty professional level solution that lives up to the demands of our modern lives.
The microphone itself is very well-built and features an omnidirectional pickup pattern, that gives users a little more freedom of placement. The pick-up pattern also lends it idyllic properties for natural sounding spoken voice rendering it perfect for podcasts, interviews, conferences, and general dictation. It has good sensitivity and the signal to noise ratio ensures a clear transmission.
It has a strong and supportive clip-on system which is rotational and very easy to use, ensuring it is quick and effortless to prep at a moments notice.
It features a standard 3.5mm jack connection making it fully-compatible with an extensive range of products, although sadly will require a lightning adapter for modern smartphones.
It comes with a complimentary 78-inch anti-friction extension cable for added versatility and a wind muffler for countering the sounds of the elements during outside use.
+ Clear sound.
+ Good quality omni-directional mic.
+ Plug and play.
Why We Liked It - Though it is not an on-body lavalier mic such as a lapel model, it provides good signal clarity and records voice from a decent distance of up to 10 feet. It is a simple plug and play option for the majority of mobiles, tablets, and cameras.
2. PoP voice Omni-directional Lavalier Lapel
Our second choice is another omni-directional plug and play mic which offers up the same mobile microphone capabilities as the one above and almost manages to slash the price completely in half. Now that being said the PowerDeWise clearly has the edge with its isolated signal processing but if you need a cheap and cheerful solution the PoP voice has you covered.
It is fairly well put together with a reinforced premium metal clip that helps to keep it firmly connected, although the clip itself is also removable presenting a little more flexibility in terms of functionality.
The cable matches the above at 78 inches (or 2 meters, It provides a little towards noise cancellation and the overall signal to noise ratio isn’t half bad.
It can be used for interviewing, YouTubing, networking, and audio-video uses. It comes with a laptop adapter.
+ Omni-directional pick up.
+ Range of applications.
+ Strong premium clip design.
+ Attainable price.
Why We Liked It - It is an affordable option for those branching out into the world of podcasting etc, though it doesn’t outperform the one we kick started todays article off with, it more than adequately suffices for a range of applications.
3. Fifine 20-Channel UHF
This next lavalier is more in keeping with a traditional lavalier and is a wireless mic option which comes affordably priced with its own body-pack receiver.
It is an ultra-high-frequency radio mic with over 20 channels to select from to find a clear radio signal for your transmission.
It is a unidirectional cardioid microphone which means that its pick-up pattern naturally rejects unwanted background noise.
The grille design and windscreen help to dampen plosive sounds and prevent wind interference tackling heavy breathing head-on, as well as keeping it suitable for outdoor use. It has a simple clip to attach it to the user and it connects to the body pack with a miniature XLR connector which provides a well-isolated signal.
The transmitter provides a stable signal which capably operates at a distance of up to 50 feet it is easy to operate and provides a back-lit LCD screen which helps you keep track of frequencies and battery life.
+ Wireless body-pack transmitter.
+ UHF operation.
+ 20 available channels.
+ LCD screen.
Why We Liked It - It is an affordably priced professional level option it provides great stability and a well isolated signal.
Setup - Once you pick out your lavalier microphone, it's imperative that you understand the best ways to set them up. You can use tutorials online to help guide you throughout the process, even specific to your microphone model in some cases.
4. AUFGELD Small Mini Lavalier
This is the cheapest entry in todays reviews thus far and it provides another direct to mini-jack output option ideal for use with a range of mobile devices.
It once again has the required cardioid pick-up pattern perfect for on the fly podcasts, conferences, and dictations. The mic is fairly sensitive, the signal well-isolated and it comes with a tiny foam style windshield (2x) to prevent interference and render it suitable for outdoor use.
The mic has an ample 59-inch cord and comes with 2 durable lapel clips. They also include an adapter to make it widely compatible, the 4 Pin to 3 Pin ensures the mic can work with PCs and laptops.
It once again will need a lightning adapter for use with Apple, Google, and Blackberry devices, it can be used with a splitter for headphone monitoring and double input use. It comes with a small neoprene carry pouch to keep it safely stored away in.
+ Good quality microphone.
+ Well isolated signal.
+ Range of adapters.
+ Cheap and cheerful choice.
Why We Liked It - It Is a good shoe string choice for use with a DSLR camera.
5. Purple Panda Lavalier Lapel
Next we have an option which provides a much more thorough and extensive range of accessories which equip it with all the essentials for unlimited use.
The Purple Panda lavalier kit centers around a well-designed cardioid microphone which capably isolates the speaker's voice from its environment and accurately captures the audio as electronic data. It is well calibrated and responds very well giving an authentic natural sounding production.
It is well-designed and manufactured and features a sturdy metal capsule design. The gator clips are robust and allow for quick body installation.
The mic stored away in an aptly purple pouch with a 3 meter extension cord, a mini USB adapter, a 2-ring TRS adapter, and extra clip and a complimentary, tight-fitting windscreen. The cords are ultra-thin allowing for discreet use but still pretty durable with reinforced entry/exit points.
Another nice touch with this sweet little lavalier package is that the company also include a post-purchase link to a free E-book titled “Film Directing For Newbies” which is packed full of easy to read informative tips.
+ Widely compatible.
+ Extended functionality.
+ Value for money.
Why We Liked It - It an attractively priced package that provides a sweet range of goodies which give it additional flexibility. The e-book serves as a great reference manual for anyone starting out.
6. Rode smartLav+ Omni-directional
Now for something which truly serves up a professional grade solution. The smartLav+ is another wearable microphone design which is exceptionally well engineered to provide premium signal resolution on par with standardized film, television, and studio broadcast lavaliers.
It is designed to provide a high-quality version microphone that is fit for functioning with mobile devices. It mounts with very little effort using a strong clip and connects via a 3 ring 3.5mm TRRS (mini-jack).
It has been designed to pair with RØDEs RØDE Rec app for Apple iOS devices. Which gives users accesses to a range of predetermined EQ settings each suited to different recording situations as well as a range of easy to navigate editing functions and direct publishing to SoundCloud and Dropbox, though the lavalier mic records via pretty much any other audio app.
Its cable is reinforced with Kevlar giving it a superior shelf life to the low-end options we have perused.
+ Premium quality build.
+ Resolute response.
+ Reinforced Kevlar cord.
+ Quality condenser lavalier mic.
Why We Liked It - This is a much better quality option for mobile device use we like the app parameters, the equalizations are nicely preset for assistance and the build-quality is superior, though reflected in the price.
7. FIFINE Wireless Lavalier Microphone System
Back over to FIFINES fine range for a look at their next step-up product which provides some great merits for a marginal price increase of around 6-10 bucks (average based on market fluctuations).
It once again provides a pretty impressive low-cost wireless lavalier solution. It is well-conceived and manufactured to serve up good quality static free stability across 20 different channels like its predecessor. The mic is of a similar solid metal capsule build with the same favorable cardioid, omnidirectional pick-up pattern suited to spoken voice.
It once again connects to its body-pack style clip-on transmitter via a mini XLR connection for added signal integrity.
This package comes with an additional adapter which gives it more versatility and also comes with a headset mount which provides a headphone monitoring option. It is an Ideal lavalier mic for talks and conferences, meetings, debates, and instructional teaching.
+ 20 channel choices.
+ Quality transmission.
+ Headset design.
Why We Liked It - It is a well-manufactured headset option which has a wide range of uses it provides a reliably stable transmission via a range of UHF frequencies and is affordably priced.
8. MAONO AU100 Lavalier Mic
Another great 3.5mm plug and play option to consider which sits comfortably priced in the middle of the low-end models we have reviewed is this MAONO lavalier.
It is another exemplary low-end model which showcases a good quality built for a lighter price tag. It features a perfectly adequate omnidirectional microphone which has a great tuned response providing a detailed electrical signal to produce clear naturally balance authentic vocal audio.
It has a reasonable length of cable which has a strong clip and a Velcro tab which helps to keep cord management a little easier.
+ Good-quality low priced product.
+ Easy to use plug and play lavalier.
+ Strong cord and clip.
Why We Liked It - It sits a little higher than our two bargain beauties but undercuts all of the FIFINES products we have looked at which still might be a stretch for some.
9. FIFINE 20-Channel UHF Wireless USB
Our third and final FIFINE entry to make our top ten list is this alternate 20-channel UHF lavalier which we keep our review of pretty short and sweet, as it differs very little in terms of quality, build, and functionality.
It provides a seamless signal transmission and features the same headset option design concept as the FIFINE we placed at number 7 on our list of contenders. The mic has the same cardioid polar pattern and broad frequency response as the others making it ideal for everything from vlogging and streaming, to speaking at live functions in person.
The connection is once again a miniature XLR and the transmitter is a lightweight body-pack style design and clips to the belt or waistband and displays all the necessary information within its onboard screen.
This KO31B model essentially just serves up PC and computer compatibility which lends it suitability to a wider range of applications. It is a simple plug and play device option
+ USB connectivity.
+ Plug and play wireless lavalier mic.
+ Interference resistant operation.
+ 20 channels to select from.
+ Headset and lapel option.
10. YouMic Lavalier Lapel Microphone for iPhone
This is a very convenient desk mount mic stand that can easily be fixed to the table using the table mount clamp that is included in the product. It is suitable for virtually all uses whether you are using it in a clinic or a declamation. The black scissor arm is easily adjustable so you can set it to a position you deem comfortable. It will work smoothly with many microphones but it is not suitable for Blue Yeti USB Mic. Not only is it easy to use, but it is also easy to carry as well thanks to the folding arm.
Why We Liked It - It is incredibly cheap even for a desk mount mic stand. It is surprising to see such decent quality in such a low price. Perhaps this is why it is a popular choice for people from varying industries. From radio jockeys to recording artists, everyone seems to find it amazing.
Test Recordings - Don't forget to take test recordings with any lavalier microphone. This will ensure that you get a clear, crisp recording once you've adjusted your set up with any final tweaks. It will also give you the chance to coach your recording subject. For example, if someone you're recording has jingly bracelets that are being picked up by the microphone, you can ask for their removal for the actual recording.
Lavalier Mic Buyers Guide
The birth of Lavalier microphones actually dates back as far as 1932, many different pickup patterns were tried initially and in their early days a lavalier mic simply referred to any microphone small enough to hook into a button-hole.
What To Look For When Buying A Lavalier Mic?
First, you need to settle on whether you want a wired or wireless solution which is heavily dependent on the use and the device you want to connect it with. A good rule of thumb is for post-edited viewing wired is preferable, and for a live performance at a distance, wireless is the way to go.
All of the lavaliers we have highlighted are decked out with a traditional mini jack which is an industry standard, and though many are designed for use directly with a mobile device they could actually be used in conjunction with a wireless transmitter later down the line with a small investment.
When you have chosen between wired and wireless you need to look for a lavalier with a competent microphone with decent frequency response and sensitivity. It should have a reasonable length of cord
to allow for flexibility with microphone placement.
At the lower price regions, they don't differ too much from one another but you should look for a set which provides the most accessories to get better value for money overall.
In the higher price regions, the audio quality should be your key concern as well as the durability of the manufacturing. Where cords are attached to the microphone housing and mini-jacks should be reinforced, the cables should be produced in a strengthened fashion to provide a longer life product.
What Is A Lavalier Mic?
A lavalier microphone is a small concealable microphone option which is most often used for public address, during television appearances and theater performances. They provide the perfect hands-free solution allowing the user to wear the microphone directly either clipped directly to the wearers clothing or sometimes to their faces or heads (theatrical mainly).
They actually masquerade under a number of different names such as a lapel mic, clip or body mic, collar mic, neck mic, and sometimes just a personal mic.
Some of you will be most familiar with their concept from a fictional crime series where a confidential informant is dressed with a concealed microphone or ‘wire’.
A lavalier microphone traditionally speaking, is a wearable vocal microphone solution which is far more convenient than many alternatives.
In television studio situations, it is almost impossible to get a clear recording or live broadcast, of say a chat show host having a discussion with their guests without a large ‘boom’ microphone hanging directly over the head to catch what is being said. A large boom microphone requires somebody to operate it and can often make camera angles and shots more difficult to plan and somewhat limited.
Having someone stand in front of the speakers is also out of the question if there is a live audience watching as they are unable to see the speakers addressing them. If you have ever watched a TED talk or been to see a musical you will likely have witnessed a lavalier mic in use, though perhaps you did not know it at the time.
A lavalier microphone signal is transmitted via a personal radio frequency transmitter which the sound team can then pick up from further afield on a receiver remotely, with a dedicated channel for each mic (if there is more than one I use).
The wires between the microphone and its transmitter can be concealed with clothing so long as the mic itself is free from obstruction. Most often the transmitters are compact, and reasonably lightweight and are often clipped to belts, waistbands or placed in the small of your back.
Where the microphone is mounted can have a dramatic effect on the audio signals picked up and deciphered electronically, so some thought about the grilles themselves needs to be considered. Chest mounting can be slightly less clear than mounting in the hairline.
These days there are many clip-on lavalier solutions which can be directly plugged into the majority of devices via a simple 3.5mm jack connection (though you may need a lightning adapter for certain products). They cut out the need for wireless transmission which isn’t required so much in a semi-professional or home recording situation.
Do I Need A Lavalier Mic?
These days a large majority of us post videos on streaming sites and social media and a lavalier mic is a compact low cost easy to use solution.
If you record often directly from a mobile device of any sort and have found your sound a little lackluster, then a lavalier mic is a great way to give your devices mic technology a little upgrade.
Typically your mobile phones integrated microphones will be unidirectional as they are listening for voice-directed straight at it this can mean from a further distance the sound can become muffled as the immediate environment surrounding the mic will be picked up far easier than your voice. This can make narration and dictation tough.
If you intend to produce anything audio-visual you would be wise to invest in a decent microphone full-stop. If you don’t want the mic in the shot then your only option is to go boom or lavalier.
Booms often provide a superior solution but are far pricier. Many of the mobile phone, lavalier options we have highlighted in today's article aren’t as professional as their marketing would lead us to believe so we have done our best to provide an unbiased round up of their fortes.
If you are looking for a low-cost wireless solution our hearts are with the FIFINES, for wired we would suggest the Purple Panda package (which is also great for complete novices) but if you want a professional sounding set-up we would have to recommend the Rode SmartLav as it is a step above the rest in terms of audio and fabrication quality.
If you are after something which will give your streaming, vlogging or performances a more professional edge, then it is advisable to be prepared to part with some hard earned cash. The capabilities of models priced over the one hundred dollar mark far exceed the lower end models we have highlighted here today.
Did you Know
A lavalier was a style of pendant necklace originally it was borrowed to aptly describe lavalier microphones as their first incarnation were in the form of hanging Dictaphone mics.
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