Some lavalier microphones have more desirable features than others, so today, we are taking through our top ten choices. As lavalier mics might be a completely new field for some, we have done our best to give a good write-up in our buyer's guide section.
We're starting strong with one of the best lavalier microphones around. This attractively priced little lavalier option from the folks at PowerDeWise is a very well-designed model, providing a pretty professional-level solution that lives up to the demands of 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 the microphone idyllic properties for natural-sounding spoken voice. This renders it one of the best lapel microphones for podcasts, interviews, conferences, and general dictation. It has good sensitivity, and the signal-to-noise ratio ensures a clear transmission.
This lapel mic has a strong and supportive clip-on system that is rotational and very easy to use, ensuring a quick and effortless prep at a moment's notice.
It features a standard 3.5mm jack connection, making it fully compatible with an extensive range of products, but, sadly, it will require a lightning adapter for modern smartphones.
This lapel mic 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 omnidirectional lavalier.
+ Plug and play.
Why We Liked It - Although it is not an on-body lavalier mic, 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, making it one of the best lavalier microphones for everyday use.
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.
Our second choice is another omni-directional plug-and-play mic. It offers the same mobile microphone capabilities as the one above but almost manages to slash the price completely in half. 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 is one of the best lavalier mics for the job.
This lapel microphone is fairly well put together with a reinforced premium metal clip that helps keep it firmly connected. The clip itself is also removable, offering a little more flexibility in terms of functionality.
The cable matches the above at 78 inches (or 2 meters). It provides a little noise cancellation, and the overall signal-to-noise ratio isn't half bad, making it one of the best lapel mics for podcasts.
You can use this lapel mic on an interview subject or for YouTubing, networking, and audio videos. It comes with a laptop adapter.
+ Omni-directional pick up.
+ Range of applications.
+ Strong premium clip design.
+ Attainable price.
Why We Liked It - This is one of the best lavalier microphones if you're looking for an affordable option. It's perfect for those branching out into the world of podcasting. Although it doesn’t outperform the model we kick started today's article off with, it more than adequately suffices for a range of applications.
Get crystal clear sound with this professional lavalier microphone system, perfect for interviewing or recording videos - and do it from any device! The Balila microphone can work with any Android or iPhone mobile, iPad, desktop, DSLR camera, and laptop.
Unlike other microphones, this model uses omnidirectional sound pickup technology and high-specification metal material. It comes with 20 channels and delivers different frequencies. And choosing a frequency is easy; just press the button on the transmitter.
Work hands-free - the clip-on design is invisible when tucked onto your shirt collar, keeping the microphone out of your way during important recordings. And if you have to carry it from place to place, this microphone comes with a stylish storage box, so wherever your interview is, you'll be prepared.
Why We Liked It - This is one of the best lavalier microphones for professionals. So whether you have an interview to conduct or a podcast to record, you can trust the reliability of this Balila microphone.
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.
Looking for the best lavalier microphone for a budget? This is the cheapest entry in today's reviews thus far. It provides another direct to mini jack output option, ideal for use with various 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 two durable lapel clips so you can use it as a lapel mic. 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.
This lav mic will need a lightning adapter for use with Apple, Google, and Blackberry devices. You can use it 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, making it one of the best lavalier microphones if you're always on the go.
+ Good quality microphone.
+ Well isolated signal.
+ Range of adapters.
+ Cheap and cheerful choice.
Why We Liked It - It's a good shoe string lavalier microphone choice for use with a DSLR camera.
This next lavalier microphone provides a much more thorough and extensive range of accessories that 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.
This lavalier microphone is well-designed and features a sturdy metal capsule design. The gator clips are robust and allow for quick body installation.
You can store the mic away in an aptly purple pouch with a 3-meter extension cord, a mini USB adapter, a 2-ring TRS adapter, an 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.
The company also includes a post-purchase link to a free E-book titled "Film Directing For Newbies," which is packed with easy-to-read informative tips - another nice touch to this sweet little lavalier package.
+ Widely compatible.
+ Extended functionality.
+ Good 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, making this one of the best lavalier microphones for beginners.
Looking for professional lav mics with excellent sound quality and minimal background noise? This condenser microphone truly serves up a professional-grade solution. The smartLav+ is another wearable microphone design that is exceptionally well-engineered to provide premium signal resolution on par with standardized film, television, and studio broadcast lavaliers.
This Rode Smartlav condenser mic provides a high-quality version microphone that functions with mobile devices. Thanks to the strong clip, it mounts with very little effort. It hooks up via a 3-ring 3.5mm TRRS connector (mini-jack).
This clip mic has been designed to pair with RØDEs RØDE Rec app for Apple iOS devices, giving users access to a range of predetermined EQ settings, each suited to different recording situations. You also get a range of easy-to-navigate editing functions and direct publishing to SoundCloud and Dropbox. In addition, this lavalier mic records via pretty much any other audio app.
The microphone is a beautifully-built sensitive condenser capsule with a full-range response. In addition, it comes with a foam pop shield to reduce wind noise and plosive vocalizations.
Its cable is reinforced with Kevlar, giving it a superior shelf life compared to the low-end options we have perused.
Why We Liked It - This is a quality condenser microphone 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.
We've already featured a FIFINES mic on our list, but here's a look at their next step-up product, which provides some great merits for a marginal price increase.
This model is a pretty impressive low-cost wireless lavalier solution. It is well-conceived and manufactured to serve up a good sound quality and frequency response. Get static-free stability across 20 different channels, much like its predecessor. The mic features a similar solid metal capsule build with the same favorable cardioid and omnidirectional pick-up pattern suited to spoken voice. It uses a polar pattern, like the others on this list.
It 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, giving it more versatility. It also comes with a headset mount / headphone jack which provides a headphone monitoring option. It's the best lavalier microphone for talks and conferences, meetings, debates, and instructional teaching. And all this at an affordable price range!
Why We Liked It - This well-manufactured headset option has a wide range of uses, providing a reliably stable transmission via a range of UHF frequencies. It's also affordably priced, making it the best lavalier microphone for someone on a budget.
This MAONO lavalier is another great 3.5mm plug-and-play option to consider. It sits comfortably priced in the middle of the low-end models we have reviewed.
It's another exemplary low-end model which showcases a good quality built for a lighter price tag. It features a perfectly adequate omnidirectional microphone with a great tuned response, providing a detailed electrical signal to produce clear, naturally balanced authentic vocal audio.
It features a reasonable cable length with a strong clip and a Velcro tab, helping 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 - This lav mic 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.
Our third and final FIFINE entry to make our top ten list is this alternate 20-channel UHF lavalier. We'll keep our review pretty short and sweet, as it differs very little in terms of sound 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. In addition, 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. It clips to the belt or waistband and displays all the necessary information on its onboard screen.
This KO31B model serves up PC and computer compatibility, which lends its 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.
This is a very convenient desk mount mic stand that can easily be fixed to the table using the table mount clamp included in the product. It's suitable for virtually all uses, whether you're 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 the 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 - This model is incredibly cheap even for an instrument mount mic stand. It's surprising to see such decent quality in such a low price. Perhaps this is why it's such a popular choice for people from varying industries. From radio jockeys to recording artists, everyone seems to love it.
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 dates back as far as 1932. Many different pickup patterns were tried initially, and in its 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. This depends heavily on the use and the device you want to connect it with. A good rule of thumb is that post-edited viewing wired is preferable, and for a live performance at a distance, wireless is the way to go.
All of the lavaliers in our list are decked out with a traditional mini-jack which is the industry standard. Although 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.
You can get both wired and wireless lavalier mics. If you don't want to have to deal with a battery pack, opt for a wired model.
Once you've chosen between wired and wireless, look for a lavalier with a competent microphone. It should have decent frequency response and sensitivity and feature a reasonable length of cord
to allow for flexibility with microphone placement.
Lav mics at a lower range point won't differ too much from one another, but you should look for a set that provides the most accessories to get better value for money overall.
If you're a sound engineer looking in 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 strong to provide a longer life.
What Is A Lavalier Mic?
A lavalier microphone is a small, concealable microphone option that's most often used for public speeches, television appearances, and theater performances. They provide a perfect hands-free solution, allowing the user to wear the microphone either clipped directly to the wearer's clothing or sometimes to their faces or heads (theatrical, mainly).
They actually masquerade under several different names, such as a lapel mic, clip or body mic, collar mic, neck mic, and sometimes just a personal mic.
You can get a dynamic or condenser lavalier. People will often opt for an omnidirectional condenser microphone when they're recording vocals. This is because they can pick up a large frequency range which, in turn, creates a more natural sound. However, because of their sensitivity, an omnidirectional condenser mic may pick up background noise and wind noise in addition to voice.
In comparison, dynamic lavalier mics are less sensitive when it comes to frequency range and won't pick up as much background noise. This makes them a great choice for all types of outside audio production, whereas a condenser capsule is much better for indoors.
You may even know them from popular fictional crime series, where a confidential informant is often dressed with a concealed microphone or 'wire.'
Traditional speaking, a lavalier microphone is a wearable vocal microphone solution that is far more convenient than many alternatives.
For example, in television studio situations, it's almost impossible to get a clear recording of a chat show host and their guests without a large 'boom' microphone hanging directly over their heads to catch what is being said. A large boom microphone requires somebody to operate it and can often limit camera angles and shots.
Having someone stand in front of the speakers is also out of the question. A live audience may be 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.
The 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 in 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. They're often clipped to belts, waistbands, or placed at the small of your back.
Where the microphone is mounted can dramatically affect the audio signals being picked up and deciphered electronically, so some thought about the grilles needs to be considered. Chest mounting can be slightly less clear than mounting in the hairline.
There are many clip-on lavalier solutions that you can directly plug into most devices via a simple 3.5mm jack connection (though you may need a lightning adapter for certain products). In addition, they cut out the need for wireless transmission, which isn't required so much in a semi-professional or home recording situation. Some mics will even come with a headphone jack for you to attach a headset.
Do I Need A Lavalier Mic?
These days, a large majority of us post videos on streaming sites and social media. A lavalier mic is a compact, low-cost easy-to-use solution for any content creator.
If you record 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 device's mic technology a little upgrade.
Typically, your mobile phone's integrated microphones will be unidirectional as they are listening for audio directed straight at it. From a further distance away, the sound may become muffled. The immediate environment surrounding the mic will be picked up far easier than your voice. This can make narration and dictation tough. This is where a omni directional condenser comes in. The best lavalier will ensure you get clear sound and great diction.
If you intend to produce anything audio-visual, it's wise to invest in a decent microphone. If you don't want the mic in the shot, then your only option is to go for a boom mic or lavalier.
Booms often provide a superior solution but are far pricier. Many of the lavalier options 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're looking for a low-cost wireless solution, our hearts are with the FIFINES. For a wired lav mix, we suggest the Purple Panda package (which is also great for complete novices). But if you want a professional-sounding set-up, we recommend the Rode SmartLav as it's a step above the rest in terms of sound quality and fabrication quality.
If you're after something which will give your streaming, vlogging, or performances a more professional edge, then 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. Some of our favorite models include the Sony ECM, the Shure MVL, the Shure SM93, Giant Squid Audio, the Sennheiser ME 2 II, and the Movo WMIC50.
Did you Know?
A lavalier was a style of pendant necklace. Originally, it was borrowed to describe lavalier microphones. This is because their first incarnations were in the form of hanging Dictaphone mics.
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