Have you ever wondered how YouTubers, filmmakers, presenters, news reporters, and others can get such clean audio with no noticeable microphone?
The answer most likely a lavalier microphone. They are the unsung heroes of the broadcast world.
Their discreet appearance and hands-free usability make them a mainstay in theatre, public speaking applications, TV, and YouTube videos.
They are considered one of the best options for capturing voice in videos or public speaking.
Lavalier microphones can also be referred to as a lav mic, lapel mic, or a collar mic, and they are somewhat a trick of the trade. They are small clip-on mics that can be discreetly attached somewhere on your clothing.
These convenient mics are available in both wired and wireless options. Each having their own pros and cons. We have compiled a list of the best and most quality budget-friendly models for you to choose from.
A quality lavalier might be the hack that you need to upgrade your creations! If you want improved vocal while still appearing natural….. herein lies the secret.
A microphone lavalier, at least most of the time, has an omnidirectional polar pattern. That means a lav mic will pick up all the sounds around it, from every direction. It is an all-encompassing mic.
For that reason, there are some applications that just aren’t ideal for this type of mic… though these instances tend to be few and far between.
For example, if you end up mixing up some potato salad in your YouTube tutorial, you may get some squishing sound if you choose to use a lav. Ew.
If you are in search of more focused sound capture, a shotgun mic may be better suited for your needs. A list of the leading shotgun microphones can be found here.
But if you want pristine omnidirectional audio delivered through a compact and concealed mic, you are in the right place.
Lavalier mics have a great variety of uses and should be in any creator’s or speaker’s mic arsenal.
From budget to wireless, for live applications and mobile phones, here are the top 11 lavalier microphones…..
In This Article
- Top Pick for Mobile: Rode smartLav+
- Best Wireless Lavalier Mic for Mobile: Samson Go
- Budget Pick for Mobile: Maono AU100
- Best DSLR Wireless Lavalier System: Sennheiser AVX
- Budget DSLR Wireless Lavalier System: Rode Wireless Go System
- Best Wired DSLR Lav Mic: Sony ECM-44
- Best Budget DSLR Wired Lav: PowerDeWise Lavalier
- Best Lavalier Microphones for Live: Countryman B6
- Best Budget Mic for Live: Shure WL93
The top 11 Lavalier Mics
Compatible with any app that accepts headset input on mobile and tablet whether it be iOS or Android the Rode smartLav+ is a convenient option.
Compared to prior Rode lavaliers like its predecessor the RodesmartLab, the Rode smartLav+ has been refined with improved detail and overall quality. Designed for film, television, and any broadcast scenario.
It delivers excellent quality all in a wearable, discreet and portable format. The Rode smartLav + is deserving of the place of leading lavalier mics for mobile!
Rode smartLav+ Key Features:
- Condenser Microphone
- Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 18 kHz
- Includes: Mounting Clip, Pop Filter/Wind Shield
To put it bluntly…… The Samson Go is the pinnacle of wireless lavalier microphones for mobile. Great audio is essential to your final product, and this lavalier mic will elevate your sound quality to compete with the finest.
It is high definition and low latency, giving your films, blogs, streams, and videos professional results on the move.
The wireless capabilities have a long reach of 30 meters whilst maintaining quality.
If you need more convincing…… all cables are included with the Samson Go for easy connection with all devices. The perfect option for upgrading your mobile to professional tech.
Samson Go Key Features:
- Frequency Response: 10 Hz–22 kHz
- Includes Microphone and Bodypack
- Lithium-Ion Battery: Up to 13 hours of battery life
- Switchable 1/8” Headphone and USB outputs
- Volume Control
Who doesn’t love a bargain? The Maono AU100 is just that!
Your podcast, YouTube video, or interview will be heard with immaculate clarity and all for an affordable price.
The 3.5mm jack is compatible with computers and smartphones. Furthermore, a 6.5mm adapter is included for use with more professional devices such as DSLR cameras.
This is a perfect option for beginners. The Maono AU100 doesn’t compromise on quality and will get you started working with a lav mic on the cheap.
Maono AU100 Key Features:
- Condenser Microphone
- Frequency Response: 65 Hz – 18 kHz
- Includes: Controller, Sponge, Adapter ( 3.5mm – 6.5mm ), Batteries, Clip Buckle, Flannel Bag
If you take your video production seriously then the Sennheiser AVX Digital Wireless Microphone System is your match.
For such a classy piece of equipment, this system is remarkably easy to set up. All accessories are included to begin operating with camcorders and DSLR cameras in a flash. Notably saving time, the self-configuring digital transmission system makes timely radio frequency setup a thing of the past.
It switches on and off with your camera saving precious battery life. And with automated level control, it leaves you to concentrate on the job at hand. The Sennheiser AVX Digital Wireless Microphone System will enhance your audio like no other.
Sennheiser AVX Key Features:
- Condenser Microphone
- Frequency Range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Power Requirements: Battery or USB
- Lithium Battery: Approximately 4 hours of battery life
You have to love Rode products! They always bring outstanding recording equipment within financial reach. The Rode Wireless Go System is no different.
This system is pushing boundaries. Rode claims it is the world’s smallest wireless lavalier mic system. We would struggle to argue with that statement. The transmitter can be used as a clip-on mic or a belt pack.
Whilst rather revolutionary, it is far from a novelty choice. It captures a pristine, broadcast-quality sound and all for under $300.
Rode Wireless Go Key Features:
- Frequency Response: 35 Hz – 22 kHz
- Battery Supply: 2 AA Batteries and micro USB
- 100 meter Range
- Output Connection: 3.5 mm Jack
Sony has become a leader in lapel mics. The ECM-44 is guaranteed to deliver superior sound quality to your videos and presentations.
It is designed for voice pickup with an added emphasis on the mid-frequencies. This subtle response adds character and presence to the voice.
The Sony ECM-44 will deliver your message with clarity that is sure to engross your audience.
Sony ECM-44 Key Features:
- Electret Condenser Microphone
- Frequency Response: 40 Hz – 15 kHz
- Cable Length: 3 meters
- Power Supply: AA Battery (1.5 VDC). It doesn’t accept phantom power.
Introducing the PowerDeWise! So you’re ready to evolve your YouTube videos with a lapel mic. Recording your video audio from in-built mics just isn’t cutting it.
Just as you thought you’d been priced out of the market this mic is your savior. For DSLR and smartphones, you’re ready to go on the cheap.
Lavalier mics require accurate voice reproduction….. check. Minimum visibility…… check. Compatibility….. check. The PowerDeWise does everything you need, and for under $25 you cannot lose.
PowerDeWise Lavalier Key Features:
- Plug and play – No drivers required
- 3.5mm TRRS jack
- Ships with a 78” extension cord and protector case
The Countryman B6 is durable making it an ideal mic for live performance. It will shine for all public speaking tasks regardless of the environment.
With the highest sound quality and excellent ability to reject the surrounding noise, it has graced the most demanding of stages. From theaters to newsrooms to film your sound quality will be in safe hands.
This mic is astonishingly small, making it easy to hide on a subject.
It comes complete with three protective caps that intelligently alter the frequency response. Make speech crisper or flatter by simply altering the cap. The Countryman B6 is a truly clever mic that will deliver with precision.
Countryman B6 Key Features:
- Dynamic Microphone
- Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Weight: 0.07 oz (2 g)
- Cable length: 5.0′ / 152.40 cm
Good things come in small packages. The Shure WL93 is small in size and small in price, but large in value.
Catered for speech with a low-end roll-off and presence rise you will be delivering your broadcasts with precision and clarity.
If you find yourself recording outside, the acoustic windscreen is great at minimizing wind noise. Included is the pre-amp which can be pocketed or strapped to a pocket or belt.
The Shure WL93 is a tidy package bringing broadcast sound quality within reach of beginners.
Shure WL93 Key Features:
- Condenser (electret bias) Microphone
- Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20 kHz
- Cable: Black 1.27 m (4.17 ft)
Just in case none of the above caught your eye, we’ve got some runners-up that didn’t quite make our list. Check them out if you want all the options before you get your next lav mic!
Dazzne MK-7 Features:
- Frequency Range: 560-580MHz
- Operating Range: 70m
- Power Supply: 2 AA batteries
Boya BY-M1 Features:
- Frequency Range: 65Hz – 18KHz
- Cable Length: 5.7m/18.7ft
What is a lavalier microphone used for?
Lavalier microphones have multiple uses. They are discrete, as they can be attached to the speaker, leaving them hands-free to broadcast. Therefore, they are often used for TV, theatre, public speaking, interviews, and podcasts.
You want classic content with seamless audio, leaving your hands free to express, tutor, and work the audience. Just crisp and clear audio.
All that is left for you to do is clip on the mic and begin broadcasting like a professional.
Or they can be used to make sound effects, called foley, for film-making.
Basically, they are the most versatile mics.
What is the best microphone for public speaking?
Lavalier mics are understandably a popular option for public speaking.
- The Countryman B6 is proven to deliver high fidelity during such tasks.
- Are you on a smaller budget? Then look no further than the Shure WL93.
Do lav mics need phantom power?
All condenser mics require phantom power. But before you rush out and buy a 48V power supply, know that lavalier microphones can operate in varying voltages and can often run on battery power.
How much is a lavalier microphone?
As you can see from the list above lav mics range from a decent basic starter model for around $30 up to full professional wireless sets for $900. But most professional quality lavs that are useful for all the basic purposes will fall somewhere in the $100 to $300 range. They are a great choice all-around mic for the variety of uses at a cost that will not make you go broke to improve your voice.
How do you record with a lavalier?
It depends on whether you are using a wired or wireless, but they are both simple and convenient. With a wired mic you will plug the attached cable into your recording equipment, whether that be a phone, tablet, camera, etc. Most will work with any recording app you have downloaded or will include specific instructions to use with their specific app.
For wireless, the cable will plug into a transmitter that is worn on the person. The benefit of wireless is the allowed distance and freedom to move around unencumbered by a cord. Although, the sound quality is typically not as clear as with the wired version. So, depending upon your needs and budget, you may want to stick with the wired version.
So what is the right lavalier mic? That depends on your needs. The perfect lav mic for you will fit your scenario.
When it comes to finding the right mic, there are hundreds to choose from. It is important to consider the variables such as your budget and what device you will use. Once this has been established, an educated decision can be made to find your perfect sound.
Use our knowledge to your advantage. Any of these 11 lavalier mics will deliver what you need to get great recording results.
Now that you have saved time….. use it wisely and prepare to make effective and monumental content for your needs!