Whether you’re out in the field recording audio, or conducting an interview in the studio, sometimes regular handheld and boom-mounted mics just don’t cut it.
Lavalier microphones are a fantastic, low-profile way to capture clean audio. And while a lot of people automatically think of brands like Rode when they think of lav mics, Sony makes some of the best lav mics around. The problem is, they are so damn good at it that they have more than 20 different models available right now.
So, how are you to know which Sony lav mic is the best choice? Well, we’ve done the hard work for you and have found the 4 best Sony lavalier microphones that you can get today to level up your audio production game.
What Do You Get When You Cross A Labrador With A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?
Okay, bad joke, and that’s not even true. I googled it and it’s actually called a Cavador…
The term lavalier originally referred to a type of jewelry popularized by the Duchesse de la Vallière, a mistress of King Louis XIV of France.
There’s a fun little fact you can use next time you’re micing up your interviewee with a lav mic, just don’t ask her if she’s interested in being a mistress. It doesn’t go down well…
In This Article:
4 Best Sony Lavalier Microphones
|Top Pick||Sony ECM88B|
|Runner Up||Sony ECM77B|
|Best Budget||Sony ECMCS3|
|Best Wireless System||Sony Integrated Digital Wireless Bodypack|
Top Pick: Sony ECM88B
The ECM88B is Sony’s flagship lavalier condenser microphone, delivering high quality audio in an easy to conceal package. The miniature electret condenser mic has a wide frequency response (20Hz-20kHz), resulting in a natural and detailed audio recording.
The capsule measures just 3.5 x 3.5 x 16.8mm, making it discreet enough to not be noticed on screen. It’s perfect for use outside too due to its water resistant design.
What you’ll love most about the Sony ECM88B is its sonic character. This is an incredibly high quality mic, and the sound will not disappoint.
It features a flat frequency response and excellent noise handling characteristics, you’ll capture incredibly clear and intelligible speech, inside or out.
This model also comes with the DC-78 phantom power supply, which features a 3-pin male XLR connector.
Sony ECM88B Key Features:
- Professional quality sound
- Wide, flat frequency response
- Compact design for discreet use
- Included DC-78 phantom power supply
Runner Up: Sony ECM77B
Little brother to the ECM88B, Sony’s ECM77B follows a similar design philosophy but is aimed at the mid-range market.
Visually, it’s a little larger than the flagship model, but it’s still extremely discreet. Featuring a frequency response of 40Hz-20kHz, the ECM77B captures everything you need from a lapel mic.
It’s one of the most widely used mics in TV production, and can be powered by a single AA battery, or an external phantom power source.
The condenser element features an omnidirectional polar pattern, which means it captures sound from all directions. This is particularly useful in the context of an interview, where the frequency response and sensitivity of the mic will be maintained if the interviewee moves during the conversation.
Sony ECM77B Key Features:
- Condenser mic
- Low profile design
- Wide frequency response
- Omnidirectional polar pattern
- Widely used in TV application
Best Budget: Sony ECMCS3
Obtaining quality audio doesn’t have to be a pocket emptying exercise. Sure, there are general rules apply here: the more you spend, the better the result.
But, the Sony ECMCS3 offers incredible value for money and will no doubt deliver what’s needed for those on a tight budget.
The 360° rotating clip is designed to be attached to a tie or shirt with ease, providing a simple and affordable solution for voice recording.
It even works with a PC or laptop for VOIP calls or gaming!
Sony ECMCS3 Key Features:
- Compact design
- Rotating mic clip
- Decent sound quality
- Works with computers
Best Wireless System: Sony Integrated Digital Wireless Bodypack
This Sony wireless lavalier microphone bodypack is suitable for many of the same functions as it’s wired brothers, such as interviews, conferences and news gathering.
It offers an added benefit though. Where traditional lavalier mics feature a cable that runs back to your recording device, UWPD11/14 promotes flexibility and mobility by implementing a wireless system.
The sender can be attached to the user via a belt clip, with the receiver sitting safely with your sound guy. This is particularly useful for those shooting on the go, such as when filming a nature documentary.
Sound wise, you can expect this baby to perform just as well as Sony’s other professional quality lavalier mics. It features a frequency response of 40-20,000Hz, and an omnidirectional response from its electret condenser capsule.
The UWPD11/14 runs on 4x AA batteries (2 per unit), which can keep it running for up to 6 hours for the receiver and 8 hours for the bodypack. This should be enough for most users’ daily efforts, though it’s always a good idea to go out with some spares!
Key features of the Sony Integrated Digital Wireless Bodypack
- AA battery powered
- Wide frequency response
- Omnidirectional mic capsule
- Flexibility and mobility only a wireless system can offer
What Lavalier Microphone Is The Best?
When it comes to purchasing any kind of audio equipment, the best option is always the one that suits your needs the most. For example, if you plan on recording interviews while snowboarding down a mountain, you’ll probably want to go with the wireless option above.
If you’ve got a tight budget, then the ECMCS3 is your best bet. Ultimately though, if you want the best of the best, money no option Sony lavalier mic, then you’ve got to go with the flagship ECM88B.
Can A Wireless Mic Work With Any Receiver?
The short answer is no.
That’s because different manufacturers use distinct (and therefore incompatible) frequencies, modulation protocols, and digital conversion methods.
Basically, it’s like they’re speaking different languages. If you send Spanish to an English-speaking receiver, the unit won’t know what to make of it.
You’ll want to stick to a receiver of the same manufacturer, and for the best results, the same model. If you buy a Sony wireless microphone, buy a Sony receiver. That’s why they are typically sold as a package.
Wireless or wired, lavalier mics are a great way to capture voice recordings without waving a big boom or handheld mic in front of your subject’s face.
What’s more, they capture great quality, consistent audio, as they are mounted right below the speaker’s mouth and aren’t subject to the kind of movement that plagues handheld and boom mounted mics.
Whether you are a content creator looking for the best lavalier mic for YouTube, sound technician, or simply an audio enthusiast or hobbyist, we’re sure that any of these 4 Sony lavalier microphones will do more than a great job for your purpose.
If you want the best of the best though, the ECM88B is for sure the best lavalier microphone that Sony makes.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab one and get recording!