Whether or not you’re recording interviews for Youtube or engaged on a movie set, there are a lot of conditions the place you would possibly want a conveyable and well-hidden microphone. That’s the place lavalier microphones come into play as a conveyable and versatile microphone design.

Lavalier microphones are simple to arrange and use, as you’ll be able to merely clip the microphone to the shirt of your topic or tape it on to their pores and skin. That stated, every lavalier microphone varies in its design, supposed goal, and worth. That’s why we’ve rounded up one of the best lavalier microphones out there available on the market, so irrespective of your funds or wants, you’ll discover a microphone that matches seamlessly into your workflow.

Editor’s be aware: this record was printed on December 5, 2022, with formatting updates, new pricing info, and solutions to often requested questions.

Why is one of the best lavalier microphone the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C? For these looking for their first lavalier microphone, your search ought to begin and end with the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C. As a comparatively low-cost choice, this microphone is nice for YouTubers, low-budget filmmakers, and different content material creators searching for a plug-and-play choice. Merely join it to your USB-C-equipped Android, Home windows, macOS, or iPadOS machine, and also you’re prepared to start out recording.

Included within the field you get every little thing you’ll want to begin recording on the go together with the microphone, a foam windscreen, a microphone clip, and a carrying pouch. The whole package deal feels sturdy and corresponding to that of Sennheiser’s way more costly lavalier microphone choices.

Maintain up! One thing’s lacking: This part is often the place we show a frequency response chart to point out you precisely the place the audio output shines and the place its deficiencies lie. Sadly, we’ve hit a technical snag in our testing. To fight this, we now have an SCM-3 mic and we’ll be including a speaker with standardized output samples to replace our testing and knowledge assortment. It can take some time to succeed in our workplace in Canada, however we are going to replace this finest record (and plenty of others!) as soon as we’re in a position with improved sound high quality measurements and efficiency plots. These might be made apparent by an announcement explaining the change, and a brand new chart aesthetic. Thanks for bearing with us, and we hope to see you once more as soon as we’ve sorted every little thing out.

When you don’t personal a USB-C suitable machine, the Sennheiser XS Lav can be out there with a extra conventional 3.5mm TRRS connector. iPhone customers can seize this model of the lavalier microphone and use it alongside a 3.5mm to Lightning connector.

The omnidirectional polar sample is forgiving close to placement, and the microphone sounds spectacular given its worth. That stated, professionals might need to take into account a number of the extra premium choices on our record.

The Rode SmartLav+ is a conveyable runner-up It’s uncommon to seek out any microphone finest record that doesn’t function not less than one Rode microphone. The Australian producer is nicely famend for its microphone high quality and worth, and the Rode SmartLav+ isn’t any exception.

This lavalier is extraordinarily transportable because of its easy integration with any smartphone or cell machine. After connecting the three.5mm jack to your machine, you should use the Rode SmartLav+ with any audio recording app, together with the Rode Reporter app. This companion app offers a waveform show with enter meter, and choices for normal or knowledge compressed recording with variable bit fee.

Rode SmartLav+ 8.8 Rode SmartLav+ Purchase now

The microphone has an omnidirectional condenser capsule. The cable is Kevlar-reinforced, and also you additionally get a pop filter for clearer speech. Nonetheless, the included cable is only one.2m lengthy, so that you’ll have to remain near no matter machine you might be recording to.

Rode SmartLav+ Rode SmartLav+ App included • Easy integration • Bolstered cable A conveyable runner-up A sturdy and transportable lavalier, this microphone is a stable choice for any touring photographer. $52.95 at Amazon

Who can purchase the Sennheiser MKE 2? When you have a bigger funds and wish one of the best lavalier microphone, get the Sennheiser MKE 2. There’s a motive you’ll discover this microphone on the set of Broadway productions. The umbrella diagram is sweat protected, so that you don’t have to fret about water injury when sticking this microphone instantly onto your sweaty actors on stage.

Sennheiser goals to supply probably the most correct frequency response potential with this microphone, and its omnidirectonal polar sample produces a really pure sound. You can even tailor the frequency response through the 2 further sound inlet caps included with the MKE 2.

Sennheiser MKE 2 9.2 Sennheiser MKE 2 Purchase now

The cable is stainless-steel strengthened, and you should purchase the MKE 2 in quite a lot of completely different connector choices (3-pin jack, XLR, or open-end). The MKE 2 ships with a windshield, although you’ll be able to take away it to cover the microphone simply. The cable can be out there in both black or beige shade choices.

$349.95 at Sennheiser Sennheiser MKE 2 Sweat safety • Nice sound high quality • Multi connectors MSRP SAVE $349.95 $50.00 $349.95 at Sennheiser

Professionals might need to take a look at the cheaper Sennheiser MKE Important Omni The Sennheiser MKE Important Omni is a streamlined model of the Sennheiser MKE 2. Regardless of a considerably cheaper beginning worth, the microphone options the KE 4 capsule derived from the usual MKE 2. There are even some enhancements with this capsule, akin to a distortion-free sign at even larger sound strain ranges.

The microphone includes a sweat-resistant membrane. There are nonetheless many extras included, akin to rotatable clips, magnetic mounts and make-up cover-ups. You can even purchase this microphone in both 3-pin or 3.5mm connector choices.

Sennheiser MKE Important Omni 9 Sennheiser MKE Important Omni Purchase now

Whereas it could not have the gold plating or sound high quality of the dearer MKE 2, the MKE Important Omni is greater than satisfactory for {most professional} use circumstances. Except you want the very best, you shouldn’t hesitate to select up this lavalier microphone.

$199.95 at Amazon Sennheiser MKE Important Omni Respectable sound high quality • Inexpensive mic • 3-pin or 3.5mm $199.95 at Amazon

Essentially the most versatile lavalier microphone is the Countryman B6 At solely one-tenth of an inch in diameter, Countryman claims the B6 is the smallest lavalier microphone on this planet. With swappable caps, you get numerous shade choices, waterproofing, and sound all from the identical microphone.

As well as, the microphone cable options swappable connectors. With the flexibility to rapidly swap from XLR, to three.5mm, to three or 4-pin connectors, this lavalier microphone works with just about any recording setup you may have.

Countryman B6 9 Countryman B6 Purchase now

There’s additionally tons of aesthetic customization choices with this lavalier. The B6 is offered in 5 completely different shade choices to match with pores and skin, hair, or garments. You can even simply shade the white caps with a felt-tip marker to utterly conceal the microphone in your topic.

$289.95 at Amazon Countryman B6 Lavalier Customizable frequency response • Hideable • Omni mic $289.95 at Amazon

The condenser microphone handles ranges as much as 140dB(SPL) with minimal distortion. The principle draw back is the associated fee, which is greater than double most of the alternate options on this record.

Is the Sennheiser ME4 an excellent cardioid lavalier microphone?

The ME4 includes a directional cardioid polar sample for separating vocals from background noise.

When you’re in search of a cardioid lavalier microphone, the Sennheiser ME4 is among the finest choices. It’s easy and simple, and it does its job nicely. You don’t get a number of the additional options or connectivity choices of the aforementioned choices on our record, however the cardioid polar sample will get rid of ambient noises higher than the omnidirectional microphones.

$129.95 at Amazon Sennheiser ME4 Probably the greatest cardioid lav mics • Efficient and easy $129.95 at Amazon

What it is best to learn about lavalier microphones

What polar sample ought to I get?

A cardioid pickup sample can file sound from the entrance and sides of the unit.

The polar sample is a vital specification of any lavalier microphone. It describes the directionality of the microphone, and relying on the place you’ll be recording, you’ll want to decide on both an omnidirectional or unidirectional (cardioid, hypercardioid) microphone.

An omnidirectional microphone sample captures sound from all instructions. Any such microphone picks up room ambiance, so it’s finest utilized in a managed studio setting. These microphones can sound a bit extra pure, they usually’re typically simpler to setup because you don’t have to fret as a lot concerning the lavalier placement.

An omnidirectional miic pics up sound from all instructions.

Alternatively, a cardioid microphone’s pickup sample is heart-shaped, primarily recording sound from the entrance and sides of the microphone. This implies the microphone is forgiving in the event you goal it in barely the mistaken path, so long as it’s usually dealing with the goal sound supply. Since this microphone sample doesn’t decide up sound from behind the microphone, it is best to get much less background noise in your recording.

Whereas a cardioid microphone is useful in outside environments or wherever else your topic’s voice could also be competing with environmental noise, there are downsides to this microphone sample as nicely. You’ll have to contemplate the proximity impact, which implies microphone placement must be strategic to get the specified sound.

There are key variations between condenser and dynamic mics Lavalier microphones might be both dynamic or condenser, and there are some variations price contemplating. Condenser microphones are usually extra delicate, and require phantom energy to function, which can drain the battery in your recording machine. A dynamic microphone can typically deal with louder sounds with out distorting as a lot as a condenser, so it is a higher choice in the event you plan on screaming into your microphone, or if the expertise you propose on miking may be very “dynamic”.

How do I select the best connector?

You possibly can choose an XLR connector, or a special connector choice.

You’re going to wish to be sure to can really join the lavalier microphone to your recording setup. A wired lavalier microphone will usually have a 3.5mm jack output to attach on to your machine. This setup is least expensive and best to make use of for newbies, however means you might be restricted by the size of your cable.

A wi-fi lavalier makes use of a transmitter and receiver to ship the audio sign from the microphone into your recording machine. Typically instances lavalier microphones are bundled with the transmitter pack, however you may as well purchase each bit individually. You’ll simply want to verify the connection sort matches up along with your transmitter, because it could possibly be 3.5mm, USB-C, XLR, or mini-XLR.

How we check lavalier microphones

An assortment of headphone merchandise with our B&Ok 5128 check head.

At SoundGuys, we carry out goal assessments to measure issues like frequency response, isolation, microphone high quality, and extra. We use a standardized setup to check the microphone high quality of merchandise with pre-recorded phrases from a calibrated synthetic mouth in our check chamber. This enables us to current standardized microphone samples to you so you’ll be able to choose the standard of varied merchandise and examine them throughout the board. After we gather all of this knowledge, we then rating every product by means of quite a lot of goal and subjective measures.

How we select one of the best lavalier microphones

Fingers-on testing with a vocal microphone.

Our staff confers with each other concerning one of the best merchandise for a given class and we current our record to you. It’s not over after we hit “publish,” although. We deal with each article as a residing doc that we replace as new and worthy merchandise come out. We’ll constantly replace this record as new lavalier microphones are launched, and as we put extra microphones by means of our complete testing course of.

Why it is best to belief SoundGuys

We take our work very critically, even whereas enjoying video video games to check out headsets.

Every author at SoundGuys has amassed years of expertise reporting on the patron audio market, and our employees adheres to a strict ethics coverage. We don’t produce sponsored content material on the web site at a time when doing so is the norm. SoundGuys’ survival relies upon solely on readers having fun with their purchases. We delight ourselves on transparently outlining goal information, whereas accounting for the subjective expertise to contextualize an audio product’s efficiency. After we do misspeak, we appropriate and come clean with it.

Steadily requested questions

How do you put on a lavalier microphone? Most lavalier microphones include a clip, which is used to clip the microphone to both a tie or shirt. You can even tape the cable on to your pores and skin or clothes. You’ll need to attempt to stop the cable from shifting round as a lot as potential whereas recording. To forestall added noise from the cable tugging, attempt taping the microphone to a number of spots in your topic, or attempt looping the cable right into a knot by the microphone.

How do I join a lavalier microphone to a DSLR digital camera? Most cameras have a 3.5mm enter. When you purchase a lavalier microphone with a 3.5mm connector, you’ll be able to then plug the lavalier cable instantly into the digital camera. You can even use a transmitter and receiver to ship audio out of your microphone to your digital camera wirelessly.