A lavalier microphone is a great choice of microphone for its size, convenience, and price point. Commonly seen during a newscast on lapels, lavalier microphones are a great choice of mic for many of different types of content including speeches, interviews, and performances.
Here are a few tips on what to look for in the best lavalier microphone and a few reviews to help you start shopping for affordable lapel mics.
Best Lavalier Microphones 2018
Why Use A Lavalier Mic?
There are certain situations when these microphones are by far the best choice. Lavalier microphones are very convenient, taking up little space and usually requiring minimal setup. Their small size and lapel clip-ons allow them to capture clear vocal audio without being distracting in a video.
Here is some quick insight on how to use them effectively from Tubular Insights.
While not all lapel mics are trustworthy, you can find some really great sound quality with even a cheap lavalier mic. It is an ideal solution for videos that only want to capture what specific people are saying, such as an interview or vlog.
However, there are some limitations to even the best lapel mics by their nature. A good lavalier lapel microphone will pick up vocal recording, but nothing else. There is no opportunity to vlog in different locations and pick up audio from the things you see, or the people you talk to.
There is also the risk of losing a good take if the subject moves too much, and causes the microphone to scrape against something and cause a loud static-like sound.
Finally, we should recognize that while cheap lavalier microphones are a great choice for many scenarios, they generally do not have the same overall audio quality as some other microphones. However, due to their affordable price and useful nature, they should be considered an essential piece of equipment for any content creator on YouTube or otherwise..
How to Choose The Best Lavalier Microphone
There are a few important choices to make when to purchasing a lavalier microphone, but the most important consideration is whether you can use a wired microphone, or if you want to invest in a wireless lavalier mic.
Wired Lapel Microphones
When you don’t have a need to move around, like when you are sitting at your computer, a wired microphone can be a good choice.
This type of microphone will connect right to a DSLR, video camera, or to an audio recorder. Connecting a wired lavalier microphone in an audio recorder will allow you to sync an audio track with a video track. There is less set-up required, and fewer technical things that can go wrong.
With apps for recording audio now available, manufacturers are also creating lavalier microphones for smartphones. This is a very handy idea that allows you to easily plug in a lavalier microphone to get high-quality sound for your videos transforming your smartphone into a recorder.
The vast majority of these mics will fall under the 'wired' category. These cheap microphones will greatly improve any audio that you try to record on your smartphone.
It is important to note that these wired microphones are also a cheaper alternative than a wireless lavalier microphone.
Wireless Lavalier Mics
When you or the subject of your video will be moving around, a wireless microphone is an ideal choice. For example, this is the type of lapel microphone that you see used on many live TV shows.
It works by using a radio transmitter that hangs off of the back of your waistband while a radio receiver is connected to a camera. This adds a lot of freedom when filming your content as you are not restricted to the distance of the lavalier microphone cord. It also looks more professional, with less risk of wires entering your shot.
There are also disadvantages to wireless microphones in that the signal cannot be interrupted, even for a second, or you will usually lose the audio feed. It is easy to interfere with a radio signal which can be caused to a woodworking tool operating nearby or a power line.
The signal must also be customizable and powerful enough to send a good sound, plus radio frequencies can get jammed by other devices which require you to switch to another frequency.
Lastly, the best wireless lavalier microphone kits are relatively expensive, and so they aren't always ideal for beginners.
Wireless Microphones - a note on UHF vs VHF
One of the more technical considerations you should have when choosing a wireless microphone is the type of wireless technology that the microphone is using. Requiring a high-frequency signal, a wireless microphone will use one of two main signal transmission technologies that are available, either the very high frequency, or VHF, or the ultra-high frequency, or UHF.
There are a few important differences. UHF has a clearer sound with fewer dropouts, but it does require more power and tends to be a more expensive system. In comparison, VHF is less expensive and requires less power, but it has more dropouts and interference.
This means if you purchase a UHF microphone, you will get more professional-quality sound, and that might be important and necessary for some users. VHF microphones, on the other hand, can also be suitable for a wide range of users, although you do need to have them pretty close to their transmitters to stop them from having dropouts in sound.
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Wired Lavalier Microphone Reviews
The PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone is a wired lavalier microphone that is dependable and provides top tier sound quality.
This is a great lavalier mic that features a lapel clip on that is a great choice for those making Youtube videos or speaking into the camera for vlogs.
With a 3.5 TRRS jack, this mic can connect to your iPod, iPad, or iPhone and features a durable metal clip and wind muff that makes it an ideal choice for an external microphone that you will be to different places
The PowerDeWise comes equipped with a 78-inch extension cord and a protective case for protection and convenience. The Velcro wrapped extension cords allow you to easily move around the room without needing to unplug the mic.
Created with relatively high quality components, the PowerDeWise microphone is built to record adequate sound from multiple directions in any environment.
The YouMic Lavalier Lapel Microphone is a popular microphone has been given the coveted title of 'Amazon's Choice' because it is what many people are looking for when choosing a wired lapel mic. That is to say, it is simple, cheap, and effective.
You won't win any awards for audio production, but you can make an easy choice and start recording with the cheapest lavalier mic we would recommend.
The omnidirectional YouMic interview microphone only needs to be plugged in so you can record. It is ready to use with, GoPro, Android device, or most cameras with no installation or additional devices required. Like most microphones, you will require a Lightnight to 3.5 MM Adapter to use this with Apple products. It comes with an adapter for your PC.
The YouMic also features a serviceable metal mount that will securely hold the microphone on your clothing. This lightweight and sensitive microphone can record sound from a distance of up to three meters and is so small it is pretty much invisible. You also get a crocodile clip, 59 inches of Velcro wrapped cord, and a wind muff along with your mic.
The YouMic features some noise canceling, but overall we found that while the sound was usually good, it sometimes picked up too much noise, and caused a slightly muffled audio.
The MAONO includes more advanced configuration along with a 2o foot long cord allowing you to record crisp and loud sound when you are doing interviews. This is also a very lightweight mic with a small metal clip that easily attaches to your collar or pocket so you will barely know that the mic is there
Wired Lavalier Microphone Reviews
In our opinion, the Comica CVM-WM100 is the best wireless lavalier microphone system. It is reliable, and produces great audio recording, making it a great choice for recording interviews.
The CVM-WM100 uses UHF wireless technology, and gives you convenient and professional level recording with a lapel microphone that has a mic/ line in function that allows you to add background music when shooting a video.
This wireless mic features an LCD lattice screen that includes a 16 level adjustable volume with a total of 48 channels. The LCD screen uses very little power and gives you crystal clear images with a large viewing angle so that you can clearly see the screen from the side.
You also get a really long working range of up to 328 feet, plus with the UHF technology, you can rely on stable recording without worrying about any staccato like effect.
The CVM-WM100 also gives you a real-time monitoring function so you can test to see if it is working normally while you are recording. You can also easily install camcorders and cameras with a cold-shoe jack.
The receiver headphone also comes equipped with a second isolated microphone that is able to communicate with the transmitter.
The Movo WMIC50 comes with a 3.5 mm jack for audio input and output and two AA batteries will give you up to four hours of runtime. The transmitter also comes with a belt clip and the wireless system includes internal boost antennas that have a range of fifty meters.
In summary, there are two very distinct directions that you can go when choosing a lavalier lapel mic. If you decide that you want an affordable lavalier microphone with a wire, then we recommend the PowerDeWise Professional Grade Mic. However, if you want more flexibility and better overall tech, then you should invest in the Comica CVM-WM100.
Which great lavalier microphones did we miss? Let us know in the comments below!