Lav mics have become increasingly popular over the last several years and picking the best lavalier microphone for your particular use case has become easier than ever. If you are an interviewer, podcaster, sports analyst, or your job requires communicating to an audience, then you know the importance of a good microphone. There are a lot of options to pick from. You can choose from some of the best gaming microphones out there. You can go for a full-on studio setup with high-end studio monitors and premium microphones. Microphones come in all shapes and sizes. Speaking of which, today we are talking about lavalier mics.
These microphones are referred to as lapel mics. As you can probably guess, these microphones attach to the lapel or collar of your clothing, hence the name. You might have spotted these types of microphones before, as they are used in television interviews all the time. However, these days, lavalier microphones are more accessible to a wider audience. The title is not an easy one to gain as there are several parameters on which these microphones have to compete with each other. If lavalier microphones are not your thing, you might be interested in some of the best wireless microphones for your particular scenario.
The Best Lavalier Microphones – Our Picks
|Audio-Technica Pro 70 Cardioid Lavalier Microphone||Best High-End Lavalier Mic|| |
|Rode Lavalier Go Professional Wearable Microphone||Best Value Lavalier Mic|| |
|3||Sennheiser Pro Audio ME 2-II Lavalier Microphone||Best Sounding Lavalier Mic|| |
|4||PoP Voice Professional Lavalier Lapel Microphone||Best Budget Lavalier Mic|| |
|5||FIFINE 20-Channel UHF Wireless Lavalier Microphone||Best Wireless Lavalier Mic|| |
|Product Name||Audio-Technica Pro 70 Cardioid Lavalier Microphone|
|Award||Best High-End Lavalier Mic|
|Product Name||Rode Lavalier Go Professional Wearable Microphone|
|Award||Best Value Lavalier Mic|
|Product Name||Sennheiser Pro Audio ME 2-II Lavalier Microphone|
|Award||Best Sounding Lavalier Mic|
|Product Name||PoP Voice Professional Lavalier Lapel Microphone|
|Award||Best Budget Lavalier Mic|
|Product Name||FIFINE 20-Channel UHF Wireless Lavalier Microphone|
|Award||Best Wireless Lavalier Mic|
Last Update on 2022-01-18 at 16:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Of course, picking the best lavalier microphone for your particular needs is not as straightforward as one might first expect. Firstly, you have to choose the type of microphone that would perfectly suit your use case. If you are looking for a microphone for gaming, check out our gaming microphone buying guide. If you need to up your audio game in a portable setting, a lavalier microphone is a good choice. They are easy to use, compact, and can be hidden with ease. After a lot of research, we were able to come up with this roundup. Here are five of our favorite lavalier microphones available in 2021.
Pickup Pattern: Cardioid | Sensitivity: 45dB | Max Sound Pressure: 123dB
REASONS TO BUY
- Excellent Sound Output
- Durable Design
- Easy To Attach
- Can Compete With More Expensive Mics
- Smooth Roll-off
REASONS TO AVOID
- Relatively Expensive
- Lack Of Gain Controls
If you’ve been buying audio equipment for some time, you may be familiar with Audio-Technica. They’re not a small brand by any means. They are often lauded for their excellent headphones, such as the popular ATH-M50X. However, their expertise in audio doesn’t end with headphones.
For the average consumer, the Pro 70 looks like a pricey investment. We’re not denying that, but give it a chance and you’ll be amazed by what’s possible with this mic. It is miles ahead of any cheap lavalier microphone on the market. To be honest, it’s a really good performer for a wired microphone. It can go toe to toe with mid-range wireless microphones, which cost double or triple the amount of the Pro 70.
The Pro 70 is a wired microphone and uses the standard XLR connection. The bodypack can be powered by a single Double-A battery. This bodypack can easily keep up in a day-long shoot with no problems. It uses a cardioid polar pattern, so the entire focus is on your voice alone. It does a good job of blocking out the surrounding environmental noise.
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Apart from that, it has a max sound pressure limit of 123dB and has a smooth roll-off at higher and lower frequencies. The bodypack doesn’t have any gain controls, so you’ll have to rely on your audio interface. That’s not a big deal, but the lack of any battery indication sure is. The microphone is fairly easy to hide, and the cable uses strong materials.
This microphone is ideal for both vocals and instruments and is thus quite competitive for the title of the best lavalier microphone. It competes with a more expensive wireless solution, and can even run off phantom power. That’s very handy in case the battery runs out. Overall, we wholeheartedly recommend the Pro 70 microphone.
Pickup Pattern: Omnidirectional | Sensitivity: 35dB | Max Sound Pressure: 110dB
REASONS TO BUY
- Good Bang For The Buck
- Easy To Manage
- Very Sensitive
- Durable Mounting Clip
- Lots Of Accessories
REASONS TO AVOID
- Won't Work With Some Smartphones
- May Require Some Editing In Post
Next up is the Rode Lavalier Go. Rode calls this their professional-grade wired microphone. As this microphone comes from a legacy brand, we aren’t wrong to expect a high level of quality. Fortunately, we don’t feel any disappointment here. The Rode Lavalier Go does more than simply live up to the legacy of the Rode name.
This microphone promises to perform exceptionally in any broadcasting situation. It is an omnidirectional mic and weighs in at 30 grams. It uses a standard 3.5mm TRS input, which means it has wide compatibility. Unfortunately, it won’t work with some smartphones unless you can find an adapter.
The microphone is omnidirectional, which means it is very sensitive. It can pick up even the smallest of voices. If you don’t want that, you can easily tune in post-processing. However, we know a lot of people who prefer sensitive microphones.
It has a durable mounting clip, comes with a foam windshield, and even has built-in cable management. The cable is Kevlar reinforced and has a good length. It comes with a drawstring pouch to safely store the microphone and all the accessories.
Truly, the Rode Lavalier Go is the best lavalier mic when we talk about the value proposition. You can purchase the Rode Wireless Go as well, which makes this a wireless microphone system and one of the best wireless lapel microphones out there. It’s a great piece of equipment, but the transmitter will end up costing you more than the microphone itself. However, if you do pair these two together, you’ll have an insane setup that will still cost less than some of the higher-end wireless lapel microphones.
Pickup Pattern: Omnidirectional | Sensitivity: 36dB | Max Sound Pressure: 130dB
REASONS TO BUY
- Superb Sound Output
- Durable Design
- Discreet And Easy To Hide
- Hard Windshield Included
REASONS TO AVOID
- Proprietary 1/8-inch Connector
- Not For Beginners
As most of you probably know, Sennheiser is one of the top audio manufacturers in the game. When you’re buying a Sennheiser product, you know what to expect. It doesn’t matter if you need headphones or microphones, Sennheiser always provides high-fidelity results. The Pro Audio ME 2-II is a proper example of that.
This is yet another omnidirectional mic. As you can probably guess, it’s quite sensitive and does a good job of picking up sound from the environment. It easily works with bodypack transmitters. The audio quality is sharp and clean. It gives a lot of depth to the voice, so the person speaking directly into it sounds the clearest.
Apart from that, this microphone is quite discreet and attaches easily to clothing. It doesn’t come with a soft windshield, as Sennheiser includes a hard windshield instead. This mic is perfect for giving presentations. If you’re a teacher, this could be a worthy investment.
The sensitivity of this mic comes in at 36dB. The maximum sound pressure limit is 130dB. This means that it can pick up loud noises without much clipping. The 5ft cable feels premium and is easy to manage. Sure, it’s quite expensive, but it’s worth the investment for the right person.
However, there is another downside here. The ME 2-II uses a proprietary lockable 1/8″ connector. This may or may not work with some audio interfaces. You guessed it, you’re mostly limited to Sennheiser’s wireless interfaces. That could potentially turn some people away, but overall it is also a strong contender for the title of best lavalier microphone.
Pickup Pattern: Omnidirectional | Sensitivity: 30dB | Max Sound Pressure: 110dB
REASONS TO BUY
- Affordable Price
- Works Perfectly With Phones
- Includes An Adapter For PCs
- Easy To Attach
REASONS TO AVOID
- Audio Clipping
- Unremarkable Build Quality
- Poor Performance In Live Events
The next microphone on our list isn’t really from a popular brand. Instead, this microphone happens to be incredibly popular on Amazon. Mostly due to how affordable this lavalier microphone is. Now, I know what some audio purists are thinking, but give this microphone a chance. It’s really good as an entry-level microphone.
The Pop Voice Professional Lavelier microphone is designed to work with smartphones. To be clear, it does the job quite well. Needless to say, if you already have an expensive audio system setup and are ready to go, you should probably look elsewhere. So who is this mic for?
Well, a lot of people are trying their hands at podcasts and interviews these days. Back in the day, you needed to spend a ridiculous amount of money to do this. However, the barrier to entry is much lower these days. This mic uses a 3.5mm jack with poles, which means it works perfectly well with smartphones.
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It has an omnidirectional pattern and a standard frequency range of 20Hz-20kHz. It even comes with a 4-pin to 3-pin 3.5mm adapter. This way, you can also use it with your computer. The box includes a drawstring pouch for keeping everything safe. The cable is nice and long but doesn’t exactly feel premium.
It might not be as competitive as the others for the title of the best lavalier mic, but it is certainly acceptable. The sound quality is as we expected. It is not the best thing in the world, but it isn’t completely terrible either. In fact, you can certainly get away with using this as your first entry-level mic. Just know that it tends to enhance loudness a lot, to the point that it can sound harsh at times.
Pickup Pattern: Unidirectional | Sensitivity: 44dB | Max Sound Pressure: 120dB
REASONS TO BUY
- Wireless Interface For Cheap
- Zero Interference Or Distortion
- LED Screen On Trasnmitter
REASONS TO AVOID
- Inconsistent Audio
- Cheap Cable
- Questionable Build Quality
- Multiple Equipment Pieces
Wireless lavalier mics don’t come cheap, do they? Well, the Fifine UHF Wireless microphone system just might prove us wrong. Now, we can’t expect studio-grade quality from a cheap wireless mic, but it does get the job done at the end of the day. Depending on your situation, that just might end up being enough for you. It is certainly the best wireless lavalier microphone you can get on this budget.
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First off, this microphone uses your standard XLR cable connection. However, thanks to the excellent wireless system, you can get away without using it. There is little to no interference, and local radio broadcasts won’t cause any disturbance. The transmitter has an easy-to-read LED screen that displays the transmitting frequency and battery life.
The indicator flashes green when the battery light is low. As for the polar pattern, this is a cardioid mic. This means that it does a good job of blocking out environmental noise. You can pick from 20 channels, and the receiver can plug into an interface that accepts a quarter-inch connector.
If you are looking for something higher-end, don’t forget to check out our picks for the best condenser mics to buy in 2021.
The quality itself isn’t exactly disappointing, but it could be much better. There is no distortion at times, but sometimes certain frequencies overlap one another. We can say that the audio quality is inconsistent overall. To be honest, the cable is also a bit on the cheaper side. These factors make it harder to crown this mic as the best lavalier microphone overall, but it is still a good option if you want wireless connectivity.
Factors to Consider While Buying Lavalier Microphones
There are tons and tons of microphones to choose from. The market for microphones is so popular that it is not uncommon to see people using a generic $1 and a $100 high-end microphone at the same place. Aside from price, microphones come in many form factors. Some are connected to specialized devices that enhance audio input but all microphones, in general, have one job that is to convert sound into digital signals. The vast differences and lack of information on the spec sheet results in poor choices. So don’t take a leap of faith with a random microphone and consider these factors instead you can make better choices.
Prices of lavalier microphones depend on quality and features. When you buy expensive microphones, the profit generated also goes to towards the quality of components with which it comes and R&D. With the most premium lavalier microphones, you should expect the best audio quality and sensitivity. Lavalier microphones tend to be expensive due to their compact form factor. For instance, the Audio-Technica Pro 70 and Finefine 20 channel microphones have external devices connected via XLR cables that power these mics and enhance audio quality. Additionally, wireless interfaces allow more portability and tangle-free usage. Ultimately, your goal is to find the perfect balance in a microphone that suits your needs and doesn’t break the bank.
Every microphone has its unique pickup patterns also known as Polar Patterns. This is by far the most crucial feature which isn’t given much importance when shopping for a lavalier microphone. The Polar pattern is the term used to specify the sensitivity towards a sound direction from which a microphone picks sounds around its surroundings. The most common patterns are Cardioid, Omnidirectional, and Bidirectional. Which type of polar pattern should you go for, is your personal preference or work requirement. Cardioid microphones are the most common polar patterns commonly found on consumer-level products such as smartphones.
While these factors are some of the basic ones that you should consider while choosing the best lavalier microphone for you, there are a lot of others that can’t quite be covered here. To get an in-depth understanding of microphones and to take a look at even more factors, you should check out our complete microphone buying guide. That would give you an even better idea on how to fine-tune your choice of lavalier mic that you want to buy.
FAQ's about Lavalier Microphones
Best polar patterns for microphone merely comes down to personal preference. For most scenarios, Cardioid patterns have the most demand. Generally, you need to make sure microphone patterns capture sound from the direction you need.
We recommend the Pop Voice Professional microphone that comes with an affordable price tag. It is an omnidirectional mic that may not have the best quality and features. It is cheap with a wide range of compatibility across a plethora of devices thanks to the 3.5mm audio input cable which makes it perfect for Zoom meetings.
It is fairly simple to use these mics. All you need to do is to plug the 3.5mm audio cable in your computer’s audio jack and it will automatically set up the drivers for you. Although we don’t recommend using Best Buy mics due to their inferior performance and features, they are popular because of their availability and price.
Most lavalier microphones come in an omnidirectional pattern that is less susceptible to interruptions from surroundings and sounding your best can be tricky. It is recommended to clip microphones on your chest, 20 to 30 centimeters away from your mouth. Closer than this may cause distortion, and being further away can suppress the audio.