Finest lavalier mics of 2022

Up to date Apr 12, 2022 1:26 PM

Lavalier mics seize clear and clear audio in a small and light-weight package deal whereas leaving individuals’s palms free for different issues. It’s a easy mission, and whether or not they’re used on a film set, information broadcast, stay presentation, or podcast, these ubiquitous clip-on mics have carried out it effectively for many years. 

Lavaliers—additionally generally often known as a lapel mic, physique mic, or, merely, a lav—are available in wired varieties that plug into an influence supply after which immediately right into a recorder, laptop, mixer, or PA system. Wi-fi fashions depend on a small transmitter and receiver pack that permit wearers a full vary of unencumbered motion. Each can sound wonderful, and selecting the best one relies upon totally in your objectives.

Lavs have a spot in any devoted audio package, studio, or digicam bag—or connected to your laptop for Zoom conferences. And since they’re obtainable at a wide range of value factors, you don’t should be an expert sound engineer to afford one. We’ve assembled 5 of the most effective lavalier microphones that will help you minimize by way of the noise and discover the one which most accurately fits your wants.

How we selected the most effective lavalier mics 

When contemplating which lavalier microphones to incorporate in our suggestions, we relied on our personal expertise and in addition consulted with different professionals within the movie, TV, streaming, and recording worlds to search out out which mics they use. We learn commerce journals and web sites and checked on-line impressions to see what typical customers considered the gear. We narrowed the sphere right down to 10 wonderful microphones, focusing in the beginning on audio high quality after which contemplating measurement, varieties of connectors, energy sources, and, after all, value. When evaluating wi-fi kits, we evaluated the standard of the lav first after which checked out transmitter and receiver specs to verify issues just like the robustness of their indicators, their effectiveness in dealing with interference, and the pliability of their options.

Issues to contemplate earlier than shopping for the most effective lavalier mic

Wired or wi-fi

Lavalier microphones are available in two fundamental varieties: Wired and wi-fi. Wired lavs hook up with a small energy supply (often an AA battery pack) that plugs right into a recorder, PA system, or laptop interface. It’s a powerful sign path that gained’t endure from any interference. Nonetheless, the size of the mic cable limits the wearer’s motion.

Wi-fi lavaliers plug right into a small, wearable transmitter that sends the audio sign to a receiver plugged right into a recorder or PA system. Wi-fi lavaliers present full freedom of motion, making them helpful for video tasks or shows. Whereas the transmitters and receivers have adjustable channels and frequencies to assist keep away from interference, generally they’ll nonetheless run into hassle in areas with too many different wi-fi methods. 

Choose-up sample

Microphones have one thing referred to as pick-up (or polar) patterns, which describe the best way mics seize or reject sound. Most lavaliers have both omnidirectional or cardioid patterns. The primary picks up sound evenly from all sides, a helpful trick when there’s no strategy to completely place the mic. An omnidirectional mic connected to somebody’s collar will seize sound virtually in addition to one positioned on a lapel or tie. Mics with cardioid patterns, alternatively, are directional, requiring extra cautious placement—ensure they’re pointed towards the speaker’s mouth. A much less forgiving mic may sound like a giant disadvantage, however as a result of cardioid patterns are higher at rejecting sound from the perimeters, these lavs work effectively in noisy areas. When buying a physique mic, suppose laborious in regards to the atmosphere the place you’ll use it essentially the most.  


Many lavaliers are condenser mics, and condensers want exterior energy to function. And let’s not overlook, wi-fi mics require energy for his or her transmitters and receivers. In both case, most of those physique mics, in addition to transmitters and receivers, run off AA batteries. Finest practices say to alter batteries earlier than every use to keep away from the danger of dangerous audio—or transmitters that drop indicators totally. Be ready to fill up on AAs, and issue that into your price range. Good high quality rechargeables will price extra on the outset, however they are going to minimize prices and waste in the long term. 

Some lavaliers additionally settle for 48+ volt phantom energy from recorders, mixers, cameras, or different sources. These even have battery packs to be used with different gear. And different mics, like Rode’s smartLav+, can draw energy by way of their 3.5mm jack. 

See also  The very best mics for streaming in 2023


The wires related to lavaliers can terminate in quite a few totally different jacks, together with XLR, 3.5-inch TRS, and three.5-inch TRRS to be used with smartphones. Many firms manufacture their finest clip-on mics in a wide range of jack configurations. 


Lavaliers usually take lots of abuse. Not solely can they get banged round, however their wires get twisted, and so they’re generally connected to sweaty our bodies. The perfect clip-on mics are durably constructed with no less than a nod towards defending them from low ranges of moisture. Don’t submerge them, however don’t be afraid to connect them to somebody who is perhaps working within the solar all day. 


Clip-on mics can connect to individuals in a wide range of methods. Alligator-style clips are frequent and use a loop comprised of steel or rubber to carry the mic in place. Should you don’t have anyplace to clip one thing like that, vampire clips use two small pins to connect the mic to clothes (therefore the title). There are additionally magnetic attachments, which have a small steel disk that will get positioned inside a shirt, and a small, magnetized loop that connects to it and holds the mic. Third-party producers additionally make small foam or plastic sleeves that encase mics to reduce the rustling noise when hidden underneath garments. Most lavaliers include no less than some fundamental attachments, however when shopping for others, discover one which isn’t too massive or small to your lav. 

Finest lavalier mics: Opinions & Suggestions

Finest lavalier mic general: Sanken Cos-11D

Why it made the minimize: This professional-grade microphone captures the human voice with out noticeable coloration, and its small measurement makes it straightforward to cover. No marvel you’ll discover the Cos-11D on many TV and film units.


  • Frequency Vary: 50Hz-20kHz
  • Connection Kind: XLR-3M, Locking 3.5mm TRS
  • Polar Sample: Omni-Directional


  • Pure, open sound
  • Small and simple to cover
  • Picks up little or no clothes rustle
  • Proof against sweat and moisture


  • Dearer than many lavs

The Sanken Cos-11D condenser mic has a frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz and captures large, open, and pure sound. This 4mm lavalier hides simply underneath garments, and a small increase within the upper-mid frequencies helps to counter any muffling impact.

With an omnidirectional polar sample, the mic captures audio clearly even when positioned off-axis—it’s fairly forgiving when not positioned completely. A built-in mesh display screen helps resist RF interference whereas additionally offering a good diploma of safety in opposition to sweat and smeary make-up. Sanken makes the lapel mic in numerous connector configurations to suit any use and it comes with an alligator clip; small snap-on windscreen; and plastic sleeve to assist when mounting it underneath garments.

Discovering fault with the Cos-11D isn’t straightforward, however this degree of high quality comes with the next price ticket. In case your price range isn’t there but, or your purposes simply aren’t as demanding because the skilled broadcast world, different mics can ship wonderful sound in virtually as small a package deal for much less cash.

Finest for DSLR: Sennheiser EW 112P G4

Sennheiser EW 112P G4 is the best for DSLR.

Why it made the minimize: Sennheiser pairs their wonderful ME2-II microphone with a versatile wi-fi transmitter and receiver for a package that gained’t tie up filmmakers or streamers with additional cables.


  • Frequency Vary: 50Hz-18kHz
  • Connection Kind: Locking 3.5mm TRS
  • Polar Sample: Omni-Directional


  • Rugged development
  • Simple to arrange
  • Comes with transmitter and receiver


  • Requires lots of batteries
  • Audio can sound considerably boxy

Sennheiser’s EW112P wi-fi package contains their ME2-II omnidirectional microphone, a wi-fi transmitter, and receiver. It’s a clean-sounding, inexpensive package that’s grow to be a workhorse on indie movies, documentaries, stay shows, worship providers, enterprise occasions—principally, any scenario the place motion is essential. The 5.6-ounce receiver gained’t crush your digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) digicam and the transmitter simply slips right into a pocket or clips to a belt. 

The microphone 50Hz to 18Khz frequency response doesn’t match these discovered on higher-end, skilled lavaliers. However it nonetheless performs effectively with out coloring the sound an excessive amount of or including mud to the low-end. The mic handles sudden boosts in quantity effectively. Like different mics with omnidirectional polar patterns, the ME2-II isn’t choosy about the place you place it. Nonetheless, it’s inclined to rustling from garments, so watch out if making an attempt to cover it. 

See also  Some cameras now have bird autofocus modes. Do they work?

The plastic and steel transmitter sends a sign as much as 330 ft and options 1680 RF channels that will help you keep away from interference from different wi-fi sources. Digital shows on each the transmitter and receiver present data on battery standing, output degree, and RF degree. Every runs on handy AA batteries, although you’ll need to purchase lots of them—finest practices are that you just change batteries earlier than every shoot simply to be secure. The package contains cables terminating in each XLR and three.5 TRS jacks for connecting the receiver to any type of digicam, in addition to a handy, plastic cold-shoe mount. 

Finest lavalier mic for iPhone: Rode smartLav+

Rode smartLav+ is the best lavalier microphone for iPhone.

Why it made the minimize: The smartLav+ contains Rode’s iPhone recording app that options enhancing capabilities and EQ settings, and may export information to SoundCloud and Dropbox.  


  • Frequency Vary: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Connection Kind: 3.5mm TRRS
  • Polar Sample: Omni-Directional


  • Kevlar-reinforced cable resists stretching and tearing
  • Included pop filter to chop down on plosive B and P sounds
  • Customized iPhone recording app
  • Suitable with third-party recording apps


  • Could require a TRRS-to-TRS adapter to be used with some DSLRs.
  • No model of Rode’s app for Android gadgets

Rode has a repute for constructing inexpensive, high-quality mics. The smartLav+ plugs into an iPhone and you should utilize the corporate’s customized app to report, edit, and add your audio. It’s nice for anybody on the lookout for a easy, streamlined recording answer that doesn’t require further gear. This physique mic will work with Android telephones as effectively, however you’ll want a third-party app. It’s also possible to plug it into DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, however you seek the advice of the digicam’s handbook to see should you’ll additionally want a TRRS-to-TRS adapter. 

As anticipated, this omnidirectional microphone picks up sound from all sides for straightforward use. It comes with a pop-filter to chop down on plosives—the laborious B, P, and T sounds that may wreak havoc on a recording. Kevlar-reinforcing protects the cable from snapping, and the included mic mount contains an additional clip to assist with wire administration.   

Finest mic for streaming: Audio Technica AT899

Audio Technica AT899 is the best mic for streaming.

Why It made the minimize: The AT899’s small profile gained’t distract your viewers, and it really works off an included battery pack or 48v phantom energy, making it straightforward to combine into any kind of streaming studio. 


  • Frequency Vary: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Connection Kind: XLR
  • Polar Sample: Omni-Directional


  • Skilled-quality sound
  • Small profile
  • A number of energy choices
  • Consists of battery pack


The AT899 is a wired lavalier that gives professional-quality sound in a small, versatile package deal appropriate for any streaming studio. The included power-pack connects the mic to any gadget, together with laptop interfaces, cell recorders, or cameras. However this lav additionally helps 48-volt phantom energy for streamlined integration into higher-end mixing consoles, streaming interfaces, or pre-amps.

The low-profile 5mm hides simply underneath garments; however even when uncovered, it’s sufficiently small that it gained’t distract your viewers. A large, flat 20Hz-20kHz frequency response captures the nuances of the human voice and an omnidirectional polar sample provides flexibility.

You’ll want an XLR to three.5mm TRS adapter if you wish to plug it immediately right into a DSLR or laptop and not using a balanced audio interface.

Finest on a price range: Big Squid Audio Labs

Why it made the minimize: This lavalier from Big Squid Audio Labs has a low value and surprisingly large frequency response, making it superb for individuals with tight budgets. 


  • Frequency Vary: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Connection Kind: 3.5mm TRS
  • Polar Sample: Omni-Directional


  • Good sounding for a sub-$100 mic
  • Handy six-foot twine
  • Low value


  • Windscreen falls off simply
  • Wants a TRRS adapter for smartphone use

With microphones, you usually get what you pay for. Nonetheless, Big Squid Labs has carried out a pleasant job of delivering a fairly flat-sounding lavalier for lower than $50. Does it compete with a Sanken Cos-11D? After all not—however the Sanken is about eight instances the worth. Nonetheless, Big Squid Labs’ 20Hz-20kHz frequency response captures moderately pure sound—even when it lacks lots of the presence present in higher-end mics.

This price range lapel mic comes with an alligator clip, small windscreen, and a 6-foot twine. The latter is sweet; nobody appears to be like nice in a Zoom assembly when sitting too near an internet digicam. And the windscreen helps minimize down on noise when utilizing the mic outdoors. Nonetheless, it falls off simply, so contemplate avoiding heavy winds. The mic connects to a pc or different gadget utilizing a 3.5mm TRS connector. If you wish to use it with a smartphone, you’ll want a TRS-to-TRRS adapter.

See also  One of the best condenser mics of 2023


Q: How do I select a great lavalier mic?

Crucial function when selecting a great lavalier mic is sound high quality. After that, contemplate the way you’ll use it. Do you want one thing small and simple to cover? Wi-fi? How rugged ought to or not it’s? Lastly, contemplate your price range. Typically, price tends to mirror microphone high quality—you get what you pay for, and it’s value spending a bit extra for a good piece of kit that delivers high quality over the lifetime of its use. 

Q: Do lavalier mics sound good?

Lavalier mics sound good when used appropriately, and in circumstances that warrant their use. Should you’re recording a podcast, stage efficiency, broadcast, or video, they’ll sound nice! In lots of circumstances, you’ll need to place them near the breastbone, which permits the mic to select up the naturally resonating frequencies of the human voice. Nonetheless, some mics are supposed to be worn on the pinnacle utilizing earpieces or different strategies—clearly, placement issues to get essentially the most out of them.

Q: Can you employ a lavalier mic for Zoom?

You need to use a lavalier mic for Zoom so long as you’ve got a strategy to plug it into your laptop. This may imply shopping for an adapter in case your lav makes use of an XLR connector, or maybe you’ll have to make use of an audio interface along with your laptop. In case your clip-on microphone doesn’t embrace its personal energy supply, ensure the pc’s audio enter additionally sends energy.

Q: Are lavalier mics good for filmmaking?

Lavalier mics are nice for filmmaking. They’re usually used within the movie and TV trade, particularly when a increase mic isn’t sensible. Documentary makers use them on a regular basis, too. In truth, many audio engineers will use each a lav and a increase in an effort to ensure they seize the most effective sound they’ll. 

Q: How a lot does a lavalier mic price?

The value of a lavalier relies on many components. Some lavs price as little as $25, however don’t count on the most effective sound or construct high quality. On the excessive finish, lavs promote for tons of of {dollars} and ship skilled sound underneath demanding circumstances. Completely serviceable lavs may be discovered for lower than $75, however if you need one thing approaching skilled high quality, count on to pay $150 or extra (generally rather more).   

Q: Do lavalier mics want phantom energy?

Lavalier mics don’t want phantom energy, per se, however they do want energy. It can be phantom energy, however it may additionally come within the type of an in-line battery pack utilizing AA batteries, or the batteries inside a wi-fi mic’s transmitter. 

Q: How lengthy does a lavalier mic final?

A lavalier mic will final a few years if handled correctly. Like all high-end gear, ensure to retailer it safely when not in use. Be notably cautious when winding the mic’s twine—don’t drive it into too tight a loop otherwise you danger breaking the wire. Hold battery packs or wi-fi models clear and dry, and attempt to keep away from dropping them. They’re often sturdy, however not indestructible. Microphones are an funding, and when handled effectively, they’ll proceed to pay again with nice audio. 

Ultimate ideas on the most effective lavalier mics

Should you’re on the lookout for the cleanest, clearest, professional-quality lavalier to your movie or streaming program, and also you’re not apprehensive about your price range, then I completely suggest the Sanken Cos-11D. It’s grow to be my go-to mic on documentaries and TV reveals, and I usually pair it with a Sennheiser wi-fi transmitter and receiver for essentially the most flexibility. 

However I’ve additionally used mics that price a 3rd as a lot. Earlier than I upgraded to the Sanken, I used to be pleased with the Sennheiser ME2-II lav that comes within the EW 112P G4 wi-fi package. So long as I positioned it fastidiously and watched my ranges, it by no means let me down. I nonetheless carry it in my package as a backup. 

In the long run, nice gear gained’t do a lot should you don’t know learn how to use it. Take the time to be taught correct miking strategies and develop your abilities.