Lavalier microphone

What You Need to Know About Lavalier Microphones

A lavalier microphone, also known as a lapel mic, clip-on mic, or neck mic, is a miniature microphone typically worn by a performer or interviewer. It allows the speaker to move freely during the performance without interfering with audio pickup, unlike a directional overhead microphone that must be kept aligned and close to the source.

Lavalier microphones are commonly used by sports anchors, news reporters, conference presenters, churches and more. They make a great option for podcasting on the go or creating YouTube videos as well. 

This article will discuss what a lavalier microphone is, how it works, and how to choose the right lav mic for you

What Is A Lavalier Microphone?

Lavalier microphones are very small microphones that can be attached directly to the actor's body or clothing. They come in both wired and wireless types and are designed to be self-contained and lightweight. A wired lav may restrict the actor's movement, but a wireless lav mic requires only a small transmitter package that is usually clipped to the actor's belt or placed in their pocket.

A wireless lavalier microphone transmits its audio feed via RF directly to a receiver that the mixer can control and adjust. There are lavalier microphones on the market of varying quality, but the best choice will produce audio comparable to that of a standard boom microphone.

Benefits of Using Lavalier Microphones

1. Hands-Free Operation

Lavalier microphones allow performers, interviewers, and speakers to use their hands freely, making them ideal for presentations, interviews, and performances.

2. Discreet and Unobtrusive

Their small size and ability to be clipped onto clothing make them less noticeable, providing a clean and professional appearance on camera.

3. Mobility

Users can move around freely without worrying about being tethered to a stationary microphone, enhancing the natural flow of movement and interaction.

4. Consistent Audio Quality

Being close to the speaker’s mouth, lavalier microphones capture consistent audio levels regardless of the speaker's movement, ensuring clear and reliable sound.

5. Versatility

Suitable for a wide range of applications, including theater, television, public speaking, and field recording.

6. Minimal Setup

Easy to set up and use, making them a practical choice for both professionals and beginners.

7. Reduced Handling Noise

Unlike handheld microphones, lavalier mics are less prone to picking up handling noise, resulting in cleaner audio recordings.

By incorporating these benefits, lavalier microphones enhance both the convenience and quality of audio recording in various settings.

Cons: Disadvantages of Using Lavalier Microphones:

Lavalier microphones can pick up unwanted background noise due to their omnidirectional pickup pattern and may require careful placement to avoid rustling sounds from clothing. Additionally, their small size makes them more prone to damage and loss compared to larger, more robust microphones.

How to Use a Lavalier Microphone?

Most good quality lav microphones have a clip that attaches to the microphone lead.

Depending on the clothing being worn, you can.

  • If there is a collar, you can clip the microphone to the edge of the collar and usually, you will align the microphone capsule to your sternum (in other words, facing inward). Facing down is fine, as it will reduce the possibility of bursting sounds.
  • If there is no collar to clip the mic to, you can always hold a bit of fabric with two fingers and clip the mic to it.

How to Choose the Correct Lavalier Microphone?

There's no right or wrong way of determining the perfect lavalier microphone suitable for you. You just need to follow these steps:

Step 1. Determine Your Needs

Identify the primary use (e.g., interviews, presentations, performances). Consider whether you need a wired or wireless microphone based on mobility requirements.

Step 2. Learn about the Various Microphone Types

Decide between omnidirectional (captures sound from all directions) or unidirectional (captures sound from one direction) based on your recording environment.

Step 3. Check the Connectivity

Ensure compatibility with your recording device (e.g., smartphone, camera, audio recorder) and check for necessary adapters or connectors.

Step 4. Test for Sound Quality

Look for microphones with a good frequency response and low handling noise to ensure clear audio.

Step 5. Determine Your Budget

Consider your budget and balance between cost and features. Some high-end models offer superior sound quality and durability.

Step 6. Choose a Durable, Sturdy Build Quality

Choose a microphone with a robust build to withstand wear and tear, especially if used frequently or in various environments.

Step 7. Take note of Additional Features

Look for features like wind protection, pop filters, and easy mounting options to enhance performance and convenience.

By considering these factors, you can select a lavalier microphone that best suits your specific needs and ensures high-quality audio recording.

Popular Lavalier Microphones

Here are some popular lavalier microphones you might consider:

1. Rode SmartLav+: Known for its high-quality audio and compatibility with smartphones.
2. Sennheiser ME 2-II: Offers excellent sound quality and is commonly used in professional settings.
3. Audio-Technica ATR3350xiS: A budget-friendly option that provides good audio quality for its price.

4. Maono WM820 A1/A2 Wrieless Lavalier Microphone - Perfect for YouTubers
The Maono WM820 A1/A2 Wireless microphone is an ultra-compact and extremely versatile wireless microphone system consisting of a receiver and transmitters. Universal compatibility with cameras, mobile devices and computers, extended range (164ft line of sight), and improved transmission stability.
Maono-Professional Audio Innovation
With vast combined experience & excellent abilities in electrical engineering, industrial design, software engineering, we design and manufacture the best quality audio products in house, sell directly to end-users
  • 2s auto pairing, plug and play
  • Ultra-compact wireless audio
  • 2.4GHz digital transmission, crystal-clear audio at up to 164ft, optimized for extremely stable operation in dense RF environments
  • Built-in Omni mics and external lavalier microphone, meet the needs of different scenarios
  • Fine mic adjustment for easier audio post-editing
  • Professional audio chip for clear and natural sound
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5. Maono WM820 B2 Wrieless Lavalier Microphone - Perfect for iPhone users

Sometimes we need the freedom of cable-free recording, but that doesn't mean we need to sacrifice audio quality. Maono WM820 B2 wireless microphones allow us to record incredible audio without limitations when you're on stage, on set, or in the field.

The Maono Wireless Microphone is an ultra-compact and extremely versatile wireless microphone system consisting of a receiver and transmitters. Maono WM820 B2 has passed Apple MFi certification. It offers the best performance and maximum compatibility on Apple iOS devices.

More Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

What's the difference between Maono wireless and another brand wireless microphones?

Maono wireless microphones are described as follows:

1. MFi Certified
The Maono has passed this certification with strong R&D and manufacturing strength.
2. Excellent Performance and Maximum Compatibility on Apple
No pop-ups; real plug and play, no damage to your devices. Don't worry about not working after iOS system update
3. Good Sound Quality
Maono WM820 B2 wireless mics use a high-class professional audio chip providing intelligent noise reduction. The S/N(SIGNAL-NOISE RATIO) is 82dB(82db S/N Ratio). which is suitable for capturing every audio detail.

What are the Types of Lavalier Microphones?

Lavalier microphones come in various types to suit different needs and applications:

  • Wired Lavalier Microphones: These are connected directly to the recording device via a cable, offering reliable audio quality without worrying about battery life.
  • Wireless Lavalier Microphones: These provide more freedom of movement as they transmit audio wirelessly to the recording device. They are ideal for presentations and on-the-go recordings.
  • USB Lavalier Microphones: These are designed to connect directly to a computer via USB, making them perfect for podcasting, streaming, and online meetings.

So there you have it! A crash course in lavalier microphones. No matter the size of your production or budget, don't neglect sound. Everything we've covered here today is affordable and will help boost the overall production value of your next project. 

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