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Among the wide variety of microphone form factors, regardless of the technological level and quality, there is a special one – lavalier microphones. These are the smallest models that were originally conceived to be attached to the buttonhole of a jacket, and thus got their name. Now this form factor is especially relevant against the background of the explosive development of the industry of video blogging, streaming and the like.

The editors of Expertology magazine bring you an overview of the best lavalier microphones in 2019 according to our experts. The experts selected 12 models based on the results of testing and the reputation of each individual model in the vlogging environment, excluding the most expensive professional solutions.

How to choose a lavalier microphone

The general principles and criteria for selecting the optimal microphone for key technical characteristics are largely similar for any form factor, and they are described in detail in our past materials. Here we will emphasize only a couple of nuances regarding the buttonholes.

Orientation

Depending on the tasks performed, the microphone may have a different orientation. Basically, this indicator is taken into account when choosing “large” studio microphones. However, lavalier models can also have different directions. And here the field of their application is significantly narrowed.

Due to the fact that the lavalier microphone is most often attached to clothing, turning the head of the interviewer or his interlocutor radically changes the direction of the sound source. For an omnidirectional microphone, such dynamic operating conditions are not fundamental, but if the directionality is strictly defined, significant fluctuations in perceived loudness and sound clarity are inevitable.

With that said, for general tasks, experts recommend only omnidirectional models. It makes sense to buy more highly specialized solutions only if you understand their purpose very clearly.

Food

The miniature size of lavalier microphones makes it difficult to provide them with self-contained power. For the most part, the buttonholes are completely passive, but the microphone still needs at least insignificant power to work.

For the most part, the issue is resolved by consuming phantom voltage directly from the connection jack to the receiving device. However, there are enough devices that do not even supply phantom currents to the connector. In this case, the microphone without its own power simply will not work. This point must be taken into account when choosing a particular model.

Of course, this nuance only applies to wired microphones, since wireless microphones must have their own power supply anyway.

Rating of the best lavalier microphones

Nomination place Name of product price

Best Inexpensive Lavalier Microphones

one

SVEN MK-150

81 ₽

2

Ulanzi AriMic Lavalier Microphone

900 ₽

3

PANASONIC RP-VC201E-S

1 015 ₽

four

BOYA BY-GM10

929 ₽

Best Wired Lavalier Microphones

one

BOYA BY-M1

1 355 ₽

2

SARAMONIC SR-LMX1+

2 989 ₽

3

SARAMONIC LavMic with audio mixer

6 490 ₽

four

RODE SMARTLAV+

4 598 ₽

5

SENNHEISER ME 4-N

5 480 ₽

6

RODE LAVALIER

15 020 ₽

Best Wireless Lavalier Microphones

one

COMICA CVM-WS50

9 299 ₽

2

Sennheiser EW100

60 790 ₽

Best Inexpensive Lavalier Microphones

In the first selection, Expertology experts suggest paying attention to the most inexpensive lavalier microphones from the most efficient ones available on the Russian market. This is the best choice for the first steps in vlogging, streaming, independent journalism and related fields.

See also: 15 best microphones

SVEN MK-150

Rating: 4.6

SVEN MK-150

First, let’s consider the undisputed market record holder in terms of affordability, combined with fairly good characteristics. This is an electret microphone of the well-known brand SVEN. We note right away that there is a newer model in the line – MK-170, but it was the MK-150 that deserved mass popularity. The body of the microphone is made of black plastic. Cable length – 1.8 meters.

This and all subsequent models in the review are omnidirectional, connect to the receiving device via a standard 3.5mm mini jack socket, and use the phantom currents of the connector to work.

The sensitivity of the microphone is -58dB. He is able to perceive sound vibrations with a frequency of 50 to 16000 Hz. Impedance 2.2kOhm. Comparative characteristics in terms of sound recording quality compared to other more or less comparable models show some sound deafness. But given the deliberately benign expectations in this case, this cannot be considered a clear disadvantage.

What is really not in her favor in this model is the size. Width 7mm and length 9mm – in absolute terms, it would seem that it is not much, but compared to competitive models, the accessory is characterized by undesirable visibility on clothes. The problem disappears by itself if you attach the microphone to parts of the interior or to a computer monitor. You can attach it with a clip or regular disposable adhesive tape.

Advantages

  • sensitivity;

  • reliability and reliability;

  • super affordable price;

  • results far exceed user expectations.

Flaws

  • weak clip.

Ulanzi AriMic Lavalier Microphone

Rating: 4.6

Ulanzi AriMic Lavalier Microphone

Let’s now consider a microphone manufactured by a Chinese company, the name of which will say little to many, but this particular model turned out to be unexpectedly successful. She was especially liked by many YouTube video bloggers. Many travel bloggers, reviewers, streamers have found this microphone to be successfully used both in stationary conditions and in extreme conditions – in tandem with an action camera.

The sensitivity of the microphone is characterized by a range of -30dB to ±2dB. The operating range of perception of sound waves is from 20 to 20 thousand Hertz. The resistance is three times less than the previous model – 680 Ohm. Acoustic efficiency (SNR – noise absorption) – more than 58dB.

The microphone part of the accessory is much smaller than the previous model. The connecting cable is slightly shorter – 1.5 meters. The microphone requires 1 to 10V phantom power to operate.

In general, this model is an omnichannel lavalier microphone of sufficiently high quality and with a wide range of applications – for studio recording of interviews or dynamic shooting on a smartphone or action camera.

Separate kind words deserves a complete set. Even the packaging itself is very respectable, as for such an inexpensive accessory. Inside, in addition to the microphone itself, you will find a set of spare windscreens – foam rubber and a “hamster”, adapter connectors, a case, a spare clip. Adapters are the most important part of the kit, since it is with their help that the microphone can work both on a computer and on wearable gadgets.

Advantages

  • quality perception of sound;

  • compatibility with devices thanks to adapters;

  • uninterrupted work;

  • rich equipment.

Flaws

  • not marked.

PANASONIC RP-VC201E-S

Rating: 4.5

PANASONIC RP-VC201E-S

Another budget lavalier microphone, this time of the well-known PANASONIC brand. This is a dynamic bidirectional microphone, and its bidirectionality is due to the ability to record stereo sound – this is the main feature of the model, which was noted by our experts as an important advantage.

The sensitivity of the microphone is rated at -48dB. Band of recognition of sound vibrations – from 100 to 20 thousand Hertz. The nominal resistance is 1000 ohms.

Microphone dimensions – 32x12x21mm, weight – 14g. The case is made of silver-gray plastic. Fastening – a double-leaf clip, and fixed without the possibility of turning the microphone unit. This is the only tangible minus – the microphone can be fixed on clothes only in one position in a vertical fold of clothes, so that the cylindrical head is placed horizontally (in a vertical position, one channel will sound much quieter). Cable length – 1 meter.

The package bundle of this model is already much poorer than that of the previous one, and here this is not a PANASONIC disadvantage, but only a clear advantage of Ulanzi.

Advantages

  • records in stereo;

  • quality sound;

  • low noise level;

  • reliability and continuity.

Flaws

  • Do not rotate the microphone on the mount.

Also Read: 12 Best Karaoke Microphones

BOYA BY-GM10

Rating: 4.5

BOYA BY-GM10

The final item in the selection of the best lavalier microphones in 2019 according to Expertology is the BOYA brand model, which attracted the vlogger community. Of all the budget solutions described, this microphone is most adapted to work in tandem with action cameras.

In its pure form, the key technical characteristics of the microphone are as follows: capacitor principle of operation, sensitivity -38dB with an allowable error of 3dB (zero level is calculated as 1V/Pa at 1kHz frequency); perceived frequencies – from 32 to 18 thousand Hertz; signal-to-noise ratio – 74dB SPL.

The microphone is extremely miniature, so even the standard windscreen is many times larger. Connects to the receiving device via a 1.5 meter cable (other lengths may be modified) with a standard plug. To connect to GoPro HERO3+, Hero4 and similar action models, a special adapter is required and is included in the package.

Test results and the experience of numerous users show that the best performance of this microphone is achieved precisely when shooting with an action camera. The model is specially designed taking into account the mass of nuances that are not obvious to a layman. Using a microphone to record through other devices noticeably “sags” in sound quality.

Advantages

  • quality of perception and sound transmission;

  • closely adapted to action cameras;

  • low noise level;

  • reliability and durability;

  • equipment.

Flaws

  • noticeably lower quality on devices other than action cameras.

Best Wired Lavalier Microphones

This category in our review includes mid-range and semi-professional lavalier microphones that are versatile enough for a wide range of applications and at a reasonable price. The presented models differ from each other, in places significantly, but all of them are united by the method of connection and, accordingly, transmission – by wire. For most tasks, this format is enough, and for quite affordable money you can buy a microphone of a decent level.

BOYA BY-M1

Rating: 4.9

BOYA BY-M1

Let’s start with a lavalier microphone, which, due to its cost, “asks” to the budget category. However, at one time this model made a splash in the video blogging environment precisely because of the combination of technological level, capabilities and price. Until now, the microphone is widely recognized.

This is not even a microphone in itself, but a whole set of functional parts and accessories that provide the famous versatility of the model and its wide applicability in creative professions and beyond. The system consists of conditional two parts – the microphone itself and the electronic control unit. A long wire (6 meters) with a standard plug at the end leads from the microphone to the unit.

The plug is inserted directly into a miniature cylindrical block. On its body there is a mechanical switch for two positions – off / smartphone or camera. The control unit allows you to make the microphone technically compatible with any receiving device with one easy movement. For the iPhone, however, you will have to purchase a special “apple” adapter separately. The control unit is self-powered by a mini-battery LR44. Its charge lasts for a long time, many have not had to change it even once for the entire life of the microphone.

Key technical indicators of this model: capacitor type converter; omnidirectional; resistance – 1000 Ohm; range of recognition of sound vibrations – from 68 to 18000 Hertz; sensitivity – -30 dB; signal level is relative to noise at 74dB.

The switch on the control unit actually does the only thing – connects or disconnects the battery, depending on the type of receiving device. So, if the microphone is supposed to be used only with smartphones, then it will not need a battery at all. There is a slight gripe from users about the lack of a switch status indicator light. Such a trifle makes users confused, which is annoying.

In addition, this model also has a good package. The kit includes a 6.3mm adapter, a windscreen, a six-meter cable, a case, a battery and a clip. A frequent wish of users is at least a primitive organizer for such a long cord or a tape measure, but, unfortunately, these are not provided.

Advantages

  • universality;

  • high-quality sound;

  • equipment;

  • reliability and durability;

  • long cable;

  • affordable price.

Flaws

  • there is no power indicator light – a trifle, but annoying.

Also Read: 10 Best Microphones for Streaming

SARAMONIC SR-LMX1+

Rating: 4.8

SARAMONIC SR-LMX1+

A simpler specialized solution is also worth your attention – the lavalier microphone of the SR-LMX1 + series of a fairly well-known brand of this kind of equipment – SARAMONIC. This model is optimized to work in tandem with a smartphone. It was introduced in September 2017 and has been in steady demand ever since.

This is an omnidirectional dynamic type microphone that perceives sound vibrations in the range from 30 to 18 thousand Hertz. It has a signal-to-noise ratio of 74 dB. Its sensitivity is about -30dB with an error within 3dB (if 0dB=1V/Pa). Power – up to 120mV, resistance – 22 thousand ohms.

The active part of the microphone is made in the form of a miniature all-metal capsule. It is carefully calibrated at the factory. The device connects to a smartphone via a 1.8-meter cable with a standard TRRS 3.5mm plug at the end. The cable is made of elastic, but durable material, resistant to breaks and breaks due to “fatigue”. In addition to the main cable, there is also a 4 meter extension cable.

The restriction on use with smartphones is, of course, conditional. If necessary, the microphone will work without problems on any other device through a suitable adapter. But even in such a narrow range of applications, this model finds a huge number of admirers, among which there are even quite famous travel video bloggers.

Advantages

  • high-quality sound;

  • low noise level;

  • long extension cable included;

  • all-metal calibrated head;

  • value for money.

Flaws

  • not marked.

SARAMONIC LavMic with audio mixer

Rating: 4.7

SARAMONIC LavMic with audio mixer

In addition to the previous model, consider another interesting lavalier microphone of the same brand. Its peculiarity lies in additional functions – the possibility of prompt mixing of sound through a special module.

The dimensions of the device are 8.3×2.7×3.5cm, the weight in the kit is 107g. The key technical indicators regarding the sound of this model are as follows: the range of perception of oscillations is from 20 to 20 thousand Hertz; signal-to-noise ratio SNR – 73dB; sensitivity – -30dB.

Now let’s look at additional functionality. The LavMic microphone is a mini-system consisting of, in fact, a microphone and a control unit. Its capabilities are much wider than, say, a similar solution in the BOYA BY-M1 microphone. Here you can already adjust the level on the fly during recording and switch from stereo to mono and back. To monitor the results of such operational mixing in real time, you can use ordinary headphones – they will need to be connected via a standard connector to the same control unit. The mixing unit is powered by a regular AAA battery.

The microphone has a good additional package. The kit contains several individual cables specifically for GoPro, for smartphones and for cameras. Many descriptions on the Web emphasize that this microphone works well on Apple gadgets – iPhone, iPad, iPod. Here you need to understand that we mean only those models that have a standard 3.5mm jack. For the same iPhones of the next generations, it will already be necessary to purchase a special adapter for Lightning separately.

Advantages

  • high-quality sound;

  • reliability and continuity;

  • universality;

  • additional functionality for mixing and monitoring;

  • powered by AAA battery.

Flaws

  • not marked.

RODE SMARTLAV+

Rating: 4.6

RODE SMARTLAV+

Continuing the ranking of the best lavalier microphones in 2019 according to Expertology is an interesting model from the prominent Australian brand RODE. This microphone already brings us very close to professional equipment.

This is a condenser omnidirectional microphone. Device dimensions – 12×4.5×4.5mm, weight – only 6g. Connects to the receiving device via a cable with a standard 3.5mm mini-jack plug.

The main technical indicators of the microphone in terms of sound: the range of perceived vibrations – from 20 to 20 thousand Hertz; sensitivity – -35dB; limit value of sound pressure – 110 dB SPL; suppression of own noise – 27dBA.

The package includes the microphone itself, a foam windscreen cap, a clip for fastening, and a pouch.

The model has been designed with the intention of providing the highest quality voice recordings. Engineers with the task completely coped. Independent testing and daily user reviews show effective noise cancellation and clear voice recognition in urban, natural, and public environments, both outdoors and indoors. At the same time, the scope of SMARTLAV +, of course, is not limited to voice interviews and monologues.

The manufacturer’s warranty for this model is 12 months.

Advantages

  • quality of materials;

  • almost professional level;

  • high-quality sound, especially voice recording;

  • equipment.

Flaws

  • not marked.

SENNHEISER ME 4-N

Rating: 4.6

SENNHEISER ME 4-N

Finally, let’s pay attention to the lapel microphone with a different directivity than almost all of the above. A unidirectional approach with a cardiac diagram is implemented here. This is exactly the case when, when buying such a microphone, you need to clearly understand for what purposes it will serve and whether it will be able to cope with the tasks.

The idea behind the ME 4-N was to create a lavalier microphone that would be able to recognize speech well in the presence of expressive background noise. That is why it was decided to make it unidirectional and with a cardioid diagram, plus the ability to control and suppress feedback.

The device itself is extremely miniature – only 12.5mm long, weighs almost nothing, is attached to clothing with a familiar clothespin-clip, and is connected to the receiving device via a 1.6-meter cable. Connector – standard mini-Jack TRS for 3.5mm jack. The quality of the materials commands respect and is quite noticeable even on such small details of the accessory.

Specifications of the device in terms of sound: range of recognizable frequencies – from 50 to 18 thousand Hertz; sensitivity in alternative terms – 40 mV / Pa; maximum sound pressure – 120 dB; equivalent noise – 31dB.

This model is often used in wireless transmission systems such as Sennheiser Wireless SK radio systems. The general scope of its application is much wider.

Advantages

  • quality of materials;

  • high-quality voice recognition in noisy conditions;

  • feedback suppression;

  • reliability and continuity;

  • ease of use.

Flaws

  • no systematic user complaints were identified.

RODE LAVALIER

Rating: 4.6

RODE LAVALIER

Completing this large selection of the best lavalier microphones in 2019 according to Expertology is another model from the RODE brand. And this is a truly professional microphone without any conventions. It is quite expected, it is much more expensive than any of the above.

The company has developed this condenser microphone as a versatile solution for the maximum range of applications. LAVALIER is designed to cope with dynamic reporting in noisy conditions, studio recordings, conferences, and even performances in front of thousands of stadiums. Such a high resource and margin of safety in every sense of this model.

The microphone itself is extremely miniature – only 12 mm in height. Connects via a MicroDot type cable with a standard plug. The complete set of this model deserves special mention. The kit includes foam and fur windshields, an adapter, an additional cable and additional accessories depending on the batch. All this is packaged in a durable waterproof case with a transparent lid.

The key characteristics of the microphone: the range of recognizable frequencies of sound vibrations – from 60 to 18 thousand Hertz; sensitivity – -33.5dB; impedance – 3 thousand ohms; signal-to-noise ratio – 69dB; dynamic range – 85dB.

An important feature of this model, if we consider the entire set, is the introduction of the MiCon connector system, through which you can replace the connector with another required one with minimal effort and cost, depending on the receiving system. So the microphone can be made compatible with radio systems Sennheiser, AKG, AudioTechnica and others.

Official manufacturer’s warranty – 12 months.

Advantages

  • professional level;

  • universality of application, including under serious loads;

  • quality of materials;

  • recording quality;

  • the richest equipment;

  • exceptional compatibility with other systems (MiCon).

Flaws

  • high price.

Best Wireless Lavalier Microphones

The final topic in Expertology’s Best Lavalier Microphones of 2019 is about wireless models. This type of device has a very obvious scope – from the usual conduct of a personal video blog to equipping the leading broadcasts of classic television channels. Here we will consider two sets of lavalier microphones with the accompanying necessary equipment. Such kits are already frankly expensive for the most part, and the task of our experts was to find on the market not only the best solutions in terms of quality, but also in terms of price.

COMICA CVM-WS50

Rating: 4.9

COMICA CVM-WS50

Let’s first look at the COMICA lavalier microphone system. This lavalier system has proven itself well with the vast majority of active users leaving comments and reviews.

So, the system is a separate modules interacting with each other – a transmitter and a receiver. Each of them is equipped with an antenna and an LCD screen, which displays the current modes and other useful information – battery charge, signal level, audio status.

The CVM-WS50 operates on six channels within an operating range of 520 to 526MHz. In open areas, the range of high-quality radio transmission reaches 60 meters, indoors – up to 40 meters.

Its own lithium-ion battery ensures the operation of the communication module for up to 4 hours without interruption. You can charge via the Micro USB connector.

The package includes the microphone itself; cables; universal mount made of aluminum for smartphones with a screen of 6 inches; handle for attaching to a tripod with a 1/4″ hole; foam rubber and fur windshield caps. As an option, various accessories can be attached to the handle. To use the microphone directly with the new iPhone, you need an adapter to Lightning, which will have to be purchased separately.

Advantages

  • professional level;

  • exceptional quality of materials and workmanship;

  • recording quality;

  • range of action;

  • autonomy;

  • equipment.

Flaws

  • no pronounced cons were found.

Sennheiser EW100

Rating: 4.8

Sennheiser EW100

And the Expertology review of the best lavalier microphones in 2019 concludes with the product of the well-known Sennheiser brand in professional circles. This is no longer just a professional model, but high-class equipment. The price, of course, is “protective”, but you need to at least know about the existence of such lavalier microphones for completeness. Due to the specifics, this model is also not sold in every store, even on the Internet.

EW100 is also a complex radio system similar to the one described above. The kit includes transmitting and receiving modules, the microphone itself, and a separate digital unit – an on-camera receiver. The powerful 4th generation SKP100 transmitter can turn any dynamic wired microphone into a wireless microphone. The system operates in the frequency range from 470 to 1800 MHz.

Key characteristics regarding sound: the perceived frequency range of sound – from 25 to 18 thousand Hertz; signal-to-noise ratio – 110dB(A); suppression of adjacent channels – up to 65dB; blocking – 79dB; number of reception frequencies – 1680, preset – 12; bandwidth – 42 MHz.

All functional modules of the system are powered by conventional AAA batteries. In total, six pieces are needed for the operation of all battery modules.

This system is designed and optimized specifically for working in the dynamic conditions of “field” journalism. Working modules are reliable and unpretentious both in operation and in storage. The entry threshold for mastering the system is also low – the devices are quite easy to connect, configure and use.

Advantages

  • professional level;

  • exceptional quality of materials and workmanship;

  • high quality voice recording in different acoustic conditions;

  • equipment;

  • AAA batteries for power;

  • two years warranty.

Flaws

  • exorbitant price.