8 Best Lavalier Microphones of 2019

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Lavalier microphone options at the consumer level have evolved a lot in recent years. You can now find pro-grade products at affordable prices. Even cheap ones provide audio quality that far surpasses the tinny built-in mics found on computers and smart devices. This guide reviews 8 lavalier microphones for all budgets and recording applications.

Keep reading if you’re new to this technology. My short introduction will help you to make better buying decisions. You’ll also be able to make much better sense of the reviews.

Budget
best-budget-lavalier-microphone
Paladou Smartphone Lav Mic
4.6/5.0
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Weight: 0.8 ounces
Plug-n-play, Y-splitter, wind muffs camera/PC adapter, pouch, ties, value.
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Best Value
best-value-lavalier-microphone
Comica XLR Lavalier Mic
4.5/5.0
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Weight: 4.5 ounces
No batteries needed, long silicone wire, versatile use, dead cat wind muffs.
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Top Pick
top-value-lavalier-microphone
Tascam DR-10L Pro Lav Mic
4.7/5.0
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Weight: 1.6 ounces
EL display, headphone output, Micro USB port, 10 hours per charge, belt clip.
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What Is a Lavalier Microphone?

Lavalier mics go by several names, but they’re the same thing. You may see them advertised as neck, lapel, lav, collar, clip, body, and personal mics. These products are tiny, discreet, and mostly worn on clothing. They can be incredibly powerful despite their small size. They’re the preferred choice for theater, television, and public speaking. Two-mic sets are often used for interviews.

The cords of Lavalier mics are around 3ft in length and hidden by clothes. It’s the miniature size, ultra-lightweight, and handsfree operations that make them so appealing. Lavalier mics get power from an internal battery or via phantom power (see next). Some work with either option. They may plug into a computer, mixer, or digital recorder. There are even mics that work through modern smartphones.

Phantom (+48V) Power Defined

Phantom power—so-called because it’s invisible—is direct current (DC) electric power. It sends an electrical current through a mic’s audio cable (one cable, two jobs). It’s used for most condenser type mics though not all. Not every lav condenser mic needs 48V phantom power. Some operate on lesser voltages and use batteries. Always check the specs for the power requirements of these mics.

Wired or Wireless?

Decide whether you want a wired or wireless lavalier microphone. Note that wireless systems cost more than wired. Also, make sure you know what to connect to with a wired mic. The product may work with a portable digital audio recorder. The Tascam DR-10L is an excellent example of a compact recorder for lavalier mics. These devices provide lots of creative recording potential.

Or perhaps you want a lavalier mic that connects directly to a DSLR camera or smartphone? Always check the mic’s compatibility with your device before you buy anything.

Polar Pick Up Patterns

Ignoring the pickup or polar pattern of a lavalier microphone is a common newbie buying blunder. These tiny mics typically have an omnidirectional (Omni) or unidirectional pattern (Cardioid). The Omni pattern is sensitive to sound in all directions. The cardioid pattern picks up sound from the front, a little from the sides, and ignores the back. So, which should you use and why?

Why choose a cardioid polar pattern?

The cardioid polar pattern is the best option if you don’t want the mic to pick up any background noise. It reduces the sound of a keyboard if you need to type as you speak, as one example. This pattern is also ideal for podcasters who need 100% focus on their voice with no distractions. Conducting interviews in the field is another good reason to choose a cardioid mic. You get the idea.

Why choose an omnidirectional polar pattern?

The Omni pattern provides a natural sound and picks up noise from all directions. Thus, they’re not suitable for any of the situations mentioned above. An Omni pattern is ideal for events where you want to capture everyone’s voice and the local ambiance. Many lavalier mics are omnidirectional. That’s because it’s not easy to point these tiny devices directly at the sound source.

About My ‘Lavalier Microphone’ Guide

It can be a challenge to choose a lavalier mic with so many products on offer. Some are better than others, and the cost is not always an accurate indicator of quality. So, I’ve looked over several dozen lav mics in detail. I also checked what industry experts have to say and observed real user feedback.

My shortlist of 8 lavalier mics here are some of the current favorites across all price ranges. The first three are my choice for the Best Budget lav, Best Value, and then the Top Pick.

Lavalier Microphones Comparison Table

1. Paladou Smartphone Lavalier Mic | Best Budget

Paladou Smartphone Lavalier MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Best Budget lavalier microphone goes to the Paladou Omnidirectional lapel mic. It’s an affordable set that works well for recording interviews, YouTube vids, podcasts, and video conferences, etc.

  • Best feature 1: Full interview set, lots of extras
  • Best feature 2: Wide device compatibility
  • Plus points: Plug-n-play, Y-splitter, wind muffs camera/PC adapter, pouch, ties, value
  • Minus points: Picks up noise from clothing,

Paladou Lavalier Mic Highlights

Mic Compatibility: Apple iPhone, including 7/7/8/8 XR/XS/ and XS Max; Google Android Smartphones, and Windows PCs. iPhones need to use the Lightning port adapter that came with the device.

This mic retails for just under 20 dollars at the time of writing. The sound quality is impressive for such an inexpensive product—outdoors and in. The 6.5ft extension cord gives plenty of flexibility too. This kit by Paladou has two microphones, which makes it the perfect choice for interviews. Also in the box are two extension cords, a Y-splitter, a couple of wind muffs, and an adapter for PCs and DSLRs.

Most built-in mics can’t compete with this puppy. Not in audio quality, and definitely not with flexibility. The sound guarantees to impress first-time users of external mics. Even so, it’s more likely to be a stepping-stone product on the way to even greater audio, but it’s an excellent start.

The Not So Good

Paladou Lapel Mic picks up some sound from noisy clothing. It’s not unusual for cheaper lavalier mics to pick up the rustle of moving fabrics. The way to reduce that is to experiment with different materials. The rule of thumb is to avoid synthetics and silks.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Paladou
Mic Type: Wired lavalier
Connection: 3.5mm jack
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Cord Length: 5ft. (1.5 meters)
Package Dimensions: 4.8 x 3.5 x 2”
Product Weight: 0.8 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Dual interview mic set
Long cables & cable ties
Y-splitter
Wind muffs
PC/camera adapter
Wide device compatibility
Plug-n-play simplicity
Carrying pouch
The Cons
Picks up noise from clothing

2. Comica XLR Lavalier Lapel Mic | Best Value

Comica XLR Lavalier Lapel MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

The Comica CVM-V02 gets the Best Value slot. It’s an XLR 2-pack microphone set that uses phantom power and boasts broadcast audio quality for a reasonable price.

  • Best feature 1: High-quality all-metal barrel for enhanced shielding
  • Best feature 2: Ergonomic, comfortable design
  • Plus points: No batteries needed, long silicone wire, versatile use, dead cat wind muffs
  • Minus points: Needs to be close to the sound source, no carrying case

Comica XLR Lavalier Mic Highlights

The all-metal barrels provide enhanced shielding for the two plastic mics. Comica CVM-V02 gets its 48V phantom power from the devices it plugs the 3-pin XLR connector into. That can be a camcorder, DSLR camera, external power supply, or an audio recorder. No batteries needed. The sound output is crystal clear thanks in part to the flat frequency response.

These mics have plenty of soft, flexible silicone cord at almost 15ft (4.5m). And the included dead cats help to keep wind noise at bay when recording outdoors. The pickup pattern is omnidirectional, which means the mics record sound from all directions. Consider the Comica CVM-V02 if you want pro-quality audio for your projects. It’s great for interviews, podcasts, home studio, YouTube, and gaming, etc.

The Not So Good

Most users of this mic are happy with the sound, and those who aren’t are probably too far away. The CVM-V02 does need to be close to its sound source for best results, though. You can experiment with different positions using the all-metal alligator clip. There’s no carrying case to keep everything together. That’s disappointing as many cheaper models manage to include one into their mic sets.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Comica
Mic Type: 2-mic XLR lavalier set
Connection: 3-pin XLR
Polar Pattern: Omni-directional
Power Supply: 48V phantom
Frequency Range: 100Hz-12KHz
Sensitivity: 35 dB±3 dB
Signal/Noise Ratio: 60 dB
Power Source: 48V Phantom Powered
Package Dimensions: 3.8 x 6.3 x 5.4”
Product Weight: 4.5 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
All-metal barrel for enhanced shielding
Ergonomic, comfortable design
Crisp, clean audio
CNC precision processing technology
No batteries needed
Long silicone wires
Versatile use
Dead cat wind muffs
The Cons
Needs to be close for best results
No carrying case

3. Tascam DR-10L Portable Lavalier Mic | Top Pick

Tascam DR-10L Portable Lavalier MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

My Top pick goes to the Tascam DR-10L, a portable digital audio recorder with a lavalier microphone. The set also includes a mic clip, windscreen, and a 5.2ft cable.

  • Best feature 1: Ultra-compact, digital recorder & lavalier mic combo
  • Best feature 2: Playback function
  • Plus points: EL display, headphone output, Micro USB port, 10 hours per charge, belt clip
  • Minus points: Included mic has a little self-noise, weak headphone amp

Tascam DR-10L Lavalier Mic/Recorder Highlights

The Tascam DR-10L is a micro recorder/omni mic set with macro functions. The build of both mic and digital audio recorder are pro quality. This compact unit gives you the freedom and flexibility of a wireless setup but without the range restrictions and drops. There’s a locking plug for the mic and a belt-clip to carry the recorder handsfree. The EL display is a tad small but it’s bright and practical.

This compact set can record up to 10 hours on a single AAA battery. The unit also has a headphone output for audio monitoring. The supported file format is WAV and compatible with Broadcast Wave Format or BWF. Files save to MicroSD/SDHC cards up to 32GB. Tascam DR-10L Lavalier Mic/Recorder is a welcome, versatile addition to modern bodypack recorders.

The Not So Good

The included lavalier mic has a little self-noise, but it’s by no way a deal-breaker. The star of this set is the tiny recorder, though, so you can use any lavalier mic of your choice. The headphone amp is a tad on the weak side, but again, that’s more of a nitpick than a major negative.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Tascam
Mic Type: Lavalier
Connection: 3.5mm jack
Cable Length: 5.2ft.
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Recording Media: MicroSD/SDHC card
Recording File Format: WAV/BWAV
Recording Res: 44.1-48kHz, 16-24 bit
Display: High-contrast OLED
Power Supply: 1 x AAA battery/USB
Product Dimensions: 1 x 2 x 2.2”
Product Weight: 1.6 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Ultra-compact, digital recorder/mic set
Playback function
Bright, EL display
Simple, effective controls
Headphone output
Can power via Micro USB port
Long battery life
Decent belt clip
The Cons
Included mic has a little self-noise
Weak headphone amp

4. PoP Voice Professional Lavalier Lapel Mic

PoP Voice Professional Lavalier Lapel MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The PoP Voice Professional Lavalier Lapel Microphone is the cheapest in this guide. But is it any good? The answer to that is yes as it continues to sell well and receive encouraging feedback.

  • Best feature 1: Useful PC adapter
  • Best feature 2: Clean, loud audio
  • Plus points: Broad compatibility, all-metal clip, long cable, wind muff, carrying case
  • Minus points: Average everything, some background noise

PoP Voice Lavalier Lapel Mic Highlights

Microphone compatibility: Apple iPhone 7 (and above), iPad, iPod, Touch, Apple MacBook, Google Android OS, Windows Smartphone, Windows PC, and laptop computers w/ adapter.

The great thing about the PoP Voice lavalier microphone is its compatibility (see above). The included 4 Pin to 3 Pin PC adapter lets you plug it into any desktop or laptop computer. And the 3.5mm TRRS plug connects the mic to most modern Android and iOS smart devices. You need the Lightning to 3.5mm Adapter for iPhone 7 and above, though. That should have come with the product.

The sound quality of this mic is much better than those built-in to electronic devices. It has an omni pattern, which means it picks up sound equally from all sides. The metal clip grips well to fabrics to keep the microphone firmly in position. The included cable is just under 5ft, but there’s a 6.5ft extension available if you need more. The other extras include wind muffs and a carry case.

The Not So Good

This is a great mic—for the money. It’ has acceptable audio but by no means exceptional. Those who buy the PoP Voice with realistic expectations are pleasantly surprised. Those who hope to get high-quality results are sure to be disappointed. Everything about this product is a good average, and that reflects in its price. It picks up a little background sound, but the interference isn’t extreme.

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Tech Specs
Brand: PoP Voice
Mic Type: Condenser recording
Connection: 3.5mm plug
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 1 x 59”
Product Weight: 1.6 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Plug-n-play simplicity
Useful PC adapter
Clean, loud sound
Broad compatibility
All-metal mic clip
Long cable
Wind muffs (2)
Handy carrying case
The Cons
Average everything
Some background noise

5. PowerDeWise Pro-Grade Lavalier Lapel Mic

PowerDeWise Pro-Grade Lavalier Lapel MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.5/5

This lavalier lapel mic is by PowerDeWise. It’s another affordable product that sells well and gets lots of positive feedback. It’s not without a few cons, but it’s perfect for the price.

  • Best feature 1: Free Y-connecter available for 2-mic interviews
  • Best feature 2: 4 to 3-pin adapter
  • Plus points: Metal alligator clip, extension cable, Velcro straps, wind muffs, carrying pouch
  • Minus points: Skinny, potentially fragile cables

PowerDeWise Pro Lavalier Mic Highlights

Microphone Compatibility: Windows PCs & laptops, most Android devices, Apple iPhones from 2007–2015, iPhones 7 and above with Lightning adapter, iPads, iPods, and some cameras.

The PowerDeWise isn’t really a ‘pro-grade’ lavalier microphone, despite its description. That would be impossible at just over 20 dollars. Even so, it offers exceptional value for the money with surprisingly good audio. This affordable omnidirectional mini lapel mic feels and outperforms its price tag. Consider the PowerDeWise if you want a compact lavalier for use across all your smart devices.

The free Y-connector allows you to connect 2 mics in one device. That’s the ideal setup for anyone who conducts two-person interviews. Every new box comes with a bunch of extras to support the product. They include a rotating clip, two wind muffs, a 6.5ft cable, Velcro straps, and a 4 to 3-pin adapter. There’s also a deluxe carrying pouch to keep everything together.

The Not So Good

The cables are skinny and look prone to breakage. They seem to be much tougher than they look, but they do have a flimsy feel about them, so handle with care. The sound quality is a good average for a product in its class and much better than built-in mics. It’s not professional-grade audio, and those who expect that don’t have realistic expectations. Everyone else is sure to be impressed, though.

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Tech Specs
Brand: PowerDeWise
Connection: 3.5mm TRRS jack
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Sensitivity: -46±2dB
Signal to Noise Ratio: ≥56 dB
Frequency Range: 50-16,000Hz
Package Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 3.1”
Product Weight: 8 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Great value entry-level mic
Plug-n-play simplicity
Broad device compatibility
Free Y-connecter available
4 to 3-pin adapter
Rotatable, metal alligator clip
Long extension cable
Velcro straps to keep cables tidy
Protective wind muffs
Deluxe carrying pouch
The Cons
Skinny, potentially fragile cables
Not pro-grade audio as per description, but still decent

6. Rode SmartLav+ Lavalier Mic for Smartphones

Rode SmartLav+ Lavalier Mic for SmartphonesView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.3/5

The Rode SmartLav+ Lavalier Mic for Smartphones costs over three times as much as the previous pick. That’s quite a price hike, but is it worth the extra expense? Keep reading to find out.

  • Best feature 1: Excellent choice for Android/iOS Smartphones
  • Best feature 2: High-quality audio recording
  • Plus points: Broad usage, Kevlar-reinforced cable, pop shield, carrying pouch, value
  • Minus points: Unpopular Rode app, fee for app

Rode SmartLav+ Lavalier Mic Highlights

Microphone compatibility: iPhone 5S, 5, 5C, 4S, 4, Apple iPad Air, iPad (3rd gen), iPad mini, iPad 2, iPod touch (4th/5th gen), most Google Android OS devices, and more.

Rode’s SmartLav+ condenser mic is made for both Android and Apple phones and tablets. It delivers high-quality audio that’s superior to the tinny built-in mics of smart devices. The SmartLav+ also boasts higher signal-to-noise (S/N) and better sensitivity than cheaper lapel microphones. The miniature 4.5mm lavalier clips tightly to lapels or shirts, and is ultra-discrete.

The sensitive omnidirectional capsule records sound equally at 360°. This is an ideal product for many recording applications. It guarantees crystal clear, natural-sounding audio for interviews, speeches, and dictation, etc. The Kevlar-reinforced cable is practically indestructible, which is not the case with all microphone wires. This lavalier mic by Rode works with all the popular recording apps too. Accessories include a mounting clip, foam windshield, and a smart pouch for storage and travel.

The Not So Good

The Rode app gets a lot of negative publicity from users as it’s not updated often and is inconsistent. The good thing about apps is that developers can improve them remotely. Hopefully Rode’s app connectivity issues are—or soon to be—a thing of the past. The app also costs extra, which only fuels user disappointment. The company doesn’t have an in-house app for Android at the time of writing.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Rode
Mic Type: Smartphone lavalier
Connection: TRRS Jack
Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
Power Supply: Plug-in device
Frequency Range: 60 Hz-18 kHz
Maximum SPL: 110 dB
Sensitivity: -35.0 dB
App: RØDE Rec app
Package Dimensions: 5 x 1 x 3”
Product Weight: 0.16
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Pro-grade mic for Android & iOS
Plug-n-play simplicity
High-quality audio recording
Broad usage
Kevlar-reinforced cable
Pop shield included
Carrying/travel pouch
Value for money
The Cons
Unpopular Rode App
App costs extra
No in-house Android app

7. Fifine K038 UHF Dual Channel WiFi Lavalier Mic

Fifine K038 UHF Dual Channel WiFi Lavalier MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.2/5

Fifine is another well-known name in the world of microphones. This is the company’s wireless Lavalier system. It comes with two of everything, and at an attractive price.

  • Best feature 1: Full lavalier/headset wireless mic system
  • Best feature 2: Heavy-duty dual-channel receiver/mixer
  • Plus points: 2 of everything, quality build, handsfree, multiple applications, 1 output—4 mics
  • Minus points: No storage/carry case, belt-packs non-rechargeable

Fifine WiFi Lavalier Mic Highlights

Fifine K038 wireless lavalier microphone set is a full system. It includes 2 lavalier mics, 2 headset mics, and 2 clip-on transmitters. The transmitters have flexible antennas, so there’s no risk of breaking them. There’s also a versatile dual-channel receiver/mixer in the box that can connect extra mics and an external speaker. The wireless working distance is between 33–98ft depending on conditions.

The build quality and audio are exceptional, and something that surprises most buyers considering the price. Finally, it’s a superb wireless system for those who need to be expressive with their hands. It allows you to speak, sing, and interact with an audience without worrying about the audio setup. There is lots of real user feedback for this product, some of which includes video demonstrations.

The Not So Good

There’s a lot of gear with the Fifine K038 wireless mic kit, but nothing to store or carry it in. I’m sure most people would have been more than happy to pay a bit extra for a custom hard case. Another minor negative is that the belt-packs are not rechargeable. That would have been convenient. Still, it’s possible to use rechargeable batteries, so that’s something at least.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Fifine
Mic Type: Full wireless system
Connection: 3.5mm, 1/4″ jacks
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Battery (transmitters): 1.5V Alkaline
Package Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.9 x 3.2”
Product Weight: 48 oz.
Warranty: 1 year
The Pros
Full mobile WiFi mic system
Metal dual-channel receiver
1 output—4 mics
Handsfree
2 of everything
High-quality build
Use with multiple applications
Excellent value
The Cons
No storage/carry case
Belt-packs not rechargeable

8. Shure WL185 WiFi Lavalier Condenser Mic

Shure WL185 WiFi Lavalier Condenser MicView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

MY last lavalier microphone review goes to the Shure WL185 condenser mic with a cardioid pickup. It’s a superb product for those who demand premium quality for a variety of speech applications.

  • Best feature 1: Works with Shure’s wireless body-pack transmitters
  • Best feature 2: Subminiature design
  • Plus points: Quality build, rotating tie clip, easy to set up, bright, full audio, great value
  • Minus points: Sensitive to plosives if too close

Shure WL185 Wireless Lavalier Highlights

The Shure WL185 has a subminiature design and a low-profile appeal, thus making it easy to conceal. The mic includes a hardwired 4ft cable with a 4-pin mini-sized TA4-female connector. The company designed the WL185 to work with its wireless body-pack transmitters. The sound quality is excellent, though getting the mic in the perfect position may take a little practice.

The cardioid pattern has a 130° pickup angle and rejects most off-axis ambient noise. Shure’s WL185 also has a high SPL rating and wide frequency response that contributes to the clear natural audio. The mic is quite expensive, but it’s pure quality and should last a long time with proper care.

The Not So Good

Users mostly welcome the cardioid pickup pattern. However, there needs to be close attention to placement, unlike with 360° omnidirectional patterns. The mic can be sensitive to plosives if placed too close to the sound source. The way to avoid that is to tweak the positioning so that it’s just right.

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Tech Specs
Brand: Shure
Mic Type: Subminiature wireless
Connection: TA4-Female
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Power Supply: Bodypack transmitter
Dynamic Range: 102dB
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 18dB
Max Input Sound Level: 130dB
Output Impedance: 28 ohms
Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.4 x 3.4”
Weight: 7.2 oz.
Warranty: 1 year limited
The Pros
Wireless, hands-free lavalier mic
Works w/ Shure body-pack transmitters
Subminiature design
Clear, full audio
High-quality build
90° rotating tie clip
Easy to set up
Reliable, long-lasting product
Value for money
The Cons
Sensitive to plosives if too close
Body-pack transmitters extras
0/50 ratings