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Best lavalier mic 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated September 1, 2020

Charlie OliverI’m Willow Charlie Oliver. My friends call me “stone” and it just kind of stuck. After putting in 39+ hours of research and testing, I made a list of the best lavalier mic of 2018 and explained their differences and advantages.

Just read here for my top 3 recommendations. Why are these 3 lavalier mic on top of my list? Well read on… I hope that my Top 3 list will provide you great options in buying the right fit for you.

Let’s get to it!

Best lavalier mic of 2018

Not all lavalier mic are created equal though. Based on customer reviews and my own experience with the cowboy method I’ve found the best 3 lavalier mic on the market. There’s a product for every kind of user on the list of affordable options below. However, after giving you the TOP list, I will also give you some of the benefits you stand to gains for using it.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
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Awards 1
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How to save up to 86%? Here is little trick.

You must visit the page of sales. Here is the link. If you don’t care about which brand is better, then you can choose the lavalier mic by the price and buy from the one who will offer the greatest discount.



№1 – Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone ­ Omnidirectional Mic with Easy Clip On System ­ Perfect for Recording Youtube / Interview / Video Conference / Podcast / Voice Dictation / iPhone

Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone ­ Omnidirectional Mic with Easy Clip On System ­ Perfect for Recording Youtube / Interview / Video Conference / Podcast / Voice Dictation / iPhone

NOISE CANCELLING FOR FLAWLESS RECORDINGS ­ PowerDeWise Lavalier Microphones record clean and clear sound for professional results. Use for Youtube Podcasting, GarageBand, or even to record your own rap!
3.5 MM TRRS COMPATIBLE JACK ­ Simply plug the microphone into your Apple MacBook, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Android or Windows smartphone and clip on to your shirt. Now you can instantly reproduce your voice, no additional plugs or batteries needed. (!) Compatible with PC and laptop, compatible with those cameras that do not require active microphone (with batteries)
For such a price and the level of quality it can’t even have any cons, only pick holes.

Why did this lavalier mic win the first place?

I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack.
















№2 – MAONO Lavalier Microphone

MAONO Lavalier Microphone

NOTE: two batteries are included for the mic, one is already installed on the microphone, if you run out of the battery, you can use the spared one inside the package. “OFF” is for smartphone mode, ON” is for DSLR camera mode, make sure use the right mode to match your device. It’s normal that a big noise might happen when plugging a microphone into a camera in auto volume mode, don’t worry, just decrease the volume a bit and it will eliminate the noise
A little bit shallow.
Guide can be a pain.

Why did this lavalier mic come in second place?

I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed.
















№3 – Lavalier Lapel Microphone with Easy Clip On System | Perfect for Recording Youtube Vlog Interview / Podcast | Best Lapel Mic for iPhone iPad iPod Android Mac PC

Lavalier Lapel Microphone with Easy Clip On System | Perfect for Recording Youtube Vlog Interview / Podcast | Best Lapel Mic for iPhone iPad iPod Android Mac PC

NOISE CANCELLING FOR FLAWLESS RECORDINGS ­ YouMic Lavalier Microphones record clean and clear sound for professional results. Use for Youtube Podcast or vlogging, GarageBand, or even to record your own rap!
MULTI COMPATIBLE 3.5 MM TRRS JACK ­ Simply plug the iphone microphone into your Apple MacBook, iPad, iPod, iPhone, Android or Windows smartphone and clip on to your shirt. Now you can instantly reproduce your voice, no additional plugs or batteries needed!
The knob at the top is rather flimsy.
Fairly expensive.

Why did this lavalier mic take third place?

I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built.
















lavalier mic Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy lavalier mic, right? No!

Special Projects AQUA 2020 Microphone System 16

Those were the simple reviews of reliable and worth buying wireless fitness microphones. Be sure that you read the first part of the article, because those features are really important when you want to buy this kind of microphone. Don’t encourage yourself to buy a cheap and low quality model, because in time you will invest the same amount of money, but with no satisfaction. Also, be sure that the microphone’s features are good enough for you and your type of work. Scan the market before buying anything and also make comparison between the products. Be really careful at the prices, too. Our advice is to buy a quality item, but some of them have only high prices, without any quality. So be really sure before you want to invest in something that is more expensive than usual. Don’t forget to make a pro and a cons list. This way will be easier for you to better see each item’s positive and negative features and the choosing will be simpler. Also, you can search for other reviews of the product and see other points of views. This will surely make you think about a product from different angles and it will really help you choose the right one for you.

The area you shoot in can make a huge difference! The saying “fix it in post” doesn’t really apply to audio. It’s extremely tough to remove ambient noise from a recording after the fact. Save yourself the aggravation and capture the best possible sounding audio during production.

Deaden room reverberation by taping blankets to the walls. You could also invest in acoustic panels that help remove room reverberation.

We prefer the shotgun microphone

At Wistia, we are constantly trying to make our production process more simple and less intimidating. That’s why we prefer to keep a shotgun mic positioned and ready for action in our studio. With this setup, subjects can jump in and out of the space to shoot videos on the fly.

We love the shotgun mic because it can be hidden outside of the shot (and the talent’s field of view), and it makes subjects’ voices sound close and clear. It also picks up a bit of ambient noise to provide a nicely balanced soundtrack. We broke down our recording process using a Canon 5D on the blog.

Noise Filter

Most lavalier mics have a noise filter built in. Some mics capture noise when you pick it up and that can be a distraction. Some of these lavalier mics are so sensitive that they end up picking up sounds your clothes make when you move.

These noises and sounds are unwelcome, so look for a lavalier mic that isn’t so sensitive. The good ones also have noise filters, so you’ll be able to use the mic without feeling any discomfort.

Customer Feedback

The ME EW microphone is versatile and has the features you would expect from a quality mic. The mic attaches on your clothes easily, so you’ll be ready to use it.

The mic also works great on the Zoom Hlocking nuts, and it doesn’t pick up as much unwanted noise as other mics.

It boasts of high speech intelligibility and it really delivers. Compared to other lavalier mics in this range, the ME holds up well.

The ME is also wireless, so you’ll have an easier time walking around. Thanks to this design you’ll be able to move without losing anything in terms of sound consistency.

As an omnidirectional mic, the ME is especially suited for vocal and speech applications. The ME is also easy to use and is simple enough to conceal in clothes.

If you need a mic that is discreet, small, and won’t be a distraction, the ME is a good choice. There are a lot of good lavalier mics out there, but the ME is one of the better ones.

The ME is also durable. As long as you take care of these there should be no problems when it comes to performance. Whether it is for interviews, videos, or film, the ME gets the job done.

This super sturdy Saramonic SmartMixer mic setup is really is a one-stop shop for all of your recording needs. The mic is remarkably compact and portable, yet delivers high-quality sound at a professional level. The Saramonic is compatible with both iPhones and Android and comes with an audio mixer for the highest quality sound. Take it out to the field, use it in your car, and record almost anything with professional-level sound. This mic is great for those who love to make YouTube videos or Vlogs from home, for those who want to start recording work meetings, or if you have podcast or music recording to do.

The Saramonic features two stereo mic inputs and two condenser microphones, which can be more sensitive to certain sounds than dynamic microphones. This mic also features equalization settings that clearly show your sound balance as you go, which is great if you are recording a few instruments at once. The system is set up to plug other mics (for instance, a lavalier mic) into it if you need to have multiple sound sources. It also comes with a headphone jack which, with the visual equalizer, is amazing for monitoring levels as you record. Monitor your recordings on the go with adjustable meter display and headphone input. The tripod attachment is also super useful if you are recording professional video in your home or in the field. If you want sound stability, this mic should be your go-to piece of equipment.

This mic brings clear, smooth, even sound and is easy to install right out of the box. It’s simple and there’s no muss no fuss, no messing around with drivers. The 3.5mm TRRS mini-jack makes this piece possible to use with pretty much any smartphone or portable device. On reading through the specs, you’ll also notice that the company offers a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty to offer consumers confidence with their purchase. If you’ve recently practiced recording and producing social media videos or professional development workshops, this is the perfect mic for you. It’s a superior choice for students and social media people who are looking to make good quality videos on their smartphones, especially when filming solo and outdoors, as travelers and journalists might do.

Shure MV8iOS Digital Stereo Condenser Microphone

The Shure MV8iOS mic provides very high-quality audio sound in this price point and class. You have your choice of recording in of DSP modes, each one specifically designed for optimizing a different type of sound recording: singing, acoustic, talking, and instrumental. This mic not only handles a range of sounds and frequency at a surprising quality level, it also will handle sounds of 120 decibels. The MOTIV suite software and app have a huge range of features to play with on the production end as well, including a compression function for capturing live music recordings and other types of performances that might be prone to distortion. The mic also offers has a really cool auto-adjust EQ feature which allows you to adjust levels easily while recording.

This mic is a great choice for anyone looking for clean, professional sound when recording anything from live streams to podcasts. Maybe you have friends that are musicians, or you want to help another friend build his business using YouTube, you can count on the Shure MV8for top quality sound production. Physically, this mic is all-metal, and the sturdy construction means it can withstand some wear and tear if you are using it as a portable mic. And the MOTIV site software app makes for an intuitive and user-friendly interface. The Shure MV8is designed specifically to work with most newer Mac products and is compatible with OS and up. The Shure MV8could easily be purchased in lieu of a fully separate digital recorder since it has everything you need for basic level adjustments and production in one package. It’s very portable and easy to adjust when it’s attached to your phone.


For people who are looking for a mic but don’t need all the whistles and bells of a professional level device, the Movo PMLavalier mic is a solid choice that’s comparable to some of the others at a slightly higher price point. It’s not super fancy, but it works well to boost the quality of simple vocal recording activities like YouTube videos, group video or audio conferencing. This unit comes complete with a one year warranty too, so you don’t have to worry about breakage. It’s a tiny, lightweight unit that doesn’t use batteries, so it’s super easy to take out in the field.

This little mic offers surprisingly clear and precise sound quality considering its size and relatively low cost. It is compatible with all recent portable Mac devices as well as Android and Windows smartphones. Even in situations with a greater possibility of distortion, like wind outside or just a singer with a naturally loud voice, this will handle the excessive volume. You’ll want to be careful with position, but mostly it will hold its own with regards to levels and gain.

The Movo PMis an omnidirectional type mic, which means it’s going to have lower distortion that its directional counterpart. Omnidirectional mics are also less sensitive to background and random noise, generally, and are good for things like podcasts where they can be put in the center of a room or table. While this isn’t necessarily what people who are doing more high-end productions want, it’s perfect for single track, basic recording in small areas. With the special features that it offers, expect to never get caught in less-than-stellar sound recording situations again. You can expect a Signal to noise ratio of about 74dB SPL.

External Microphones for Action Camera

Section 1: Category of Microphones typically, there are two types of microphones, one is the lavalier mic, and the other is shotgun mic. Lavalier mics often come in cardioid and omni-directional configuration, and are suitable for wide variety of applications. They are small in size and can be easily attached to clothing while keeping hands free. These mics are also called as tie-clip mics or lapel mics. Lavalier mics are most suitable for voice that is in close proximity whereas they cannot be used for ambient music.

On the other side, shotgun mics are developed to serve medium angle shots with impressive results. They assists in better focusing while avoiding the off axis noise and improve performance with its tight polar pattern. These mics can be easily used for outdoor shooting needs as they can resist against wind.

Rode VideoMic Pro Compact VMP Shotgun Microphone

This is a high-end, lightweight and easy to use shotgun microphone model. This 9V mic can provides services up to 70 hours with stunning audio quality. A way control switch assists in selection for ambient noise reduction with settings leading to +20dB, 0dB and -10dB. It can be used in two modes: without any filter and with hi pass filter that can cut frequency less than 80Hz.

Sennheiser MKE 400 Shotgun Microphone

Here is an amazing first person head mount for POVs that can be worn with double or single strap option. It can be perfectly placed in helmets with portable and light weight design. This product is waterproof and slip proof making it stay fit for all adverse conditions.

Rode Video Mic GoShotgun Microphone

This is a lightweight and compact design that can deliver directional audio signals with crisp and clear details. It can avoid the surrounding noise and the integrated Rycote Lyre Shock mount assists in protection from vibrations and bumps.

Opteka VM- 100Shotgun Microphone

This shotgun mic is designed to fix perfectly on hotshoe DSLR that can capture sound perfectly even from noisy places but the sharp pop noise can leave little disturbance in signal. Opteka shotgun mics are designed with Noise Reducing advanced Suspension System and have directional properties.

Power: 9V Lithium or Alkaline that can serve up to 100 hours.

Polar Pro For GoPro Hero Cameras Promic Kit

It is a great choice for beginners that doesn’t even require batteries and can be directly plugged in to camera. The wind noise is effectively removed with its specially designed wind screen and right angle adapter. Polar pro is better option for windy areas with its small price tag and efficient recording system.

Edutige Uni-Directional Microphone ETM-008

ETM-00is a specially designed unidirectional electret condenser type microphone that can provide S/N ratio of 69dB. This product is perfect for recording audio in windy conditions.

Power: Batteries not required, possess plug-in power capability.

Best uses: Outdoors, Independent Film, inside car and Interviews.

Included accessories: Cable, lapel clip, pin connector, foam windscreen and 3.5mm jack plug.


If you find there is some noise in your video, we recommend you to try Wondershare Filmora to denoise. It is very simple to denoise in Fimora, just click the Audio Denoise and Filmora will do the rest for you. Watch the video below to check what Filmora can do for you.

Great Value

With the GTD Audio G-380H VHF Wireless Microphone System, you are seriously getting a huge bang for your buck.

It’d also be a great addition to a new or “basement” band that is looking to grow their sound but isn’t quite ready to purchase high-end premium equipment. In addition to the four wireless microphones, this system comes with a receiver and each channel has its own volume controls.

For the most part, not relying on the built-in microphone on a DSLR/CSC is going to differentiate what sounds amateur from what sounds professional. If we use the example of filming someone talking to camera again, using the camera’s built-in microphone is going to result in him or her sounding distant, with prominent background noise.

Problems with using built-in camera microphones: • They are, as the name states, built into the camera. Therefore they will pick up lots of camera noise, lens noise, and even the sound of the operator breathing. • In order to get isolated and clear audio of someone speaking, the camera needs to get very close to the speaker. It only really works if you’re comfortable with extreme close-up shots of your speakers face. • They normally don’t have any form of wind protection, so on a windy day I wouldn’t expect to hear anything other than, well, wind. • They are generally cheap. Consumer DSLR/CSCs were designed with the primary purpose of capturing quality images rather than quality audio.

So before we carry on, let’s quickly address what a microphone does. It converts acoustical energy (sound waves) into electrical current (audio signal). There are different methods of doing this, which is why there are so many different types of microphones on the market. However, one thing they all have in common is that they all rely on a diaphragm to do this conversion. The diaphragm is what the acoustical energy hits – this causes the diaphragm to move, thereby creating an alternating electrical current that represents the acoustic wave now as an audio signal.

Condenser microphones are generally the most sensitive type of microphone used for video. They rely on an electrical current of 48v to amplify the tiny electrical voltage that the diaphragm creates through movement, hence why they are very sensitive. This electrical boost is provided either by another device or by a battery housed within the microphone’s body.

There are two common types of condenser microphones used in filmmaking: the shotgun and the lavalier. The shotgun is a directional microphone – a very versatile tool that can be used for recording the scenes atmosphere, sound effects and dialogue (if pointed towards the speaker, at relatively close proximity). The lavalier is a small microphone that is used for capturing dialogue, usually clipped onto the speakers clothing.

As a starting point, updating your on-board microphone with an external shotgun, such as the Rode Video Mic Pro, is going to give you an instant improvement in quality. It’s mounted on a shock mount, which means that when handling the camera, the vibrations you create touching the body and lens won’t translate through to the microphone. The Video Mic Pro connects directly to your camera via the standard 3.5mm audio jack (just ensure that your camera has an external microphone input), so no additional equipment is needed, except a single 9v battery to power it.

If you’re going to be recording lots of dialogue then a lavalier microphone is going to be your best bet for getting crisp and clear speech. Since these microphones attach to the presenter’s clothing, it makes life much easier to invest in a wireless system; that way you don’t need to worry about your camera being constantly attached to whoever is speaking.


Up to this point we’ve talked about connecting these microphones directly to your camera via the 3.5mm jack input. Although this makes for an easy set up, as there’s no need to buy any additional equipment, it is still rather limiting, since you only have the one microphone input available.

There are two recommended options for getting around this, and that’s to either use an external recorder or to buy a proprietary audio adapter for your specific camera (that is, of course, if your camera manufacturer makes one).

Left: the Sony XLR K2M adds two channels of audio input and mounts directly to the hot shoe of compatible Sony cameras. Right: the Tascam DR-60D external recorder has four channels of audio input and can mount directly under the camera, or be kept completely separate.

Investing in either of these solutions will not only usually bring at least two microphone inputs to the table, but also give you the added benefit of using the industry standard when it comes to audio connections: the balanced XLR. Without going too much into detail, balanced audio is much less prone to RF interference. Allowing you to use much longer cables than when using unbalanced audio, whilst still attaining a quality audio signal with minimal noise.

Both these solutions also give you physical controls of the audio levels, much quicker than having to jump into your camera settings to adjust. They can also supply the 48v of power (called phantom power), which is needed to use condenser microphones. As mentioned, some microphones have this power supplied by an internal battery, but typically the more high-end microphones expect this power to be supplied externally.

With external recorders you have the freedom to be detached from the camera, particularly useful for when you want your camera to be further away from the action whilst still capturing close-up audio, or if you’re working on a slightly bigger project, you can have someone else manage the audio side of things, while you concentrate on the video.

Microphone Polar Patterns

Polar patterns describe how microphones pick up sound, showing specifically where mics ‘listen’ spatially and which positions are blocked. Having a good grasp of these polar patterns will help you select the right mics that capture the sound that you need while minimizing unwanted noise.

Cardioid Microphones

Cardioid mics capture everything in front and block everything else. This front-focused pattern will let you point the mic to a sound source and isolate it from unwanted ambient sound, making it ideal for live performance and other situations where noise reduction and feedback suppression are needed. Cardioid mics surpass other polar patterns by far in terms of popularity, used widely in live performances, from karaoke to big arena concerts. Other common uses include miking loud instruments like drum kits and guitar speakers. Note that these types of mics add subtle sound coloration when the source is off axis, which is why mic position when speaking and singing is very important.

Omnidirectional Microphones

These are microphones that capture sound from all angles. Because of their non-directional design and zero rejection, these mics capture nuances better, resulting in a more natural sound. You can use these mics in studios and other venues (like old churches) with great acoustics, and can also be used for live recording of multiple instruments, as long as the noise level is low. The obvious downside is that they lack background noise rejection and are prone to monitor feedback, which makes them unsuitable for loud and noisy venues.


The name of this pattern is derived from its graphical representation, which looks like the number The long and short of it is that Figure-mics capture the sound of both the front and back, while rejecting the two sides. This front and back sensitivity makes them idea for stereo recording and for capturing two or more instruments. They are essentially like omni directional mics, but with sound rejection on two sides. Although not as popular as other polar patterns, the figure-is commonly used on ribbon mics and on some large diaphragm condenser microphones.

Shotgun Microphones

Shotgun mics, also called Line and Gradient, feature a tube like design that make their polar pattern even more directional than hyper cardioids. The capsule is placed at the end of an interference tube, which eliminates sound from the sides via phase cancellation. This design results in a tighter polar pattern up front with longer pickup range. Although Shotgun mics are more commonly used for film and theatre, they also make great overhead mics for capturing things like singing groups, chorals, drum cymbals. .

Diaphragm Sizes

Microphones pick up sounds through their diaphragm, a thin material that vibrates when it comes into contact with sound. This vibration converts sonic energy into electrical energy. While there is no actual standard unit of measurement, there are currently three main classifications for mic diaphragms, all of which are referring to the diaphragm’s mass. The size of the diaphragm affects the microphone’s sound pressure level handling, sensitivity, dynamic range and internal noise level.

Small Diaphragm

Mics with small diaphragms are commonly called pencil mics because of their thin cylindrical shapes. Their compact design makes them lighter and easier to position, and interestingly, they are designed to be stiffer, to handle higher sound pressure levels and have wider dynamic range. You can use them on acoustic guitars, hi-hats, cymbals, and other instruments. Known limitations of this particular diaphragm type are increased internal noise, and low sensitivity.

Large Diaphragm

The bigger the diaphragm, the more it can sense air vibrations, and the more vibrations are captured, more of the sonic details are faithfully reproduced. Unlike small diaphragms that are stiff, large diaphragms move easily, allowing them to detect even faint differences in sound pressure levels which result in a more transparent and natural sound. This affinity to fidelity has made large diaphragm mics a staple in recording studios, and they are now the most common configuration used on modern USB mics. You can use them to record just about anything, from vocals to guitars and other instruments, just make sure that you keep the volume in check because they can distort when the sound pressure level is increased.

Medium Diaphragm

Medium Diaphragm mics are sometimes called hybrid because they combine the characteristics of small and large diaphragms. They tend to have a slightly fuller and warm sound similar to large diaphragms while retaining some of the high frequency content that small diaphragms could. These are modern microphones that are gaining reputation in both live and recording situations, but essentially, you can skip on these mics if you’re setting up a small home studio or a small venue, especially if you already have large and small diaphragm mics to work with.


Condenser mics have a thin conductive diaphragm that sits close to a metal backplate. This configuration works like a capacitor wherein sound pressure vibrates the diaphragm which in turn changes the capacitance to produce the audio signal. Since they use capacitance instead of actual moving coils, fidelity and sound quality is improved, making these mics ideal for precision recording in the studio. Note that this method of sound capture requires power, so you’ll need a mixer or direct box with phantom power (except in cases where batteries are used). Whatever instrument you are trying to record, condenser mics will get the job done so long as the sound pressure levels aren’t too high. Just remember to handle them with care as they are not as sturdy as dynamic mics.

While these mics are no longer as popular, Ribbon mics were once very successful particularly in the radio industry. The light metal ribbon used in these mics allows it to pickup the velocity of the air and not just air displacement. This allows for improved sensitive to higher frequencies, capturing higher notes without the harshness while retaining a warm vintage voicing. These days, interest for Ribbon mics have returned, especially since modern production ribbon mics are now sturdier and more reliable than their old counterparts, making them viable for live multi-instrument recording on venues where noise level is manageable. You can also use them for recording if you’re looking for vintage vibe, or you can set it up in combination with dynamic or condenser mics for a more open sounding track.

Practical Microphone Applications in Music

Here we look at the main purpose each kind of microphone is typically used for. This is a good guide to get you started and once you gain experience with each mic type you’ll find additional applications that work for you.

For live vocal performances where stage volume can get loud and feedback suppression is important, the best choice is to use cardioid mics – see our guide to the best microphones for singing live. Recording vocals on the other hand is a different undertaking that requires more attention to the singer’s nuances, as such large diaphragm condensers work best. If you are going for a more vintage sounding vocal recording, use ribbon mics or go for good old dynamic mics instead. In addition, small diaphragm omnidirectional mics and shotgun mics can be used for capturing choirs and singing groups, and are especially useful when choirs perform in venues with great acoustics, like churches.

Because acoustic drum kits are naturally loud and punchy, you’ll want to go with dynamic cardioid mics for the snare, bass and toms. Small diaphragm microphones can then be used to capture the nuances of the hi-hat, ride and cymbals. For best results, there are specialized mics that are fine tuned to handle the different frequencies and SPLs of each part of a drum kit, you can either get them one by one or go for convenient drum kit mic bundles. In the studio, you can setup an Omnidirection or ribbon mic to blend in some ambience into your drum tracks.

Electric Guitar Amplifier

Close mic’d guitar amplifiers are as loud, sometimes louder than drum kits, and as such they require mics that can handle high SPL. Your best bet is a cardioid or hyper cardioid dynamic mic that is well positioned in front of the amp speaker. Again a second condenser mic or ribbon mic, set back at a distance, can be used in case you are using multiple amps or if you want a warmer more classic sounding output, or in combination with a close mic to capture some of the room ambiance.

The History of Wireless Audio Systems

Several individuals and companies have made competing claims that they invented the first wireless system. The earliest wireless mic schematics and do-it-yourself kits appeared in hobbyist magazine such as Popular Science and Popular Mechanics in the mid-1940s. From the late ‘40s through the early ‘50s various tinkerers created “wireless radio microphones” that transmitted signals using radio frequencies. These systems showed up sporadically in theatrical and sporting events.

The Shure Brothers laid claim to having the first wireless microphone system for performers. Called the Vagabond, it had a very limited range of about 1feet. In 1957, a German company called Lab W, later to become Sennheiser, created a wireless system that had a range of about 300 feet.

An American electrical engineer, Raymond A. Litke, developed a wireless microphone system in 195that was used in various applications such as the Olympic trials in 195and the 1960 Democratic and Republican conventions. He was granted the first wireless system patent in 196A version of the system was introduced later that year by Vega Electronics and was marketed as the Vega Mike.

Sony introduced its first wireless microphone system, the CR-4, in 1958, and by 1960 it was the system of choice for many theatre performances and nightclub acts. German manufacturer, Beyerdynamic, was also successful during this era with its wireless technology that was used in 196to capture the soundtrack for the filmed version of the musical My Fair Lady.

In the mid 1970s companding technology developed by Nady Systems resulted in wireless systems with a wider dynamic range. This led to their adoption by stadium acts such as Todd Rundgren and The Rolling Stones.

Today, almost every large venue uses wireless systems, dramatically changing the dynamics of performance. In 199a joint Emmy Award for “pioneering the development of the broadcast wireless microphone” went to Nady, CBS, Sennheiser, and Vega.

Wireless Microphone System Components

All wireless mic systems, regardless of their applications, are made up of two basic components: transmitters and receivers. Transmitters convert the audio signal captured by the mic into a radio signal. These are then sent to a receiver that converts them back to an audio signal that is then sent to the sound system.

First, we’ll look at the various types of mic transmitters.

Handheld Microphone Transmitters

These wireless mics incorporate the transmitter into their handle so both functions are contained in a single unit. As with wired handheld mics, there are numerous wireless dynamic and condenser mic models to choose from that will match just about any performer’s needs. Some manufacturers offer separate transmitters that can be plugged into the XLR connector of any dynamic mic, making microphone options even more plentiful when going wireless.

The Shure BLX24/SM5Handheld Wireless System with SM5Capsule includes a BLXreceiver which is a lightweight, durable ABS polymer chassis. It has a smaller footprint than previous receivers, and features an enhanced group and channel scan. Equipped with true diversity and a rugged build quality, this easy to use wireless receiver brings unprecedented quality into this price range.


Virtually all pro wireless systems operate on either the VHF (very high frequency) or UHF (ultra high frequency) bands. VHF wireless systems generally operate within the 17to 216MHz range (the range of TV channels 7-13), while UHF uses the 470 to 805MHz range (the range for TV channels 14-69).

Traditionally, UHF has been used by higher-end wireless systems, and has the reputation for having more transmitter range and being less prone to TV interference. These are real advantages but need some qualification.

UHF-based systems are allowed more transmitter power by regulation, but that doesn’t mean that any given system actually has more power than a given VHF system. UHF also has more range than VHF, not because of power, but because the signals move through the atmosphere more easily. UHF also has up to eight times more frequencies available.

As for less interference, that situation is changing. As parts of the UHF range are being assigned to public safety communications and digital TV broadcasting, the band is becoming more crowded. Also, the highest end of the UHF spectrum (above 900MHz) is a general-purpose range used for cordless telephones, garage door openers, and ham radio, so it’s not advisable for wireless use as interference problems are very likely. Actually, both bands are becoming more crowded. As discussed in the next section, digital signal processing technology is playing an important role in dealing with interference.

Key Wireless Receiver Functions and Features

The true worth of a wireless system is determined by its overall sound quality, dynamic range, freedom from dropouts and interference, and its operating range. Essentially, you want a wireless system to sound like a wired system. You also want a system that has easy-to-use controls and easy-to-read displays. There are a number of other common features that are true for all wireless mic, instrument, and in-ear monitoring systems that are not so immediately obvious.

Automatic Frequency Selection

With this feature, a frequency-agile system selects the frequency automatically. It’s a nice feature to have if you need a system with frequency agility as described in the previous paragraphs, because you’ll be resetting your system fairly often. Some high-end systems offer automatic setup of your entire wireless system.


As with any piece of electronic music gear, how well a wireless system keeps you informed of its status is an important consideration. Having a display that’s highly legible and well-lit is a big help during setup and performance. It should indicate signal strength, identify the channel being used, and have low-battery level warning indicators or battery-level meters. Battery-status displays are usually located on the transmitter, but some high-end systems have them on the receiver too.

Finding the best wireless mics for church can be a daunting task. Especially for pastors or leaders who are not musicians or sound technicians. Knowing which one will sound the best, work without embarrassing CB chatter, pops and hiss, and all the other problems that come with wireless systems can be a bit overwhelming.

Hopefully once you read this article, you will have a better grasp of which wireless microphone system you need to get for your church or organization and which one will be easiest to use for your volunteers running the sound system.

Handheld Microphone Transmitters​

All handheld microphones have the transmitter built into the microphone. As with all microphones, you can vary the type of microphone as well. You can have dynamic mics, condensor mics, unidirectional, omnidirectional, and the list goes on. ​There are even transmitters now that will attach to the end of a regular xlr microphone and convert that microphone into a wireless mic.

Lav mics, short for lavalier, are also called lapel mics. They will clip to your clothing. Many pastors and public speakers use this type of mic as well as TV personalities on news stations.

Wireless Instrument Mics ​There are also clip on instrument mics that work the same way and instrument jack bodypacks that will plug into an electric guitar or bass guitar.

These are becoming the favorite of worship bands across the globe because of the freedom they bring.

Important Wireless Receiver Functions ​The goal of a wireless microphone system is to give you the same audio quality as a wired system but gain the freedom of not being attached to the wire. You also want it to be easy for your volunteers to use.

With those things in mind, you will want to look at these features.

How we picked and tested

A USB mic worth its price should capture the whole range of the human voice—with all its pitches, tones, timbres, quirks, and flaws—and make it sound as good as it can be. Ideally, you could upload your recording without any fine-tuning as a podcast and have it sound good in someone else’s headphones.

Because a USB mic exists in the realm between built-in recording and the expandable, expensive world of studio-level microphones, the price point should be in that middle range, too. The same goes for its features: options for those who want to fiddle, but not a half-dozen switches and knobs that require adjustment for every single new recording situation. A crucial feature is a zero-latency headphone jack for hearing exactly what you sound like without any distracting delay. Also important is in-mic gain control, though our portable pick does a notably good job of that automatically. Read on in our pick to see why these are so important.

Pull Quote

A crucial feature is a zero-latency headphone jack, for hearing exactly what the mic is sending to your computer without any distracting delay.

From interviews and narrowed-down lists, we tested the top-rated and most recommended microphones each year for three years. After recording samples and sending them with blind labels, Lauren Dragan and three or four other audio professionals did a blind listening of all the recordings and ranked them from to 10, best to worst. Included in the 201and 201panels: Brent Butterworth, a well-respected audio reviewer for SoundStage and Home Theater Review and a contributor to The Wirecutter; Phil Metzler, keyboardist and vocalist in the band Just Off Turner; John Higgins, professional pianist, guitarist, and educator in both vocal music and audio production at the prestigious Windward School in Los Angeles; and Geoff Morrison, freelance writer for Forbes, CNET, and Sound & Vision and a Wirecutter editor (working on the 201panel only). In 2016, five Wirecutter staffers also rated USB mic samples.

After placing these performance results alongside the microphones’ reviews, features, and price, we had our testing set. We tested seven microphones in 2016, including the two previous picks, the Yeti and the Samson Meteor.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The same goes for pop filters; those that are made for general microphones often do not fit well on the Yeti’s basic stand. A universal clip-on version (like this filter) can do in a pinch, but the look and space taken up by a long wire can be irksome.

If you’re new to microphones and audio gear, you very well may speak into the Yeti the wrong way your first few times. The Yeti is a side-address microphone, meaning the mic should be positioned so the side of the microphone with the volume and mute buttons faces you. The Yeti’s curved, swiveling-stand design, however, can lead you to believe you should speak into the end of the mic, as you would with more a common end-address mic. But this is a mistake that listeners will definitely be able to hear.

Long-term test notes

Lauren used the Yeti for more than nine months after her 201tests without experiencing any problems. Kevin Purdy has used a Blue Yeti since 2012, has no complaints, and has received none from podcast editors he’s worked with.

Two Wirecutter staffers and a handful of reviewers at retail sites noted that they found the USB port on their Yeti to be “loose.” One Wirecutter staffer had a USB cord rip out the port when he turned the mic too quickly in its stand. A Blue representative told us that this issue is covered under warranty, with repairs or replacements available.

The smaller but still great-sounding runner-up

If desk or storage space is at a premium, if you often move your mic between spaces, or if you want to save a few dollars and start small, the Shure MVscored well with our panelists in voice recording quality—some even ranked it better overall than the Yeti. The tradeoff is that the MVis not as sturdy, stable, or as tall as the Yeti, making you work to set it up at the proper height for recording. And it lacks for the Yeti’s multiple pickup patterns. But the MVhas just enough recording features—a direct-monitoring headphone jack and impressive automatic gain control, and really helpful travel tools, including micro-USB and MFi-certified Lightning connections—to make it a solid pick for people who value a smaller size and portability over future-friendly capabilities.

All four of the experts who rated our recordings put the MVin second place. Most of the other microphones we tested had a much wider range of scores from experts, but the experts all thought the MV5, used with its “voice”/speaking preset, was nearly the best they heard. In other words, the experts agree on nothing else, except that the MVcan make your voice sound good. Wirecutter staffers gave the MVan overall third place, with a wider range of ratings. Kevin’s voice was “very natural and perfectly balanced,” one expert said. While the voice sounded slightly thinner than other mics, it was “the most clear,” wrote one staffer.

The MVhas just enough features that it avoids the compromises you’d expect in a portable microphone. A physical mute button is easy to reach on the back of the mic, as are a headphone jack and slightly recessed volume knob. The “vocal” Digital Signal Processor (DSP) preset created a noticeably more clear reading, without any editing, than flat/neutral, while neutral would allow editing software more leeway in improving your voice. Shure provides an iOS app that allows for quick recording and sharing, with gain control, clip trimming, a live visual monitor, and more presets for equalizing your recordings. With the included micro USB and micro-USB-to-Lightning cables, you can record to pretty much any device you can find.

The MVweighs 5.ounces with its stand (the mic head is 3.ounces on its own), and very easily disassembles into a ball-shaped head and a C-shaped stand. The Yeti weighs 2.pounds with its stand, or 1.pounds on its own, six times as much as the MVA heavy mic in a metal stand is useful when it sits on a standard work desk, near a keyboard, because it transmits less motion to the recording. But the MVis far easier to stash after use, and it’s much more suitable to toss in a bag.

The MVhead’s light weight also lets it work with most desktop microphone stands without any tipping issues. The mic head has a ¼-inch thread, standard for camera tripods, but it also comes with an adapter to allow it to screw into more typical ⅝-inch microphone mounts.

Besides the trade-off of stability and portability, the MVis not without its flaws. Depending on your height and seating, the lights indicating the MV5’s mode and muting on the top-rear of the mic can be hard to see. We encountered a couple “oh, wait” moments while testing the MVbecause we couldn’t see the small blinking red lights. Five of the nine people who rated our voice samples said they noticed far more plosives (vocal pops) with the MV5, including three of our four audio experts. This could be corrected with an external pop filter, or perhaps by testing farther-out mouth positioning, but it’s present when recording close to the mic.

The competition

The Samson Meteor was our prior pick for a decent-enough portable USB microphone, but after we used and heard the MVand saw our panel’s feedback, the Meteor quickly fell. Experts ranked it last in 2016, and staffers found it to be mediocre. The sizable grill causes bounce-back that makes it sound unnatural, and both experts and staffers noticed a lot of mouth noise.

Blue, the maker of our Yeti pick, released a portable-minded Blue Raspberry in the fall of 201It sounds great, ranking second among our experts. It folds up into the size of two stacked candy bars, and it has a headphone jack, gain control, an intelligent level/clipping light, and direct iOS/Lightning recording. The main issue is that it costs significantly more than the Yeti and more than twice the price of the MV5, even though the MVsounded better to both experts and our staffers. And the mute function requires pressing in the mic volume dial, which almost always needs to be done delicately and always moved the mic on our desk.

Shure’s MV5comes from the same MOTIV family of Shure portable products as our MVportable pick. It has a larger diaphragm for capturing sound, more processing modes, and touch-bar buttons for input level and muting the mic or headphones. It’s a bit heavy to be portable, a bit small for the desktop, and didn’t sound better to either set of panelists than the MVIt may be better at capturing instruments or recordings in a larger room, but at nearly twice the price of the MV5, you’d be better off moving to a more semi-pro setup with a separate XLR mic and audio interface.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

If you are a national touring act, then you have a much larger budget to work with. This list, however, was compiled based on the premise that there are far more smaller or local acts,, so most of the lavs represented here are for smaller bands, local acts, and amateur musicians.

When you have a budget to invest in several thousands of dollars of equipment, you also can most likely hire a sound engineer, who will have their own recommendations in regards to sound equipment like lavs and other mics.

Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co

Sennheiser has long been a dominant leader in the sound recording industry with a long-established reputation for creating stellar products that capture crisp, clean, dynamic sound. The omnidirectional capsule in the Sennheiser ME delivers superb clarity and speech intelligibility.

Digital Signal Conversion

The great digital sound is dependent not just on the quality of the microphone itself, but also on how the signal is eventually digitized.

This is where Apogee comes in. Sennheiser created a state-of-the-art microphone, while Apogee created the external converter that digitizes the same clean, crisp, dynamic sound that the Sennheiser ME picks up, resulting in high-resolution data and clean, crisp, digital sound.

Lightning Connector

For musicians that use PC/Android products, this may not seem like much of a perk, but Apple originally designed the lightning connector to allow for a far wider range of uses than simply charging a phone; one of which was for better data transfer.

Using the lightning connector allows for recording in resolutions of up to 24-bit, 96kHz in WAV or CAF formats.

The best means of recording sound will always be an XLR cable, but XLR cables also require expensive recording systems, which also require a great deal of time and energy to set up. The lighting cable falls somewhere between the capability of a 3.MM jack and an XLR cable.

This is also helpful for users of the iPhone 7, which no longer has a 3.mm jack available for use.

Apogee MetaRecorder App

This free app is an extremely flexible two-channel audio recording app for iOS devices that allows you to make simple adjustments like mic levels and more advanced adjustments like hardware input, gain and DSP.

The app also allows you to activate a Rumble Reducer, Hiss Reducer, and Overload Eliminator making recording, tagging and organizing audio files simple and efficient. While you can always record directly into a program like ProTools or Garage Band, doing so generally requires recording into a laptop or desktop computer.

An app allows you to record directly to a portable iOS device and still have a great deal of control over setting a wide variety of levels, which you can later tweak even further in a desktop application.

The Master-Satellite Link feature also makes it possible to link one Master iOS device via Wi-Fi to up to Satellite iOS devices. Once the link is established, every action you perform on the Master is duplicated on the Satellites.

This allows you to use one device to initiate recording and playback, set input levels, and even monitor the Satellites’ audio recording and playback. Since each Satellite also records its own audio, this also offers the best of both worlds: the convenience and flexibility of a wireless system and the reliability of standalone internal recording. ***NOTE: The MetaRecorder app is a free app, but the free version only allows you to record up to 60s of audio. As of this writing, if you plug a compatible Apogee device into your iOS device, it unlocks the full version for free, which allows you to record full-length songs.

Microphone Feature Key

Look for these symbols on each of the microphone info sections to help you identify the most important microphone features for your application. Depending on the room acoustics, the specific use and the number of users, you may need one or more microphone options to include in your toolbox.





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Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your lavalier mic wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of lavalier mic



Questions? Leave a comment below!

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