Best Lavalier Mics: The top choices for 2020

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It’s a great time to be alive!

Although we’ve become part cyborgs (we depend a lot on our smart devices, which is clearly something to think about), vendors are pushing new technologies our way each and every day. 

And let’s not forget the modern age creators, who are ever so reliant on technology than ever before. 

And when it comes to becoming a creative professional in 2020, we do understand why you need the best lavalier mic. 

Lavalier microphones are body phones which have shrunk a lot in size since the 1990s. Because of their small footprint, they are becoming more and more common for stage shows, podcasts, webinars, and many other events. 

Fortunately, we are here today to talk about how you can get the best lapel mic for yourself. Trust us, if you play your cards right, you will get the best possible deal.  

But before getting into the review, let’s have a look at the offerings we have for you.

Now that you’ve had a quick look at the offerings it’s time for us to jump into the full review. 

Just a heads up before we begin. 

It’s possible that you may have a different brand in mind. And that’s perfectly ok. 

In that case, we would recommend that you go through the buying guide to have a better understanding of how to make the correct choice. The steps we will show you will certainly help you to make a better choice. 

Enough talk, it’s time to get started!

Best Lavalier Microphones: Our Top Picks

Rode smartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone

Product Overview

Rode is, hands down, one of the most trusted brands in the music industry. Apart from making professional media products for the movie industry, they have introduced a couple of options for the rising creators as well. 

The smartLav+ is one of those options. 

One of its prime selling points is the fact that it’s a lav mic for smartphones. That includes both iOS and Android devices. And another important feature here is the Kevlar reinforcement, which makes it suitable for rough usage. 

As for other functionality features, you have a top-of-the-line condenser capsule that works phenomenally well. Also, inner drivers are very capable of tackling noise and interference. 

Introducing the smartLav+

If you’re someone who is looking for a balanced mic that has a god dab of professionalism, the smartLav+ is the ideal choice. It will certainly not disappoint your music palate. 

Pros

  • Features Omni-directional pickup with solid input quality. 
  • The Kevlar-reinforced cable and mounting clip enhance the overall usability. 
  • The TRSS jack is an added bonus. 
  • It’s a solid choice for on-the-go professionals. 

Cons

  • The app integration could use some work. 

Sanken COS-11D Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone

Product Overview

The COS-11D from Sanken is occupying a spot in our review for the best lavalier mic. And there are obvious reasons behind it. 

First of all, it’s optimized for digital transmitters, which is one of the reasons for crystal clear sound output. Also, you get a wide frequency range that helps with proper signal capturing. Furthermore, the noise reduction capabilities are proper as well. 

Another important feature to mention here is the durable mesh screen that has good resistance against humidity and other human-borne moistures. For something of the size of the COS-11D, it’s certainly a plus. 

If you combine all these little things together, then you have a very solid option at hand. If you’re looking for a lav mic that’s good for minimal production works, then you can certainly have a go at the COS-11D.  

Pros

  • It has a solid outer shell that’s very compact. 
  • It’s very good against off-axis noises and interferences. 
  • The wide range helps with signal clarity a lot. 
  • It offers good resistance against moisture.  

Cons

  • The plastic parts don’t feel right. 

Audio-Technica ATR3350 Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone

Product Overview

Audio-Technica, the dark knight of the media industry, has a very loyal customer base because of its unique media devices. And the ATR3350 is just a continuation of that trend. 

First of all, let’s talk about the design, which is very compact, to say the least. And if you dig deeper, you will find solid construction along with foam windscreen that offers good protection from moisture. 

In short, you won’t have to worry after wearing it thanks to the stealthy design language. 

As for the quality, it’s as professional as it can possibly be for the price. The omnidirectional pickup is spot on. Also, the dual audio recording feature offers solid usability as well.

Overall, if you’re looking for something that can keep things clean and precise, the ATR3350 is perfect for your needs. You’d probably want to give it a shot to have a taste of the quality first-hand.   

Pros

  • Features a sleek design that has on-point durability. 
  • Newcastle-style design is highly suitable for mobile users. 
  • You have the ability to record in both channels. 
  • The condenser coverage is more than enough for an average user. 

Cons

  • The controls aren’t very polished, which is a shame. 

Sennheiser EW 100-ENG G3-A Wireless Mic System

Product Overview

There’s no denying that Sennheiser is one of the top brands in the media world when it comes to content creation and consumption. And the EW 110-ENG, in terms of the creation, is certainly a nice choice when it comes to the best lavalier mic. 

So, what makes it so special? 

One of the main advantages of the EW 100-ENG is that its sound signature is very solid. Although it’s not the best in the world, it’s good enough to stand out from its competition. All you have to do is plug it in and you have a wireless XLR-based system. In case you’re in search of an upgrade to a USB mic, here you go. 

The overall feel and usability are well on par with some of the high-end options out there. Even the multi-direction clip is versatile enough to check the box of longevity if you need it of course. 

Overall, if you think you need crisp and detailed audio content, then trying the EW-100 will not hurt your wallet. You will certainly get your money’s worth. 

Pros

  • The design is robust enough to last long. 
  • It’s well-suited for both inside and outside. 
  • The flexibility of use is solid, it’s just a matter of plug-and-play. 
  • It can handle ambient noises well without hurting the performance. 

Cons

  • If you don’t know the FCC regulations in your area, you may get into trouble. 

Audio-Technica PRO 70 Cardioid Condenser Lavalier/Instrument Microphone

Product Overview

In case you’re someone who is looking for a lavalier mic that’s good for instrument recording, then the PRO 70 from Audio Technica is a good choice for you. 

One of the main talking points of this microphone is its versatility when it comes to recording guitar tunes and other related applications. The small, yet robust condenser design is very intuitive and captures signals without any hassles. 

As the ambient signal isolation is very important for acoustic applications as such, we strongly believe that the performance is well within the ‘better than average’ category. You also have a low-frequency roll-off feature, which increases the overall functionality of the device by a good deal. 

In conclusion, if we were to judge the overall capabilities of this device, then there’s no question about its functionality. So, it certainly won’t hurt you if you give it a shot. 

Pros

  • The small condenser design picks up acoustic signatures very well. 
  • It comes in a very small footprint. 
  • The signal output is clean and smooth. 
  • The roll-off feature is very functional and does its job to the point. 

Cons

  • The ambient noise handling needs improvement. 

Wireless Clip Lavalier Microphone System PDWM96 by Pyle

Product Overview

Pyle may not be that well known of a brand. Still, the Wireless Clip Lavalier by Pyle caught our attention simply because of the no-compromise feature set. 

It’s got a 20-feet operating range with a clip-on transmitter, a pretty typical trait if you’re in the market for the best lav mic. Also, it’s very easy to integrate with your laptop and other such devices, which is essential for a decent overall experience. 

As for the other features, you have a solid build quality, which is decent as well. And the device controlling capabilities are very decent as well. 

In conclusion, if you have the need for any an all-around lav mic that offers decent microphone output, has solid signal clarity and, diversity, then you can try it out. You will find the PDWM96 a very capable option.   

Pros

  • It’s a decent option with a solid build quality for the price. 
  • The noise and distortion reduction capabilities are decent. 
  • The integration with other devices is seamless and hassle-free. 
  • The voice controls are very easy to use. 

Cons

  • The sound signature is tinny sometimes. 

Shure BLX14/CVL Wireless Microphone System with CVL Lavalier Microphone

Product Overview

We are already aware of the brand reputation of Shure, which doesn’t need any particular introduction. So, we will jump straight into the BLX14, which has a couple of unique features among its arsenal. 

First of all, having a power and battery indicator is one of the smallest, but most important features that increase the overall value (that’s what we think). Also, the frequency matching capabilities of the BLX14 are one of the best in the business. 

So, you shouldn’t have any issues with the sound signature. 

As for the other functionality, you are getting a good battery life and system compatibility. The design is very compact and features a rugged overall design. 

So, if you’re looking for something that is compact and has a good, punchy sound signature, then you can have a look at the BLX14. We believe it’s a full-on system that can bring quality to your workspace. 

Pros

  • The frequency selection feature is working really well.  
  • You do get XLR output connectors. 
  • The wireless range of 91-meters is acceptable. 
  • Features good battery life along with tough construction. 

Cons

  • The size of the microphone is a bit large. 

Sennheiser ME 2 Omni-directional lavalier EW-microphone

Product Overview

The ME 2 Omni-directional Microphone is one of the most underrated options you can find. Still, we found it to be a solid option that doesn’t really compromise at any stage. 

In terms of the design, it’s one of the more compact options you will find in the market. It’s just the mic that with solid wiring. So, you shouldn’t have any problems regarding the compactness and rigidity. 

As for the sound signature, we don’t have any complaints whatsoever. It’s crisp and punchy enough for the average user, more than enough to get the job done. Also, it can handle artifacts really well, without any hassle.  

Overall, it’s really not a bad choice for a beginner who is willing to give his creativeness a shot to shine. If you’re one of those people, then you should certainly give it a shot. 

Pros

  • It features a very compact design. 
  • The signal output is decent. 
  • The outer shell design is rugged enough. 
  • A perfect option for beginners. 

Cons

  • The pricing is a bit too high. 

AZDEN EX503 Omni-Directional Lavaliere Microphones

Product Overview

The AZDEN EX503 can be a decent choice only if you need it. We believe the features need to be explained before we can justify the claim. 

First of all, it’s a highly portable design with decent sensitivity. 

If we break it down, you will find the signal quality to be decent (it’s nothing spectacular, but will certainly make a difference). And the output quality is more than average, ideal for a new user. 

And the design is as simple as it gets. It shouldn’t really matter if you are only looking to get started. And we are also happy the durability as a whole. 

So, if you’re looking for something that’s portable and gets the job done, then you should certainly go for it. 

Pros

  • The design is very portable. 
  • The sound signature us decent. 
  • Features good feedback and noise rejection. 
  • It’s very easy to use. 

Cons

  • It’s not that good of a performer outdoors. 

Movo WMIC50 2.4GHz Wireless Lavalier Microphone System

Product Overview

Speaking of underrated options, we can bet that many of you haven’t heard about the brand Movo. That’s okay. 

If you get to know the WMIC50, then we can assure you that you will be intrigued about the brand. 

Audio monitoring is one of the main features of the WMIC50, as you are getting two earphones. Also, you are getting the 2.4-Gigahertz wireless connectivity, which can reach a 50-meter range. That makes it a great wireless mic for starters. 

As for the sound signature, then we believe it to be on point. There’s no noticeable noise, which is an indication of good noise reduction quality. Also, the compatibility of the device with other devices is on point as well. 

Pros

  • The audio quality is decent. 
  • Features audio monitoring capabilities. 
  • Features good compatibility with cameras, computers and other devices. 
  • The range is decent as well. 

Cons

  • The consistency isn’t up to the mark. 

Buying the best lavalier mic: How to make a choice?

Having the best lavalier mic in your arsenal has a couple of advantages. 

First of all, you don’t need to hold a receiver microphone in your hands. That’s one hassle that you, as a presenter, wouldn’t have to worry about. 

And with the advancement of modern technology, lav mics have become a lot more intuitive and less prone to interferences-reasons for its overall client-base growth. 

But that’s not the main topic of this section. We want to talk about how can you, as a consumer, buy the best pocket mic that suits your needs. 

We will now discuss some essential tips on how you can increase the possibilities of getting the best possible option in your budget.

Budget: Should I care?

Of course, you should!

If you have limited resources, then your options are already limited. And the more the restrictions, the fewer features you are going to get. 

This is where you prioritize your needs as a professional. Ask yourself what are the things do you prefer and how would you use them. 

Purpose: How and where will you use it?

This is one of the prime concerns for any individual. 

You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Where will I use it?
  • Will I be using it often?
  • What features will complement my delivery?
  • Should I increase my budget a little?
  • Can I compromise on the build quality?
  • Will I be using it to record instrument audio or just vocal? 

Finding the right answers that meet your checklist shouldn’t be too hard. Still, you may want to take some time and do your research. Getting in touch with a seasoned professional and getting his opinion can also help you out here. 

Technicalities: How do I figure what I want?

You shouldn’t worry too much about the technicalities if you’re absolutely new and don’t have any spectacularly professional responsibilities. 

But, if you are someone who knows what’s best for him or her, you may want to consider things like frequency diversity, polar coverage (whether it’s cardioid or omnidirectional), usability and things like that. Again, you could seek a second opinion from your close friends and users. 

Usually, if you’re going with a trusted brand, then these things probably won’t matter that much. Still, if you can have the first-hand experience at an experience center or from someone you know, it’s going to add to your expertise and allow you to better understand the technology. 

Proper usability: What things should I look for?

There are a couple of things you should keep in mind here:

  • The range is often a prime consideration. In general, the range can vary from 50 to 200 feet or more. Depending on your workflow, you choose what works best for you. 
  • The weight and durability are also important factors to consider. If you aren’t a heavy user, then portability should be your first concern. You don’t want to go with something that’s overly weighty and doesn’t offer proper usability. 
  • If you want the full set, then getting a better deal will depend on the feature set and pricing. But, if you just want the mic, then you’d probably have some headroom to work with. 
  • If you’re going wireless, then make sure you understand the input and output quality. Checking out independent reviews (like ours!) and getting in touch with company representatives can come in handy here. 

These are the simple things you need to know before you settle on a lav mic. If you do your research, we see no reason why you won’t be able to make a choice all by yourself.   

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What kinds of polar patterns are usually found on lavalier microphones?

Answer: As long as this list of best lavalier mics is concerned, we’ve found two variations of polar patterns – Cardioid and Omnidirectional.

Question: Is there any protection from humidity, dust, etc in a lavalier microphone?

Answer: Not all of the lavalier mics have those. But models like Sanken COS-11D etc have mesh screens to protect the mic from dust, moisture, fog, and other human-borne contaminants.

Question: What type of lavalier mic design would be preferable for mobile device users?

Answer: In case you are looking forward to buying a lavalier mic for your mobile, we would suggest you buy those with a Newcastle style design.

Question: Do lavalier mics accept both XLR and USB input?

Answer: Not all of the lavalier mics under the sky would do that. But you can find models like Sennheiser EW 100-ENG G3-A that would check both of the boxes for you.

Question: Are these mics able to record a versatile range of audios?

Answer: As long as it externally produces sound, a good lavalier mic is supposed to record it and let you do the post-recording stuff later.

Question: How can I get the best operating range for a lav mic?

Answer: That varies from model to model. For instance, there is a model from Pyle that works wireless and covers fine within a range of 2-feet or so.

Closing thoughts

If you’re made it this far, then we would like to congratulate you. 

We’re not going to lie about the contents of the best lavalier mic review. It’s a lot to take in given the attention span of an average human being. 

Still, the information we’ve shared with you today have their perks. 

Not only will you be able to choose from some of the best-rated options in the market, but you will also become capable of making your own decision. If you can make it happen, it would mean our victory. 

That’s all we had to say for now. 

Happy hunting!