10 Best Lapel Mics and Lavalier Mics to Suit Your Budget

lavalier mic

If you’re directing or taking part in a stage production, a film shoot, or an interview, then a lapel microphone will soon become your favourite bit of kit. Small, easy to hide, and usually wireless, a lapel mic will offer you and the people you want to record a great deal more flexibility than a handheld microphone or a boom mic.

As with all microphones, there’s a great deal of choice out there, in terms of price, quality, and special features – so it can be tricky to know where to start, even if you’re not a first-time buyer.

Don’t worry, though – we’ve rounded up our top choices to suit every budget.

What are the best lapel mics?

PowerDeWise Lavalier Microphone

At PowerDeWise, they believe that words can change lives – and when you hear the clear, interference-free audio that this omnidirectional mic is capable of capturing, you’ll believe it too.

As well as the jack connector version, PowerDeWise also offers a USB-c connector and a lightning connector version of their lavalier microphone. Whichever you choose, the lapel mic comes with a sturdy rotatable grip and an extra velcro strip for extra security.

Pros and Cons:

Extension cord for an additional 6.5ft cable length

Easy to keep all parts of the kit together in the included case

The microphone is less powerful than others in its price range

No lightning or USB-c connector or adapter included

Find on Amazon

Pixel Finch

Pixel Finch

Pixel’s lav microphone carries the Apple MFi-certified seal of approval, meaning it’s a great choice if you’re recording a video or podcast on your iPad or iPhone. Indeed, with Pixel’s ‘plug in and play’ approach to the Finch’s design (it comes ready fitted with a lightning connector) you’d be hard-pressed to find a better device to use it with.

This mic is also incredibly lightweight, making it virtually undetectable when clipped to a speaker or vocalist’s clothing.

Pros and Cons:

Very inexpensive

Very easy to use

Aimed specifically at iOS devices

The nylon cable may be more susceptible to wear and tear

Find on Amazon

RØDE Lavalier GO

RØDE Lavalier GO

If you want to achieve the sound quality of a professional broadcast, then all roads lead to RØDE’s Lavalier GO.

Sporting an omnidirectional pickup pattern, and a kevlar reinforced cable, the Lavalier GO is ready to take on any recording challenge. Capable of capturing sounds as low as 20hz and as high as 20khz – that’s the full range of human hearing! – you can plug this mic into most cameras, audio devices, or separately-sold transmitters via its 3.5mm jack connector.

Pros and Cons:

Industry-standard components and build

Rivals the spec of many studio condenser mics

Can only connect via 3.5mm TRS

Standalone product (does not include a transmitter or receiver)

Find on Amazon

Joby Wavo Lav Pro

Joby Wavo Lav Pro

The Wavo Lav Pro has a lot in common with the RØDE Lavalier GO, but there are a few key differences that make the Joby version unique.

Firstly, the 3.5mm jack connector is right-angled, which will be an advantage for some devices. Secondly, the Joby Wavo Lav Pro has a low-frequency roll-off at 50hz and under, which is useful for cancelling out unwanted rumbling and room ambience.

Pros and Cons:

Cancels out low-frequency background noise

Long, high-quality cable

Can only connect via 3.5mm TRS

Fairly expensive compared to other microphones with a similar spec

Find on Amazon

Synco P1L

Synco P1L

Synco’s innovative P series of lapel mics is geared towards content creators who want to get up and go at a moment’s notice – the charger case (which houses both the TX transmitter/microphone and the RX receiver) is even spring-loaded for instant action.

Choose either the lightning connector or the USB-c connector depending on what the device you’re using needs so you can plug the receiver straight into your tablet, smartphone or laptop, and start recording your high-quality audio – even if you’re up to 150 metres away!

Pros and Cons:

Fully wireless, cable-free recording experience

Nine vocal effect choices at the push of a button

Noise cancellation less effective than peer products

The microphone is less powerful than others in its price range

Find on Amazon

Hollyland Lark M1

Hollyland Lark M1

The omnidirectional Lark M1 from Hollyland pulls out all the stops when it comes to cancelling out unwanted background noise, coming with a detachable windjammer and a handy one-click noise reduction button.

We’ve featured the solo kit here, but if you’ll find an extra mic useful, the duo kit also includes a charging case. Either way, the Lark M1 is ultra-lightweight, and both the mic and the transmitter are only a couple of inches long each, making it easy them very easy to position on a collar and a smartphone respectively.

Pros and Cons:

8-hour battery life

656ft (200m) long-range transmission

No charging case for the single-mic option

No lightning or USB-c connector or adapter included

Find on Amazon

Moman C1

Moman C1

Moman offers an all-inclusive lavalier mic kit, complete with mic, transmitter, and receiver – all high quality, all lightweight, and all for under £100.

Unlike its big brother, the C2, the C1 does not feature a display screen to indicate gain levels and battery life – but we’re still picking it because of its more powerful signal-to-noise ratio, meaning it can boost quieter dialogue using less gain. This package also includes a smartphone cable and a camera cable, depending on the device you’ll be using it with.

Pros and Cons:

Can record from a distance of up to 70m

8-hour battery life

No display screen

No lightning or USB-c connector or adapter included

Find on Amazon

Sennheiser ME 2-II 

Sennheiser is the brand of choice for many professional filmmakers, and it’s easy to see (or hear) why thanks to the ME 2-II’s high speech intelligibility.

One of the most impressive things about Sennheiser products, in general, is their durability, and this omnidirectional lavalier mic, which can record sound at up to 130dB, is no exception. That’s about as loud as a jet taking off!

Pros and Cons:

Superior quality components

Unmatched spec

Expensive standalone product

Not as compatible with smartphones or cameras

Find on Amazon

CoMica BoomX-D UC1

CoMica BoomX-D UC1

The CoMica BoomX-D UC1 is an impressive wireless microphone system available at an impressively affordable price.

With up to 5 hours of battery life and a range of up to 50 metres, the BoomX-D UC1’s omnidirectional mic can capture quality audio in a variety of situations, whether you’re interviewing in the street, vlogging, or recording music. To top it all off, the transmitter features a bright, vivid TFT screen display so you can easily keep an eye on gain levels and battery life.

Pros and Cons:

Includes a wind muff

The small receiver easily fits across the bottom of a smartphone

The hard case doesn’t charge the transmitter or receiver

No lightning or USB-c connector or adapter included

Find on Amazon

Shure WL185

It’s no secret in the world of digital audio that Shure is a name you can always rely on.

The WL185 is, as expected, a superior lapel microphone which uses a 4-pin XLR connector – meaning there’s even less chance of losing audio quality as the signal travels from the mic to the receiver. This mic is part of Shure’s modular Microflex series, which allows you to swap out the cartridge for one with a different polar pattern – check out the WL183 omnidirectional and WL184 supercardioid too.

Pros and Cons:

Excellent sound quality

Foam windscreen to combat breathing noise

Cartridges much be purchased separately

Expensive standalone product

Find on Amazon

What is a Lavalier Mic?

Lavalier mics – which are also known as lapel mics, lapel collar mics, and personal mics – are tiny microphones that can be attached to a person’s body or clothing. This type of microphone has been in use since as far back as the 1930s, and the word ‘lavalier’ came from a type of jewellery that, like the mics, was hung around the neck.

Most lavalier or lapel mics today are wireless, giving the person wearing the mic even more freedom to move around. A wireless lavalier mic is plugged into a transmitter, which sends the audio signals picked up by the mic to a receiver via radio frequencies; a sound engineer can then adjust the audio signal as needed.

What sort of Lavalier mic do I need?

Let us answer your question with two more questions: what are you going to use your lav mic for, and what are you going to use it with? Once you have an answer for these, you’ll have a better idea of what type of lavalier mic to go for.

One thing to look out for when choosing a lapel mic is the pickup pattern, which is the area around the mic that it can pick up. If we could see this area, it would form a pattern.

Two of the most common pickup pattern for lav mics are:

  • Cardioid, which gets its name from the heart-shaped area, focuses in one direction while cancelling out the opposite direction
  • Omnidirectional, which picks up sound from a 360-degree radius

Both types of pickup patterns are useful, depending on what you’re using your lapel microphone for. If you’re recording one actor or vocalist who is staying more or less still, then the focus towards their mouth that a cardioid pickup pattern offers will help cut out any unwanted background noise. Omnidirectional pickup patterns can be more affected by background noise, but if the microphone is accidentally knocked out of place, you’ve still got a 360-degree safety net.

Lavalier mics are also designed to be used with different devices, for different purposes. This means they have different connectors to plug into mixing desks, cameras, or smartphones and tablets – so if you know what type of recording device you’re planning to use, you can pick the right lavalier mic to match. Some lav mics come with multiple connector cable options included, while others require you to buy a separate patch cable.

Because they are wireless, this also means that most lav microphones are battery-powered. Most modern lav mics can be charged via the mains, and some even come with charger cases so you can top up your battery life on the go, although some require lithium batteries which will need to be removed then recharged or replaced.

How do you wear a lavalier mic?

Since lavalier mics are usually condenser microphones, which are designed to pick up quieter, more detailed sounds, they need to be positioned as close as possible to the mouth of the person that you’re recording. Luckily, as one of its many names would suggest, you can attach a lapel mic to a person’s tie or collar with a clip, which usually comes included.

However, there are a few other factors to consider when choosing where to position your lavalier mic on your subject, such as the type of performance they’re giving, and the type of setting they’re giving it in.

Although the crew can usually record better-quality audio using a boom microphone for a film or television production, it can be hard or even impossible for the boom operator to keep their mic out of frame for wider shots (especially outside). Instead, a lavalier mic can be concealed under an actor’s clothing – often taped up or wrapped in sponge to stop it from brushing noisily against anything – with the transmitter clipped to their belt at the base of their spine.

For a theatre production, it’s important to suspend the audience’s disbelief as much as possible, so the actors either have mics hidden in their hair or wear skin-coloured head-worn mics over their ears. Concealing a lapel mic under an actor’s clothes would hide it, but the mic would pick up the sound of the clothes rustling, especially if their performance requires a lot of movement or, in the case of musical theatre, dance.