Over-the-ear microphones, more commonly called “head-worn microphones”, give you the most freedom, the freedom of body language and expressing yourself. They are also physically the closest to the speaker’s mouth, so cancel out lots of noise while perfectly capturing the voice. You can round around the stage, gesticulate your hands off but you still get your speech delivered to the people.
Besides the actual head with the capsule such a mic requires a receiver and a transmitter. In reality, the mic simply gets plugged into the transmitter. As it is attached to your body, it’s called “bodypack”. The tricky part is that there are quite a few types of plugs and, surprise, they are not compatible. In this review, we are going to look at mics with the most common plugs.
Countryman E6 solves all the compatibility (and sound quality) problems that just got you worried. Why not start a review of bets mics with the industry’s quality standard? Don’t mind the plugs, this is by far the best over-the-ear mic on the review. Once you get used to its pristine sound quality, which goes without saying, you start enjoying E6’s durability, quite surprising for such a little flimsy-looking thing. It uses an easily replaceable cable, but it will take you a while to break the aramid-reinforced cable. A nimble thingy, the E6 is very comfortable to wear and quite obviously is does not have any weight. You may even forget you have it on. The adjustable part is the boom. Once you are done with adjustments, the Countryman E6 will stay on position.
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Audio-Technica Microset Omni
This headworn model from another strong brand, Audio Technica, is another top-rated mic that is also rightfully on this list. Users like its crisp, extended response perfected with a slightly elevated brilliance. Position-wise, that’s good for lavalier mics and the headworn ones. if you wear it on your head it will sit comfortably and lightly on your ear due to ergonomic design.
Another good thing is that a neck support comes included. That way you connect the Microset Omni too both ears and gets attached even tighter. Just like the E6 above, this one is also lightweight (only 2.6g) but can’t keep up when it comes to durability. Two vulnerable points of connection between the boom and the wire. It works alright if you don’t adjust it every time, though.
The package is good, including element covers, windscreen, cable clip, and 55″ cable.back to menu ↑
Shure MX153T/O-TQG Omnidirectional Earset
Shure MX153 hangs onto only one ear, just like the first mic on the list. That one-ear fixture is good for the price while the actual mic combines superior sound quality, durability, and beautiful and comfortable design. Enhanced plosive protection clears away the sibilance for you. This mic also scores the solid, flat frequency response award and it’s not affected by proximity, being omnidirectional. In fact, most of headworn mics are omnidirectional, proximity is not the issue with them. MX153 delivers a steady performance in any environment, both for speech and vocals, so it has earned the recommendation.
You are going to like the MX153 for its design, as well. It is laid out with a thought, comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Despite the non-detachable wire, the rubber piece protects it from ripping at the base. CommShield Technology protects against RF interference. Even kevlar is used here, the cable is reinforced with that (not nearly enough to make you bulletproof, though).back to menu ↑
Airwave Technologies HSD-SLIMLINE
Slimline SE is a budget model compared to models above, it’s priced under$100. You get great quality for each buck of yours. Another huge difference is that it uses a dynamic capsule. Sensitive condenser mics may sometimes sound harsh in the upper register, this mic will not give you that problem. Although the sound may not be as good as MX153 it is definitely well-balanced. Overall, the sound quality is close to the MX153.
If you don’t buy premium hardware for any reason, you should really give Slimline SE a try, you won’t be sorry. When this thing arrives to you, you won’t be bedazzled by fancy design or anything, but all the quality and a replaceable wire certainly deserves a spot on this list. Adjustments of the boom and over-the-ear piece are easy, too. But if you have an awkward movement you might get a thing slipping. With the package come microphone/earpiece, cord, & foam windscreen.back to menu ↑
Apex 575 Condenser Microphone
This mic’s unique feature is that in addition to a detachable wire it comes with four most common interchangeable plugs.
It does drive the price above $100, but it is very convenient. People who own various kinds of bodypacks would especially appreciate thos package. Apex 575 looks almost exactly like the Airwave, but this one has a condenser capsule which makes it completely different. The first result of the condenser layout is that it’s more sensitive than the dynamic Airwave. Moreover, Apex 575 has brighter tones + higher sensitivity make it sound more heartfelt. Besides the empathy, you get good clarity and crispy response here. The over-the-ear part is quite springy, the attachable neck headband does its job which makes the whole setup stay on your head effortlessly.back to menu ↑
Shure SM31FH Wireless
Standing out among mics on this list, Shure SM31FH is a headworn mic specifically made for fitness, sports instructors, and coaches. As it’s designed to be robust it’s quite huge compared to the rest, but the modern materials keep it quite lightweight. It feels quite sporty as well, because of the rubber finish. The sports-intended design ensures excellent hold and no clips. In fact, you can do cartwheels without losing the thing. On the other hand, you can take it off as easily as the models above.
Aside from standing out design, SM31FH is different in a way of having a directional capsule with a cardioid pattern. What that amounts to is a helpful rejection of a fair amount of extraneous sounds and excellent feedback resistance. The sound quality is sufficient for everything but singing. If you like running on treadmill and yelling at people, this mic is for you.back to menu ↑
Avl630 is another mic under $100 that manages to deliver quite a professional sound. You probably didn’t recognize the brand as it’s less famous. Anyways, you receive the performance that’s worth twice the price. Firstly, it features a stable frequency response. Secondly, the brightness added to the upper range keeps the sound pretty well balanced. Thirdly, it is just comfortable. The reinforced looking cable should give Avl630 durability. In fact, the manufacturer promises sweat and dust-proof build. Another piece of convenience is compatibility with Shure Body-Pack Transmitter models.back to menu ↑
Av-jefe Vl630-h4p Tan
Another model of Ac-jefe, Vl630-h4p and other applications provides high-quality voice pickup. Ultra lightweight and compatible with Audio-Technica Hiroshi Mini 4 Pin Wireless Bodypack Transmitter this model is quite similar to the one above. One of the specifics we would like to mention here is the sensitivity at -60dB +/- 3dB.
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The SE10 is a headworn, micro-miniature condenser microphone with a 3mm capsule. The color palette kind of makes it keep low-profile on user’s face. It processes sound in a superior way that ensures performance with spoken word, fitness, and other vocal applications. With this mic, you also have choice of the ear you set it up on. And it’s easy to set up as comes with four adapters included.
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Samson AirLine Micro
Weare finishing this review with a truly unique thing, The AirLine Micro Wireless Earset System. The breakthrough is in utilizing the latest lithium ion battery technology. That sounds a lot more modern than “cables”. In fact, Samson designed this UHF wireless 600 Mhz system to be fully rechargeable. A docking station for the receiver (on the picture) also provides a USB DC input and a 3.5mm audio output.
All this put together means no bodypack and complete freedom. This sophisticated hardware privdes advanced controls like tone squelch and auto mute for clear operation. This is one of the most comfortabke, convenient and sleekest gadgets of all the things you can wear on your person.