Lapel microphones, A.K.A. lavalier microphones, are the smallest non-spy mics. Compared to handheld mics you get superior convenience, small size, unrestrictive fit on a person and the sound quality they can back up your performance, speeches or recordings. They are truly special. In fact, because of the super small size, lots of people have never seen them, for rookies, we clarify that lapel microphones are the small clip-on mics usually seen on newscasters’, sports anchors’ jackets.
One of the advantages of small size – these are used for very special applications, like theater, dance, and aerobics. On the other hand, if you know the difference between condenser mics and dynamic ones, lapel mics being dynamic should tell you something. As they are small, you may run into a $10 one in a local store but here we are about the best ones.
Audio Technica AT829CW
Our Top Pick of Wireless Lapel Microphones
A budget-friendly option, even a few bucks cheaper than some cable solutions. It’s an omnidirectional stereo mic and has quite a solid build. ECMCS3 offers great sensitivity and overall pickup. In fact, users keep it somewhat far from the person (around the chest is recommended). You can use it with a portable audio recorder and then just sync the audio later. That would amount to an affordable wireless solution. If you want a cheap Sony solution – this is the way to go.back to menu ↑
Audio Technica AT829CW
The AT829CW is a quality lapel mic designed specifically for the Audio Technica body-pack wireless transmitter. Of course, you can get the mic together with the transmitter. They are an excellent combination good for any purpose. AT829CW doesn’t have any external modules, like XLR mics. It uses a more compact four-pin connector that does not require so much phantom power and plugged directly into a transmitter to make a more efficient system.
AT829CW is generally a semi-professional mic that delivers an excellent quality/price ratio. The captured voice retains good clarity and accuracy. In fact, AT829CW has enough sensitivity to capture everything from a whisper to a song.
It has to be pointed more or less precisely for best performance as this is a directional mic with a cardioid pattern. The collar is the best position for it. AT829CW can even work moderately loud stages requiring higher gain before feedback. One minor setback is it’s made of plastic.
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A solution that comes wireless from the start. Pyle-Pro PDWM96 is extremely affordable and is a nice solution for those who need a wireless mike and some cash saved. For about $13 you get a low-cost setup that gets the job done. The package includes a bodypack transmitter with a clip-on lav mic and batteries. The 60 feet range transmitter has a volume control.
Pyle-Pro PDWM96 is the cheapest and, therefore, the easiest wireless answer. This piece of hardware is extremely cheap for wireless anything, call it “belt mic” or whatever. There are definitely not enough settings on the mic or transmitter, so users have to do all the adjustments via the camera settings.back to menu ↑
Movo WMIC50 2.4GHz
This excellent model still fits the $100 budget. Be impressed with the 164 feet of range (that is also a lot in meters). The package is impressive as well, with a belt clip, two transmitters, a camera show, a lav mic, and 2 earphones coming bundled. An excellent package deal. The high-frequency band of 2.4 GHz is a plus too.
A unique thing with the WMIC50 is the receiver headphone featuring a second isolated microphone to communicate with the transmitter headphone (audio does not pass through to output). The high frequency and long-range performance are real bad for the batteries, though. AAA batteries, not included last 4 hours, tops. Basically, you need a fistful of those to last a full field day. Movo WMIC50 is your reasonable average choice.
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The next level Movo WMIC70 looks quite beefy. Besides extra beefiness, you get extra range up to 328 feet (precisely 100 meters). 2 “AA” batteries provide extra operating hours as well, up to 8 hours here. This serious thing is designed primarily for film work and live performances. That spells “professional” to me. But it is easy to use and operate.
When you work with a DSLR camera, you just simply install the receiver directly on the flash mount and the audio is transmitted and compressed live into your video file. Frequency response starts a bit high at 60Hz and goes up to -15 KHz+/-3 dB, but that’s good for live applications. No problems with Sensitivity at -30dB +/-3dB / 0dB=1V/Pa, 1 kHz, either.
This is an undoubtedly portable design with easy setup in any environment.back to menu ↑
PylePro PDWM3400 Premier Series
PylePro has a more affordable option here as well. The PylePro PDWM3400 Premier Series provides not one, but two separate microphones and a dual-channel receiver. You will certainly appreciate if you work with more than one performers or presenters.
The headset microphone makes it less discreet, though. However, this helps with some problems faced by lapel microphones. The sound replication is accurate, but it’s not up to studio quality. In other words, PDWM3400 is perfect for speech applications, but it is so much less fit for singing.
Between numerous pieces of hardware, this system has a bunch of important figures to show as well. The operation range is up to 164 feet. It requires a 110/220V power supply. AC/DC adapter power jack comes bundled. RF signal indicator for transmitter signal strength has its uses. As the picture shows, there is a bunch of indicators that help you out greatly. Altogether you get 2 body-pack transmitters, 2 headsets, and 2 lavalier microphones. Receiving Sensitivity is -105 dB.back to menu ↑
Shure BLX14/CVL-H10 Wireless System
The Shure BLX14/CVL-H10 Wireless System looks beyond serious. It could be one of the things Men In Black wear if they needed to make speeches. The receiver is not actually smaller than the above models. This particular model is only a single channel, though. There is an option to upgrade to a dual-channel function if need be.
The controls with three buttons on the front are easy. Two convenient indicator lights show that the gadget is ready for two main things – being linked to a microphone and getting connected to the bodypack.
The actual lavalier mic is quite compact, no problem with hiding on a person. But you do have to run the one long cable down to the body-pack.
The Shure BLX14 also impresses with its operation range of 300 feet in line of sight. At a shorter range, it can shoot through several walls.back to menu ↑
We could not do this list leaving out the Saramonic SR-WM4C. Compact, cheap and lightweight, this VHF wireless microphone system is worth your cash as well. In fact, besides those adjectives there is one more superlative – the longest range of 60 meters is for you with this Saramonic. The high-band VHF is not for nothing. At that distance, there is always some interference but SR-WM4C’s 4 switchable channels keep the interference at bay.
The detachable, flexible antennae can be rotated 360 degrees. The high-band VHF also provides pure and detailed sound.
The real-time monitor feature will keep you confident through the most emotional interviews or performances. mixing/monitoring circuitry is not onboard, though. You monitor the sound through your own recording device.
You always know your AAA battery situation thanks to the LED charge indicator. But you have to get your batteries, though. Besides the omnidirectional lavalier microphone, the package includes a belt-pack transmitter and a camera mountable receiver.
The minor disadvantage is that it doesn’t work with DSLR cameras, only with Canon 6D, 600D, 5D2, 5D3, Nikon D800, and Sony DV DSLR Camcorders.