Best Lavalier Mics – Clip-On / Lapel (Wired & Wireless)

Updated on by Gavin Whitner | Please note that there may be affiliate links on this page.

Lavalier or lapel microphones are commonly used in the television industry as they make it easy to speak or sing with your hands free.

In recent times, a growing number of musicians have turned onto these for live shows, as they are almost invisible. They just get clipped onto a piece of garment and off you go.

Of course, they can’t match the quality of sound you get from professional vocal microphones, but you probably won’t tell the difference until you hit a high profile recording studio. With a good sound guy you’ll sound terrific at your next gig, and no one will even notice you wearing a lavalier microphone.

So, that’s why I’ve gathered a bunch of really good clip-on mics to review and help you choose one that suits your needs and budget. There really is no need to reach for the most expensive one, as there are quite a few competitively priced contenders on the market which offer quite similar performance at a much lower price.

Best Lavalier Microphones for Clear Audio

Here’s my roundup of the best clip-on microphones for a variety of purposes including speech recording, making YouTube videos, or even singing.

Moving into a bit pricier territory, let’s talk about the marvelous Pro 70 from the renowned gurus at Audio-Technica. They simply can’t disappoint, even if they tried. The manufacturer is one of the leading acts in the world of microphone, so it’s somewhat obvious that one of their products had to be included here.

The Pro 70 is a sturdy, well-built piece of gear that will last for eons and always provide you with excellent performance. It is actually a small condenser microphone which sounds great both for vocal performances and instruments. Aside from the garment clip-on, it comes fitted with a mounting system for an acoustic guitar.

Unlike most other contenders, it features the metal grill as a pop filter and it largely contributes to the fact that the Pro 70 really sounds like a much more expensive professional microphone.

Another nice touch is an included switch for cutting off low frequencies, and the microphone can be powered by batteries or phantom power from another device it’s connected to.

I’ve struggled really hard to find any major flaws and managed to find just one - when you rub the wire it will be audible. Still, it isn’t something you can’t work around rather easily.

  • Extremely well built and durable
  • Professional sound quality
  • Can be used for vocals and instruments
  • Rubbing the wire is audible

One of the major players in the industry, Sennheiser really cuts it down to the bone when microphones of any kind are concerned. One of the pricier models on my list here, it packs quite a punch and it’s no small wonder that it is considered a standard in the TV industry.

It can be seen on many pro journalists and numerous TV shows anywhere in the world, as it is nothing short of brilliant when it comes to recording voices and musical instruments.

Even though quite small in size, the ME-2 II comes with a circle polar pattern which means that it provides the ultimate clarity of sound and prevents the pickup of almost all noises in the surrounding area.

Designed to fit any kind of garment, it is equipped with a heavy duty cable and a mini jack which makes it instantly compatible with most wireless systems.

It is really hard to find any major flaws with this one, aside from the fact that it doesn’t really come cheap and it features no glitzy accessories.

  • Comes from a very reputable brand
  • Flawless voice and instrument recordings
  • Compatible with wireless systems
  • Durable and well designed
  • Features no additional accessories

The Lavalier GO mic by Rode is a premium quality wearable microphone which is suitable for a range of recording purposes. With a 3.5mm connector, this Lavalier microphone connects to the majority of recording devices with TRS microphone inputs.

Designed with broadcasting in mind, the Lavalier GO has a understated design. The omindirectional microphone captures audio with a pristine clarity in all environments, focusing in on the sound source and providing you with a flexible option for those situations where quick recording is required.

With the Rode Lavalier GO mic you get a foam pop shield which prevents plosives and wind noise from hampering your recordings. Also included is a sturdy mounting clip with all of the necessary cable management facilities built-in, so you can set it up in an instant without the worry of cables getting in the way.

This Lavalier mic also comes with a durable Kevlar reinforced cable, made specifically to handle the wear and tear of broadcasting and recording in unconventional locations. The microphone is neutral white in color, designed to draw as little attention to itself as possible for interview purposes.

  • Crystal clear omnidirectional condenser microphone
  • Pop shield prevents wind noise and plosives
  • Includes a reinforced cable
  • Requires plug-in power

Sennheiser is renowned amongst musicians and recording engineers for their range of top-tier audio equipment. With the EW 112P G4, they have created a mobile wireless system that is perfectly suited to on-the-go reporting and sound capturing.

This all-in-one system comes with several components all designed to increase portability and convenience, whilst providing the best quality recordings possible. The ME-2 II lavalier microphone has an omnidirectional pickup pattern and is therefore capable of picking up sound sources whatever the angle of their positioning.

The mic is designed specifically to capture and reproduce speech naturally and authentically. In addition to the lavalier mic, there is a bodypack transmitter – an invaluable tool for portable recording.

The receiver that comes with the set can be secured to the mount of a camera, making it well suited to interviews or video podcasts. It does so via a robust clip that is strong enough to withstand wind or unexpected movements.

Another great quality of the EW 112P G4 lavalier mic system is its versatile connectivity. It provides the possibility of hooking up to 12 additional receivers to the system, reducing the need for additional equipment when on a shoot.

To cap off this extensive lavalier mic wireless setup, it is capable of transmitting at a range of up to 330 feet! Not to mention, you get up to eight hours of operation per full charge for added convenience.

  • Extensive frequency range
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Omnidirectional lavalier mic designed to reproduce speech
  • Number of accessories to improve mobility
  • None

The Go Mic Mobile is a unique lavalier microphone with a completely wireless system, designed especially for use with a smartphone. Nowadays, it's common for interviews and podcasts to be shot on the go, so having a system that is compatible with your phone is incredibly convenient.

The set includes a dual-channel receiver which can be instantly hooked up to a DSLR camera or smartphone. You can then transmit audio on dual-channel, and mix it in real-time or retrospectively depending on your preference,

Within this portable lavalier mic is a rechargeable battery that provides you with up to six hours of usage when it is fully charged. The microphone also preserves your phone battery and avoids unnecessarily taxing it.

The LM10 lavalier mic itself is built to a high standard of quality. When recording on-the-go, your equipment must possess a certain level of robustness and durability. The LM10, with its solid housing, suffices in this area.

Another highly important part of any broadcasting lavalier mic set is the accessories that make the process smoother and less arduous. It comes with a shoe-mount adapter and all of the necessary cables so it’s ready to go straight out of the box.

It's also worth mentioning that the Go Mic Mobile Lavalier has a 3.5-inch stereo output which can be used for real-time headphone monitoring or analog recording purposes.

  • Ideal for use with smartphones or DSLR cameras
  • Clear lavalier microphone
  • Stereo output for real-time headphone monitoring
  • Compatible with iOS or Android devices
  • Doesn't come with a USB or USB-C cable

The Smartlav+ is one of the most popular items on the market. It's made by Rode, who are renowned for making excellent microphones for all purposes. It’s an improved version of a previous model and it’s designed with smartphone users in mind, as you only need to plug it into the headphone jack of your phone to use it.

As such, it works with any type of app which can record directly from the microphone input. Rode also has its own app which you can use to edit and publish your recordings, so it’s highly convenient if you don’t have your own sound engineer or when you have to accomplish everything on your own.

The package includes a neat carrying pouch and a clip for attaching the microphone to any type of garment. It also has a foamy pop shield which comes in really handy if you’re recording something in windy weather conditions. The cable is also moisture proof, in case you’re somewhere out there singing in the rain.

At this price range, Rode has come up with a very good microphone with solid recording quality, so it’s going to be tough finding a better contender for the price.

  • Designed for smartphones
  • Easy to use
  • Neatly clips on to any type of garment
  • Weatherproof to a certain degree
  • Very competitively priced
  • Doesn’t work well with all cameras
  • Windshield reduces sound quality significantly

This Audio-Technica lavalier mic is styled like a vintage newscasting microphone, engineered for maximum accuracy when capturing voice. It features a discreet design and there is a usefully positioned on/off switch which is great for preserving recording space and keeping the captured audio separate.

The ATR3350xiS is equipped with a dual mono, 3.55mm output which can be plugged into the stereo input of a video camera or handheld audio recorder. It then sends the audio in stereo format to both the left and right channels of your chosen device.

Included with this Audio-Technica omnidirectional condenser mic is a solid clothing clip, a long-life LR44 battery and a foam windscreen for blocking out unwanted background noise. You also get a headphone adapter so you can listen back to the audio you have captured instantaneously to check the quality is sufficient.

This lavalier microphone is impressively discreet in design. If you intend to use it for video interviews, the simplistic black design and small dimensions ensure that it won’t draw any of the viewer’s attention away from the subject of your video. A versatile mic, the ATR3350xiS is also a great option for sports broadcasting, podcasts or noting ideas.

  • Full coverage thanks to omnidirectional pickup pattern
  • Wind shield included
  • Headphone adapter allows you to instantly listen back to audio
  • Discreet clothing clip design
  • Lacks the capabilities for picking up lower frequencies

Even though it’s fairly cheap when compared to its rivals, don’t let the price fool you. This is a piece of high quality equipment, designed exclusively for speech recording. That being said, it won’t greet you with any additional gimmicks and accessories. You just get the mic, a clip, and the cable, and that’s it.

It may not be among the best clip-on mics in the world, as it’s far below that price range, but it is quite a respectable little thing. It’s characterized by a minimalist styling that will look good with any outfit.

Incorporated into the design is the microphone rotation, so it can easily be positioned any way you want it. Simple but effective seems to be the motto under which the whole thing was designed.

The microphone itself is of omnidirectional type and it provides sufficiently good sound recording quality, especially once you take the price into consideration. Still, due to its polar pattern, it sometimes tends to collect quite a lot of ambient noise during recording.

If you need a cheap mic for speech recording which will look sleek and understated, you don’t have to look any further.

  • Very affordable
  • Sleek and understated styling for any outfit
  • Good positioning options
  • Acceptable sound recording quality
  • Can attract too much ambient noise
  • Questionable build quality

Even though the brand name comes off as a little bit too cheesy, and there is no actual model name or code, don’t let that scare you off. Obviously, it’s the only lavalier microphone that this brand offers.

This is probably one of the most affordably priced lapel microphones in the market, and while you can’t really expect a miraculous performance, it is actually a competent performer.

It is an omnidirectional microphone, which means it can be placed anywhere under your mouth. Just clip it onto your shirt and it will pick up everything you say.

Plug it into your smartphone with a 3.5mm TTRS jack and you can start recording or broadcasting immediately. As is the case with most lavalier microphones, this one doesn’t need any batteries as it draws the power from your smartphone or tablet.

The package includes a carrying pouch and additional extra-length cable, which makes up for the fact that this isn’t a wireless microphone. 79 inches of cable should be enough to allow you to move around a room with no hassle.

If you’re just entering the world of lavalier lapel microphones and you don’t have a limitless budget, this might be just the product to get you started, so long as you don’t go into this expecting sound quality on par with much more expensive professional models.

  • Extremely competitively priced
  • Sturdy and well built
  • Comes with extra-long cable
  • Omnidirectional
  • Not the greatest sound recording quality
  • Only features basic wind protection

Now, this is quite a lot of bang for your back. Just by checking the list of items included in the package, it seems like good value for money, but let’s not get carried away without checking the build quality and the recording quality first.

The package itself is quite neat, and it includes a pouch for all the goodies. Among the accessories you’ll find a TRS adapter and a mini USB adapter which is highly convenient for connecting to various devices such as cameras, smartphones, GoPro cameras, and what not.

There is a 9.8ft extension cord so you can move around freely and there are two clips in the package, just in case one gets broken. They are both quite sturdy and hold the microphone firmly in place once it is attached to a piece of garment.

The fuzzy windscreen sure looks sweet, even though it will provide you with only minor wind protection and might affect the recording quality significantly. At this price range you can’t really expect any miracle to happen.

The kit features an e-book which will help you get started with recording techniques and making your own audio and video recordings. This is a really cute package which will make for a great gift to a person who aspires to get into vlogging and similar venture.

  • Comes loaded with plenty of accessories
  • Cutely designed and packaged
  • Extremely low priced
  • Comes with an e-book on recording techniques
  • Below average recording quality
  • Not exactly for professional use
  • Unknown brand

Last but not the least, let’s take a look at the most middle-of-the-road contender here. It is still on the affordable side on the market but offers quite a lot for your buck. The design may not be the latest cutting edge thing, but it’s still sleek and non-intrusive, so it will fit most outfits.

It comes with a simple gator clip which holds it firmly in place, while the mic can be covered by a small windscreen in case you’re recording somewhere outside.

When tested for recording quality, it sure can deliver, even when used as a microphone for an acoustic guitar, which should speak volumes when sound clarity is concerned. All the details come out nice and crispy, even with the windscreen on.

The only major issue here is the fact that the cord is non-detachable and the windscreen tends to become loose over time, so make sure you don’t lose it.

  • Solid build quality
  • Respectable sound recording quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • The cord is not detachable
  • Windscreen tends to get loose over time

The Movo PM10 lavalier mic can be connected to any device through its standard 3.5mm audio jack. Its 4ft cord provides enough cable length to get a decent setup going, even though it’s nothing spectacular. With that in mind, it’s not the cable length or connectivity that makes the PM10 stand out.

Since lavalier mics are only as helpful as their audio performance, let’s break that down. The PM10 has a tendency to boost the lower register or frequencies. This definitely helps the microphone add warmth to your vocals.

With the exception of favoring the lower register over higher, the PM10 performs rather balanced. As it won’t emphasize the midrange, the PM10 also remains a reliable choice for singers with raspy voices.

To end things on an even higher note, the Movo PM10 is an affordable omnidirectional lavalier microphone that comes with metal clips, foam windscreens, a convenient carry bag, and a one-year warranty.

  • Affordable
  • Clips, windscreens, and bag included
  • Omnidirectional
  • Doesn’t need batteries
  • Not a lot of cable length

How to choose the right lapel mic for your use cases? Well, it all depends on what you’re after. You could go for a wired mic, a mic that will fit right onto your smartphone, or a wireless one that will be much more expensive for obvious reasons.

It’s the Sound Quality You’re After

Yes, many of the best lapel mics always look nice and sleek, but it’s what inside the little capsule that matters.

For most common purposes, condenser mics tend to provide the best results, but often you’ll need a preamplifier to provide it with additional power.

Perks or Issues with Connectivity

Wireless microphones are fun to use and sometimes highly convenient compared to corded mics. That being said, when it comes to lapel mics, the Bluetooth varieties aren’t always ideal. It has a lot to do with what you plan on using the mic for.

The industry standard for public speakers, stage actors, and TV presenters is the wireless lapel mic. This design helps to hide the microphone to a degree, or at least the wiring. It also gives a lot of range of motion, which makes things even better.

However, wireless mics might not be the best idea for recording or performing on stage. Except if you can afford the truly high-end models. There is a bit of signal loss involved and with the limited amount of audio performance that you can squeeze out of a lapel mic, every bit matters.

Size Matters

Does size do anything for lapel mics in terms of audio performance quality? – Not as much as some of you may believe. While it is true that a larger microphone can hold more high-end components underneath that capsule, it is not the preferred choice for a lot of professionals.

Of course, it might be for those interested in making ASMR audio recordings. Capturing the faintest whispers and crackles is not a task for low-end microphones.

A large microphone will need a larger and stronger clip. Small is usually considered better in terms of concealment and ease of use, which is what many of those who choose to use lapel mics (vloggers for example) are looking for to begin with.

Understanding Dynamic Range

The dynamic range of microphones tends to matter a lot, especially in recordings. This range is like a representation of what sounds can be recorded, from the softest to the loudest. A wide range is always preferable in lapel mics, as they don’t come even close to matching the dynamic range of vocal mics.

Generally speaking, the closer the microphone can get to a dynamic range of 120dB, which is what most humans can comprehend, the better. However, note that not all manufacturers will list the dynamic range. This might indicate that the microphones in question have a shorter dynamic range.

Other Factors to Consider

If you intend to work them hard, your lavalier microphones need to be energy efficient. Some of them use batteries while some use phantom power from another device.

Size matters. It needs to be as small as possible, without compromising sound quality. Of course, almost always you’ll be guided by your budget.

Conclusion

I’ve covered a few of the most promising contenders in the market for the title of the best lavalier microphone. So, now it shouldn’t be that hard to decide which one would work best for what you have in mind.

Gavin Whitner

About Gavin Whitner

A guitar player, songwriter, composer, and also the lead editor of MusicOomph, Gavin is one of the four musician friends behind this site. Outside of music, he's an avid sports fan and hardly misses anything from football (soccer) to F1.

11 thoughts on “Best Lavalier Mics – Clip-On / Lapel (Wired & Wireless)”

  1. Thanks for laying out all the options. I have owned a pair of Giant Squid mics for a year for podcast field recording. I can’t seem to get a decent gain setting to get my voice loud enough without introducing a ton of background noise. I may have faulty mics, but wondering if you’ve run into this? I will likely try one of the other options above.

    Reply
  2. Thanks for your review – you didn’t gush and you pointed out some details I hadn’t been able to find elsewhere.

    Reply
  3. Hi Gavin .. I’m a Singer Guitarist … looking for the best lapel mic with the best quality sound that won’t feedback on stage … any suggestions? … Thank-you
    (Preferable cardiod I would think)

    Reply
  4. Hi Gavin. One more quick one. Have you reviewed the Rode Wireless Go microphone and how did it perform compared to the Rode Smartlav+?

    Reply
  5. Hi Gavin. Could you please comment on the advantages and disadvantages of using Powerbeats Pro Wireless In-Ear Earphones for live streaming when the subject is highly mobile eg a fitness workout.

    Reply
  6. Thank you so much for this article! I see you’re a songwriter, have you tried recording a vocals + acoustic guitar performance with one lavalier? How does that come out?

    Reply
  7. Thank you for sharing! This was super helpful to me and my bestie who have a show on YouTube, IG & FB called The Chit Chat Box. We are investing in mics for our 2020 vision ideas. I was well informed by this article and the videos to also show what the products did. Making a more informed purchase today because of this detailed read. 🙂

    Reply

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