Best Lapel Mic in 2020: Reviews and Ultimate Guide

Best Lapel Mic

Best of the Best
Rode SmartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and...
Runner Up
Comica CVM-WS60 Combo Wireless Dual Lavalier Lapel Microphone System with...
Best on a Budget
Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone Omnidirectional Mic with Easy...
Rode SmartLav+
Comica CVM-WS60 Dual Lavalier
PowerDeWise Omnidirectional Mic
Best of the Best
Rode SmartLav+ Omnidirectional Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and...
Rode SmartLav+
Runner Up
Comica CVM-WS60 Combo Wireless Dual Lavalier Lapel Microphone System with...
Comica CVM-WS60 Dual Lavalier
Best on a Budget
Professional Grade Lavalier Lapel Microphone Omnidirectional Mic with Easy...
PowerDeWise Omnidirectional Mic

The lapel mic, which is also commonly known as a lavalier mic, is the number one choice for capturing audio of many content creators.

The reason why this type of microphone is so good for vlogs and podcasts is that you can record the video hands-free.

That leaves you completely free to walk around and do whatever else you need to do, without worrying about the positioning of the microphone and whether or not the audio is being captured well.

Since content is king, it’s always a good idea to have equipment like this that allows you to stay focussed on what you do best.

Here’s what to expect in this article:

  •  Reviews of the best lapel mic
  •  A brief buyer’s guide
  •  Your burning questions answered in a FAQ

Without further ado, here are our top picks…

👑 Our Pick for Best Overall

Rode SmartLav+
The Rode SmartLav+ is one of the very best lapel mics, and certainly the best for smartphones. It’s omnidirectional, discrete, and reinforced with Kevlar making it a solid investment for anyone who vlogs or does podcasts.

Our Other Top Picks for Lapel Mics

Best Lapel Mic Reviews

Rode SmartLav+ (⭐ Best of the Best)

Rode is one of the biggest microphone manufacturers around, and it’s a brand with a lot of clout in the industry. You’d struggle to find a guide about the best lapel mics that doesn’t mention at least one of Rode’s devices, so it’s no surprise that the SmartLav+ is just one of the microphones features in this one. It’s a relatively risk-free statement to claim that the SmartLav+ is the best lapel mic, given that thousands of satisfied customers would happily attest to its quality.

With plenty of loyalty to the brand and its excellent device, what exactly is it that makes this particular lapel mic better than the rest?

The SmartLav+ is an omnidirectional lavalier microphone that’s built specifically for use with iPhones and other smartphones. While this might not make it the ideal option for professional vlogs, it is the best you can get when it comes to recording on mobile devices. If you’re in the market for an audio recording device that you can use with your phone, then this one will do the job perfectly well. This makes it ideal for the amateur vlog or podcast, which doesn’t require high end camera equipment or an extremely polished end product.

The Rode SmartLav+ is a broadcast quality, professional-grade lavalier microphone with a TRRS Jack. As an omni-directional microphone, it will pick up audio from every direction, which means you don’t need to speak directly into it to get the best sound quality. This quality also makes it an excellent choice for podcasts or vlogs which feature more than one person, since you can capture every voice as if it were your own.

The Kevlar reinforced cable is another hugely useful feature of this lavalier microphone, which ensures you won’t have to deal with cable issues as you record. The cable should never stretch or snap, so you can focus on what truly matters – making content.

While as we’ve established this lavalier microphone is designed with smartphones in mind, there is compatibility with certain DSLR cameras if you invest in the Rode SC3 adaptor. This extends the versatility of this product, and means that you don’t have to invest in a brand new microphone should you wish to upgrade your setup at some point in the future.

Features:

  •  Omnidirectional microphone 
  •  Designed for iPhones and smartphones 
  •  Broadcast quality audio 
  •  Small microphone (4.5mm)
  •  Kevlar reinforced cable
    WHY WE CHOSE IT AS OUR TOP PICK:

    Here are the reasons we chose the Rode SmartLav+ as our top pick for lapel mics:

    1. Rode’s reputation as one of the best microphone manufacturers is upheld with this outstanding lapel mic for smartphones.
    2. The omnidirectional, broadcast quality audio should be good enough for just about any podcast or vlog.
    3. The discrete size of the microphone and Kevlar cable make it a very practical device which should last a very long time.

VIEW PRICING & MORE FEATURES

Comica CVM-WS60 Dual Lavalier (🥈 Runner Up)

Some of the best lavalier microphones are wireless, and the CVM-WS60 Dual Lavalier system from Comica is solid proof of that.

This dual Lavalier microphone system is a complete setup fit for use with both cameras and smartphones. All you have to do is switch between two different modes on the receiver body depending on what kind of device you are using. You can also use the dual transmitters for multiple devices at a time, and at an impressive distance of 100ft if unobstructed. This is key for those vlogs where you want to stand or sit a distance from the camera, as you won’t need to feel like you are tethered to the audio recording device.

With the 3.5mm headphone monitor hole, you can plug in a pair of earphones and have access to real-time audio monitoring. This feature is very useful to have, especially if you pride yourself on making sure everything is working as it should at all times. You never need to second question whether or not the microphone is on and recording with this feature, which could save you from a lot of frustration.

There’s also a built-in smartphone clamp, which makes it very easy to attach to your mobile device if you want to record something while you’re out and about. Plus, if it happens to die at any point, you’ll only have to wait 2 hours for it to charge up ready for you to go again. This means that even if it dies mid-recording session, there’s the possibility of charging it back up and going again without needing to return home. This is a hugely useful feature for a wireless lapel mic, given that the biggest downside tends to be the battery life.

Features:

  •  Dual lavalier microphone system 
  •  Features universal smartphone clamp
  •  100ft wireless range
  •  Compatible with cameras and smartphones
  •  Omnidirectional 
  •  Real-time audio monitoring 
  •  2 hours rapid charge
Comica CVM-WS60 Dual Lavalier
The Comica CVM-WS60 is an excellent lapel mic system which is compatible for both cameras and smartphones, and has great range and real-time audio monitoring.

PowerDeWise Omnidirectional Mic (💰 Best on a Budget)

If you’re looking for a great lapel mic on a budget, then this professional-grade omnidirectional microphone from PowerDeWise is an excellent option.

This lapel mic from PowerDeWise is an easy plug and play device which doesn’t require any batteries or drivers to work. It’s compatible with just about any device, from laptops and computers to smartphones. This is one of the budget devices’ stand out features, given that a lot of lapel microphones are only compatible with certain devices.

You can’t go wrong with this lapel mic from PowerDeWise if you’re just looking for something to record audio for your podcast, vlog, or another form of content. You can expect crisp sound quality, and there shouldn’t be too much interference from extraneous noise due to the technology behind the microphone. 

This professional-grade microphone setup comes with a lot of extras too. This includes extra wind muffs, an extension cord, and a handy storage case for travel. This increases the value for money of this lapel microphone setup, which is already a great bargain.

Features:

  • Omnidirectional lapel mic
  • Compatible with most devices including smartphones
  • 1 year warranty 
  • Includes storage case, wind muffs, and extension cord
  • Compact microphone
PowerDeWise Omnidirectional Mic
The PowerDeWise lapel mic is one of the best you can get on a budget. It comes with some very useful extras, and is compatible with most devices.

Audio-Technica ATW-2129 (💎 Best Premium)

If you have the money to spend on a premium lavalier mic setup, then you can’t go wrong with the ATW-2129 from top brand Audio-Technica.

This wireless lavalier system is the real deal. An investment in this unit from the Audio-Technica ATW-2129 is an investment in top quality audio recording. This makes it ideal for premium quality productions, whatever you plan on using it for. This is a true professional-grade lavalier system, and can work up to an impressive distance of 250-300 feet. That means you can have the best hands-free experience as you record content.

While it might seem like a steep price for a lapel mic, compared to the other options on this list, this device is very reasonably-priced considering it’s intended for professional use. If you value production value in your vlogs, or want to record podcasts outdoors or in large rooms, then this device from Audio-Technical is an excellent choice. It’s primarily used for giving public speeches in churches or other public spaces, so that should give you an idea of its functionality.

Features:

  • Wireless lavalier mic setup
  • Automatic frequency scanning
  • 10 compatible user-switchable channels 
  • Includes receiver, UniPak microphone system transmitter, and lavalier microphone
Audio-Technica ATW-2129
This lavalier system from Audio-Technical is an excellent device which will perform especially well in large spaces and for public speaking.

Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Lapel Mic

To find the best lapel mic for your needs, there’s a lot of different factors to bear in mind.

You’ll want to think about your personal needs first, and then think about the technical specifications and extra features of each lapel mic.

Compatibility

One of the most important factors when selecting a lapel mic is the compatibility.

Consider what devices you currently have, and what your recording setup is.

If you want to record with your smartphone, then you’ll need to find a lapel mic that works with your particular device.

Likewise, if you have a DSLR or another camera, you’ll need to find a lapel mic that works with them.

Not all lapel microphones are compatible with all devices, and common complaints from customers are that they bought the microphone and found out it wasn’t compatible with their device.

Don’t make this same mistake, and check the compatibility before you invest.

The PowerDeWise lavalier mic is an example of a device which is compatible with everything from laptops and tablets to smartphones. The Rode SmartLav+ though, while a fantastic lapel mic, is only compatible with smartphones unless you buy an extra adapter from the manufacturer.

Wired vs Wireless

Once you find out whether or not the lapel mic will be compatible with your device/s, then it’s time to decide if you’d be better off with a wired or wireless model.

The question of whether wired or wireless gadgets are better is a hotly contested debate for some devices, but it can be boiled down to a few essential points.

We’ll provide a brief overview of both the wired and the wireless lapel mic, as well as their pros and cons, so you can make an informed decision as to which is best for your needs.

Wired

The wired lapel mic is a popular choice given that it’s oftentimes cheaper than the wireless models.

This makes it accessible to just about anyone, so you can start recording your vlogs or podcasts whatever your budget.

As with most gadgets, the wired version of the lavalier mic tends to produce better quality audio. This is mainly to do with the limited dynamic range, and sound compression.

Along with being a more affordable, high quality option, wired lapel mics will also tend to be more reliable.

Reliable in the sense that you never need to worry about the lavalier mic dying as you’re in the middle of recording. Simply keep it plugged in to a device, and you’re good to go for as long as you need.

It’s also reliable in that you aren’t going to have the same connectivity issues that you could encounter while using a wireless lavalier mic.

Given that the wired mic is plugged directly into a device, there’s no dependency on any form of transmitter technology such as Bluetooth.

The main downside to the wired mic is that you don’t have the same freedom as you would with a wireless option.

Wireless

The Wireless lapel mic is great primarily because it lets you move any which way you want.

This is perfect for the active vlog where you move around a lot and use a lot of hand gestures.

It’s also ideal for documentary-style videos, since you can talk on the go without worrying about the cable getting in the way.

They can also be more convenient for this reason, as you don’t need to worry about getting caught up with cables.

The main drawbacks are the lower level of quality, and the reliance of transmitter technology that could bring up issues while recording.

Features

There are some features you’ll want to look out for in lapel mics that can improve the user experience and enhance the quality of the end result.

Some of the technical wording can be hard to decipher at first, so we’ll give a brief summary of what each feature means and how you could benefit from it.

Omnidirectional

If a lapel mic is omnidirectional, it basically means that it can pick up sound just as well from any direction.

This makes it ideal for recording podcasts or vlogs which features more than 2 people.

Audio Monitoring

Real-time audio monitoring, a feature included in lavalier mics such as the Comica CVM-WS60, allows you to listen to the mic to see if it’s picking up audio as you’re recording.

This is great for making sure everything is working as it should when you’re recording video footage out and about.

Extras

Some lavalier mics include extras with the microphone and receiver such as storage bags, wind muffs, extension cords and more.

This can be useful if you need a kit that’s ready to go for travel or for recording outside when the weather conditions are less than ideal.

Related: Best Gimbal

Frequently Asked Questions About Lapel Mics

What is the best lapel mic to buy?

The best lapel mic to buy in our view is the SmartLav+ from the top microphone manufacturer Rode.

We believe this is the best lapel mic overall, although it’s specifically designed for smartphones. This shouldn’t be an issue though for basic use recording podcasts and vlogs, and even if it is the brand has an adaptor which will make it compatible with some DSLR cameras.

The features that make this lapel mic worthy of your money are the omnidirectional audio capture, broadcast level quality, and the Kevlar reinforced cable which makes it a durable selection.

What is the best wireless lapel microphone?

The best wireless lapel microphone we believe is the Comica CVM-WS60 dual lavalier microphone system.

This is a complete audio capturing setup which is ideal for both cameras and smartphones, and can make for some top quality podcast and vlog audio.

This lapel microphone system from Comica works up to 100ft, and can work on multiple devices at a time. There’s also real-time audio monitoring and a quick charge time of just 2 hours.

How do I choose a lapel microphone?

Lapel mics, otherwise known as lavalier mics, are meant for use in a variety of settings. They’re commonly used for vlogs, podcasts, and more. To choose the right lapel microphone for your needs, you’ll need to consider a few different factors.

Some of them are surrounding you and what you need the microphone for. Whether it’s vlogging, podcasts, or something else, you might have different requirements.

Others will revolve around the technical aspects of the microphone and the features it has. This includes whether it’s wireless or wired, how long the battery life is, and what devices it is compatible with.

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A Final Word From Run Gun Shoot

The lapel microphone is an excellent option for capturing audio whether you want to record a podcast, shoot a vlog, or create some other form of content.

Picking the right one will depend on whether you need a wired or wireless option, how much you are willing to spend, and which features you value most.