How to Buy the Best Lavalier Microphone for Your Needs
A lavalier microphone, also known as a lapel mic, is a small and discreet microphone that can be clipped to your clothing or hidden in your hair. Lavalier microphones are ideal for recording speech, interviews, podcasts, videos, and live performances. They can capture clear and natural sound while reducing background noise and feedback.
But how do you choose the best lavalier microphone for your needs? There are many factors to consider, such as the type of connector, the power source, the frequency response, the polar pattern, the sensitivity, the durability, and the price. In this article, we will guide you through these factors and help you find the perfect lavalier microphone for your project.
Type of Connector
The type of connector determines how you can plug your lavalier microphone into your recording device. There are two main types of connectors: wired and wireless.
Wired lavalier microphones have a cable that connects directly to your camera, recorder, mixer, or computer. Wired lavalier microphones are simple to use and offer reliable sound quality. However, they can also limit your mobility and create cable clutter.
Wireless lavalier microphones have a transmitter that attaches to your clothing and a receiver that connects to your recording device. Wireless lavalier microphones give you more freedom of movement and eliminate cable noise. However, they can also be more expensive, require batteries, and suffer from interference or dropouts.
The choice between wired and wireless lavalier microphones depends on your personal preference and the nature of your project. If you need to move around a lot or record in different locations, wireless lavalier microphones may be more convenient. If you want to save money or record in a controlled environment, wired lavalier microphones may be more suitable.
The power source determines how your lavalier microphone gets its electricity. There are two main types of power sources: phantom power and battery power.
Phantom power is a voltage that is supplied by your recording device through the microphone cable. Phantom power is usually between 12V and 48V and can power most condenser microphones. Phantom power requires a balanced XLR connector and a compatible recording device.
Battery power is a voltage that is supplied by an internal or external battery in your microphone or transmitter. Battery power can power most dynamic microphones and some condenser microphones. Battery power requires a battery compartment or a battery pack and regular replacement or recharging of batteries.
The choice between phantom power and battery power depends on the type of microphone you have and the availability of power sources. If you have a condenser microphone that requires phantom power, you need to make sure your recording device can provide it. If you have a dynamic microphone or a condenser microphone that can run on batteries, you need to make sure you have enough batteries or access to an outlet.
The frequency response is the range of frequencies that your microphone can capture and reproduce. The frequency response is measured in hertz (Hz) and is usually represented by a graph or a curve. The frequency response affects the tonal quality and clarity of your sound.
A flat frequency response means that your microphone can capture all frequencies equally well. A flat frequency response is ideal for recording natural and accurate sound. However, a flat frequency response can also pick up unwanted noise or sound harsh on some voices.
A shaped frequency response means that your microphone can boost or cut certain frequencies more than others. A shaped frequency response is ideal for enhancing or reducing specific aspects of your sound. However, a shaped frequency response can also alter the original sound or sound unnatural on some voices.
The choice between a flat or a shaped frequency response depends on your personal taste and the purpose of your recording. If you want to record sound as it is or have more control over post-processing, a flat frequency response may be better. If you want to record sound with some built-in effects or have less work in editing, a shaped frequency response may be better.
The polar pattern is the directionality of your microphone. The polar pattern determines how sensitive your microphone is to sound coming from different angles. The polar pattern affects the amount of background noise and feedback