How to Use a Lavalier Microphone? A Comprehensive Guide

In the world of recording sounds, there are different microphones for different jobs. If you make videos or podcasts, you can pick from big studio microphones or small lavalier microphones, depending on what you need. This article is all about those small, lavalier microphones that make interviews sound great. We’ll cover everything you need to know about them so you can use them effectively.

reviewing lavalier microphone

What is a Lavalier Microphone? 

A lavalier microphone, also referred to as a “lapel microphone,” is a small microphone usually clipped to a person’s clothing for recording and broadcasting the audio. Their small size makes it easier to conceal them when recording video or giving a presentation. 

Moreover, they allow the person speaking to have both hands free for gestures and demonstrations. In addition, these microphones also provide a wireless option to make your gestures even easier.

lavalier microphone display

Best Use Cases for Lavalier Microphone

Whether you are a YouTube podcaster or theater artist, these mics will find their application to fulfill your needs. You can also take advantage of this microphone to present your projects if you are a student. Let’s perform an in-depth analysis of the use case of these lavalier mics: 

  • Interviews: Lavalier mics are commonly used in interviews, whether for broadcast journalism, podcasts, or video interviews. They provide clear audio while allowing interviewees to speak naturally without holding a microphone.
  • Video Production: In filmmaking and video production, lavalier microphones are used to capture dialogue and audio from actors. They are especially useful in scenarios where boom microphones or handheld mics might be visually distracting.
  • Live Performances: Musicians, actors, and comedians may use these mics during live performances. With the help of these audio gadgets, performers can ensure their voices are amplified while moving around the stage.
  • Television Broadcasting: Television anchors can also take advantage of lavalier mics to deliver news reports. Moreover, they can also use these mics to conduct interviews, as explained before. 

In addition to these use cases, you can make use of these mics in any way you want. All you have to do is clip them to the speaker cloth and then record audio using this microphone. 

Steps to Set Up a Lavalier Microphone in the Proper Way 

Now that you have an idea about its use case, you might be wondering about the workings of the lavalier microphone. In this section, we will familiarize you with the best way to set up these mics to take full advantage of their functionality. With the help of the following simple steps, you can avoid any hindrance you may face while adjusting these microphones. 

Step 1: Clip Microphone to the Speaker’s Cloth

The first thing you need to do is clip the lavalier microphone near the speaker’s chest area for proper audio recording. You can use the clothing clip attached to these mics to complete this process.

clip microphone to clothes

Step 2: Connect the Mic to the Equipment 

Afterward, plug your wired mic into the appropriate input on your recording device, such as dedicated microphone input on a camera or an audio recorder. However, if you’re using a wireless lavalier microphone, connect your mic with your recording equipment through wire or Bluetooth. 

connect the mic with the device

Step 3: Test and Adjust the Microphone Position 

Finally, all you have to do is perform a test recording to monitor audio levels. If there is any distortion in the audio, you can position your microphone accordingly to avoid this issue.  

adjust the mic sound level

After going through these general steps, go to the next section to educate yourself about the proper placement of these mics. By doing so, you will be able to avoid any issues related to the sound quality and distortion. 

Tips to Position Lavalier Microphone on the Speaker

The mic’s position matters when it comes to recording audio in top-notch quality. You can easily place the lavalier microphone in the right position with the help of these simple-to-follow tips. 

Select the Ideal Placement on the Speaker’s Body 

First and foremost, you have to determine the optimal body placement on the basis of the speaker’s voice. You also need to consider the context of the recording to find the best position for your mic. Commonly, it is placed on the chest area of the speaker to ensure proper audio recording. However, you have the liberty to vary the position depending on factors like clothing and ambient noise.

selecting ideal placement

Avoid Obstructions from Clothing and Jewelry 

If you are using a wired microphone, you should ensure that the microphone is not obstructed by clothing or jewelry. Also, look to avoid obstruction with other objects that could create rustling noises while recording. All you need to do is make sure that the mic has a clear path to the speaker’s mouth.

avoiding obstructions in placement

Position Your Lavalier Microphone at the Correct Distance

With proper research, we confer that we should place the mic approximately 6-12 inches (15-30 centimeters) from the speaker’s mouth. That’s why the chest region is the optimal place to position your mics for audio recording. 

placing microphone at correct distance

Manage Your Cable Properly 

When using wired mics, you have to secure the cable along the speaker’s clothing to prevent it from brushing against surfaces. If they do so, it will create unwanted noise that will interfere with your recording. In order to avoid this situation, you can use cable clips to keep the cable in place.

managing cable of mic

Consider Wind and Background Noise

If recording outdoors, you have to use a windscreen or foam cover on the microphone to minimize wind noise. Additionally, look to position the mic in such a way that background noise sources don’t interfere with your recorded audio. 

keeping control of noises in mic

Pros and Cons of Using Lavalier Microphone

You can make use of this microphone in a variety of use cases to get the audio recording job done efficiently. However, it offers some limitations restricting your workflow while making the content. The following are some pros and cons of using lavalier mics for recording audio content. 

Pros

  • The wireless mics enable the speaker to have both hands free for gestures and other activities.
  • Users can record audio content without disruption from the background noises using these mics. 
  • The small size of these mics makes them portable, so you can move around while recording the audio content. 
  • You can place them anywhere on the speaker’s body to adjust the quality of the sound. 

Cons

  • These mics can pick up rustling sounds if the cable or microphone rubs against clothing.
  • Wired, lavalier microphones can limit the movement of the speaker due to their cable length.
  • If you are using wireless mics, you may require batteries in both the transmitter and receiver. So, there is a need to monitor battery health before recording.  

The Best Lavalier Microphone Available in the Market

After going through the previous sections, you know what to expect from a good microphone. Now, it is time to review the best lavalier mics available in the market to make the audio recording process easier. 

Movo WMIC50

Movo WMIC50 is a wireless microphone with the ability to work for about four hours with AAA batteries. Users can utilize this mic for long-range audio recording, as it can stay connected up to 150 feet away from your audio receiver. In addition, this mic works with all sorts of cameras, like camcorders, DSLRs, and mirrorless ones, as long as they have an external audio jack. 

movo wmic50 lavalier mic

RØDE smartLav+

It is the go-to lavalier microphone for iPhone users due to its best iOS compatibility. You can take advantage of this high-quality omnidirectional microphone for broadcasting audio on your Apple device. While it does work with Android devices, it truly shines with Apple products due to its exclusive compatibility with the iOS RØDE Rec app.

rode smartlav+ lavalier mic

Audio-Technica PRO70

Audio-Technica PRO70 is a wired microphone that stands out when capturing the sound of instruments like acoustic guitars. It’s also perfect for interviews because of its ability to block out background noise from behind and the sides. The best thing about this mic is that it can operate on either batteries or phantom power, giving you the flexibility to use it in your studio or while on the go.

 audio technica pro70 lavalier mic

Q1. What is the working principle of lavalier microphone?

A lavalier microphone works by capturing sound through a small diaphragm and converting it into an electrical signal. The captured audio signal is then transmitted through a cable (or wirelessly, in the case of wireless lavalier microphones) to a recording device or amplifier for further processing and amplification.

Q2. Is there any difference between lavalier or lapel mic? 

“Lavalier” and “lapel” microphones are often used interchangeably, but there is no significant difference between them. Both terms refer to small, wearable microphones typically clipped to clothing near the chest. “Lavalier” is the more formal term, while “lapel” is a basic name, but the microphones themselves serve the same purpose.

Q3. Can lavalier mics pick up background sound?

Lavalier microphones are designed to minimize background noise by focusing on the speaker’s voice. However, they can still pick up some ambient sounds, especially if placed too far from the mouth or in noisy environments. You have to properly place the mic to help reduce background noise pickup.

Q4. What are the best practices for using lavalier mics?

When using lavalier microphones, proper placement is of utmost importance. You need to secure the mic close to the speaker’s chest, about 6-12 inches from their mouth to ensure clear audio. Additionally, effective cable management can also prevent distractions during recordings or presentations.

Conclusion

Lavalier microphones have surely brought a positive impact on audio and video content creation. With their small size and wireless features, these mics have made live performances much easier. So, if you are a budding content creator or a professional performer, you can take advantage of these microphones to seamlessly record and broadcast audio according to your needs.

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