5 Lavalier Mics: Which Mic is Best For You?

Choosing a lavalier mic is a daunting task–there are so many options even at various prices. So here we talk about 5 different lavalier mics from a budget $25 USD mic up to a mic that costs $200 USD and requires an even pricier audio recorder or interface.

The gear used in this episode:

Audio Technica ATR-3350

Giant Squid Omni-directional Mono Lavalier

RODE smartLav (for recording to smart phones) RODE recently updated this with the RODE smartLav+. The original version is quite noisy so I would instead recommend the new smartLav+ version. Don’t try to save $20 with the old version. You will be sorry.

HMNSound Lavalier – Unfortunately, they are not able to ship any longer.

Audio Technica AT899

Zoom H1 Handy Recorder

Tascam DR-05 Recorder

Zoom H4n

Tascam DR-100 mkII (for XLR mics–for just a tiny bit more, I would now recommend the Tascam DR-60D, see below)

Tascam DR-60D–See my review at http://youtu.be/C3jgu9IivZM

This video shot with the following:
– Nikon D600
– Nikkor 105mm f/1.8AiS Lens
– Chinese Clone ARRI 650 Watt Fresnel
– ePhoto 4500W Softbox Light Kit

All music by Curtis Judd, copyright 2013

Ethics statement: The Amazon links above are affiliate links which means that if you click on them and buy, I get a small commission. You don’t pay more by clicking these links than if you just went to Amazon on your own. I use all of the proceeds to buy additional gear to review and help you improve your sound, lighting, and video. Thanks for your support!


irshad Ali says:

can I use this for my canon 1200d which has no 3.5 mm ? by using 2.5 mm male to 3.5 mm female..TRS male

Peter Verhauwen says:


Sairaj Dhumal says:

sir I want to make social expirements and I want a collar mike which will record my audio as well as the person with whom I’ll talk…the person will be approx 2feet far away from me….plz suggest a good mike

C.V. Kalyan Kumar says:

Why doesnt the Rod smartlav+ go in to the field recorder.

DaNeeFlow says:

What’s with that noise that the Rode mic is picking up? Is that the pre-amp or external noise?

M1 LIFE says:

Hi Curtis, watched a few of your videos now. great channel pal. just wondered if you could recommend a mic to plug into the zoom H1 that would be best for in car audio. some cars are louder inside than others. not to bothered about the cost.

Akhii AbuMusa says:

Giant Squid + zoom h1 vs smartlav+?

which set up?

usernamemykel says:

Fantastic tutorial, thanks.

I recently received a Sony ICD PX333 voice recorder, and I’d like a decent mic (preferably lapel, and monaural will do) to pick up my voice AND the reaction of my audience to my jokes during a stand-up comic act, for playback later for my review.

If I understood your tutorial, would the Giant Omni Mono Mic be the best bet, and if not, what then (not costing more than the Omni, preferably)?


Excellent product comparison Mr. Judd! This is super helpful information. Thanks.

BhSyria says:

Hi, Really I found your channel very useful, tnank you for your efforts, I would like to know the lighting and camera you use in making this kind of video, thanks again

Stephen Jennings says:

LOL. Thumbs up for the toilet paper roll. Great idea!

Will Carmack says:

So I have the “Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder” and the Audio Technica At899. I was wondering how do I make the tascam input audio from the lav once I connect the two? I plugged the lav into it and tried recording and it was only taking in audio from the Tascam’s mics

Matthew says:

Hi Curtis, I’m looking at getting a lavalier mic with the intention of filming in a variety of outdoor locations. I was just wondering if any of these mics coped with outdoor environments/eliminating background noise better than others?

Japie Scholtz says:

curtis i am ready to buy a wireless system for my sony z150. i have 2 options. will you please recommend the best setup between the rode wireless filmmaker kit and the audio technica wireless system 10 lav kit. thank you.

Felix Najera says:

how did u roll up that cable on the toilet paper roll

Raj Markam says:

Please suggest me a best lavalier mic wit XLR connection under $160. I will use it with zoom H6

Grant Cogswell says:

Hi Curtis, Great Video, Thank you! I am using a Canon Xa10 to record a two person interview and also a speaker. What do you recommend would be the best for shooting both or do I need to buy 2 different types of mics to pick up sound for each?

bruce8209 says:

to much speak, to few showing mics…

CraftyClaws says:

Question about the RODEsmart Lav but is it compatible with Windows PC? I want to get into the streaming/gaming or cosplay aspects of things and am willing to spend up to 100 on a decent mic but of course I want it to connect to my PC as well. Amazing video by the way

Glitchex64 says:

Thank you. This was a very helpful video.

michael b says:

Like the toilet paper roll idea. Now 4 years later I would say your options for Lav have increased considerably. There are some cheapy ones by BOYA not HOYA … they even have a website .. quite a few options… Obviously made in China.

Impacted Overseer I'M nEW says:

This really helped thank u

Kampf0r says:

Looking for a lavalier mic that is less influenced by wind noise. Any suggestions? I use a deadcat on my Sony, but even mounted inside my motorcycle helmet, the wind noise is still way too much. I use a Tascam DR22WL and have made several adjustments to eliminate as much background noise as possible, but I can’t reduce wind noise down to a respectable level.

Wesam Khalfalla وسام خلف الله says:

Nice vid Curtis 🙂

kenjie baniqued says:

what can i use if im gonna sing

Simply Embedded says:

Thanks for the good information! Plan to pick up one of these through your affiliate link. 🙂 p.s. How do you achieve that black background effect in your video? I love it! Is that a (really) black sheet behind you or a greenscreen that you make black in post-production? Thanks, thumbed up.

Mayank Jain says:

Very helpful. Thanks

Alex Anderson says:

Great tutorial and demo. Love it.
Questions please: Which mic would you recommend for use on both iPhone 6s and SLR Nikon D5500 camera? Thanks.

MOBHouse Productions says:

Just wondering if the Noise from the Smart Lav is self noise or originates from the phone’s preamps?

Damian Brown says:

Hey Curtis, what do you think in 2017 for a budget lav? May switch up my Boya M1 for something else if it’s worth it, at least to have a few more backup mics.

Phil Armishaw says:

TRRS to TRS adapters are readily available both ways and are cheap. It’s just a pinout change. Buy the mic you want and the proper adapter as needed.

CallMe MONGOOSE says:

This review sucks. you dont show the microphones at all. and these are not “budget” mics. Budget mics are $25 and less. these are over-priced. you need to say how long it is, you need to show what it looks like without the wind protector, and you need to show what kind of connecter it has (Micro usb, mini usb, aux, etc…). you dont even say what cameras it can plug into, or if it can in general. i dont even know which of these i would be able to use because of the small amount of info. I’m looking for a small, sensitive, clip on microphone that can clearly record anyone’s voice no matter where the mic is pointed, that has a Mini USB plug that will fit ANYWHERE, that is at least 6ft long, and less than $30. if you know of one, plz tell me… this review did not help.

pumah96 says:

What mic would be best to record didgeridoo sounds? I had to subscribe when I saw so much great info!

Tobias Otero says:

Hello Curtis, I wanted to know if these microphones would work if I just plugged them in to my PC. Great video and keep up the good work!

Juan Sebastian Arango says:

This are the type of videos that are worth to watch all (even if im just looking for a brief 3 min video). Thank you very much!!

Sachi Perez says:

What? 🙂 How do you fix muffled audio in post? 15:40

BhSyria says:

have you recorded each part with the mic you are talking about ?

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