Posted on by Tycho Smith

2018 Best Lavalier Mic without Breaking the Bank


We are as obsessed with microphones as we are obsessed with sound quality. The lavalier mic or lapel mic is one of our favorite types because of its small size and convenience – it allows us to record hands-free.

The Basics about Lavalier Microphones

For those who are not familiar with various microphone types, the lavalier mic is a small mic on a thin strand and often with a clip attached so you can wear it on your collar or shirt.

It is super compact and can hide in plain sight, so it’s used for a wide range of applications, such as news reporting, interviews, church/conference/public speaking, etc. Even if your use is not listed among the few, you can probably get the desired audio from a lav mic.

Different Types of Lavalier Microphones

Sound Patterns

Today’s lavalier mics come in both omnidirectional and directional (AKA cardioid) patterns. As the names suggest, the omnidirectional lav mic picks up sound from all directions, while the directional mic picks up sound from one direction.

OMNI LAV MIC – Distance First, Angle Second: In most applications, an omnidirectional lavalier mic is an excellent choice, as you have more flexibility to where and how to attach the mic: to a collar, in the hair, or on the eyeglass frame, as long as it is close to your mouth.

CARDIOID LAV MIC – Single Out What You Need: Cardioid or directional lav mics are commonly used in studios where there is no concern of seeing the mic or excessive movement. This type of lavalier mic is highly sensitive to wind/handling noise, so make sure to pick up some windscreens.

Sound Patterns: Omnidirectional and Cardioid

Wired/Wireless

This can be a question of your budget. Wired lavaliers are pretty cheap, but the wireless systems are significantly more expensive than the wired ones.

When the budget is not an issue, your choice depends on the specific applications and how much do you need to move around. If you need to move freely without being connected to a cable, choose the wireless lavalier systems.

The most significant benefit of wired lavalier mics is its simplicity. You don’t need to worry about battery life or the frequency selection with a wired lav mic.

TOP FIVE LAVALIER MICS WITHOUT BREAKING YOUR BANK IN 2018

Below is a list of the top five inexpensive lavalier mics after researching numerous products, testing, and reviewing user reviews/ratings in the market. We have done our homework to present these five as they cover various scenarios when you have to choose between different output devices, sound pickup patterns, and the wired/wireless options.

Some of them are our MOVO brand, and some are other brands. Let us know in the comment if you have any questions.

  • WIRED. OMNIDIRECTIONAL: This PowerDeWise lavalier microphone is the most rated lav mic with a score of 4.4 (out of 5) on Amazon. It has a 78” extension cord – pretty good amount for most movements that you need. This is not the cheapest lav mic on the market but is quite affordable with the price of $21.98. (Cheaper but equally good option in our store: MOVO PM10)
  • WIRELESS. OMNIDIRECTIONAL: The MOVO WMIC50 is one of the best wireless lavalier mic systems rated by many third-party review sites. It allows you to record high-quality audio at a distance of up to 164 feet. You can clip the radio transmitter to a belt or mount it to a camera/camcorder. It also comes with receiver earphone so you can monitor the audio quality in real time and communicate with the transmitter (one-way).
  • WIRELESS. DUAL OMNIDIRECTIONAL: Another great wireless lav mic system with a 330-feet range, the Saramonic UWMIC9 is perfect for field recording, videography, and more. This is a quality product that provides more reliable sound quality than many more expensive wireless mic systems.
  • WIRED. OMNIDIRECTIONAL & CARDIOID: For a wide range of recording options, you may need both omnidirectional and directional lav mics, and the MOVO LV-6 is designed for that exact reason. It is highly recommended for budget-conscious buyers.
  • WIRED. CARDIOID: One of our own, MOVO LV4-C Cardioid Lav Mic is the best rated in this category on Amazon. Don’t take our word for it, check out these glowing reviews on Amazon from audio professionals. “After days of filming, I can tell you these (MOVO LV4-C) microphones are amazing. The sound is as good as anything I have used in the past - even as good as my Sennheiser lavalier mic!”