Wired vs. Wireless Lavalier Microphones: Which One Is Right for You?
- Movo Photo Blog
- Jul 11, 2019
Whether you’re launching a new podcast or creating a promo video, the microphone you choose to record with will make or break your final product. There are dozens of high-quality microphones on the market, but it can be tough to narrow down which option is right for you. The most common mics are wireless lavalier microphones and wired lavalier microphones, each offering its own list of advantages and disadvantages. Learn more about these mics and determine which will work best for your project.
Choosing the Right Microphone
Using the right kind of mic is so important to any type of creative project because it is the device that picks up sound and, without sound, your video or audio will be boring. Even if you have a cheap microphone on hand, it’s probably not going to be the device you want to use to record a bigger project because the sound quality is extremely important to an audience.
If you’re making home videos for just yourself and your family, a handheld video recorder with an included mic is probably all you need. But, if you want to share your creation with the world, the sound quality needs to be crisp and audible. Otherwise, your viewers or listeners will be thrown out of the experience almost immediately. As you browse for the right microphone, consider how you’ll be using it. Will you be moving around a lot or stationary? Will you have multiple people speaking at once? Each of these elements will impact which mic works best for you.
Wired Lavalier Microphones
Wired lavalier microphones tend to be cheaper than their wireless counterpart, so if budget is a factor, you may want to look into wired mics. This type of lavalier microphone also tends to produce a slightly higher quality audio because wireless mics tend to limit the dynamic range of the mic (the scale on high and low decibels) and compress the sound, which can make it sound slightly altered.
Another advantage of a wired lavalier microphone is the lack of dependence on battery power. You never need to remember to stock up on batteries or risk running out of power in the middle of a recording. The wire keeps electricity running to the mic at all times, making it more convenient. Wired mics tend to be more reliable for the same reason. There is less risk for error or disruptions when all you need to do is plug the mic in. Wireless mics rely on transmitter technology that can run into issues. The last thing you want while recording a project is to have to spend a chunk of time working on technical issues.
Though wired lavalier microphones are known to be very reliable, in some cases, a wired mic is going to be detrimental to your production process. If you need to be walking around a lot, a wireless mic will be more beneficial and worth the higher price tag. Even if you have a mic with a long cord, it will likely get in the way as you move around, or you may find yourself tripping over the cord, pulling it from the power source and needing to re-record. Wired mics tend to have more pieces as well, so if you’re not interested in lugging around multiple cords and accessories, go for the wireless version instead.
Wireless Lavalier Microphones
The most obvious advantage of a wireless lavalier microphone is the ability to move around more easily with the mic. If you’re recording an audio or video show in which you’ll be moving around a lot, like a documentary, wireless is definitely the way to go as it will alleviate a lot of the frustrations associated with being tethered to your mic. For video projects, wireless mics may also look more professional because there are no wires hanging down and following you around.
Wireless lavalier microphones make your setup much easier and quicker because there’s no need to run cables every time you want to record. Again, this is most advantageous for those who are recording in new places all the time. If you have a studio where you record a podcast or talk show, you can simply keep your mics set up. But, if you need to move locations, it can cost you time and money to have someone setting up and breaking down mics.
As previously mentioned, one potential downside to using a wireless mic is the lowered sound quality, though this issue has become much less problematic in recent years as new technologies are used to increase the overall quality. The other major disadvantage of a wireless mic is that you’re relying entirely on the wireless technology to work seamlessly, which anyone with a Bluetooth speaker knows doesn’t always happen. Technical issues can be frustrating and lengthen your production time. However, once you’ve set the mic up and used it several times, you probably won’t experience issues too often.
Which Mic is Right for You?
Now that you know the major differences between wired and wireless lavalier microphones, it’s time to decide. Factor in what type of project you’re working on and whether or not you need to change locations during the filming or recording process. Then, browse our selection of high-quality mics, both wired and wireless, and get started on your next creative production.