Lapel Mic? A Comprehensive Guide to Lavalier Microphones

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  May 3, 2022

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What is a lapel mic? A lapel mic is a type of microphone that is worn on the chest, clipped to the shirt or jacket. They are mostly used in business settings where people need to be heard clearly, like at conferences or in meetings.

They are also known as lavalier mics, clip mics, or just personal mics. So, let’s look at when you might want to use one.

What is a lavalier mic

What is a Lavalier Microphone?

What is a Lavalier Microphone?

A lavalier mic is a tiny piece of tech that goes by many names. You might have heard it referred to as a lav mic, lapel collar mic, body mic, clip mic, neck mic, or personal mic. No matter what you call it, it’s all the same thing. The most common names are lav mic and lapel mic.

How to Hide and Position Lav Mics

If you’re looking to hide a lav mic, there are a few tricks of the trade. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Hide it in a pocket or on a belt.
  • Clip it to clothing or jewelry.
  • Position it near the collarbone or chest.
  • Use a lavalier windscreen to reduce wind noise.
  • Use a lavalier shock mount to reduce vibration noise.

The Benefits of Using a Lavalier Microphone

Lavalier mics are great for capturing audio in a variety of situations. Here are some of the benefits of using a lav mic:

  • They are small and discreet, so they won’t draw attention.
  • They are easy to set up and use.
  • They can be used in noisy environments.
  • They are relatively inexpensive.
  • They are great for recording interviews and podcasts.

Wired or Wireless?

You can get lavalier microphones in both wired and wireless varieties. A wired one might restrict your movement a bit, but a wireless one just requires a small transmitter pack that you can clip onto your belt or in your pocket. Wireless lavalier mics transmit their audio feed via radio frequencies, so a sound mixer can control and adjust it.

Quality Matters

When it comes to lavalier mics, quality matters. You can get them in a range of qualities, but the best ones will give you audio that’s almost as good as a standard boom mic. So, make sure you get the best one you can afford!

In Summary

  • Lavalier mics are tiny microphones that clip onto clothing.
  • You can get them in wired and wireless varieties.
  • Wireless mics transmit audio via radio frequencies.
  • Quality matters, so make sure you get the best one you can!

The Nitty Gritty of a Lavalier Microphone

How is it Constructed?

Lavalier mics are made up of a few basic components: a diaphragm, connectors, and an adapter. The diaphragm is the part that actually captures sound waves and converts them into electrical signals. Connectors are used to link the mic to an amplifier, and the adapter is used to convert the electrical signal into an analog signal that can be amplified.

What Should You Look For?

When shopping for a lavalier mic, there are a few things to consider:

  • Size of the diaphragm: This will determine how well the mic can capture sound in different environments.
  • Clip system: This is what attaches the mic to clothing, so it’s important to make sure it’s secure.
  • Price: Lavalier mics come in a variety of price points, so you’ll want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck.

No matter what you’re looking for in a lavalier mic, you can be sure that it’ll be the perfect addition to your audio recording setup!

The Evolution of the Lapel Microphone

From Necklaces to Neck Straps

Once upon a time, the term “lavalier” referred to a fancy necklace. But in the 1930s, it was used to describe a new type of microphone that could be hooked into the buttonhole of a coat. This “lapel microphone” offered freedom of movement, so it was a hit with telephone operators and air traffic controllers who needed to keep their hands free.

The 1950s: String Around the Neck

In the 1950s, some microphone models were designed to be hung on a string around the neck. This was a great way to keep your hands free while still being able to record your voice. But it was a bit of a hassle to keep the string in place.

The 647A: A Small, Lightweight Microphone

In 1953, Electro-Voice changed the game with the Model 647A. This small, lightweight microphone was only 2 ounces and 0.75 inches in diameter. It was fitted with a cord to go around the neck, so you could move around freely while still being able to record your voice.

The 530 Slendyne: A Bigger, Better Microphone

In 1954, Shure Brothers upped the ante with the 530 Slendyne. This larger microphone could be handheld, mounted on a stand, or worn around the neck on a “lavalier cord.” It was the perfect solution for anyone who needed to record their voice without having to worry about keeping their hands free.

The Modern Lapel Microphone

Today, lapel microphones come in all shapes and sizes. From condenser diaphragms to ribbons and moving coils, there’s a lapel microphone for every need. So whether you’re a telephone operator, an air traffic controller, or just someone who wants to record their voice without having to worry about their hands, there’s a lapel microphone that’s perfect for you.

What’s the Difference Between Wired and Wireless Lavalier Microphones?

Wired Lav Mics: The Low-Cost, High-Quality Option

  • If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option that still delivers quality sound, wired lavalier microphones are the way to go.
  • No need to worry about batteries running out, so you can just plug and play.
  • The only downside is that you’re limited in how much you can move around. So if you’re planning on doing a lot of jumping around during your recording session, make sure you have enough slack in the cord to keep up with you.

Wireless Lav Mics: The Freedom to Move

  • Wireless lavalier microphones are the perfect choice for anyone who wants to be able to move around without being tied down.
  • Whether you’re a TV presenter, public speaker, or theater performer, these clip-on mics are a must-have.
  • They use Bluetooth or infrared technology to transmit audio signals, so you can go wherever you want without worrying about cords.

What’s the Difference Between Omnidirectional and Unidirectional Lav Mics?

Omnidirectional Mics

Omnidirectional lavalier mics are like the party animals of the mic world – they pick up sound from every direction, making them perfect for noisy environments. They’re great for interviews, vlogging, and any other situation where you need to capture sound on the go.

Unidirectional Mics

On the other hand, unidirectional lavalier mics are like the introverts of the mic world – they only pick up sound from one direction, so you don’t have to worry about background noise. These mics are perfect for recording in a studio, filming, broadcasting, and public speaking.

The Best of Both Worlds

No matter what kind of audio you need to capture, Movo has the perfect lavalier mic for you. Here’s a quick rundown of the benefits of our mics:

  • Wireless: No more tangled cords!
  • Compact: Easy to carry around and set up.
  • High Quality: Get crystal clear audio every time.
  • Versatile: Perfect for interviews, live performances, and more.

So if you’re looking for a mic that can do it all, look no further than Movo!

The Benefits of Lavalier Microphones in Academia

The Study

Back in 1984, Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences conducted a study to see if lavalier microphones had any benefits in an academic setting. Turns out, they did! By allowing the speaker to move around freely, the lavalier microphone provided a continuous flow of visual stimulation to keep the audience engaged. Even in smaller groups of 25 or less, the lack of restrictions on the hands proved to be just as effective.

The Benefits

Using lavalier microphones in an academic setting has a ton of benefits. Here are a few of them:

  • Keeps the audience engaged: With the lavalier microphone, the speaker can move around and provide a continuous flow of visual stimulation to keep the audience’s attention.
  • No restrictions on the hands: The lavalier microphone allows the speaker to move freely without having to worry about being restricted by their hands.
  • Even works in smaller groups: Even in smaller groups of 25 or less, the lavalier microphone still provides the same benefits.

So if you’re looking for a way to keep your audience engaged, a lavalier microphone might just be the answer!

When to Use a Lavalier Microphone

When to Use a Lavalier Mic

When it comes to capturing dialogue, lavalier mics are the way to go. They’re great for isolating different audio tracks for each actor, especially in noisy environments. Plus, they’re perfect for wide shots and fast-paced scenes where a boom mic would be too much of a hassle.

Other Uses for Lavalier Mics

Lavalier mics aren’t just for filmmaking. They’re also used in theater and musical performances, news programs, and even for one-man crews.

Tips for Hiding a Lapel Mic

Here are some pro-tips for hiding a lapel mic:

  • Tuck it into clothing
  • Hide it in props
  • Pin it to a scarf
  • Attach it to a hat
  • Put it in a pocket

Buying the Right Lavalier Mic for You

GoPro Hero 3: A Great Digital SLR Camera

If you’re looking for a digital SLR camera that’s user-friendly and highly durable, the GoPro Hero 3 is a great choice. It’s one of the top names in the camera and camcorder business and is sure to give you great results. Here are some of the features that make it stand out:

  • Compact and lightweight design, making it easy to transport
  • 4K video recording capabilities
  • 12MP still image capture
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Waterproof up to 33 feet

3.5mm Jack: The Most Common Connection

When it comes to lavalier mics, the most common connection used is the 3.5mm jack. This allows you to quickly and easily upload images or videos to your computer. It’s also a great way to protect your mic from loud and unpredictable noises when you’re on the go.

Carrying Case: An Essential Piece of Hardware

If you’re looking for a lavalier mic, be sure to check out the carrying cases that come with it. These cases make it easy to transport your mic, so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged. Plus, they’ll protect your mic from any loud and unpredictable noises that you might encounter while you’re out and about.

Shop Around for the Best Deals

When you’re shopping for a lavalier mic, it’s important to shop around for the best deals. There are a lot of cheap little cameras out there that can be expensive if you get the wrong one. So make sure to do your research and find the best deal for your needs.

We’ve got Gear Buyer’s Guides on every type of Filmmaking Equipment, so be sure to check those out too!

Everything You Need to Know About Lav Mics


  • Discreet: Lav mics are great for recording clean audio without anyone noticing. You can attach them to just about anything, so you can get creative with hiding them.
  • Portable: Lav mics are perfect for scenes where the actor is moving around a lot. You don’t need to worry about a boom operator following them everywhere.
  • Hands-Free: Once the lav mic is set up, you don’t need to do much else. If you’re using a wireless lav mic, you can have multiple actors mic’d up and ready to go.


  • Clothing Rustle: If the lav mic isn’t positioned properly, you can end up with some unwanted noise. To avoid this, do some tests during pre-production with the actors and their wardrobe.
  • Quality: Lav mics don’t always have the best sound quality, so you might need to adjust your expectations.
  • Power: Lav mics are battery-powered, so make sure you have some extra batteries ready to go in case one dies.

Comparing Different Lav Mics

Trying to decide which lav mic to buy? Here’s a quick comparison of five affordable models:

  • Model A: Great for recording clean audio without anyone noticing.
  • Model B: Perfect for scenes where the actor is moving around a lot.
  • Model C: Once the lav mic is set up, you don’t need to do much else.
  • Model D: If the lav mic isn’t positioned properly, you can end up with some unwanted noise.
  • Model E: Lav mics don’t always have the best sound quality, so you might need to adjust your expectations.


Lapel Mic Vs Lavalier

Lapel mics and lavalier mics are two names for the same thing, a small microphone you can clip on your shirt.

So, if you’re looking for a hands-free mic that won’t draw attention, lavalier mics are the way to go.

Lapel Mic Vs Boom Mic

When it comes to video recording, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Whether you should use a lavalier mic or a boom mic depends on the type of video you’re shooting. A lavalier mic is a small, clip-on mic that’s great for interviews and vlogging. It’s unobtrusive and can be hidden under clothing. On the other hand, a boom mic is a larger mic that’s mounted on a boom pole and is best for capturing audio from a distance. It’s great for recording sound in a large room or outdoors.

If you’re looking for a mic that won’t get in the way, a lavalier mic is the way to go. It’s small and discreet, so your subject won’t feel like they’re being mic’d up. Plus, it’s easy to use and can be clipped onto clothing for a hands-free experience. But if you’re shooting a scene with a lot of background noise, a boom mic is the way to go. It’s designed to pick up sound from a distance, so you can capture the audio you need without having to get too close. So, depending on your video, you’ll want to choose the right mic for the job.


Lapel mics are a great way to record sound when you don’t want to use a headset or hand-held mic. They’re small and easy to wear, and provide clear, crisp sound.

Wondering how to use one? Just clip it to your shirt or jacket and you’re good to go!

I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.

Check me out on Youtube where I try out all of this gear:

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