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Improve Interview Audio Quality with a Lavalier Microphone

Updated on June 27, 2013

What is a Lavalier Microphone?

A lavalier microphone are those little tiny mics that you see in news casts and interview footage. They are affixed to a person's clothing and drastically reduce the ambient noise and lower the background noise for clear audio recording.

Why Use a Lavalier Mic

- Reduces background noise and audio hiss

- Stays fixed to the person whose voice you want to capture

- Come in a variety of connection to accommodate your sound equipment

- Eliminates need to use filters in post production to reduce background gain

What to Watch Out for with a Lavalier Microphone

- Clothes rustling - be sure to secure your microphone cord

- Correct positioning to capture clear audio from your subject

- Wireless lavalieres are prone to picking up frequency interference, adjust to the proper channels

How to Pick a Lavalier Microphone

Before you go out and purchase a microphone, think about what you need it for. Do you need to adapt the connection to multiple recording devices or is a standard 1/8" 3.5 mm connection what you're looking for? Do you need something high quality or do you want to try out lavalier microphones for product reviews or gaming commentaries. Is a cord okay or do you want to spend the extra money to go wireless? How much can you afford to spend?

All of the above questions are points to consider when purchasing your lavalier microphone. Once you have figured out a price range and the features you want, it's time to look up some audio tests of the microphones you're interested in. You may also want to consider renting a piece of equipment before you buy it just to make sure it's what you want it to be.

Lavalier Comparison Chart

Audio-Technica ATR-3350
omnidirectional, mono, frequency range: 50 Hz -18000 Hz, foam windscreen, battery, 3.5mm connection, good "beginner" lavalier microphone
Olympus ME-15
omnidirecitonal, mono, 3.5mm connection, frequency range: 100-12000 Hz, long 3.5ft cord, good "beginner" lavalier microphone
Rode Lavalier Microphone
omnidirectional, stereo, included water-resistant hard case, adaptable connection types, dead cat and foam windscreen, frequency range: 60Hz - 18000 Hz, great microphone
Sennheiser ME 2
omnidirectional, 3.5mm connection, frequency range: 60 Hz - 18000 Hz

Review of Rode Lavalier

Recommended Lavalier Microphone - Rode Lavalier Mic

I currently am using the Rode Lavalier Microphone. I wanted something that had good audio quality, as well as the ability to change out the connection types to adapt to my different equipment (XLR connection as well as a 1/8" connection).

The price range was about what I could afford to spend on a good, solid piece of equipment and the added protective case, dead cat and foam windscreen really sold me.

I was very pleased with the quality of the audio after I hooked it up to my Zoom H4n, with the XLR Mi-Con cable. It definitely improved the quality of my interview footage and tutorial videos. I was able to cut out the post production process of filtering out the noise floor from my Rode Video Mic and sync it right up to video.

If you look around on Ebay you can usually find it bundled with the mi-con connector that you want to use. (XLR, 3.5mm, etc) This is a great way to save money!

Lavalier Microphone Tips

Take some time to get used to your new piece of equipment. Be sure to play around with it before you take it out on a shoot. This way you get all of the trouble shooting out of the way and know how to perform flawlessly with your new toy.

  • To prevent a lot of rustling from clothing and cord noises, be sure to loop the end of the lavalier microphone into the clip.
  • Feed the microphone cord under the interviewee's shirt. This way it is hidden and less distracting during a shoot. This also will help reduce the noise if your subject is prone to fiddling with the cord.
  • You can place the sound recorder in the back pocket of the person to eliminate the need for a wireless system. Choose a small portable sound recorder like the Zoom H1n or the Zoom H4n.


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    • Ronnie Pistons profile image

      Ronnie Pistons 3 years ago from SC

      I may need to try one of these.

    • jabelufiroz profile image

      Firoz 4 years ago from India

      Good review on Lavalier Microphone. Voted up.