Exceptional Sound Meets Value: 7 Lavalier Mics Worth Your Money



Lavalier microphones, also known as lavs, lapel mics, and clip-on microphones, are indispensable in filmmaking.

Lav mics are frequently used for interviews, and thanks to their compact size, they’re easy to carry and hide. But good lav mics are also very expensive.

Luckily, some inexpensive options on the market offer excellent quality sound. They are a perfect choice if you’re a budding film producer, videographer or vlogger.

If this is your first time buying a lav mic, I recommend you jump to the bottom of this article and read the guide. That way, you’ll know what to look for in a lavalier microphone.

Seven Inexpensive Lavalier Clip-On Microphones for Video

Here are my seven top choices for budget-friendly wireless and wired Lavalier microphones.

1. RODE Wireless ME (Wireless)

If you’re on a budget yet don’t want to compromise on quality, the RØDE Wireless ME is an excellent choice among wireless lavalier microphones.

Its ultra-compact design makes it a breeze to use, whether you’re filming, interviewing, or podcasting.

It comes with a built-in microphone on both the transmitter and receiver, and it employs Intelligent GainAssist technology to ensure clear recordings every time. It’s also compatible with various devices, including cameras, computers, and smartphones.

However, it’s not without its drawbacks. Some users have reported issues with the level setting and output gain, while others have been disappointed with the product’s advertising.

But if you’re in the market for a budget-friendly, high-quality wireless microphone, the RØDE Wireless ME is worth considering.

Product Specs:

  • Compact wireless microphone system
  • Intelligent GainAssist technology
  • Compatible with various devices
  • 7-hour battery life


  • Affordable
  • High-quality sound output
  • Easy to use


  • Issues with level setting and output gain
  • Misleading advertising
  • Some reliability concerns with the Rode Capture app

2. RODE Wireless GO II (Wireless)

The Rode Wireless GO II is a standout among budget-friendly wireless Lavalier microphones.

This ultra-compact, versatile system boasts a 2.4GHz digital transmission with 128-bit encryption, ensuring crystal-clear audio even at a distance of up to 200m.

It’s designed to operate stably in dense RF environments and offers universal compatibility with cameras, mobile devices, and computers.

Plus, it comes with a whopping 40 hours of internal memory for on-board recording, offering you a safety channel and flexible gain control.

However, you might need additional accessories to fully utilize its impressive features.

Product specs:

  • 2.4GHz digital transmission with 128-bit encryption
  • Up to 200m line of sight
  • Over 40 hours of internal memory


  • Crystal-clear audio
  • Universal compatibility
  • Easy pairing and setup


  • Additional accessories required
  • Some users report charging and battery life issues
  • Potential sound quality issues when connected to a camera.

3. RODE Lavalier GO (Wired)

Switching to wired options, let’s explore the Rode Lavalier GO, a top budget-friendly choice among Lavalier microphones.

This budget-friendly wearable microphone is perfect for storytellers and content creators like you who demand crystal-clear audio. Its discreet omnidirectional microphone picks up sound from all directions, ensuring your voice is always the show’s star.

With a convenient 3.5mm TRS connector and durable mounting clip with clever cable management, it’s easy to use and won’t disappoint you.

The Rode Lavalier GO‘s Kevlar reinforced cable provides reliability even in challenging conditions, and its foam pop shield minimizes wind noise, keeping your audio clean and clear.

Product Specs:

  • Professional-grade wearable microphone
  • 3.5mm TRS connector
  • Omnidirectional microphone
  • Foam pop shield
  • Kevlar reinforced cable


  • Super clear and amazing audio quality
  • Easy to use with durable mounting clip
  • Reliable in difficult conditions


  • Mid-range sound can be a little crunchy
  • Lacks a wind adapter.

Sennheiser XSW-D (Wireless)

Moving on to wireless options, you’ll find the Sennheiser XSW-D a superb choice, known for its pre-paired sets, lightweight plugs, and automatic channel allocation.

This innovative microphone boasts a 2.4 GHz frequency, is available worldwide, and has a battery life of up to 5 hours. Charging during operation or breaks is possible, making it a practical choice for continuous use.

Despite some complaints about sound quality and configuration, many users praise the Sennheiser XSW-D for its professional sound at an amateur price.

It’s highly recommended for those venturing into YouTube or other content creation platforms. I also use it more than my Sennheiser G3s these days for client interviews, as it’s extremely easy to set up.

Solid battery life and flawless connection make it a reliable tool for your audio needs.

Product specs:

  • Pre-paired sets
  • 2.4 GHz frequency
  • 5-hour battery life


  • Professional sound quality
  • Solid battery life
  • Reliable connection


  • Sound quality issues in some configurations
  • Requires additional connector for iPhone compatibility
  • Some users found the audio too quiet, even with maxed-out volume.

Sennheiser Professional ME 2 (Wired)

If you’re hunting for a budget-friendly yet professional-grade Lavalier microphone, the Sennheiser Professional ME 2 is a brilliant choice.

Its universal clip-on design is suitable for various speech and vocal applications, making it a versatile tool. With its impressive high speech intelligibility, you’re guaranteed clear, crisp audio.

This lightweight microphone is easy to attach to any clothing and is compatible with various wireless bodypack transmitters.

The Sennheiser Professional ME 2 has been professionally designed to last, apparent with the clip, cable, and mini-jack quality, ranking well above other lavalier mics on the market.

Product specs:

  • 1.12 ounces
  • 6.69 x 0.59 x 0.59 inches
  • Corded Electric Power Source
  • 130 dB Signal-to-Noise Ratio


  • High-quality
  • High speech intelligibility
  • Universal clip-on design
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible with various wireless bodypack transmitters.


  • It’s more expensive than wired lavs, but you get what you pay for.

Shure MVL Lavalier Microphone (Wired)

Are you looking for a top-notch, budget-friendly wired Lavalier microphone? You’ll find the Shure MVL Lavalier Microphone to be an excellent choice.

This mini lapel mic is designed innovatively for video recording and vlogging. It flawlessly plugs into any mobile phone or tablet with a 3.5mm connector.

The Shure MVL offers an impressive signal-to-noise ratio and maximum SPL, ensuring clear sound quality. Users applaud its superior recording quality and reasonable price.

However, you may need an extension cord for optimal use. Its compact design and proven Shure RF/GSM interference protection make it a trailblazer in the market.

Product Specs:

  • 3.5mm connector plugs
  • Maximum SPL and RF/GSM interference protection
  • Product dimensions: 5.2 x 3.3 x 1.6 inches


  • High-quality sound recording
  • Reasonable price
  • Compact and convenient design


  • May require an extension cord
  • Adapter needed for some devices
  • Requires phantom power to operate.

Zoom F2-BT

Regarding budget-friendly wired and wireless lavalier microphones, the Zoom F2-BT has covered you with its impressive features and user-friendly design.

It’s a game-changer with its 32-bit Float recording capability for clip-free recording and no gain adjustment.

Plus, it has built-in Bluetooth for connection to the F2 Control app for settings adjustment and remote transport control.

The F2-BT offers the flexibility to record directly to micro SD and SDHC cards, allowing you to store even more hours of voice recording.

Despite its plastic build quality, the F2-BT’s small form factor and ease of use make it a worthy investment for your audio recording needs.

Product specs:

  • 32-Bit Float recording
  • Built-in Bluetooth
  • Records directly to micro SD and SDHC cards


  • Clip-free recording and no gain adjustment
  • Remote control via app
  • Large storage capacity


  • Plastic build quality
  • Fragile feeling and difficult SD card bay
  • Lack of ruggedness and sealing

Which Clip-On Mic Caught Your Attention?

We know it’s hard to decide when you have so many Lavalier mics available, but try it!

The best thing you can do is analyze your budget and determine if you want a wired or wireless mic. Secondly, you should also know what devices you will use the mic with, such as DSLR cameras or mobile phones.

Any mics included in this list can do a great job recording audio tracks. It’s up to you to experiment with them and see which one suits your specific needs.

General Guide To Lavalier Microphones

Here’s a general guide to lav mics so you know what to look for.

Wired clip-on microphones

Some Lavalier microphones are wired, and others are wireless.

Wired lavs are usually less expensive than wireless lavs, so they are a great option if you’re on a tight budget.

You connect a wired mic to your camera or mobile phone through a thin cable with a 3.5mm jack.

Then, you clip the mic on your suit or dress, hide the wire under your clothes, and talk to the camera while the mic records your voice.

Wired lavs are an excellent choice if you’re on a shoestring budget or don’t want to deal with batteries and radio frequencies. However, you are limited in movement, and the wire can be a hassle to work with.

And if you’re unlucky and forget you’re wearing a microphone, you can accidentally pull your camera so it falls to the floor.

One way to circumvent this is to connect your wired Lavalier microphone to a handheld recorder such as the Zoom H1, which you can then carry in your back pocket. Then, you also record your voice with the built-in microphone in your camera and sync the audio when you edit your video.

Wireless clip-on microphones

A wireless lapel microphone system consists of a transmitter and a receiver. You connect your lav mic to the transmitter and place it on your subject’s body. Because of this, the system’s transmitter and lav mic end is also known as the body pack.

Some newer systems – such as the Rode Wireless GO – have a microphone directly built into the body pack but also allow you to connect your lav mic if you want to.

The receiver is a device that decodes the information transmitted by the body pack and changes it into an audio signal, which your camera or external recorder can then record.

You plug the receiver into your recording device with a 3.5mm jack or XLR input.

Wireless mics also have an operating range, but since a wire does not bind you, you have much more freedom to move around. An operating range of up to 100 feet or more isn’t uncommon.

The operating range will fall drastically, e.g., if you’re in an environment with many concrete walls.

Wireless lavs are an excellent and versatile choice and what most professionals use. However, they do come with some caveats.

First, they need batteries—either AA or some in-built rechargeable battery. If the batteries die, your lav won’t work. And not all models have options to change the batteries on the spot. And if they do – you still have to bring extras.

Second, they operate using radio frequencies. Not all frequencies are allowed everywhere. And if you travel with your lapels, don’t expect them to work in another country. They might conflict with the allowed frequency bands.

If you’re filming at big events with a lot of other filmmakers and electrical equipment, you might also run into trouble with finding a bandwidth that is clean and free of interference. You don’t want the sound of someone else’s interview mixed in with your signal while you record.

New digital systems – such as the Sennheiser AVX series – can find free frequencies independently and change automatically to the best one.

The AVX with the classic ME2 Lavalier is an excellent, high-end professional microphone system. Still, I wouldn’t call it “inexpensive,” which is why it isn’t included in the list below.

Be aware that digital systems like the AVX series have a tiny latency due to the digital signal. So if you use it with analog mics, you might find that your audio signals are out of sync, and you have to do some extra work re-synchronizing the audio when you edit your videos. 

Options for attaching the clip-on microphone to your talent

As the name ‘clip-on microphone’ implies, lapels come with a small clip that you stick to your shirt and dress.

But what if you want to hide the microphone under your clothes completely?

In that case, you can use double-sided foam adhesive squares or gaffer tape to tape the Lavalier microphone to the clothes. You can also use medical tape if you want to tape it directly onto your subject’s skin.

The bodypack usually has some clip installed, which lets you mount it to your talent’s belt or back pocket so that they’re free to move around.

Microphone pattern

Most lavaliers feature an omnidirectional pattern, meaning they are designed to pick up sounds from all directions.

Therefore, you can move your head while talking, position the mic anywhere, and it will still pick up sound.

The omnidirectional pattern also lets you put the lavalier in many different locations, e.g., the chest, the collar, the collar bone, behind the ear, or in the hair, and still lets you capture good audio quality.

You can get lavaliers with more directional patterns, but they are more niche, not as easy to use, and usually a lot more expensive.


You might want to consider the cables and mounting options regarding this aspect.

For example, most lav mics come with standard cables, but some are reinforced with Kevlar. This makes the cable much more robust and less prone to deterioration, especially when you film outdoors.

Frequency Range

All mics come with a characteristic known as the frequency range.

This lets you know what types of sounds the mic can pick (low, medium, high, and very high).

For example, most mics have a frequency range from 50Hz to 20kHz.

However, some mics come with ranges ranging from 60Hz to 18kHz. This slightly narrower range leaves out shallow sounds (think background traffic noise or handling noises) and high ones (fx whistling sounds).

It would be best if you went for a mic that serves the needs of your particular filming projects. For example, if you’re into interviews and speeches, a microphone with a frequency range of 50Hz- to 16kHz microphone is ideal for you.

Power Options

Most lapels are condenser microphones, meaning they need a little “juice.”

Wired lapels will draw power from the device you’re plugging it into, such as a camera, tablet, or mobile phone.

Wireless lapels usually come with in-built rechargeable batteries or the option to use a rechargeable battery pack or AA/AAA batteries, which you can change immediately.

If you’re doing longer interviews, it is best to have a wireless system where you can change the batteries on the spot. But these systems also tend to be bigger.

If you’re going for a compact system, in-built rechargeable batteries are the way to go if you still want it to be wireless. But be prepared for some charging time.


Lavalier Microphone connections

Most lavaliers in this price range use 3.5mm minijacks instead of the bigger XLR connections. That doesn’t mean that all minijacks are created equal, though.

Please be aware that several types of 3.5mm minijack connections are available.

TRS is good for DSLR and mirrorless cameras.

TRRS is suitable for mobile phones.

If your lapel microphone comes with only a TRRS connector, you need an adapter – like this one – to use on a DSLR/mirrorless camera or camcorder.

Likewise, if your lapel comes only with a TRS connector, you need an adapter – like this one – if you want to use it on your smartphone.

Foam Windscreens and “Dead Mouse”

Most lavs come with a foam windscreen as standard, which you attach directly onto the small head of the microphone. This will prevent wind noises – such as breathing – from being picked up by the microphone.

However, if you film outside in windy conditions, you should consider buying a “dead mouse”.

This is a small furry ball you can put on top of your microphone, preventing even strong winds from being picked up by the microphone.

It is, in essence, a smaller version of the “dead cat” windscreen you use on shotgun microphones.


  • Jan Sørup

    Jan Sørup is a indie filmmaker, videographer and photographer from Denmark. He owns filmdaft.com and the Danish company Apertura, which produces video content for big companies in Denmark and Scandinavia. Jan has a background in music, has drawn webcomics, and is a former lecturer at the University of Copenhagen.

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