It’s extremely rare to come across any camera or smartphone that doesn’t have an integrated microphone. And as technology advances, the quality of these microphones increases too.
But no matter how good their recording capabilities are, an integrated microphone will never produce the same crystal clear sound that an external microphone can.
It is undoubtedly the case for DSLR cameras. And while the quality of the images and videos they can produce is unrivaled, if the sound doesn’t match the imagery, the finished product will always look slightly ‘off.’
So how can you keep the outstanding visual experience a DSLR camera can provide, still get the freedom of movement some shoots require and ensure the highest quality sound?
You use a lavalier microphone, that’s how.
But with so many available to choose from, finding the right lavalier microphone for your needs can be confusing. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best lav mics for DSLRs, along with a helpful buying guide that will guide you toward the perfect choice.
Keep reading, and you’ll know which lavalier microphone would be the perfect addition to your recording gear.
Table of Contents
Lav Mic for DSLR
Rode SmartLav+ Lavalier Microphone
If you can afford to invest more and don't need wireless, then the SmartLav+ is a great option.
Compatible with a wide range of Apple iOs and Android devices, the SmartLav+ Lavalier Microphone from
The condenser capsule 4.5mm miniature microphone operates omnidirectionally, picking up sound from all directions while drowning out background noise, making it perfect for outdoor recording.
An included windscreen further enhances its outdoor sound recording quality, while the Kevlar™ reinforced cable and mounting clip ensure the microphone stays securely in place.
A 12-month warranty backs the quality of this lavalier microphone, and it also comes with a travel pouch for safe storage and transportation.
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- Compatible with a wide range of devices, including Apple iOs and Android systems
- The discreet 4.5mm condenser microphone has an omnidirectional recording
- Drowns out background noise
- Perfect for recording outdoors and includes a windscreen for further wind-noise protection
- The Kevlar™ reinforced cable and mounting clip ensure the microphone is held securely in place
- Although suitable across a wide range of devices, there are certain smartphones and cameras that it won’t work with, so check this before buying
Some users are impressed with the clear audio quality and small size, while others find the clip ineffective and the design flawed. Overall, the
However, it is essential to keep in mind that some users have found faults with the design and functionality of the product.
Rode Wireless Go
The Wireless Go from Rode is a lavalier microphone like you’ve never seen before. Its combination of a transmitter that easily clips to clothing and a receiver that fits inside your camera’s shoe mount lets you start recording in lightning-fast time: No fuss, no wires, no cables. Let’s Go.
The transmitter operates through an omnidirectional condenser, picking up vocals from a 360º arc while reducing background noise. That means it’s perfect for outdoor recording, while its super-lightweight compact design allows you to store and transport it easily.
The range between the transmitter and receiver is a generous 70m, giving you flexibility overshooting and recording simultaneously, and they pair in just 3 seconds.
They also don’t require batteries or phantom power to operate, instead featuring built-in USB-C rechargeable batteries, giving you up to 7 hours of use from one charge.
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- A combination of a transmitter and a receiver that quickly pair together and need no wires or cables to operate
- The omnidirectional condenser microphone picks up sound from a 360º arc while reducing ambient background noise
- A 70m connection range gives you more flexibility when shooting and recording
- Built-in USB-C rechargeable batteries give you 7 hours of use from one charge
- There needs to be a clear, unobstructed line between the transmitter and receiver; otherwise, there can be gaps in the audio.
As one user notes, it works well for various audio needs and is simple to operate. Another user points out that while the advertised battery life isn’t quite met, it is still decent, and swapping out batteries isn’t too difficult.
3. Tascam DR-10L Digital Recorder with Lavalier Microphone
Giving you excellent value for money, the DR-10L from Tascam is a set of two digital recorders with built-in lavalier microphones that are both lightweight, portable, and easy to use.
Each microphone has an omnidirectional recording pattern, and the innovative playback function lets you check the recording immediately so you can re-record it if necessary.
A USB-B port allows for smooth data transfer between the recorders and a computer. The clever sliding hold switch locks the record button to prevent accidental misoperation
Their compact size also makes them a discreet way to get great audio, and the built-in sound levels and easy-to-read display make any post-record editing a lot easier.
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- A set of two digital recorders with built-in lavalier microphones
- The omnidirectional recording pattern picks up sound from all directions but also reduces background noise
- Built-in sound levels and an easy-to-read display take a lot of work out of post-record editing
- Features a playback function that allows you to check the recording immediately after cutting
- These lavalier microphones are not rechargeable and don’t use phantom power. Instead, each one runs on a single AAA battery and will give 10 hours of use at a time.
Customer reviews are generally praising, with some users complaining that the belt clip is missing and that it is difficult to get one, while others love the small form factor and the handy screw-in plug.
Users especially like how compact the mic is, and most of them have had a smooth recording experience.
In general, the Tascam DR-10L Digital Recorder is a useful tool for anyone looking to improve the sound quality of their video recordings.
4. Sennheiser Pro Audio ME2 Lavalier Microphone
The ME2 Lavalier Set from Sennheiser Pro Audio is a smart but mighty device that will let you start recording in seconds. Its wireless receiver plugs directly into your camera’s audio input and self-configures, and it has automatic audio and level management to give you a grab-and-go recording readiness.
The phantom power functionality of the ME2 means you won’t have to worry about charging anything or carrying batteries around with you. And when your camera powers on and off, so does the lavalier, so there’s no risk of picking up unwanted audio when you’re not recording.
However, the Dynamic Range is one of the best features of this lavalier set. The Dynamic Range guarantees level sound by matching itself to your camera’s sensitivity and adjusting the microphone’s audio level for you.
The set also features Link Protection, which detects any potential sound interference during recording and switches to a different frequency, keeping the audio clear and sharp at all times.
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- The wireless receiver plugs directly into your camera and runs off phantom power
- Features self-configuration and automatic audio and level management
- Link Protection detects interference and automatically switches to a different frequency
- The dynamic range adjusts the microphone’s level for you and makes recording even easier
- On the higher end of the price range, but the features and quality of the set are exceptional.
The Sennheiser Pro Audio ME2 Lavalier Microphone system is popular among users for its range and battery life. One user notes the sleek, compact design of the updated antenna, while another lauds the easy setup.
Most users find that the product offers excellent value for the price, with some even preferring it to the more expensive G3 model. Overall, the microphone receives high marks for its build quality, performance, and ease of use.
5. PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Microphone Set
Compatible with a massive range of devices and complete with a DSLR adapter, the Professional Grade Lavalier Microphone Set from PowerDeWise lets you record super clear audio. It even comes with two microphones so you can interview without sharing.
Each microphone picks up sound from a 360º arc while concentrating on direct vocals and reducing background noise, and the Plug & Play connectivity allows you to get up and running quickly.
The 59” cables give you a good deal of freedom over mic placement, but if you need that extra bit of space, included is a 79” extension cable.
Other accessories include two windscreens for outdoor recording, a mono-adapter to increase the range of devices the microphones can be used with, and a Y-connector.
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- A set of two lavalier microphones that works with a wide variety of devices and includes a DSLR adapter
- 360º omnidirectional recording picks up vocals from all directions while reducing background noise
- Plug & Play connectivity makes setup and operation more effortless than ever before
- The range of accessories includes a 79” extension cable, two windscreens, a Y-connector, and a mono-adapter
- Despite the windscreens, the mics still pick up some wind noise when recording outdoors.
If you’re looking for an affordable lavalier microphone that still delivers excellent sound quality, the PowerDeWise Professional Grade Lavalier Mic Set is a great option. According to customer reviews, the microphone is easy to use and produces clear, fair audio.
It also comes with an adapter for iPhone inputs, making it a versatile option. According to some people, one of the downsides you should consider is that the 12-foot cable length may not be enough if you’re moving around a lot.
However, the PowerDeWise Lavalier Mic is an excellent choice for those looking for high-quality audio on a budget.
Lav Mic for DSLR Buyer’s Guide
There’s no doubt that a
Luckily, many lavalier microphones come with the DSLR adapter in their accessory kits. Finding one with this option will save you from buying one separately alongside the microphone.
As well as being DSLR compatible, it’s also a good idea to look at what other devices you can use the microphone with. It will broaden your recording possibilities and allow you to switch between cameras, smartphones, and more, enabling you to choose the best device for the task at hand.
You’ll come across two types of microphones when looking for a
Omnidirectional microphones pick up soundwaves from every direction and operate with a flat frequency response, which enhances vocal sounds while reducing ambient background noise.
Cardioid microphones focus on a 180º arc directly in front of them while drowning out any noise from behind. Drowning out noise makes them ideal for outdoor recording, where sound interference could be an issue.
There are also a few connection types to choose from when buying a DSLR lavalier mic; your choice will come down to your individual recording needs.
Wireless connectivity is the most popular since no cables are required to connect your DSLR camera and the microphone. However, there can be an issue with range when using wireless mics, so check how far the receiver can travel from the camera without the audio cutting out.
Interference and blocking can also be an issue with wireless mics; microphones that include Link Protection are available to solve this problem. Link Protection identifies anything compromising the connection and automatically switches the recording to a different frequency, keeping everything running smoothly and the audio crystal clear.
Another connection type is Plug & Play. While this is easier to set up, it’s much more restrictive than wireless, and the microphone needs to plug into your DSLR camera or smartphone while you record.
Audio & Level Control
Many lavalier microphones let you adjust the audio and sound levels while you record, which saves you a lot of editing work, so it’s a feature worth looking out for.
These levels are on the receiver that plugs into your DSLR camera and can be viewed on a small built-in screen. Some microphones also include a digital recorder so you can listen back to test audio and check that you’ve got the levels right before you start recording correctly.
You can even find some models with a receiver and microphone that automatically adjust the sound levels for you, taking all the hard work out of minor adjustments.
Many DSLR lavalier microphones come with a variety of accessories that don’t only make life easier when recording but can also enhance the quality of your audio even further.
Windscreens are always an excellent extra to look out for, as they will help to reduce the amount of wind noise the microphone picks up when you’re recording outside, leaving you with consistent, clear vocals.
Another great accessory is an extension cable, which you can use to lengthen the space between your microphone and your transmitter, giving you more mic placement options.
It’s always a good idea to set a budget when you’re looking for a
If you’re starting, it would be good to go for something at the lower end of the scale. That way, you can get a feel for what you need before upgrading to something more expensive.
A higher-end, lavalier microphone could be your best option for a more professional setup that gets lots of use. It will likely have more features than you’ll need, and you’ll have a better understanding of what you need from it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a
Short for ‘lavalier microphone,’ a
What is DSLR?
DSLR stands for ‘Digital Single Lens Reflex’ and is a system of mirrors built into specific cameras that allow you to see what the lens sees when you look through it. This technology has given DSLR cameras a reputation for taking the highest quality images and video possible.
How long do lavalier microphones last?
Most wireless lavalier microphones that are powered by an AA battery can last anywhere between 5 and 10 hours on a single charge.
Generally, these models can last for 5 hours at least. So, if you’re planning to use a lavalier microphone for an all-day event, don’t forget to check the battery life before making your purchase.
Can you podcast with one microphone?
The short answer is yes, but it’s not ideal.
Recording with multiple microphones allows for greater control over the final product and makes post-production work much more manageable. With only one microphone, it can be challenging to ensure that all voices are evenly balanced.
What makes DSLR cameras suitable for podcasting?
DSLR cameras are quickly becoming the go-to choice for podcasters looking to improve the quality of their recordings. Thanks to their large sensor size and interchangeable lenses, DSLRs offer a level of control and flexibility impossible with other types of cameras.
Whether you’re just getting started or looking to upgrade your existing setup, a DSLR camera should be at the top of your list.