A lavalier microphone (also known as a lapel microphone or collar microphone) is a hands-free microphone that is clipped onto an actor’s person or clothing. The idea is that they are discrete and don’t interfere with the television presenter / live performer / actor.
Why Use a Lavalier Mic?
One reason to use a lavalier mic is their portability. The person wearing the mic doesn’t need to worry about holding a mic or positioning themselves close to one, freeing them up to fully concentrate on the job they are doing. The sound levels will remain the same even when the person is on the move.
The discretenes of the lavalier mics mean they’re not getting in the way or distracting viewers. They can be completely hidden, or attached neatly on the lapel.
Wireless or Wired?
The two main options available for lavalier microphoness are how they connect to their respective recording devices. Both options pose their own pros and cons.
The main difference between the two types of lavalier mics is price. As the wireless technology needs to be reliable to transmit audio at a high quality, the price is reflected in this. Wired lavalier mics are far more cost friendly, but come at the cost of having a physical cable that can cause its own problems.
It should come as no surprise that wireless mics come without wires. This is the main selling point of the wireless option. Issues that may arise while using wires are non-existent while using wireless mics - tripping or getting tangled up for example. The person wearing the wireless mic doesn’t have to worry about venturing too far from the receiver and getting the other end of the cable yanked out.
Wired microphones tend to be powered by the device at the other end of the cable, such as a phone, laptop or camera. With wireless mics, battery power comes into play. When filming with wireless mics the person behind the camera will have to be aware of the battery life of the mics and will be under a time limit to capture the audio that just isn’t present with wired mics.