We will narrow down our research and only review the major types of best Rode Lav mics in this article to help you choose the most suitable lapel microphones based on your needs and applications. Even though they are many types of lavalier mics available in the market currently.
Expect ultimate high-quality recordings with RØDE Lavalier Microphones as its parent company, Freedman Electronics, started producing audio equipment since 1967 and mastered it through decades of experience. This clip‑on microphone, lav mic, or lapel mic as popularly called is widely used during filmmaking and theatre plays; it is also preferred by those public speakers who do not want to be encumbered by holding a microphone with their hands.
Buyer’s Guide: Things To Consider When Buying A Rode Lapel / Lavalier Microphone
The lavalier microphone (also called lapel mic) is the smallest mic ever created in the recording device industry. Its size, shape, mobility, flexibility, and convenience of usage have made them the most sought-after mic for on-stage performances, speeches, singing concerts, interviews, and recording purposes. It’s a small clip-on mic that is hardly noticeable if you didn’t observe it precisely.
Mostly, they are dynamic mics that are more suitable for general applications such as theater, newscasters, sports reporters, interviews, podcasts, public speaking, presentations, on-stage performance and also can be used as an external microphone for DSLRs.
There are only a few criteria that you need to take into consideration when reviewing the Rode’s lav mics, and Thus, it’s quite straight-forward in deciding and choosing the most suitable one for you.
There are some compatibility issues you should take into consideration when choosing the Rode lapel/Lav mic. You have to make sure it consists of MiCon connector system where you can connect it with different types of wireless systems, cameras, portable recording devices, and consoles.
2) Wireless or Wired?
Fortunately, you can use these microphones in both wireless and wired systems. However, it depends on the mic you choose. Some may work better on the wireless. Whereas, some may only work great on the wired system.
However, it also depends on the movements of your sound sources. If the lav mic wearer needs to move around during recording, you better get a wireless lav mic for him/her.
3) Your Budget
The lapel mic itself is relatively inexpensive. There are not much price differences in general. However, it will be at a significantly higher price if you opt for the high-end models. Furthermore, it will cost you even more if you want to go for the wireless lav microphone systems.
Rode Lavalier / Lapel Microphones & Wireless Setups (Transmitter & Receiver) Reviews
To be honest, Rode has been in the market for a very long time since 1967. Its reputation in the audio recording industry is undoubtedly strong and reputable with lots of good reviews from audio professionals. Nevertheless, let’s review it now.
Currently, there are only three types of Lavalier microphones from Rode. One is made for the professional high-end recordings. And another one is made for compatibility with the iPhone and smartphone in mind.
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1) Rode RodeLink FM Digital Wireless Filmmaker System (For Filming)
If the filming angle is not conducive to the utilization of a handheld or boom mic, the use of a digital wireless filmmaker kit lavalier may be an ideal alternative to transmit audio signals. There are many digital wireless filmmaker systems in the market today, and finding the right one for your need may be a bit tasking and challenging. One good choice, however, of digital wireless filmmaker kit is the Rode RodeLink FM Digital Wireless Filmmaker System.
If you are a Vlogger, content creator, or DIY videographer, you should check out the RodeLink FM Digital Wireless Filmmaker System. It is a cost-effective option that comes with simple plug-and-record operation along with a reliable and clean sound. It also comes with extended battery life.
As a wireless system for video and film production, it features a receiver (RX) and transmitter (TX) and includes a lavalier microphone. It also makes use of Series II 2.4 GHz 128-bit encrypted digital-transmission signal. This regularly hops and monitors between frequencies and selects the best signal at hand.
The Rode RodeLink FM Digital Wireless Filmmaker System provides a high level of signal-noise ratio. This allows for a high-resolution 24-bit 44.1 kHz digital transmission without any audio signal loss at a given range of up to 328 ft. With it, you can use up to eight systems together simultaneously.
The camera mount receiver and the belt-pack transmitter can be both powered by a USB power source that makes use of micro-USB cable. Furthermore, this system offers eight discrete channels with over 8,000 various channel combinations available. The channel selection, as well as the pairing, is achieved with a single press operation along with automatic scanning. This readily reduces the setup times as compared to the use of traditional UHF setups.
The RodeLink’s digital wireless system provides a tremendous noise-to-signal ratio, and with its some great features, it is really the right choice. Its “easy-to-use” one-touch pairing is one of its most convenient features that users would surely love. The Rode RodeLink FM Digital Wireless Filmmaker System is definitely your best choice among wireless systems within its price range.
2) Wireless Lav Mic Setup (Rode “Going Wireless”)
It is also highly recommended to use the wireless system such as the Wireless GO for your recording needs. Nothing beats as having to move around without being encumbered by the cables all over the filming area. It will make the video recording easy and effortless.
The Wireless GO comes with a transmitter pack and a receiver pack. The transmitter device is a small belt pack that can be used without a microphone as it has a built‑in capsule. You can clip it onto your clothing just like a regular Lav mic, but it can also be connected to the microphone if you prefer to use it. The receiver device also comes in a compact design and weighs around 31g, which will be connected to the camera’s audio input using 3.5mm TRS output cable plugs.
3) Rode LAVALIER Condenser Microphone
This Rode’s Condenser Lavalier Mic is quite a quality piece of mic product and is better than any average lav mic in the market. It utilizes a better omnidirectional condenser capsule that can pick up the sound sources evenly with low self-noise. And it does come with a foam pop shield to filter out the B, T, P-popping noises when you are speaking or to sing up-close to the lav mic clipped on your collar.
If you tend to use it with a wireless system and digital recorder, this is the suitable lav mic for these purposes. However, it will not work with the digital camera or camcorder with a 3.5mm port. In fact, it is a piece of high-end lapel mic that you can opt for if the sound quality is your major concern.
4) RØDE Lavalier GO Microphones
Key Features: Discreet 4.5mm omnidirectional lav microphone, 3.5mm TRS connector, foam pop shield, mounting clip, built-in cable, Kevlar reinforced cable.
If there is one lapel microphone that you need to have in your arsenal, it is the RØDE Lavalier Go microphones. It is one of the highly recommended lapel microphones in the world with its omnidirectional mic. It comes with a foam pop shield to reduce plosives and wind noise. RØDE manufacturers are proud of the Kevlar-reinforced cable as it would assure users that it would last for a long time. A carry on pouch comes with the box for easy transport and storage. If, in the future, there is a need to go wireless, the Lavalier GO was optimized to be used with the Wireless GO, but it can also work with other wireless systems as long as it had a 3.5mm TRS mic input.
5) Rode smartLav+ Lav Microphone for iPhone and Smartphones
Rode’s SmartLav mic is a professional lav mic that made for iPhone and other smartphones. Like the Rode LAVALIER Condenser microphone we have reviewed above, it does come with a pop shield, mounting clip, and pouch in the package too.
I found that the sound of the record is quite clear and low noise from the surroundings. However, It does pick up a little bit of ambient noise from other sound sources if two or more persons were speaking at the same time.
The best part is that The smartLav mic is compatible with all of the audio applications that accept audio input from the headphone connection. But, you need to purchase and install the Rode Rec app on your iPhone or smartphone to make it a fully-functional recorder on your phone. With the Rode Rec app, you can choose to adjust the equalization mode to suit different recording circumstances and to edit the recorded audio on the phone and upload it instantly to “Dropbox” and “SoundCloud” right away from the app
If you are recording only one person’s voice in speaking, presentations, vocals, singing, podcasting, video calls, voice calls, film-makings via iPhone or smartphone. Rode’s SmartLav microphone could be a suitable Lav mic for you.
Parts of the Lav Mic Package & Accessories You Might Need:
A Lav Microphone has different parts, including a small microphone, a clip, a small windshield or foam pop shield, cable, transmitter, recorder, and a receiver. It may vary depending on the type of RØDE Lavalier Microphone that you will use.
Basically, to make it work, you need the clip to attach the microphone along with the small windscreen to your clothes. The microphone cable will be connected to the wireless transmitter used to transmit signals to the receiver. Attaching the mic to the clip is quite simple enough, but make sure that you remove the foam pop shield first before pinching the spiral clasp. Insert the mic to the loop, and you are done.
Additional Rode’s Lavalier Microphone Accessories
There are several essential mic accessories that are very useful to give you a significant upgrade to your lav mic in terms of their effectiveness, presence and recording quality.
- Sc1 TRRS Extension Cable: It’s a 20-feet cable that works great with the SmartLav. You can record your audio from 20 feet away without losing its audio quality.
- Rode SC3 3.5mm TRRS to TRS Adaptor: It’s designed for SmartLav mic to connect with cameras and audio recorders that use 3.5 3.5 connecting jack.
- Rode Lav-Headset Headset mount for Lavalier Microphones: It is very useful and applicable if you need to project your voice up-close to the lav mic. It’s very useful for on-stage performance, presentations, and singing performances.
- Rode Microphones LAV-CLIP Clip Mount for Lavalier: It’s a better replacement if you need a stronger clip mount.
- Rode Microphones Minifur-LAV Artificial Fur Wind Shield for Lavalier Microphone: It’s a synthetic fur cover shield for the Lav mic. It’s designed to use in the outdoor environment and high-wind conditions.
How To Connect RØDE Lavalier Microphone to Other Recording Devices
To ensure compatibility, check if the Lavalier mic you are using can connect to the recording device that you prefer, such as mobile phones, laptops, and the like. It would also depend if you are going to plug the microphone directly to the device or if you are going to use a wireless solution, which is highly recommended.
1) Mobile Phone, Laptop or Desktop Computer Setups
For instance, if a mobile phone, a laptop, or a desktop computer is the chosen device, the RØDE SmartLav+ is recommended as it has the right type of connector. There is no need for an additional adapter. You can directly plug it in without changing the audio settings with a mobile phone, but with a laptop or desktop computer, you need to change the audio settings. Choose the external mic in the menu settings of the computer to serve as the audio input device. If the computer is far away, you need to add RØDE SC1 Cable to lengthen the connection. This will ensure that you can move freely around the area without restriction.
2) Camera Setup
With cameras such as DSLR, any Lavalier microphone will do as long as it has a standard audio connector.
The more straightforward and professional setup would be using the Rode RodeLink FM Digital Wireless Filmmaker System to connect your camera to the lav mic.
The more affordable setup option is to use the Lavalier GO as it is not only easy to install but also less costly as compared to other lapel microphones. It comes with a 4.5mm omnidirectional microphone with a foam pop shield to reduce vocal plosives and wind noise. A Kevlar-reinforced cable will guarantee that it can be used from one shoot to another without easily damaging it.
3) TRS and TRRS Adaptors
Some people may find terminologies overwhelming, but with RØDE Lavalier microphones, they made sure that their products are user friendly to avoid confusion while setting it up. One of the common problems when using other lapel microphones is the adaptors used as the TRS would often be interchanged with TRRS.
Since most of the jacks look quite similar, users tend to think they all work the same for all devices. With RØDE, it can be identified easily because they used a color-coding system. All the TRS connectors or adaptors are colored black, and these connectors are only for cameras and other regular audio devices. The TRRS connectors are colored grey, which is specifically for mobile phone, laptop, and desktop computer plug-ins. There is no way youcan interchange them unless you are color blind.
User Guide: How to Use RØDE Lavalier Microphones
Vlogging and podcasting became popular these days that using RØDE Lavalier microphones are no longer exclusive to professionals. While there are those who still prefer using regular microphones, there has been an upsurge of people using lapel microphones. However, not everyone knows how to use them properly. Here’s a quick start-up guide:
How To Position the Lavalier Mic Correctly?
Be sure to carefully position the lavalier microphone to the clothing while concealing it from the public view to get a clear result. Seasoned lav mic users would suggest that a hand span distance from the mouth to the chest is a surefire way to get the best sound from the speaker.