Budget Lavalier Mic Review

If you’re looking for ways to improve the audio quality of your content, a budget lavalier mic may be an option.  There are primarily two advantages to using a lav mic.

A lavalier mic clips onto your shirt.  You don’t need a dedicated mic stand.

It’s small, unobtrusive, and allows the mic to be extremely close to the sound source.  This gives lavalier mics an excellent signal-to-noise ratio.

There are primarily two types of lavalier micrphones – wired and wireless.  Wireless lavalier microphones typically start at 300 USD for the major brands such as Shure, Rode, and Audio-Technica.

On the other hand, major brand wired lavaliers start at around 70 USD.  These will typically plug into the headphone jack of your phone.  If you’re looking for something that connects via XLR, you’re probably looking in the ballpark of 200-300 USD.

Budget Lavalier Mic Comparison

The Boya BY-M4C and Maono AU-XLR10 are both wired lavalier mics that connect via XLR.  They’re both under 40 USD on Amazon.  Both have similar form factors, build quality, and features.

If you have an audio interface on your desk, you might even consider using one of these for conference calls and Zoom meetings.

Which Budget Lav Mic is Best for Me?

Both budget lavalier mics are more convenient but there’s a significant sacrifice in audio quality when compared to the Shure Beta57a.  If the project calls for pristine quality audio, I’ll still have to set up a “proper” mic.

However, there are still a wide range of situations where either budget lavalier mic would be useful.  For example, when I’m shooting YouTube content, I don’t want a mic to be up in my face.  Or, when I’m on a conference call or Zoom meeting, I want my desk to be clear.

With the Boya BY-M4C, my voice sounds tinnier, but there was a lot less noise.  When using the Maono AU-XLR10 my voice sounded a lot more natural, but there was significantly more noise.

In my case, I find it easier to work with clean(er) audio so I’ll be going with the Boya BY-M4C.  My voice might sound tinny, but I can fix that in post if necessary.