6 Best XLR Lavalier Microphones: Every Budget

What are the best XLR lavalier lapel microphones for every budget?

“Audio is king.” You’ve probably heard the saying a few times in your life. While video quality, lights, and editing are crucial, poor audio truly is the fastest way to turn viewers off of your video. Getting good sound for your videos substantially increases the production value. However, there is good news! In comparison to video equipment, boosting the audio to your video is not that expensive at all. That’s where lavalier microphones come in.

A lavalier microphone (aka lapel or lav) is essentially a miniature mic with an attachable clip that’s usually clipped on to a person’s clothing. In most cases, people often hide the clip-on mic for an added layer of professionalism. Without further ado, we formulated a list of the 6 very best and highest-rated lavalier microphones with an XLR.

In Short, Here Are The Highest-Rated Lapel Microphones With An XLR Connector

  • Sony ECM77B
  • Tram TR50 BML
  • Shure CVL Centraverse
  • Comica CVM-V02O 
  • Shure WL185
  • JK MIC-J 044

1. Sony ECM77B

With its standard XLR male connector, the top-tier SonyECM77B professional lavalier microphone is designed for top-of-the-line applications. Considering it’s one of the most used lavalier microphones on television, I’m sure you have seen more than enough examples of its pro and natural sound quality.

Many people working the professional audio in the video industry claim the Sony ECM77B is the “industry standard.” Judging by our tests, I concur with that statement for various. It runs on either 2 AA batteries or 48V phantom power.

The microphone itself is so tiny and petite; it is straightforward to hide it. Even if you don’t make an effort to conceal the Sony ECM77B, it’s barely noticeable. Nothing is worse than spending money on gear just to have it break at a critical moment. Luckily, both the wire and every part of the mic itself are incredibly durable and built for maximum longevity. If your planning on traveling to various locations and harsh climates, this mic is the one to take.

We don’t say this often, but in terms of sound quality, the Sony ECM77B is perfect. At 40Hz – 20kHz, the frequency response is much broader than the standard lavalier picking up every audible frequency in the human voice. It has an omnidirectional polar pattern that provides an even response on all sides of the mic. Overall, the Sony ECM77B is the professional industry standard lavalier lapel microphone that won’t let you down regardless of your application. We highly recommend it.

Details & Tech Specs

  • Omni-directional polar pattern
  • XLR-3-12C connector
  • AA battery power supply
  • Made in Japan
  • Comes with 3 mic clips
  • Runs on either 2 AA batteries or 48V phantom power

2. Tram TR50 BML

Next up, the Tram TR50 BML is a professional lavalier lapel microphone with an XLR. With the integrated power supply, it allows a hassle-free XLR plugin for mixers, PA systems, etc. It has an omnidirectional polar pattern meaning the mic picks up audio at 360 degrees.

This mic is either powered by phantom power or the 357 battery. An industry-standard mic used in television, the Tram TR50 BML produces exceptional sound quality. The electret condenser microphone is extremely small and easily able to be hidden. 

There are many things we liked about the sound quality of the TR50 BML. For one, the self-noise was extremely low. We were able to boost the gain near the max without clipping without much self-noise. We also like the extremely natural sound that it produces. In other words, your voice will sound just like your voice without any boosted frequencies or tonal coloration.

The Tram TR50 BML is well designed and has excellent build quality. Overall, this lavalier lapel microphone is an excellent choice for professional applications. 

Details & Tech Specs

  • Omnidirectional polar pattern
  • Electret condenser
  • Integrated power supply
  • XLR cord
  • Make sure your device offers the same bias as this mic
  • Comes with the following accessories: Carry case, tie tac, tape down, cable holder, tie bar, cable reel, clip-on holder, cable reel  

3. Shure CVL Centraverse

If you’re looking for an affordable but reliable lavalier XLR mic, the Shure CVL Centraverse is an incredible choice. It is prevalent and is highly rated. A great benefit is its easy integration with other wireless systems by Shure. Shure’s state-of-the-art Commshield Technology feature protects this mic from frequency interference. Something that surprised us about the CVL Centraverse is its excellent build quality and durability for its low price. 

Providing a frequency response of 50Hz-15kHz and an electret condenser microphone, the sound quality is very good. You will be pleasantly surprised by the clear audio for the low price. To best describe the audio, the lows are warm, the mids are punchy, and the highs are just right. Overall, you will be pleased with the audio quality. 

The unidirectional polar pattern may or may not be a downside to you. Unidirectional means the mic only picks up audio where it’s directly pointing towards. Some people prefer this type of mic since it helps eliminate unwanted noise from the sides.

Others don’t like the fact that it must always be pointed in a particular direction to pick up audio. Overall, it highly depends on your environment and situation. Those who will be speaking in a noisy environment may benefit tremendously from the Shure CVL Centraverse.

Details & Tech Specs

  • Electret-condenser
  • XLR cord
  • Comes with 2 windscreens and a clip
  • Commshield Technology protects from frequency interference
  • Polar pattern-Unidirectional

4. Comica CVM-V02O 

Comica is a trustworthy company when it comes to lavalier lapel microphones. The Comica CVM-V02O is a cheap lavalier XLR mic solution with excellent durability and reliability. Besides the wire and windscreen, all of the parts are made of metal. It was definitely built for longevity.

While many lava microphones in this price range have a flimsy wire, the V02O’s cord is robust and will not give out anytime soon. Another great benefit of this mic is its wide reach. With 14.76 feet of cord length, you have more than enough room for most applications.

The sound quality is decent for the price. Without any post-processing, the audio is a bit muffled and lacks a bit of the highs. However, after cutting back a bit on the lows, slightly boosting the upper mids and highs, we were able to make this low-budget mic sound great. If you’re on a tight budget and want a reliable and durable XLR lavalier, the Comica CVM-V02O is a great choice. If you’re making videos, just be sure to do a bit of EQ to the audio in post-production.

Details & Tech Specs

  • Requires 48V phantom power
  • XLR cord
  • Cord length: 14.76 feet

5. Shure WL185

At a competitive price, the Shure WL185 is a mid-level lavalier lapel microphone with an XLR. It has a cardioid polar pattern meaning it only picks up audio directly in front of the mic. The off-axis rejection is excellent, as well. It does a great job blocking out unwanted noise from the sides. However, you must be sure to have the mic facing the audio source at all times. The rotatable tie clip that comes with the purchase is highly convenient for interviews. 

It provides only 4 feet of length, which could either be a plus or minus. For those who are planning on keeping their receiver on the, a shorter cord length will possibly be more convenient. One of the best traits the WL185 offers is its vibrant sound. The audio is costly and does not need post EQ to make it sound good. Since it’s great for videos, live speeches, and podcasts, this mic is incredibly versatile. The build quality is robust and sturdy.

It can withstand the vigors of traveling conditions for an extended period of time. Not to forget, it has very good feedback rejection mechanisms that are highly beneficial. Overall, the Shure WL185 is a fantastic choice for live speeches, videos, podcasts, and more. 

Details & Tech Specs

  • Comes with a travel pouch, 2 windscreens, and clip
  • XLR cord
  • Cable length: 4 feet
  • Great build quality
  • Polar pattern: cardioid
  • Excellent feedback rejection

6. JK MIC-J 044

Last up is the cheap priced but well-reviewed JK MIC-J 044. This lavalier lapel microphone with an XLR is currently running below $30 on Amazon. It has an Omni-directional polar pattern for picking up audio all around the capsule. Like mentioned earlier, omnidirectional microphones are better used in ordinary to less noisy environments. Cardioids or uni-directional microphones are best used in extremely noisy environments. This lavalier microphone produces a clean and well-rounded signal. For the price, it will surely impress you.

Something I find very beneficial is its extremely miniature size. It’s effortless to hide this microphone. Even if you do not intend to hide it, since the mic is so small, it will never stand out. The sound quality is evident and crisp for an affordable price. If I had to critique the sound, the mids are a bit strong, giving it a tin-like sound.

However, this is easily fixable by cutting the mids in post. The microphone is quite sensitive, which allows more headroom for your receiver. Microphones that are less sensitive force you to boost the gain in your receiver, which may result negatively. 

One of the downsides of the JK MIC-J 044 is the fact that it only comes with a clip. If you want a travel case or windscreen, you must purchase them separately. Overall, this lavalier lapel microphone with an XLR is a great low-budget choice.

Details & Tech Specs

  • XLR cord
  • Records in mono
  • Miniature size
  • Very sensitive mic

Our Winners

We have 2 winners; One for the best XLR professional lavalier microphone, and the other for the best XLR low-priced lavalier microphone. The best professional-grade XLR lavalier mic is the Sony ECM77B for obvious reasons. It’s the industry standard for live television. Where anything less than top-tier audio is not an option, the Sony ECM77B is the way to go. The best bang for the buck XLR lavalier mic is the Shure CVL Centraverse again for obvious reasons. This mic is just too good for its extremely low price. It has great durability and sound quality. Make sure to check the reviews!

What’s a lavalier microphone? 

A lavalier microphone is basically a mini mic that attaches to the clothing of the speaker. 

What are lavalier microphones used for? 

Lavalier microphones are primarily used to capture audio for videos. 

What are other names lavalier microphones are called? 

Lavalier microphones are also called lava microphones, body mic, lapel microphones, or clip mic. 

How much does a lavalier microphone cost? 

With a few exceptions, lavalier microphones come in a vast price range as you can get them in where between $13-$200. However, they’re more expensive if you purchase them with a receiver and transmitter for wireless capabilities. 


Quick Recap

Here Are The Best XLR Lavalier Microphones For The Money

  • Sony ECM77B
  • Tram TR50 BML
  • Shure CVL Centraverse
  • Comica CVM-V02O 
  • Shure WL185
  • JK MIC-J 044
If you’re interested in the best lavalier microphone systems with both a receiver and transmitter, see our top picks here.

8 Best Lavalier Microphone Systems (With Transmitter & Receiver)

Rather than an XLR, there are many lapel microphones with a 3.5mm jack. If that also interests you, see our top picks here.

10 Best 3.5mm Lavalier Microphones For Every Budget

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