Most lavalier microphones are pretty affordable. You can find a decent one without dropping too much cash. If you do go with a higher-priced lav mic, you’ll definitely notice better quality. Choose whatever your budget allows, but know that, with lav mics, you almost always get what you pay for.
When we talk about the type of lavalier microphone, we’re referring to how it captures sound. In this sense, there are two types of lapel mics. The first is omnidirectional and the second is cardioid. Omnidirectional lav mics detect sound from any direction, meaning you can attach them to your shirt, stick them in your hair, or use them anywhere else close to your mouth.
Cardioid lav mics, also known as directional mics, capture sound specifically from the direction they’re facing. If you plan to move around a lot, choose omnidirectional over cardioid.
Lavalier mics come as wired or wireless. The best choice for you will depend on your set-up and what you’re using the microphone for. A wireless lavalier microphone always gives you more flexibility to move around or rearrange your set-up. But wireless lapel microphones tend to be more expensive, and you have to contend with battery life and frequency selection.
Compatibility is a measure of what the lavalier microphone plugs into. You’ll want to figure out what you’re recording with first before choosing a lav mic. Lapel microphones can plug directly into DSLR cameras, portable audio recorders, PCs, mixers, and even smartphones.