A Review of Lav Microphones

Sorry for the lack of posting I have been working like a dog the past few weeks and with barely enough time to sleep I haven’t had a chance to blog at all. Today I wanted to revisit something I have talked about before “Lav Microphone Choice”. I own the following Lav’s now:

Countryman B6, Countryman EMW, Sanken Cos-11, TRAM, Mk2, And the free Lectro M-150. Never did I think I would need such a selection of Lav’s in my kit but everyone has its own purpose and I will tell you what I prefer .

Countryman EMW I own six of these for reality tv I feel there is no better lav for most all around situations. They are cheap $180.00 or so each wired for Lectro they are water and sweat proof. They are also very rugged  some of mine have been dragged stepped on and keep on going. I find them very easy to hide most of the time if the talent is wearing non noisy fabric. With a piece of moleskin I can lav someone in under 30 seconds for the day. The only time the EMW doesn’t work well is noisy cloths and people wearing not enough cloths.

Countryman B6: I own 3 of these they are great for people wearing very little clothing and people wearing noisy cloths because they are easily hidden in close to plain sight. I don’t like how fragile they are and that they aren’t waterproof without the protective cap on then and at $310.00 each are more expensive but I love having them.

Sanken Cos-11. I own two of these I think they are the best sounding lav and work great hidden using a hush lav sleve and some transpore tape. They also are very wind resistant when using the metal windscreen. They are expensive though at $340.00 each and I don’t like them in Reality tv situations because I find the best way to hide them is to tape them to the talents body using the method above and I think that is distracting to the talent on a reality tv show and that it is ok for a film since they are actors. I will use one on a reality shoot though if I feel it is the only way to get good audio.

TRAM: I own 3 of these 1 which is hardwired (1) Black one and (1) White one. At $240.00 they are at a decent price point. I bought the Hardwired one used for very cheap and it is mostly for a few times a year I have a client insist on a hardwired lav. I think they are the best at dealing with very high wind in a news situation (Hurricane, Live shot etc) So I usually only use it in those situations. I have the white one for sitdown interviews which the talent is wearing white I don’t use it much but it is nice to have.

M-150 and Mk2- Both of these types came for free with my Lectro and G2 lav purchases. I keep them for spares and dangerous situations for equipment but that is about it.

So if you can only buy one lav to start with I’d go with Countryman EMW then I’d add a Countryman B6. After that it is all a personal choice

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