Lapel Microphone, Headset, or Handheld?

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Wireless sound amplificaiton occurs via three primary microphone types; handheld, lapel (Laveliere) microphone, and the earpiece.  Which is right for you?

A handheld wireless microphone is perfect for any situation where the mic is passed around or only used for a short amount of time.  This includes open prayer times, open announcements, and short times like candle lighting with scripture reading.

These include:

  • Shure PGX24/SM58 Hand-Held Wireless System
  • Nady DKW-DUO Dual Channel VHF Hand-Held Microphone System
  • Sennheiser ew135G2 E835 Cardioid Hand-Held Wireless System
  • Sennheiser freePORT Wireless Vocal Set
  • Audio-Technica ATW-252 Freeway VHF Handheld Wireless System

The lapel / earpiece microphones are ideal for long speaking or long use needs such as on actors.  The problem with the lapels is whenever the speaker turns their head far left or far right, their audio will lower due to the distance from the microphone.  While the rule is one fist below the lowered chin, a wide head turn can effect sound.  If you need a good lapel (laveliere) mic, try these:

  • Sennheiser ew112G2 ME2 Omni Lavaliere Mic Wireless UHF System
  • Audio-Technica ATW-3131a Lavaliere Wireless System With AT831CW
  • Audio-Technica ATW-251 Freeway VHF Lavaliere Wireless System
  • The Nady lapel systems don’t have favorable ratings so I suggest avoiding these.

Finally the earpiece / headset microphones…

  • Sennheiser ew152G2 ME3 Headset Microphone Wireless System (high rating but very obvious and obtrusive)
  • Audio-Technica ATW-701/H92-TH Wireless System
  • Shure PGX14 Lavaliere Wireless System with Beige AT892C Headset Microphone

If you already have a wireless lapel mic but want to transfor it to a headset, look for headset components that are just the wire/mic for your brand such as the Audio-Technica PRO 92cW-TH Wireless Headset Microphone.

One other use for the headset mic’s is for drummers, pianists, and any other musicians who also sing. 



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  1. says

    The ear piece /headset, I had forgot about that option, but is something that I might look into as our Pastor wants to start possibly marketing some series and we want the quality to be better.

    K, bye

  2. Mike says

    Hey Chris, sorry to dig up such an old post, but do you have any more recent recommendations for wireless mics, circa 2012? A lot of these seem to be old enough that they’re not even stocked anymore.

    • jorge talamantes says

      i recently tried the “samson stage 55” true diversity wireless mic, the headset one it has the “SE10” capsule it works very good for the price at about $130 but if posible buy a better system maybe like the “samson concert 88 earset” wich costs between $159 and $179
      look for the next specs:
      diversity antenna
      uhf frecuency
      earset or headset type capsule
      if it fits your buget look for one that uses lithium battery
      xlr output (balanced output)
      at least 100 ft range

  3. B says

    Matt, there are no such device as a multi-mic wireless receiver. Every wireless microphone must have it’s own home.

  4. Matt says

    I’m both an instrumentalist and sound tech at our church (common with us small churches), I’m working on streamlining and updating our sound equipment as we’ve recently started a contemporary band (that’s a topic for a whole other blog). Currently we have a mish-mash of dynamic handheld mics on stage as we’re using whatever we had available. I’d like to move to predominantly wireless to free up space on our snake and clear up the stage floor.

    We have one guitarist, myself on keyboard and drums (alternating, not one-man-band), a singer, a hand-drummer/percussionist who also sings, and a bass player who doesn’t sing.

    I’m currently debating on going with headset mics at least for myself and the guitarist but she has some reservation as she likes to be able to control her intensity by moving away from the mic. I need to go to something like a headset so that I can still sing while drumming without having two mics.

    Given that we also have a small budget do you have any recommendations on what mics would be good for me to consider? Should I look for a multi-mic wireless receiver, seperate systems, and should I try to convince my guitarist to go with a headset or stick with a boom stand?

  5. Headsets Microphones says

    Good to hear that you are a musician as well as a singer in your church. That was really a great thing for me. Keep going. Thanks for sharing this post. It really helps a lot.