panel with chairs and the best microphones for government

What is the Best A/V Microphone For Superior Sound?

When you are thinking about buying a microphone for your business or organization, you may wonder what is the best microphone or what is the best wireless microphone. Of course, you want the sound quality to be excellent, and the best A/V microphone for sound will need to balance performance, versatility, and usability.

Sound quality, price, and microphone sensitivity factor into the microphone you choose. Other factors include microphone use, environment, and budget. Let’s look at some of the best A/V microphones for your needs.

Choosing the Right Microphone

So, what is the best microphone? It depends. Different A/V situations call for different solutions. From classrooms and auditoriums to conference rooms and board rooms, every situation is unique, so you need to consider your environment. Are you in a small environment or a larger one? This will help you determine the brand and microphone type. To find the right microphone, you need to understand the types.  The most frequently used A/V microphone types are lavalier, handheld wireless, and headset.

1. Lavalier Microphones

Lavalier microphones are also called the lav or lapel microphone, as they’re worn on a shirt or jacket lapel. Wireless Lavalier microphones are portable, with a small transmitter pack clipped onto clothing. Lavalier microphones allow speakers to walk around and operate the microphones hands-free.

2. Handheld Wireless Microphone

The main advantage of handheld wireless microphones is they are cordless. Like the Lavalier microphones, handhelds allow the user to move about. Unlike lavaliers, handheld microphones do not free the user’s hands. New users may have trouble knowing how far or near to hold the microphone. Sound volume may hesitate and change with speaker movements.

3. Headset Microphone

Headset microphones are worn over the ear, either as a headset or an earset, and are great for users in fitness classes or teaching. Users can easily walk around and use their hands and the speaker volume is steady.

Directional Versus Omnidirectional

To fully consider what is the best wireless microphone, you’ll need to choose between directional and omnidirectional microphones. A directional microphone favors one direction, and the sound picks up more of that single direction. An omnidirectional microphone picks up sounds from many sides. The benefit of directional microphones is they pick up focused sounds, shutting out background noise. Omnidirectional microphones pick up sound from the surrounding environment, but the sound is unfocused.

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Choosing a Microphone for A/V

When you need to find the best microphone, you have several factors to think about before buying your equipment. Top of the list should be ease of use, value, and ease of maintenance. Some considerations you need to account for when you search for microphone solutions are:

Integration and Compatibility

Microphones and the systems supporting your microphone choice can be expensive. When buying microphones, you need to ensure your purchases are integrated into your current A/V system.

Scalability and Future-Proofing

An A/V system should fit in with your budget and your projected needs. Any microphone purchase should accommodate future technological advances and your evolving needs for A/V equipment and structure.

Installation and Wiring

Microphones aren’t standalone units. When you think about your A/V needs, you also need to consider the installation of other parts, including wiring and cable management.


The obvious but often-overlooked part of buying a superior A/V microphone is whether it has easy maintenance. Look for durability and effortless cleaning.

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Best Handheld Microphones

1. Shure SM58

When you consider the best microphone you can hold in your hand, nothing beats the Shure SM58. The SM58 uses its top-quality directional microphone to focus sound directly on the input in front, ensuring a clear audio focal point. As a microphone, the Shure SM58 reduces crowd noise and feedback. The microphone also allows users to avoid noise from handling and moving the microphone.

2. Sennheiser XSW 1-825

Sennheiser is known for quality when you have questions about the best wireless microphone. The XSW 1-825 is designed with ease of use. Its vocals have clarity in the sound but lack the depth and fullness of more expensive microphones. However, for a budget microphone, the XSW 1-825 performs well, with a transmission range of up to 250 feet.

3. AKG WMS40 Mini Vocal Set

The AKG WMS40 Mini Vocal Set is an affordable wireless handheld microphone system. Noted for its clear, crisp sound quality, the AKG WMS40 has a single fixed frequency, so you don’t have to adjust its channel. With up to 30 hours of performance time on a single AA battery, its endurance is one of its greatest strengths. The sound quality is clear and steady for an inexpensive wireless system.

Best Lavalier Microphones

1. Shure BLX14/CVL

Once again, one of the top-rated brands in Lavalier microphones is Shure. Like Shure’s handheld, this model is associated with great-quality audio products and is a strong contender in the lavalier category. This lavalier has a transmission range of up to 300 feet, and its two replaceable batteries provide up to 14 hours of battery life. Cased in a small and sturdy design, the BLX14 reduces background noise and has RF (radio frequency) filtering to minimize disruption from interferences such as cell phones. The recorded audio is sharp and clear.

2. Shure MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone

The Shure MVL Omnidirectional Condenser Lavalier Microphone is suitable for voice recording using smartphones, tablets, or other portables with a 3.5-mm input jack. The microphone has amazing clarity and little noise. Lightweight and portable, this lavalier is packaged with a metal clip, a carrying pouch, and a screen to decrease wind noise. The Shure MVL works with its ShurePlus MOTIV mobile recording app to provide advanced recording options such as metering, equalization, and wind noise reduction. In addition, the MVL has effective radio frequency interference protection and a lesser susceptibility to distortion.

Best Headset Microphones

1. Sennheiser HSP 4 Headworn Microphone

The Sennheiser HSP 4 head-worn microphone has a lightweight design and great audio quality designed for professional hands-free use. It features an adjustable neckband placed discreetly so it’s comfortable to wear. Available in black or beige, the Sennheiser HSP 4 head-worn microphone can be ordered with a connector for the 3000 and 5000 series wireless and evolution wireless or used without the connector. The headset includes a modular snap-on cable and a hard carrying case.

The microphone features excellent feedback rejection and a detachable cap for an integral wind/popshield and is individually adjustable. Audio transmission is clear and captures vocals from a sensitive microphone, and the equipment can be used with the optional omnidirectional HSP 2 boom microphone.

2. Countryman E6

Countryman specializes in small microphones for vocals and instruments. The E6 has clarity and picks up the slightest sound while also handling louder noises. Noise rejection is good at squelching ambient and background noise but needs equalization. This microphone sits comfortably over the ear and is thin enough so people can’t see the headset from a distance. When purchasing an E6, buyers also have options such as microphone pattern, connector type, color, and flexibility, as well as additions including new clips, filters, and connectors. The E6 comes with a sturdy carrying case with room for the microphone and any other accessories.

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How Pro AV Can Help

Pro AV Systems is New England’s leading full-service audiovisual integrator, with offices in Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont. We can easily ensure that you achieve clear and effective communication in your environment, whether it’s a conference room, performance stage, or classroom.

Now that we have answered the questions of what is the best microphone and what is the best wireless microphone, let Pro AV help you choose the right microphone for quality, user experience, and your budget. Contact us today for more information.

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