Background: I have some SM58's (a dynamic mic) that I use for my vocals while I'm putting together songs on my iPad. I've recently tried some cheap $40-50-ish lavalier condensers because my dream is to have a a song sketchpad system that weighs <1kg! I already pretty much have that except for a few extra awkward pounds of SM58+preamp to carry around. These cheap ones sound pretty good but I'm wondering if I spend more I could get a recording-quality vocal mic that fits in my jeans pocket.


  1. In general can lavalier/headset (in other words, small) mics capture the "naturalness" and fidelity of a (larger) handheld mics? Or does size really limit the sound quality?
  2. Is there any opinion on whether particular models of $$$ small mics (such as Countryman) sound as crisp and rich as an SM58 or other industry standard mics? If so, which ones?

Note: I realize there's a lot of opinion that singers who are used to using a handheld mic will hate lavalier/headset mics because you can't adjust the distance from your mouth. But I've tried both and it doesn't really bother me, so need to bomb this thread with that.

  • 1
    This might be good (better?) for sound-design?
    – Dave
    Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 19:24
  • 1
    @Dave yes it would, but at the moment Sound Design is unstable and it would be very hard to migrate it there.
    – Dom
    Commented Mar 27, 2014 at 12:33

1 Answer 1


The size of a microphone has little to do with the sound quality. While dynamic mics always require a certain size just to function, condensors can be made really small.

A small condensor will first of all be more noisy than a larger one, which makes it unsuitable for delicate recordings. The sound quality as such is actually more likely to improve. The nonzero diameter of the diaphragm is somewhat of a problem in lager condensors, because it colorizes the directional characteristics (sound changes with angle)

Lavalier microphones are meant to be used on a jacket. They need to make up for the damping of the fabric. When used as a hand-mic they may sound overly crisp.

IIRC Schoeps makes a high-end lavalier.

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