Whether you play indie games, MOBA or first-person shooter games, you’ll need a decent clip-on mic to communicate with your teammates or competitors.
The nice thing is that you don’t need a professional or expensive piece of equipment to do this.
A clip-on mic, also known as a lavalier microphone, is an essential equipment for any avid gamer.
There is a plethora of gaming microphones on the market but we have narrowed down the list to make it easy for you to choose the best one. Here are the five best clip-on microphones for gaming.
Best Clip-On Mics For Gaming Reviewed
1.# Sony ECMCS3
The Sony ECM-CS3 microphone is a great option for gamers looking for a high-quality clip-on microphone at an affordable price. It features a 360 degrees rotating clip that conveniently clips to your clothing for hands-free recording. This feature also allows for flexible placement and clear voice recording. It also comes with a one-metre cord, which should be sufficient for most gamers.
Its wide frequency response of 50Hz - 15kHz guarantees a reliable and quality sound production while the gold-plated L-shaped provides high signal integrity.
This condenser lavalier device features an omnidirectional polar pattern meaning it picks up sound from all directions. However, when its clipped to your shirt, the background noise will not overpower your voice. It’s worth mentioning that the mic also picks up wind. We, therefore, recommend purchasing a wind muff for wind reduction or clipping the mic backward (on the inside of your shirt).
Another thing we like about this model is the fact that it’s compatible with a variety of devices including laptops and smartphones. In addition to this, it can also pair with digital recorders.
• Is affordable
• Offers reliable performance
• Has very good sound quality
• Good off-axis performance
• Stereo recording
• Can pick up some external noise
• Doesn’t have a windscreen
• The cable may be short for some users
2# MAONO Lavalier Microphone
The MAONO clip-on mic is another great microphone for budget-sensitive gamers. Its main selling points are its excellent sound quality and high pickup sensitivity.
The microphone produces clear sound and has a very impressive voice pick up. It doesn’t capture higher frequencies making it a great choice for gamers. Additionally, it doesn’t capture wind noise thanks to the included wind cover. However, one thing we noted is that the mic picks up some background noise – you can expect this since it is an omnidirectional lavalier.
What we love the most about this condenser microphone is its compatibility with a variety of devices including Apple devices, Android devices, Windows phones, DSLR cameras, and camcorders. The mode switch at the mic enables us to choose the right mode to match our device - “OFF” is for smartphone mode and “ON” is for camcorder, computer, and DSLR camera mode.
Setting up the microphone is simple and straightforward - you only have to plug the 3.5mm TRRS jack into a computer or smartphone. Once you’re done, you can clip the mic onto your shirt, tie or collar and start recording.
The microphone comes with two LR44H 1.5V button cell batteries – one is already installed on the microphone. The mic’s battery life is pretty solid, but it will depend on how often you use your mic. The nice thing about the batteries is that they are very cheap - you can purchase a pack of 10 Duracell for less than £4. Aside from the batteries, the mic comes with a 6.5mm adapter which is ideal for gamers who use headsets and professional audio devices.
Other items included in the purchase are a wind muff, metal clip, 20-foot cable, and a manual.
• Very good sound quality for the price
• Easy to set up and use
• The design is classy and elegant
• Is very fragile
• May not work on some devices
3# Movo PM10 Deluxe Lapel Clip-on Mic
This condenser microphone from Movo is designed to provide clear and accurate voice reproduction. It features a high pickup sensitivity and a wide frequency response (35 Hz to 18 kHz) which provide a reliable and quality sound production. The mic has an omnidirectional pickup pattern meaning it will pick up sound from every direction. This feature makes it ideal for recording indoors but not in areas with background noise. If using outdoors, you may consider using the wind muffler to block the wind.
The microphone comes with a spare clip, a spare wind muffler, a pouch and a user manual. It’s worth mentioning that this clip-on mic is backed with a one-year manufacturer warranty which comes in handy if you discover a hidden defect after making a purchase.
One of the biggest downside to this clip on mic is that it is only compatible with iPhones, iPods, iPads, Android smartphones and Windows smartphones. Another downside is the short cable (1.2 metres). You’ll, therefore, need an extension cable if planning to use a selfie stick with your smartphone.
Overall, the Movo PM10 clip-on mic offers excellent sound quality compared to other similarly priced microphones. However, its compatibility with smartphones alone leaves a lot to be desired.
• Very easy to use
• Produces high-quality audio
• Extremely fragile
4# BOYA BY M1 Lavalier Microphone
The BOYA BIY M1 clip-on microphone is loved by many YouTubers and vloggers for several reasons. It is small, compact and lightweight, weighing only 2.5g. The mic features an omnidirectional pickup pattern which not only provides for 360-degree coverage but also cancels out background noise including keystrokes, mouse clicks, and your computer fan noise.
The mic has a frequency response of 65Hz-18KHz that allows for accurate signal reproduction at both close and distant proximities. It also comes with an LR44 battery and a 6-metre cable.
This condenser microphone works well with smartphones, personal computers, camcorders and audio recorders. Just like the MAONO Lavalier Microphone, the BOYA BY M1 clip-on mic has a mode switch that lets you choose the mode depending on your device. If using a smartphone, switch off the smartphone mode. For a computer, camcorder, DSLR or audio recorder, switch on the microphone.
Setting up the microphone is simple and only takes a couple of minutes. To use the microphone on your smartphone, simply plug the microphone into the 3.5 mm port of your phone and choose the smartphone mode. To use the mic on your computer, plug the mic into your computer and switch on the microphone.
Items included in the purchase are a lapel clip, a foam windscreen, an adapter and a basic user manual.
If you’re on a budget and need a microphone with good sound quality, we recommend investing in this little lavalier microphone. If you already own a high-end mic, consider getting this one as a backup.
• Simple to set up
• Easy to use
• Produces clear sound
• The battery craps out fairly quickly
• The cable can be a trip hazard
• Sound quality is not at par with high-end products
5# Eocean Professional Grade Microphone
Rounding out our list of the best clip-on microphones for gaming is this Eocean Professional Grade mic. The Eocean microphone records clean and clear sound for professional results. Similar to the other microphones in our list, it has an omnidirectional polar pattern that picks up sound from all directions.
The microphone is compatible with PCs, smartphones, and cameras. Additionally, it is fast and easy to set up. Simply plug the microphone into your camera, computer or smartphone, clip it onto your shirt and start recording. The best thing is that you don’t need additional hardware or software to start recording.
Each purchase comes with a 78-inch extension cord, three high-quality wind muffs, a lapel clip and a protector case.
If you’re looking for a microphone with good sound quality, the Eocean Professional mic is a great option. However, if you need a mic with excellent sound quality and build quality, we recommend investing in any of the other four models listed above.
• Very easy to set up
• Does not need batteries
• Relatively heavy
• Is very fragile
• It is slightly tilted
Benefits of Using a Lavalier Microphone
The lavalier microphone is used in a variety of applications for several reasons. These include:
• Allows for hands-free operation – the clip-on microphone is small in size and can be clipped to a shirt, collar or tie allowing for hands-free operation.
• Captures high-quality audio – since lavalier mics are close to the subject’s mouth, they record clean audio.
While the clip-on mic is decent and can be used in many applications, it’s not without its flaws. Some of the disadvantages of lavalier mics include:
• Fragility – lavalier mics are fragile compared to other types of microphones.
• Can pick up distracting background noise – since most clip-on microphones have an omnidirectional pickup pattern, they can pick up unwanted background noise and cloth rustling sounds.
Let’s now look at the factors to consider when buying a clip-on mic for gaming.
Things to Look for in A Gaming Microphone
The best type of microphone for you will depend on several factors, most important being your budget, the kind of set up you already have and what you need it for. Here are some essentials things to consider when choosing a gaming mic:
1. Audio quality
Audio quality is one of the most important things to look for in a microphone. Be sure to choose a mic that picks up your natural voice from a distance of six to eight inches. Additionally, it should effectively cancel out background noise including keystrokes, mouse clicks, and your computer fan noise.
Directionality is a microphone’s sensitivity to sound from various directions. There are three main types of directionality:
- Omnidirectional – omnidirectional microphones pick up sound from every direction. They may not be a great option for gaming as they produce sound that is general and unfocused – sound that is overwhelmed by other noise.
- Unidirectional - unidirectional mics, also known as cardioid mics, pick up sound from one direction and are ideal for use in noisy environments. If the mic is in front of you, it will not pick up other voices in the room.
- Bidirectional – microphones with a bidirectional polar pattern pick up sound in two directions – in front and behind the mic. These microphones are commonly used in interviews where two people face each other (with the microphone between them).
3. Ease of setup and compatibility
Another important factor to keep in mind when choosing a mic is its ease of installation. Avoid purchasing a microphone that needs additional hardware or software to have it work. We recommend choosing a plug-and-play USB mic – allows you to plug your microphone into the PC for recording and the headphone jack into the mic for monitoring. The best thing about plug-and-play microphones is that they are compatible with most devices including computers, smartphones, and camcorders.
4. Your budget
Price is another important factor to consider when choosing a microphone. It’s important not to be dragged into thinking that the more expensive a mic is the better the quality. An ideal microphone is one that has great audio quality and gets the job done for the least price. Just make sure to set a budget and stick to it.
5. Condenser vs. dynamic microphones
When you’re choosing a gaming microphone, you’ll commonly come across two different types:
• Condenser microphones – these mics have a much greater frequency and transient response – the ability to reproduce the speed of a voice. However, they are more expensive than their dynamic counterparts and require the use of an external power supply.
• Dynamic microphones – dynamic mics have a limited frequency response but can withstand high sound pressure levels. Additionally, unlike condenser mics, they do not need an external power supply.
6. Manufacturer’s warranty
If you’re investing in a high-end gaming microphone, a one-year or two-year warranty should be a priority.
How to Record Gaming Commentaries
Today, gaming has become a social activity with gamers creating gaming videos such as commentaries to share with friends and even make money out of them. If you’re looking to create gaming commentaries, you’ll need equipment with great audio and video quality. In addition to this, you have to know the basics of audio recording and video editing.
Types of Gaming Commentary
Here are five popular gaming videos on YouTube:
• Let’s Play – Let’s Play videos are one of the most popular types of gaming videos on YouTube. They are screenshots or gaming footage documenting the playthrough of a video game, usually accompanied by a commentary.
• Reviews – with reviews, the commentator provides an evaluation of a video game.
• Walkthroughs – walkthrough videos are designed to help a player progress through the gameplay. They are tips-oriented and give commentators the opportunity to socialise with like-minded individuals.
• Reaction videos – these are recordings of a gamer or group of gamers reacting to a game, gaming news, trailers or in-game items.
• Machinima – with machinima, the gamer uses computer graphics to create new video content based on gaming characters and themes. This type of gaming video can also be created with the intention of documenting gameplay.
We hope that this list of the best clip-on microphones for gaming will help you find a lavalier microphone to suit your needs. However, if you’re looking for a product that delivers professional results, the Sony ECM-CS3 is a great option. The product is not only affordable but also delivers high-quality sound. When clipped, it can rotate 360 degrees to pick up sound from all directions. Additionally, it is versatile enough to be used in many different applications.