June 17, 2015 at 12:20PM


Lavalier Mics

I'm looking for a lav mic for a feature i'm making. Im either going to get the Tram tr-50 or the Rode lav (actually I' d like some more suggestion). Im not sure which picks up less ambient noise. I have access to the Sanken lavs but they seem to pick up everything and cardioids wont do since the actors will move their heads.


Most lav mics are omni-directional, but some are better at ignoring room noise than others.

One of my first lav mics was the TRAM TR-50, which is an industry standard and generally it works quite well. ( great for for male voices, but not as good for female voices )

The lav mics that I use the most now are made by Oscar SoundTech ( their OST-801 and OST-802 ) which are a clone of the TRAM TR-50, and I prefer the sound from these mics. ( they are also quite a bit cheaper, costing about $100 per mic )


June 17, 2015 at 12:50PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

The actresses are female and i've done some tests with the Sanken COS11 they sounded great but it picked up way too much ambient noise. I've read that the rode lavs do that too but i haven't tried them. I know about the trams because the were used in the kings speech. The problem is lavs are expensive and i'm not sure which to buy. Im not even sure what technical spec to look for to reduce the wide ambient noise frequency.

Tom Galois

June 17, 2015 at 1:23PM

I agree, Oscar Sound Tech 801 is a swell mic, and they'll cut & terminate the cable to your specs. I have three of them. Nice hot signal.

Douglas Boe

June 18, 2015 at 12:50PM

Hi Guy,

Thanks for all your good advice.

I have both the Sanken COS11-D and the Oscar Sound Tech 802 lav. What I find is that the OST gives less than half the signal of the Sanken. For instance, if the Sanken is reaching around 12 dB, the OST with the same settings will be reaching below 6 dB on average.

Do you also find this to be true? Does it bother you?

By the way, I'm using both lavs directly into my Sony PCM-M10. I do have the Sennheiser system, but found the separate audio recorder set-up is way more convenient. The Sanken COS-11D works very well in this arrangement.

Thanks Guy!

Harlan Rumjahn

October 13, 2015 at 11:39PM

>>>The actresses are female and i've done some tests with the Sanken COS11 they sounded great but it picked up way too much ambient noise.

Yes, I own a Sanken COS-11 lav mic that I almost never use because of how much noise it picks up from the ambient sound.

This is why I am recommending the OSCAR SoundTech lavs. The OST-801 is designed to be used under clothes, and the OST-802 is designed to be used on top of clothes. They function the same as the TRAM lavs do, but I prefer the tone from the OST mics.

June 17, 2015 at 2:07PM, Edited June 17, 2:09PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

I use the Sennheiser ew100 g3 for pretty much any project I'm on. I think they're mainly for ENG but I've used them on films and with the 'quiet on set' call they are completely crisp and pick up very little ambient noise.

Here's an example at an event with about 100 people and loud music playing https://vimeo.com/125145726

As you can hear it's quite clear even with all the other people and music.
I have another example from a film somewhere. If I find it I'll put it up.

There's so many mics out there that . I've seen a few of Guy's posts and he seems quite educated so you probably won't go wrong listening to him.

June 18, 2015 at 7:11AM

Andy O'Neill
Filmmaker / Cinematographer

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