As much as built-in phone and audio tech has come a long way as far as mic arrays are concerned, they still struggle to hold a candle to external microphones. Particularly when you need to use them for more than the occasional voice note.
Normally, high-quality microphones cost a pretty penny, but the Sarmonic LavMicro is a brilliant little clip-on mic that delivers quality audio at a very attractive price.
Now, clip-on-mics aren’t usually anyone’s first choice when it comes to upping one’s audio game. Most would look first at table-stand mics or something similar. And while we wouldn’t recommend this for studio recording sessions, we’d say it delivers as convincingly as a good table mic on every other occasion.
Let’s get the boring bit (unless you’re an audiophile) out of the way first. Specs-wise, this omnidirectional has a -40 to -3dB sensitivity and a frequency response of 50Hz to 20kHz, perfect for talking volume without picking up a ton of annoying additional noise. Like a rustling shirt during an interview, or something similar. It also runs outputs via a USB-C cable, which means it works with most modern laptops, cameras, interfaces, and even smartphones. There’s a 90° USB-C female-to-male adaptor in the box too if you want to get the output at a right angle.
Because it’s a lav mic, it doesn’t take up a lot of space. You can clip it to your shirt or even your headphone cable if you’re feeling adventurous, while your desk remains clear. The U3A has a 2-metre cable, which is great for podcasting or streaming. The U3B and U3C kits come with 6 metre cables, which work better for recording video content or something similar.
The mic records at a 48kHz bitrate, which is HQ video standard and higher than CD quality, though we wouldn’t recommend recording vocals with this.
What we would use the Sarmonic for is streaming, vlogging, podcasting, online gaming, virtual meetings, or something along those lines. Just about anything other than music. The audio quality is, for the most part, really good, particularly for a R750 mic. Words come out clear and crisp at most volumes, and hard Ts and Ps don’t pop as much as you’d expect them to. When things get particularly loud or high pitched, it tends to cut out though. We noticed this particularly when laughing hysterically at something, but that’s the only real gripe we had with the mic.
Sarmonic LacMicro U3A verdict
There’s not much else to say. It’s not going to light your world on fire, but for its cost the LavMicro U3A is brilliant. Solid sound, solid build, all packed into a tiny mic you can wear on your chest is hard to beat in that price range.