Finding The Best Lavalier Microphone For Your Church
As a pastor, you have two options for hands-free presenting your messages. You can choose a headset microphone or you can choose what is called a lavalier microphone. Obviously, a headset microphone fits over your head like headphones, and a lavalier or lapel microphone clips to your shirt or tie.
Today I am going to recommend the Countryman B6 lavalier microphone as the best one for church use. It is designed to be used with Sennheiser wireless transmitters and has a great omnidirectional pickup. It also has a very small profile so it is almost invisible to your congregation or audience.
- Finding The Best Lavalier Microphone For Your Church
- Countryman B6 Omnidirectional Wireless Lavalier Microphone
- Final Thoughts On This Lavalier Microphone
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Who is the Countryman B6 Lavalier Mic Designed For?
People use lavalier mics for public speaking, church services, and even for micing actors in the theater. All of these situations may require you to have your hands free for other things like holding a Bible or a prop in a play.
I want to reiterate before we go on that the Countryman B6 is primarily compatible with Sennheiser transmitters. Make sure you check to make sure if it is compatible with your wireless transmitter before you purchase one otherwise, you may have a mic that is not compatible with your transmitter.
If you are going to buy both a transmitter and a mic, then I highly recommend the Sennheiser transmitters. They are top of the line quality.
While the B6 does a great job of capturing sound and is suitable for many different uses, it may not be best for live music recording. It is mostly intended for public speaking, preaching, and theater.
One of the best things about this mic is that it has such a small profile. It is one of the top choices for discretely amplifying someone’s voice without being seen. Most people will not see it from the congregation when being used by a pastor or other guest speaker.
What Should You Look for in a Lavalier Microphone?
Besides the price, choosing the best lavalier microphone includes a few additional considerations, including:
- The size and design of the mic
- The pickup pattern
- The range or proximity
- Transmitter compatibility
- Overall performance and sound quality
If you don’t want to look like you have a bug or a stain on your tie, then you should pay attention to the size of your lavalier microphone. Find one that easily blends in with your clothing. One of the great options that the Countryman B6 has is multiple colored caps for the mic that will cause it to blend in with your tie or shirt.
Lavalier microphones are normally one of two different types of polar patterns. They are either omnidirectional or unidirectional. Unidirectional mics, also called cardioid mics, need to be placed where they are pointed towards the mouth of the speaker to pick up their voice.
Omnidirectional microphones will pick up sound from any direction. This has its pros and cons. They are great if pointing the microphone is a problem because of the clothing style of the speaker does not allow for a place to clip the microphone on that allows for it to be pointed towards the speaker’s mouth. The downside to these microphones is that they will also pick up other noises. If they are close to a musical instrument or to another speaker, you will also get background noise.
The distance from which a microphone can pick up sound may also be important. Lavalier mics are normally either proximity mics or what are called transparent mics. Proximity mics have less range and reject background noise, while a transparent mic does not filter out background noise and slowly drops off the level of sound that they pick up.
Gone are the days of using lavalier mics that are hardwired to the PA system. Today most lavalier mics use a wireless transmitter and receiver. The most common type of transmitter is called a body-pack transmitter that clips to your belt or fits into a pocket. Make sure your lavalier microphone is compatible with whatever wireless transmission system you use.
Finally, you will want to research the performance and quality of the microphone. Obviously, if you have the time and money, you can test them yourself. However, if that is not an option like it really is not for most of us, then you can ask around some of your colleagues or sound engineers from other churches and get their opinion as well. Or, you can take into consideration the professional reviews like this one or customer reviews you can find on the major online music retailers.
Why Did We Choose the Countryman B6?
In our opinion, the Countryman B6 microphone is the best lavalier mic because of its sound performance and sensitivity. With the B6, you can pick up clear sound from any pastor, guest speaker, or another member of your church that needs to be amplified. It is very sensitive with a standard +0db gain for those people with soft voices.
Another reason we think it is the best, especially for a church setting, is its rugged design. It can take abuse and keep on going. It is waterproof and has a rubber exterior that protects it from the elements, and softens any impact when handled roughly or has been dropped.
The omnidirectional pickup pattern is another reason we feel it is the best for most church environments. Not all churches are suit and tie affairs. With the Countryman B6, you can clip the microphone on any piece of clothing, and it doesn’t have to be pointed directly towards the person’s mouth. This is great for pastors wearing Hawaiian shirts and women wearing v-necked blouses.
The direction the mic is pointed is not nearly as much of an issue with an omnidirectional microphone.
What We Like and Dislike About the Countryman B6
There are many things to like about the Countryman B6 and relatively few to dislike. We like the option for colored caps to help it blend in with the clothing your pastor or guest speaker is wearing and the moisture-resistant rubber, but most importantly, we love the way it sounds.
In today’s world of modern technology, especially with the rise of live streaming, how you present yourself is more important than ever. Having a small profile lavalier microphone that blends into your clothing rather than standing out like a big black beetle is important. The Countryman B6 stands heads above the other brands for accomplishing this.
If your pastor or guest speaker is a body communicator using their hands frequently, you will really appreciate the 3.5-millimeter connector connecting the microphone to the body-pack transmitter. It is sturdy and connects solidly to the pack. You will have less risk of them making an important point in their sermon or presentation and accidentally disconnecting themselves from the PA system.
But most importantly, the sound quality of the Countryman B6 lavalier microphone is exceptional. Although it is not designed for recording musical vocals, it excels at picking up speech. It is perfect for live presentations in church sanctuaries, auditoriums, lecture halls, and other settings where it is important that you hear the message clearly and distinctly.
At my church, along with many other churches, we have a tight budget. This makes the price of the Countryman B6 hard to like. It is normally priced at over $300.00, and it is tempting to go for a lesser-priced lavalier microphone. However, I have found that there is a direct correlation between price and quality in most cases. This article recommends the best lavalier microphone, not the cheapest.
The other thing we do not like about this microphone is its connectivity with only certain wireless systems. It is not universal. It is designed to work with Sennheiser transmitters, not with other brands like Shure or AKG. So again, I know I am repeating myself, but make sure this mic will work with your wireless transmission system before you buy it.
Final Thoughts On This Lavalier Microphone
In our opinion, the Countryman B6 is the best lavalier microphone on the market today. Its quality, design, sound reproduction, and durability make it reasonable even at its current price point.
I believe you will get many hours of use out of this microphone before you start picking up on any minor flaws that you wish were different. It comes with a standard warranty in case you get a lemon, but we have not heard of that happening often.
Yes, the price makes you cringe a little. It does us as well. However, you are getting the best sounding lavalier on the market. So if you want the best, this is the way to go. The only way you can get better sound is to really spend some real money and buy studio mics.
It should be noted that the Countryman B6 comes with a carrying case and extra clips to attach the mic to your clothing. The case will protect it if you have to transport it or use it in a mobile church application. And the extra clips are just a nice add on in case you lose one.
In conclusion, we don’t think you will go wrong with the Countryman B6 if you are looking for the best lavalier microphone for your church or event center.