Looking for the perfect Lavalier microphone or a reliable option for vlogging and filmmaking? With numerous choices available, it can be overwhelming to find a wireless microphone that combines excellent sound quality and ease of use.
In this article, I will explore the features and performance of the Hollyland Lark M1 Wireless Microphone, a standout option that excels in delivering a clean and clear signal even from a distance.
Enter the Hollyland Lark M1, a wireless microphone set that may not have the same sleek and professional appearance as the SmallRig Forevala W60, but it outperforms all the other models mentioned when it comes to broadcasting a clean and clear signal without signal dropouts. Even when you turn your back to the camera, the Lark M1 ensures uninterrupted audio transmission.
Let’s take a closer look at the specifications and key features of the Hollyland Lark M1 Duo Digital Wireless Microphone:
Battery Life: 8 hours
The Hollyland Lark M1 comes with a compact case that holds two transmitters and one receiver. This case not only protects the microphones and transmitter but also allows simultaneous charging of all three units using a single USB-C cable. However, you also have the option to charge the units independently through their own USB-C ports. This ensures that all three devices are fully charged and ready to perform throughout your shoot.
The lightweight and slim design of the microphones (0.4oz, 11.8g) makes them easy to clip onto a subject’s shirt without causing any discomfort. One notable feature is the noise-canceling HearClear function, which effectively reduces background noise, ensuring clear audio recordings. We will delve deeper into the performance of this feature later in the article.
The transmitters utilize LC3 Codec technology, enabling the broadcast of high-quality signals with an enhanced sampling rate of up to 48kHz/16bit. Additionally, the omnidirectional microphones on both transmitters ensure optimal voice recording, regardless of the angle at which they are clipped.
The Hollyland Lark M1 kit comes neatly packaged in a sturdy and protective grey carry case. Unzipping the case reveals the transmitters, receiver, and additional accessories. The case features a convenient pouch to hold and organize cables, such as a USB-C charging cable and 3.5mm patch cables for connecting the receiver to devices like a DSLR. For iPhone users, a 3.5mm to Lightning port cable is required (sold separately), while an Android-compatible cable is also available. The case includes fluffy windshields for outdoor shooting in windy conditions.
It is essential to remove the protective sticky blue tape from the microphone before its first use to ensure optimal sound quality. This simple step can significantly enhance the audio recording experience.
The charging case, transmitters, and receiver are constructed with lightweight black plastic, accented with a vibrant yellow color around the base of the lid and inside the case. When the lid is opened, three charging lights pulse to indicate that each device in the kit is fully charged. The front of the case also features four charging indicator lights, allowing for a quick check of the battery levels.
During the testing, I used one transmitter and the receiver for three hours, and by the end of the shoot, three out of the four charging indicator lights were still illuminated. This demonstrates excellent battery life, and it’s worth noting that the Hollyland Lark M1 does not feature LCD displays like some other wireless kits, which may contribute to its impressive battery longevity.
Upon removing the transmitter and receiver from the charging case, they automatically power up, indicated by the blue lights on each device. The pairing process is seamless and instantaneous, eliminating the need for complicated pairing instructions.
Subsequently, the Lark M1 was used on an actual shoot, specifically to record voiceover while testing the newly released Hobolite Avant LED light. The convenience of quickly taking the transmitter out of the case, clipping it onto the shirt, and plugging the receiver into the iPhone allowed for effortless mobility during the shoot.
Reviewing the footage, the sound quality impressed with its clean and clear characteristics. Unlike many other wireless microphones, there was no noticeable latency (delay) between lip movements and the corresponding audio. Although the kit specification states a latency of 20ms, it was negligible when observing the footage.
The receiver of the Lark M1 features + and – buttons, offering three input recording levels to choose from. While the highest level appeared slightly too loud, the middle-level setting proved to be the ideal option for recording. To hear the microphone in action and further explore its performance, I recommend checking out the accompanying review video.
Intrigued by the mic’s noise-canceling HearClear feature, I ventured outside to a noisier environment. By simply tapping the yellow button on the transmitter, the blue light turned yellow, indicating that the noise-canceling mode was activated. The test video demonstrates the impressive effectiveness of this feature in reducing background ambient noise, such as chattering students. However, it’s worth noting that using noise canceling may result in a slightly thinner sound for the main subject’s voice.
The final test involved evaluating the transmission range of the Hollyland Lark M1. Even at the bottom of the stairs and with the camera and transmitter out of the line of sight, the audio remained completely audible. No other microphone I have tested would have performed as well in this scenario.
The Hollyland Lark M1 Wireless Microphone stands out among its competitors due to its exceptional ability to transmit and receive crystal-clear 16-bit audio over long distances without latency or signal dropouts. The inclusion of the HearClear noise-canceling feature eliminates the need for extensive post-production noise reduction, saving valuable time for content creators.
Overall, the Hollyland Lark M1 is highly recommended for its impressive performance and reliability.
Have you tried it? Tell me in the comments, otherwise, buy it on Amazon!