When creating content of any kind, having a quality microphone is as important as anything outside of the topic of the video. While many choose larger mounted mics, some just don’t have the space or need for something like that. That’s where something like the Hollyland Lark M1 wireless lavalier microphone comes in, which we have in for review today.
Retailing for $149.99 USD, the Hollyland Lark M1 is an entry level mic setup that aims to make recording easy and convenient without sacrificing quality.
Within the box, you get two mics, a charging case, and a receiver. You also get all the cables you need to connect it to whatever device you need from iPhone to Android devices with USB-C, to PCs, and cameras. Also included are two windsocks for outdoor recording and a nice hard case for storage.
Getting the Hollyland Lark M1 up and running
Setup is pretty simple as you don’t have to sync the mics to the receiver. Just pull the mics out of the charger, and they’re ready to go. All you have to do is connect the receiver to the device you want to record with.
The mics have minimal buttons. There’s a power button and a noise-cancellation button. Even the receiver is simple enough with a power button and a volume button that goes between low, mid, and high, along with a stereo/mono toggle. The receiver also has a 3.5mm jack that utilizes whichever cable you choose to connect to the recording device.
Battery life is advertised as eight hours, and it’s great for longer recording sessions. When you need to charge the mics, you can simply plug right into the case to begin charging. The case can provide up to two charges before it needs to be charged itself via USB-C. Recharging takes just about 90 minutes.
But how does it sound?
Once all set up and ready to go, I found the Hollyland Lark M1 to be a mix of pros and cons when recording. It’s capable of 48KHz and 16-bit audio over a 2.4GHz frequency with an advertised range of 200m (656ft). That claim is accurate if you have a perfect line between the mics and the receiver. If there’s any sort of interference, and you need to be quite a bit closer. That said, I still managed to get good quality without any recording loss from about 200ft away which, in all honesty, is plenty of distance for most users.
When using a video camera or phone, the sound quality was really good. It was clear and crisp with the levels being nearly perfect right off the bat. When using it with a computer and program like Audacity, however, the sound levels came across as extremely low. It didn’t matter what the volume was set to on the receiver or within the program. It required quite a bit of post work to get the sound where it needed to be. So, if you want to do live audio via your PC, you may find yourself doing a bit more prep work than you’d like.
As for the noise cancellation feature, I found the sound quality much better with it turned off. The removal of the ambient sound was far outweighed by the loss of volume and quality I found with it on. It just sounded a bit too muffled for my liking when it was on. For the stereo/mono feature, it just depends how you want it when you are using both mics. Do you want each mic on both channels or each on a dedicated channel to allow for betting editing in post?
Hollyland Lark M1 review verdict
The Hollyland Lark M1 is a wireless mic set aimed at the new content creator that wants to just get started. It works pretty much right out the box with minimal setup, and, for the most part, provides quality audio.
There are some issues with audio being a bit too quiet when recording, but almost every issue can be solved either in post or with a bit of extra prep work. If you are recording on the go with a mobile device or camera, you shouldn’t have any of those audio issues though. This is as versatile of a wireless mic kit as there is and is definitely worth a look for those intent on finding something with a lower price that doesn’t sacrifice on quality.