Rode Lavalier Vs SmartLav Comparison

Choosing for the right lapel mic that you can use to get the best quality recording possible is completely no easy task, for sure. Unlike regular-sized mics that you use by holding them in your hands, you need to mind a lot about compactness and portability when you are choosing for a lapel mic. Among the choices on the market, we have Rode Lavalier and Rode SmarLav. These microphones seem to be very, very similar to each other, and they are both very popular choices for beginners and professionals alike. However, Rode Lavalier is significantly more expensive than Rode SmartLav. The price gap is real, and you may be wondering what the differences are between the two models. Which is the one that you should pick?

Rode Lavalier Vs SmartLav

Lavalier and SmartLav do share a similar shape, as what you can expect about how a lapel mic is shaped. Both are black in color. However, Rode Lavalier is completely black, while Rode SmartLav has a gray end near the jack. Furthermore, you may have noticed that Rode SmartLav is quite noticeably bigger and heavier than Rode Lavalier. SmartLav is 6 grams while Lavalier is barely 1 gram. While the difference may seem trivial, we tend to prefer something that is smaller and lighter for a lapel mic. We don’t want the mic to particularly take a lot of attention from the audiences in live performances. If the mic is too heavy, it may cause your clothing to fold, too. (Related versus: Rode Lavalier Vs Sennheiser ME2)

Technical Specs

Rode LavalierRode SmartLav
- Acoustic Principle: Pressure Gradient- Acoustic Principle: Permanently Polarise
- Active Electronics: JFET impedance converter- Active Electronics: JFET
- Capsule: 0.10"- Capsule: 0.10"
- Frequency Range: 60Hz - 18kHz- Frequency Range: 60Hz - 18kHz
- Output Impedance: 3000Ω- Output Impedance: 3Ω
- Maximum SPL: 110dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)- Maximum SPL: 110dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)
- Maximum Output Level: 189.0mV- Maximum Output Level: 189.0mV
- Sensitivity: -33.5dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (21.00mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz- Sensitivity: -35.0dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (17.80mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
- Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted): 25dB-A- Equivalent Noise Level (A-weighted): 27dB-A
- Dimensions: 12.00mmH x 4.50mmW x 4.50mmD- Dimensions: 1180.00mmH x 4.50mmW x 4.50mmD

Furthermore, Rode SmartLav itself is pretty durable. However, Rode Lavalier is the one that is ready for any sort of heavy duties, as the cable is reinforced by Kevlar shielding, ensuring the durability to the max. The cable is even able to endure strain tests up to 10 kg. The mini-furry pop filter is not only able to provide excellent protection against wind and breath sounds – as well as attenuating excessive plosives – but also water-resistant! You don’t have to worry about performing under some rain or getting some splashes with Rode Lavalier.

Both of these mics may seem to be identical to each other, but they actually have very different qualities. Both of them are omnidirectional so that they can pick up sounds equally well from any direction. The frequency response range of Rode SmartLav is 20Hz – 20kHz, which means that the mic is capable of capturing and reproducing some decent bass, midrange, and treble. On the other hand, Rode Lavalier only has a frequency response range of 60 Hz – 18 kHz. However, it is armed with higher impedance, SPL handling, sensitivity, and lower self-noise level. As the effect, it can actually deliver more accurate, detailed, fuller vivid sounds. The slightly lower equivalent noise level is also beneficial for getting more clarity.

Rode Lavalier Vs SmartLav

- Anti-trauma water resistant storage case
- Water resistant pop filter. Mini-furry for high wind protection.
- Shielded, detachable Kevlar® reinforced cableLapel-style cable management clip
- Adapter sold separately.
- Polar Pattern: Omnidirectional
- Address Type: End
- Output: TRRS
- Warranty: 1 year

If you are limited in budget, you can pick Rode SmartLav. It has a pretty good performance, and is quite versatile for many purposes due to the wide frequency response range. However, if you have some extra bucks and especially for capturing human voices, you should go with Rode Lavalier for the ultimate ruggedness and durability, as well as improved sonic qualities.

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