I have a H4N Zoom that I want to use to record a conversation between four people. I want to have each person in a separate track for editing purposes. I got two lapel mic connected to a splitter and attached to the H4N on the back side. These record one stereo file with one mic in the left track and the other in the right track.

However I'm struggling to find mic that I can get to work with the two XLR connections. I did try some in the shop, but non of them worked.

What are the requirement for a mic to work with the XLR connections of the H4N? And what are good examples of such lapel microphones in the lower price range? If possible I would prefer to not have anything in-between the mic and the H4N.

  • lapel ? what do you mean by "lapel" :) Best :)
    – JSmith
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 6:46
  • Added link in the question, and cut-n-pasted a bit from wikipedia: A lavalier microphone or lavalier (also known as a lav, lapel mic, clip mic, body mic, collar mic, neck mic or personal mic) is a small electret or Ribbon diaphragm used for television, theatre, and public speaking applications in order to allow for hands-free operation.
    – Marius
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 6:49
  • I've searched in google first and couldn't see lapel highlighed. Thanks :)
    – JSmith
    Commented Apr 8, 2016 at 6:50

3 Answers 3


The H4N supplies phantom power, so that means you can use basically any microphone you want. According to the specifications you can have 48 or 24 volt, or have phantom power OFF.

Because "lapel" mics are condenser mics, and because of their small size the electronics must be separated from the mic itself, you have to take into account that you either have the electronics in a separate box, or in the XLR end of the cable. You problably look for the latest.

Regarding prices here are some variations: (product list)

  • 1
    When looking at that Thomann product list, be sure to tick the "XLR Phantom Power Ad­apter" option box. Those other mics are made only for connection to wireless transmitters. Commented May 8, 2016 at 14:48

The specifications for a "standard XLR microphone" are almost older than we are. Nothing much has changed since they added phantom power 50 years ago. You didn't mention WHAT you tried that didn't work???

The least expensive real XLR, phantom powered lav mic is this kit available on Amazon for US$79 for a set of two. http://www.amazon.com/MXL-FR-355K-Dual-Lav-Interview/dp/B002A3KSZW

I have actually used these on a broadcast TV series. They aren't quite as good as the high-price usual suspects (Tram, Countryman, even Oscar Sound Tech), but they are more respectable than their price indicates.

Another respectable, budget option is... http://naiant.com/studio-electronics-products/microphones/x-x-omnidirectional-lapel-condenser-microphone/


As others have stated, lapel mics are condenser mics and therefore require phantom power, so ensure that you have phantom power, also labeled +48v, enabled on any input that a lapel mic is plugged into.

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