Review: Sennheiser XS Lav (lavalier or lapel mic)

The Sennheiser XS Lav is a lavalier microphone available with either a 3.5mm TRRS (US$49) or USB-C (US$59) connector. This is one of many mics that I use for my audio recording for my Youtube videos. The main lavalier mic I use is actually the Rode Lavalier Microphone (TRS connector) that I use with my mirrorless camera. I bought the Sennheiser XS Lav just for review purposes.

The mic can also be purchased with a mobile kit that includes a table-top tripod. That Manfrotto table-top tripod is kinda small, not extendable, so it's not going to be that useful. It's lightweight though.

The one I bought is the USB-C version. On hindsight, I should have bought the one with 3.5mm TRRS connector, and used the US$10 savings to buy a 3.5mm-USB-C adaptor instead. I can also buy a 3.5MM-Lightning adapter to use with iPhones, and a TRRS-TRS adapter to use with my mirrorless camera.

Both the USB-C and 3.5mm TRRS versions of the Sennheiser XS Lav are designed to be used with smart devices, e.g. tablets, phones and computers.

The cable is 2m which is quite long.

The 3.5mm TRRS connector (has three stripes) will not work with mirrorless camera. To use with mirrorless cameras, you need to get a TRRS-TRS adapter (2 stripes).

If you plan on using this lavalier with only your phone or tablet with USB-C, then just get the USB-C. But if you want to use also use it with your mirrorless camera, get the one with 3.5mm connector.

The lavalier mic comes with a soft carrying bag with draw strings.

The foam windshield and clips are removable.

It's a good clip that holds the mic tightly and the clip has strong tension to grip on any shirt tightly.

You can hear the audio quality in the video above (from 03:01 onwards).

The Sennheiser XS Lav is capable of capturing good audio quality even in environments with loud background noise. The lavalier mic is able to filter out background noise more effectively compared to the PowerDeWise lavalier mic that I reviewed recently. This means the Sennheiser XS Lav is suitable for use both indoors and outdoors.

MacOS users beware

When I recorded audio with MacOS, the volume recorded was too low. I've tried everything to increase the volume of the recording, through MacOS settings and via post-editing, the volume is still too low and unusable.

There's no problem with volume when recording with Windows 10. It just works.


The Sennheiser XS Lav is a good lavalier mic selling at a reasonable price. It's certainly worth the money. This mic is suitable for use indoors and outdoors when recording with phones and tablets (Android and iPads). For voiceovers and podcasts, I will still recommend condenser microphones such as the Audio Technica AT2020 (big and hence not portable). Also note that there's the problem with extra low volume when recording with MacOS.

I recommend getting the version 3.5mm TRRS connector instead of USB-C. Use the money saved to get a 3.5mm-USB-C adapter instead.

The only thing I can't test is whether it's able to record audio from a mirrorless camera when used with a USB-C to 3.5mm TRS adapter (I don't have this). Not all mirrorless cameras can pass enough power through their 3.5mm audio jack to power external microphones (that's why some mics are battery powered).

Pros and cons at a glance
+ Clear and crisp audio quality
+ 2m long cable
+ Above average background noise filter
+ USB-C or 3.5mm TRRS connection available
+ Can be used with phones, tablets and Windows computers
+ Good value for money
- Volume is extremely low when recording via MacOS


You can find the Sennheiser XS Lav and more reviews on Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | ES | IT | JP)


Add new comment