Review unit provided by Hollyland
The Hollyland Lark Max is a wireless microphone system that can be used with mirrorless cameras, phones, tablets and computers. This is the best wireless mic from Hollyland that comes with many useful features for content creators on the go.
The price is USD 299 is noticeably higher compared to the USD 199 Hollyland C150 and the USD 149 Hollyland Lark M1 but it's better than those two mics in many ways. I had reviewed the Hollyland Lark M1 several months ago and I was quite impressed by the audio quality. The Hollyland Lark Max sounds great too.
Shown below are the main differences between Hollyland Lark M1 and Lark Max:
Bottom line: This is a well made mic designed to be durable. The build quality is excellent. The audio recorded is clear and clean, and quality is consistent across various devices. The omnidirectional mic also does a decent job at filtering out background noise even without noise cancelling enabled.
The battery life is 7.5 hours long for a single session. There's internal 8GB storage for backup recording. The touchscreen display with dial is useful and easy to use. The only downside is the Hollyland logo is so huge on both the front and back (why?) of the transmitter.
The pricing is quite competitive when compared to the USD 369 DJI mic and USD 399 Rode Wireless Pro (lavalier mics included).
- 2x transmitters
- 1x receiver
- Charging case
- 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable
- 3.5mm to USB-C cable
- 3.5mm to lightning cable
- USB-A to USB-C charging cable
- 2x windshield
- Carrying pouch for charging case
- 2x small pouch with lanyard with metal tag
There are no lavalier mics included. I recommend lavalier mics which is less obvious and easy to hide. Lavalier mics also filter out background noise more effectively.
Here's a close up on the free but unnecessary free gift with, of course, Hollyland branding.
The carrying case for the charging case is designed to keep out water. The carrying case can hold the charging case, cables and windshield.
The charging case is extremely well made with solid build quality. The case weighs 193.5g and is noticeably heavier compared to the Lark M1 case which is just 80g. This is of course still very portable.
The case has rubberised texture on the bottom half for grip. There are four indicator lights outside to show battery level, and three lights inside to show charging activity. The transmitters and receiver attaches firmly with magnets and will power off automatically for charging. The transmitters and receivers will automatically power on when you take them out of the case. This is convenient.
Specifications for the charging case:
The transmitter weighs 33g and the receiver weighs 60g. These are very compact.
I don't even feel the extra weight when the receiver is mounted on top of my camera.
The transmitter has textured surface on the front and back for extra grip. The Hollyland logo is quite big and is cut into the surface. It is possible to use spray paint onto the white.
Behind the transmitter is a removable magnet attached to the clip. This allows the transmitter to be attached behind clothing. Note the other bigger Hollyland logo on the clip.
The USB charging port is located at the bottom together with the metal contact points for charging in the case. This USB port can be used transfer the WAV files from internal storage.
The omnidirectional mic is on top of the transmitter. The extrusions beside are for holding down the windshield.
The windshield attaches quite securely.
The transmitter records 48 kHz/24-bit, 70 dB SNR, and 128 dB max SPL. Input dynamic range is 98dB typical to a maximum of 108 dB.
Audio quality is fantastic. The audio is clear and clean without static. You'll get the same audio quality when recording to different devices via 3.5mm, USB-C or lightning.
The mic also does a decent job filtering background noise even when noise cancelling is disabled. Background noise will still be recorded, but the noise will not overpower voice recording.
With Environmental Noise Cancelling (ENC) enabled, the background noise is reduced slightly. There's is slight distortion to voice recording when ENC is enabled, but voice recording is still totally usable. I usually disable ENC to includes slight background noise to provide context.
Battery life is 7.5 hours for a single recording session. Since there are two transmitters, the second one can be used as a backup transmitter. When I use the transmitters outdoors, I could record in the morning, put the transmitters and receiver into the charging case, go for lunch, and continue recording until the end of the day. Battery life is not something I have to worry about.
And with such long battery life, the mics will last longer for years when you factor in the degradation of battery with usage. I had a Saramonic Blink mic that started with 6 hours of battery life and after a few years became only 2 hours.
Specifications for the transmitter:
On side near the Hollyland logo is the button for recording to internal storage, and that's the recording light beside.
On the other side are 3.5mm audio input, power button, pairing/noise cancelling button.
The receiver has the same textured surface on the front and back.
The AMOLED touchscreen display is on the side and is bright enough to be legible under direct sunlight. Resolution looks sharp. The press dial that can be used to navigate through the menu and adjust settings. The touchscreen is extremely convenient and the icons are easy to see and understand. You can control settings on the transmitter without having to use the physical shortcut buttons.
Below are the specs for the receiver.
Headphones can be attached to the 3.5mm audio jack to monitor audio. The USB-C port can be used for charging as well as for recording into tablets, phones and computers.
On the other side there's a power/screen lock button, and a 3.5mm TRS output jack.
The Hollyland Lark Max is a well designed mic. Unfortunately for me, the mic crashed onto the floor with my camera and the clip is now dented, but it still works. So I can say the build quality is pretty good.
Audio quality is excellent. Audio is clear, clean, and quality is consistent regarding of the device you're recording to. The mics can filter background noise well and there is noise cancelling if you need even better voice isolation.
I can't think of any downsides with regards to performance and audio quality.
The only downside is the Hollyland logos are big.
I can definitely recommend the Hollyland Lark Max easily. If you have limited budget, consider the Hollyland Lark M1 instead which is almost half the price. The main downside in terms of functionality is Hollyland Lark M1's transmitter doesn't have a 3.5mm audio jack for used with lavalier mics, which is my preferred way to record audio when outdoors.
Pros and cons at a glance
+ Solid build quality
+ Compact, lightweight
+ Can be used with cameras, phones, tablets and computers
+ The carrying case can hold the charging case and cables
+ Carrying case is designed to keep out water
+ Clean, clear audio recording without static
+ Noise cancelling is available as an option
+ The OLED touchscreen display and dial are very useful
+ Dual channel recording ideal for interviews
+ Two transmitters included means one can be used as backup
+ Transmitters have 3.5mm audio jack for use with lavalier mics
+ Receiver has 3.5mm audio OUT for use with other audio devices
+ 7.5 hours battery life for single session recording is great
+ Charging case provides a total of 22 hours battery life
+ Windshield is firm and has low risk of falling off
- Huge attention-grabbing logo on both sides the transmitter
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