Wednesday, February 19, 2020

The $20 BOYA BY-M1 Lavalier Mic Takes Your Videos to the Next Level – Review

Must Read

How to Pitch Tech Writers & Influencers – Voices from 8 Tech Journalists (incl. HighTechDad)

If you are a vendor or PR firm looking to get a tech writer, influencer or journalist to write about yoru product or service, read these tips!

Features to Look For in a Dash Cam – The Thinkware F800PRO Dashcam Has Them All!

Key items to look for in a dashcam - basic and high-end features. Review: Thinkware F800PRO dash cam has all of the premium features in a compact design.

The 10Minds Motion Pillow Anti-Snoring Pillow Actually Works! Review on How It Does It

Review of the 10Minds Motion Pillow - a pillow which detects snoring and gently inflates air bags inside to move the snorer's head slightly.

How To Fix Almost Any Mac Software Problem Using these 4 Techniques

This How To article walks through 4 critical techniques to resolve almost every macOS software problem using proven tactics. Tips can be used with PC's too.

What’s the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max’s Best New Feature? Duh, It’s the Camera! See How!

The best feature of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max is the camera obviously. This article has a comparison of images from iPhone XS Max & 11 Pro Max.
- Advertisement -

I launched my YouTube channel back in 2008 and have produced over 200 videos on and off over the years. But there was one piece of equipment I didn’t use in pretty much all of my video until now…a microphone. As audio is a critical part of the equation when producing videos, I decided to “invest” in an external mic, and chose the budget-conscious BOYA BY-M1 lavalier lapel mic as my first test in upping my audio game.

HighTechDad reviews BOYA BY-M1 lavalier mic - box

For my video recordings, I tended to use either the on-board mic of my iPhone or the mic built into the camcorder (or other recording device). I had never really considered an external mic, until I started diving in deeper into building up my YouTube presence. Sure, I have lots of videos of all types of content – gadget & product reviews, how-to & fix-it videos, and car reviews — but in pretty much each video, I don’t use a mic.

This is all changing. And it starts with the video review below.

VIDEO: Mini Review of the BOYA BY-M1 Lavalier Mic

So why would you want to have a microphone? Well, the video review below that I did gives you a few reasons. For starters, if you are filming outside, there are lots of other sounds often going on. In my video, there was a leaf blower and a lawnmower as well as some wind.

HighTechDad reviews BOYA BY-M1 lavalier mic - cord management

But also, if you are not right on top of your video device, you end up yelling towards it so that the mic picks it up, or, you videos just don’t have much volume to the voice in general.

- Advertisement -

Having a more conversational tone is more preferred that screaming like a reporter in a hurricane. There is a time and place for that.

My video review shows two scenarios: indoor and outdoor filming. In all of my tests, I used my iPhone XS Max as the video camera and either used the iPhone’s on-board mic or the BOYA BY-M1 cavalier mic.

And, the only editing I did of the audio was to actually lower the levels a bit on the recordings using the BOYA BY-M1 as it recorded a bit too well.

This whole “microphone” thing is new to me. I’m sure with practice, I will find the best placement and levels to record my videos at. And, hopefully, I will expand my set of tools to include a boom or shotgun mic and wireless lavalier set.

What’s So Great About the BOYA BY-M1?

- Advertisement -

So, why did I choose the BOYA BY-M1 lavalier mic as my first mic? Well for starters, I did some research on inexpensive/budget microphones (I didn’t want to say “cheap” here because that has the wrong connotation but could have been accurate if I made the wrong choice), and the BOYA BY-M1 mic seemed to come up frequently.

HighTechDad reviews BOYA BY-M1 lavalier mic - 20' cord

Here are the top three reasons why I like the BOYA BY-M1 as a budget mic for videos:

  1. It’s inexpensive – I got the BY-M1 for about $20
  2. It’s long – it’s got a 20 foot cord so you have some flexibility about how far apart you and the camera are
  3. It’s versatile – it can work with DSLR/camcorder or with smartphones like the iPhone

I’ve already mentioned the price. For a starter lavalier, clip-on mic, you really can’t go wrong with the price. There are many, many more expensive corded lavalier mics that have higher quality sound, but if you want entry-level quality, this is the way to go. (Wireless lavaliers get even more expensive.)

And why is a long cord important? Well, if you get too short of a cord, you are essentially tied to your camera. A short cord may be ok if you always do closeups, but with the flexibility of having 20 feet of cord, you have a wider range, literally, of shots.

The BOYA BY-M1 is also quite versatile. If you use a DSLR or camcorder that has a mic-input port, the BY-M1 will work. Alternatively, if you use a smartphone like an iPhone, with just a flip of a switch, it works with smartphones.

The switch simply toggles between powered (for camcorders/DSLRs) and unpowered mode (for smartphones). Included with the package is an LR44 (coin) battery. I have not tested the battery duration as I use the BOYA in the smartphone mode which does’t require batteries.

A quick note: if you are going to be using the BOYA mic with an iPhone that does NOT have a headphone port and only has a lightning port, you must use the (not-included) headphone to lightning adapter.

HighTechDad reviews BOYA BY-M1 lavalier mic - headphone to lightning adapter from Apple

Included with the mic is also a ¼” plug adapter, two foam wind screens, a clothing clip, and a pleather pouch to hold everything. While the 20′ cable is long (which is great), it can get tangled so you need to be sure to do some cord management.

Final Thoughts on the BOYA BY-M1

This is definitely an entry level lapel mic. However, I currently only have the on-board mic of my iPhone or camcorder to compare against. And, from what I have tested using some rudimentary use cases that I would actually encounter, it seems to perform well.

HighTechDad reviews BOYA BY-M1 lavalier mic - what's in the box

Placement of a lapel or lavalier mic is critical, another things I will be working on. If you place it too close to the audio source (e.g., your mouth), the audio could be over-driven (and in the “red”), requiring you to reduce the levels in post production.

But honestly, while more expensive mics probably capture better audio than this omni-directional mic, for $20 you would be silly not to test it out for yourself. I’m actually thinking about BOYA’s dual-mic lavalier set as well which would be good for on-screen interviews.

I hope the video above helped. And be sure to leave a comment either on this post or on my YouTube page and let me know:

What kind of mic are you using currently to record videos?

I will be testing some other audio capture products, some for podcasting and others for videos. I would love to hear what products you recommend (or don’t). Until then happy videoing!

HTD says: Using a mic like the BOYA BY-M1 to capture audio for your videos is critical if you want your videos to not sound amateurish. And, at $20, the BY-M1 is a minor investment that can truly transform how you record videos.

HighTechDad Ratings
  • Ease-of-Use
  • Family-Friendly
  • Price Point
  • Features


Using a mic like the BOYA BY-M1 to capture audio for your videos is critical if you want your videos not to sound amateurish. And, at $20, the BY-M1 is a minor investment that can truly transform how you record videos. If you are looking to improve your videos, whether you use a DSLR, camcorder, or smartphone, the BOYA BY-M1 is a great choice for those people on a budget or those who need a backup microphone. Audio quality is good and the ability to switch between a powered and non-powered mic is awesome.


  • Inexpensive
  • Works with DSLRs, camcorders, and smartphones
  • Long cord
  • Better than on-board mics


  • Lower quality audio than pricier mics
  • Can trip over cord


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Hot Articles

How to Remove Little Black Square Paragraph Formatting & Page Break in Microsoft Word

Recently, I received a panicked email from my step-mom wondering why a page break could not be removed from...

How to Remove Little Black Square Paragraph Formatting & Page Break in Microsoft Word

Recently, I received a panicked email from my step-mom wondering why a page break could not be removed from Microsoft Word. Normally, if you...

Instagram Users – How to Clear the Instagram Cache & Save Space on your Smartphone

If you are a heavy Instagram user, you might not know this but the more you use Instagram, the photo-sharing service and mobile application,...

How To Restore a Previous Version of an iOS App

Steps on how to restore a previous version of an iOS app in case you want to roll-back or revert to the previous version.

How To Fix Track Changes in Microsoft Word 16 for Mac Reverting to “Author” [VIDEO]

Is your author or user name showing as "Author" in your Microsoft Word for Mac when you edit & track changes & not your actual user name? Here's how to fix!
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This