Laptop Mag Verdict
The Hollyland Lark C1 Duo wireless mic kit brings an easy-to-use potent, affordable wireless mic option to the masses, granting users next-level audio recording while filming content with their smartphones.
lightweight, user-friendly design
650-foot transmission range
Crisp, clean recordings
Fantastic charging case and long-lasting battery
Simple easy to use app
Lacks a 3.5mm lav mic input
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Hollyland’s Lark C1 Duo wireless mic kit features a pop of yellow piping that separates it from the typically bland wireless mic landscape. At just $179 at Amazon, it also undercuts much of the competition, making it an intriguing option for creators on a budget.
As a budget-conscious content creator myself, I understand the importance of quality audio to tell your stories, share your thoughts, and leave a lasting impression on your audience. For aspiring content creators who may not yet own a DSLR (or have any desire to move to one) the Lark C1 Duo will give you stellar audio capture paired with your phone.? High quality audio can be more critical to retaining your audience than video, so it’s important to choose one of the best wireless mic kits.
Does the Hollyland Lark C1 Duo make the cut? Absolutely, this could be the best sub-$200 wireless kit, but let’s take a closer look at what it offers.
Hollyland Lark C1 Duo pricing and availability
The Hollyland Lark C1 Duo costs $179 and comes with two transmitters with built-in omnidirectional microphones, one receiver, a hard plastic charging case, and a USB Type-C charging cable. Depending on if you purchased the Lark C1 Duo for Apple or the Android kit, you will notice just one difference.
One receiver has an Apple Lightning port connector and the other a USB Type-C connector. Regardless of which you use, this makes it perfect for content creators using their phones to create for their favorite social media sites.
If you’re on a tighter budget and only need a single wireless mic setup, the $99 Razer Seiren BT may be a better choice. If you have a bigger budget and want a more premium setup, look into the Rode Wireless Go II for $299 or the DJI Mic for $329.
Hollyland Lark C1 Duo design
The super portable design easily slips into a pocket or backpack without adding weight to your kit. The white Hollyland logo on the front of the case stands out against its solid satin-finished black plastic with yellow piping design cues. Opening the lid you are greeted by a bold yellow interior looking back at you, making it easy to see the transmitters inside.
The Lark C1 Duo case has curved, rounded edges with smooth lines that feel excellent. The transmitters and receiving unit carry through the same feel and vibe as the case.
Each transmitter weighs 11.5 grams (0.40 ounces), measures in at 0.8 x 1.9 x 0.4 inches, and when you clip one onto your collar or jacket, you will forget it's there, which makes for a comfortable overall user experience. The receiving unit weighs a paltry 7 grams (0.25 ounces), and measures 1.1 x 1.9 x 0.4 inches, and adds no noticeable weight to your phone or tablet. The charging case is also lightweight at just 85.5 grams (3 ounces) and measures 3.3 x 2.4 x 1.2 inches; you will barely notice it in your pocket or laptop bag.
I like the Lark C 1 Duo’s extremely lightweight design, but while the build quality is solid, it doesn’t feel as sturdy as the DJI mic. However, few wireless mics do, and at over $100 less, this isn’t a significant point of contention. Two minor things that the Lark C1 setup lacks versus more premium competition are a 3.5mm mic port and a lack of onboard memory, which we find in the more expensive Rode Wireless Go II and DJI mic
Hollyland Lark C1 Duo setup and controls
Simplicity rules here as there are no screens or complicated settings to futz around with on the C1 Duo. You simply connect the appropriate receiver to your phone and pull the transmitter/microphones out of the charging case, and you can start recording.
You can use the LarkSound app to make some minor adjustments, but it is truly a plug-and-play device right out of the box. You’ll get excellent audio recordings within seconds of connecting the C1 Duo. Each transmitter does feature a noise-canceling button, which really helps in windy conditions or in areas with a lot of background noise.
If you don’t wish to use the noise canceling, the kit comes with a pair of windscreens that quickly pop on or off. Usually, I would be a little concerned about not having a more extensive set of controls and features, but after my testing, the results speak for themselves. Hollyland did an excellent job of finding the right level of noise canceling where the audio never sounds artificially drowned out or toned down. Even if you adjust the level of noise cancellation, you will find that it effectively matches the noise levels in the background.
Hollyland Lark C1 Duo 2 audio quality
During busy morning traffic in my Brooklyn, New York neighborhood, I connected the Lark C1 Duo’s receiver to my iPhone, placed my phone on my stoop, and walked across the street as traffic rumbled by. The quality of the audio I recorded from 100 feet away, with traffic passing, was immaculate. The omnidirectional mics on the transmitter unit did an excellent job of picking up the tonal variances in my voice. The built-in mics do a great job of focusing on your voice as I had it clipped to my sweatshirt, and the unit picked up all the natural timbre in my voice as I spoke from across the street with a huge truck rolling by.
Hollyland did a fantastic job engineering the Lark C1 Duo’s omnidirectional mics, as the noise canceling works smoothly without suffocating your audio, something you may notice when using a pair of earbuds with overly aggressive noise canceling. Hollyland’s algorithm finds the sweet spot, and they should be celebrated for this.
Looking to test it at a longer range, I connected the Hollyland Lark C1 Duo to my phone and walked a distance of nearly 250 feet The recording clarity was highly impressive, even with all the morning traffic on the main avenue by my home. Again, I commend Hollyland for finding these mics' 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency sweet spot.
Hollyland Lark C1 Duo software
The LarkSound app lets you view your transmitter's battery life and shows the audio output levels.
The app also allows you to adjust the level of noise cancellation and mic volume. The app's UI is clean, simple, and easy to use. The app also lets you install any firmware updates for the mics.
Hollyland Lark C1 Duo battery life
The Hollyland Lark C1’s receiver and transmitter units are rated for eight hours. With a whopping four full recharges with the charging case, you’re looking at 32 total hours of use. That’s a full day of content creation into the next morning without recharging the case. I only recharged the system once during my testing.
I used the Kark C1 Duo’s for about 9.5 hours the first day and another eight the next, and it never died on me. I kept putting them back in the case between uses, and then picked them up four days later, and they still had a full charge left to use. That’s impressive and a win for Hollyland, as having a clean audio setup ready to go without constantly having to charge it back up makes for worry-free content creation.
The charging case has a 1,400 mAh capacity battery and takes about 1.5 hours to recharge when plugged into a laptop or wall charger. It did recharge faster when I used Anker’s Nano II USB-C charger. It reached a full charge in an hour when I used it. My Chargeasap Flash Pro has a fast-chato recharge the case fullyhe case fully within an hour.
As affordable wireless mics go, the Hollyland Lark C1 Duo is a good option for content creators looking to step up their audio game. Thanks to its noise-canceling capabilities, it is also an excellent option when interviewing a subject or filming in a public or otherwise noisy location.
While I will add that the Hollyland Lark C1 Duo 2’s lack of a 3.5mm mic jack is a little disappointing, as that allows you to conceal your mic with a lavalier, but depending on your needs that may not matter.
For a sub-$200 kit, you get a good deal of performance and quality to keep your followers, friends, and fans happy. With 32 hours of battery life, you also get the security of knowing you can go nearly two days without having to fully recharge the case and can keep filming.
Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.