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Cornell University

Lavalier Microphone (Countryman B3)

This article applies to: Classroom Technologies

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For assistance with classroom audio-video equipment, please contact your local IT support staff.


Faculty and instructors are being issued high-quality clip-on microphones, commonly known as lavalier or lapel mics, for providing sound from their voice to remote students, assistive listening systems, and to students in the room.

Faculty and instructors will plug their own individually-issued microphone into a teaching space’s wireless transmitter, also known as a body pack, via a short red buffer/adapter cable already plugged into the body pack in the room.

Getting Started

Connect to the transmitter or body pack

  1. Check that power is off on the transmitter or body pack before connecting the microphone.
  2. Plug the microphone output connector into the short red adapter cable that should already be securely attached to the microphone transmitter.
  3. Check the connection to make sure it is locked into place and secure.
  4. Coil and tuck away extra cable into a pocket or waistband.
  5. Unmute, then test the volume in your teaching space and application (Zoom), adjusting as necessary.

Disconnect from the body pack

  1. Turn power off on the transmitter or body pack, before disconnecting the microphone.
  2. Press the small black button on the microphone output connector, then it pull away from the red adapter cable, leaving the red cable in place and remaining plugged securely into the transmitter.
Take only your microphone with you. The short red adapter cables are specific to each of several different brands of transmitters on campus and must remain with the transmitter in the teaching space.

Using the microphone

Microphone cap

The microphone is issued with an installed cap that must remain in place and should not be exchanged for any of the alternate caps included with the microphone kit.

Alternate caps are for unusual conditions that do not apply to classroom teaching situations, and would risk feedback if used in rooms on campus.

Wind filter

The microphone kit includes a small foam wind/pop filter. This filter should be carefully pulled all the way onto the microphone and remain installed snugly. This filter shields breath, wind noise, and vocal plosives from the microphone. While not essential, the filter can be very beneficial to sound quality. 

Microphone Placement

Ideal microphone placement is several inches below the throat to mid-chest.

Lavalier microphones work best when placed center, about a centimeter below the top of the breastbone. This is typically near the second button of a dress shirt, several inches down from the knot of a tie, or on a strap just below the clavicle. If an off-center placement is necessary, such as on a strap or lapel, selecting the side the presenter is most likely to turn toward, usually the screen side, will provide better sound.

Clothing clip

The microphone kit includes a clip for attaching the microphone to clothing. The microphone cable attaches to the clip at two points, providing strain relief for when the cable gets inadvertently snagged. 

  • The first image shows the risky single clip, without a strain relief loop.
  • The second image shows the best practice look-like-a-pro strain relief loop, with the microphone cable securely clipped in two places.
  • The third image shows a typical microphone placement on shirt collar.

What to do with the transmitter / body pack (these vary in model)

The transmitter / body pack can be clipped to a belt or waistband or tucked into a pocket. Because wireless transmission is stronger when signals don't have to travel through a person’s torso, the front of the body is generally the best location for the body pack. 


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