REVIEW – I’ve tried several wireless microphone systems with my phone and camera. However, there was always something about them that I didn’t like. Hollyland offered to send along their Lark Max Wireless Microphone System for review. After much thought, I decided to give it a try. Read on to see if that gamble paid off.
What is it?
The Hollyland Lark Max is a wireless microphone system featuring Professional ENC noise canceling, Studio Quality Audio, 22H Duration, 820ft(250m) Range, and compatibility with DSLR Cameras and mobile phones.
What’s in the box?
- Carry Case
- Charging case
- One receiver
- Two transmitters
- Type-C to Lighting cable
- Type-C to Type-C cable
- Type-C to USB-A cable
- 3.5mm TRS to 3.5mm TRS coiled cable
- Two Furry WhindScreens
- Two lavalier mics
- User Manual
Design and features
The Hollyland Lark Max comes with two transmitters and one receiver. This means you can record in stereo, record two subjects, record a backup track of your audio, or switch to the second transmitter when the first runs out of battery power. Each transmitter weighs approximately 33g (1.16oz).
The Lark Max features 48kHz sampling rate, 24-bit depth, 70dBSNR, and a maximum of 128dB SPL. The wireless signal is 2.4GHz with automatic frequency hopping to ensure a stable connection and a range of up to 820 feet.
The Hollyland Lark Max transmitters have an internal battery that can last up to 7.5 hours and the receiver has an internal battery that can last up to 9 hours. The charging case also implements an internal battery that can charge the receiver and transmitters two times in only two hours. The charging case also automatically pairs the transmitters when they are inserted as well as automatically charging them. The charging case also features a Type-C port for charging it. A set of four LEDs shows the battery level of the case when the lid is opened and closed.
The included semi-soft case can hold the charging case and has a pocket for holding various items like cables, windscreens, and Lavalier mics. I do wish the case pocket was a little larger, as storing all of the items is somewhat difficult. I do like the case, as I can put it in my camera bag, or just grab it and the camera and I know I’m good to go.
The transmitter and the receivers have a metal clip that has an excellent grip for clothing. The clips also fit into the hot shoe of a camera or flash accessory. The transmitters have nine nubs inside the clip area for gripping clothing. The transmitters also include a metal magnetic disc so that you can clip them through clothing magnetically. The clips also include a slot that can be used to tether the receiver or transmitter if losing it is something you worry about.
The included accessories are great. The Type-C to Lightning cable was a pleasant surprise, as I sometimes record with my phone instead of my main camera. The furry windscreen (dead cat) is ingenious. They feature a rectangular rubber frame that fits snuggly on the transmitter. The windscreen includes foam and “fur” to keep wind noise to a minimum.
The Hollyland Lark Max microphone transmitter has a button that can be pressed to turn on and off the ENC Noise Canceling. When the noise canceling is on the LED turns green, when off the LED turns blue. I like this because it’s easy to see if the noise canceling is on or off.
The transmitters also have a 3.5mm TRS port for plugging in a different microphone, like a Lavalier mic or shotgun mic. Another great feature of the transmitters is their ability to record up to 14 hours of audio to their internal 8GB memory with a single click of the record button. Uncompressed and lossless wav files ensure excellent audio. I find this to be a wonderful feature, as I can connect one transmitter to my camera (via the receiver) to record audio directly to the video, and I can record backup audio to the second transmitter (think stand-alone mode) as a backup.
I like that the transmitters can be used to record audio to their internal memory. This feature allows me to use the transmitter by itself as a simple audio recorder, for example, when I need to record a conversation. Pull it out of the case, press the record button and I’m recording. A tiny red LED indicates that the device is recording.
The receiver features a 1.1″ AMOLED touchscreen that looks absolutely fabulous. The menu system has the following items: Record Mode, Mic Settings, Phone Speaker, EQ, and System Settings. The display includes words as well as icons, which I find nice since I hate having to remember or guess what the icons mean. The display not only shows the audio levels of the transmitters, but also the battery status of each device, and the type of connection. The quick control knob makes it easy to quickly check or change settings.
The Record mode menu has options for Stereo, Mono, and Safety Track. The Mic Gain menu has settings for gain, auto record, Auto off, LED brightness, and Storage. The phone speaker menu has options for on and off. The EQ menu has options for Hi-Fi, Low Cut, and Vocal Boost. The System Settings menu has options for Pairing, Brightness, Upgrade Mode, Date, Time, Language, Factory Reset, and Version info.
The Hollyland Lark Max also came with two Lavalier microphones. Two furry windscreens and two foam windscreens were also included. The windscreens have a silicone connection, making them easy to install and remove.
What I like
- Charging case that automatically pairs
- All metal clips
- Included Type-C to Lighting cable
- Very nice furry windscreen
- Internal recording capability
What I’d change
- A slightly larger soft case
I think the Hollyland Lark Max is an excellent wireless microphone system. The menu system and controls are easy to understand and use. The audio quality is great, and the simplicity of automatic pairing ensures ease of use. The build quality appears to be top-notch. The windscreens are excellent and definitely put the finishing touch on an already great system.