Hollyland LARK M2
Image courtesy: Hollyland

Hollyland has launched a new wireless microphone system and it’s tiny. The Hollyland LARK M2 comes with two transmitters and a receiver in a charging case. There are also receiver options to connect to smartphones, cameras and computers.

Transmitters

The all-in-one LARK M2 microphone transmitters are small circular units the same size as a coin or large button. Weighing less than one-third of an ounce (9 g) you can attach the transmitters to your talent’s clothing without having to worry about it drooping or sagging. The transmitters can be attached with clips or magnet backs. Alternatively, there is a necklace cord option.

Receivers

The LARK M2 has three receiver options. The camera receiver unit has a 3.5 mm jack socket to output to your camera’s mic input via a TRS to TRS cable. It also has a USB-C port which supports UAC (USB Audio Class) for direct connection and audio recording to computers and tablets. In addition, there are simple plug and play Lightning and USB-C receiver units that connect directly to your iPhone or Android smartphones.

Audio features

Hollyland LARK M2 interior
Image courtesy: Hollyland

The LARK M2 delivers 48KHz 24-bit high fidelity audio with 70 dB SNR and 115 dB SPL. The system also offers optional Environmental Noise Cancellation (ENC) technology. This removes background noise to ensure that your talents’ voices can be clearly heard. In addition, the camera receiver model has a volume control to adjust levels and the option to switch between mono and stereo recording modes.

Range

Hollyland says that the LARK M2 features an “advanced high-gain Laser Direct Structuring (LDS) antenna for stable audio transmission, free from human body interference.” The company claims that this delivers a wireless transmission range of up to 1,000 feet (300 meters) where you have line of sight between the transmitters and the receiver. Without line of sight however, this range drops to 197 feet (60 meters) for the smartphone receivers and 131 feet (40 meters) for the camera receiver option.

Power

The transmitters and receiver unit come in a charging case with a USB-C port on the back for power input. The LARK M2 automatically turns on when you open the case, so the system is ready for use straight away. The transmitter units have a battery life of up to 10 hours and the camera receiver version lasts up to nine hours. Charging for the units takes around one and a half hours. Using the charging case for the camera version of the LARK M2 you can recharge the transmitters and receivers three times before you need to recharge the case. However, the charging case for the smartphone version will only charge the transmitters twice before it needs to be plugged in again. Charging either of the cases takes up to two hours.

Smartphone features

If you are using the smartphone version of the LARK M2, you can playback your recordings directly through your smartphone speaker. You can also press a button twice on the transmitter to remotely start or stop video recording or take photos with apps that support this feature. In addition, with Hollyland’s LarkSound smartphone app, you can quickly and easily adjust the volume and noise cancellation settings of the LARK M2. You can also check the real-time audio status and update the system’s firmware.

What we think

The Hollyland LARK M2 is a really compact and easy to use wireless microphone system. You also get a full range of accessories with the system, so you are good to go out of the box. There’s no way to use external lavalier microphones with the transmitter units as with some other products. However, the transmitters are so small that they aren’t much more obtrusive than a lav mic anyway. In addition, there’s no backup onboard recording with the LARK M2 transmitters, but wireless microphone systems with that option cost twice the price. If you are looking for a simple wireless microphone system for content creation, the Hollyland LARK M2 has a lot to offer.

Pricing and availability

The Hollyland LARK M2 is available now. The camera version costs $159 and comes with two microphone transmitters and one receiver in the charging case. You also get two transmitter back clips, two magnetic clips, two necklaces and two furry windshields along with all the cables you need. There’s even a sheet of stickers to customize your transmitter units.

Alternatively, you can opt for the Lightning or USB-C smartphone versions which come with the respective receiver unit and cost $149. Finally, there’s a combo option which adds both the Lightning and USB-C smartphone receivers to the camera pack and retails at $179.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.