The Hollyland LARK M2 is an extremely compact wireless dual-mic system. Its two transmitters are about the size of a coin or a button, enabling sleek and stealthy operation. The workflow is designed for speedy “plug and play” operation, aimed at single operators and content creators. The LARK M2 comes with either a camera receiver or a smartphone receiver (kits available for both).
Build and ergonomics
Hollyland touts the LARK M2 as a “One Button Mic” emphasizing both the extreme compactness of the new mic modules and operational minimalism. At a mere 9 grams and not much wider than a coin, the LARK M2 transmitter is indeed very compact. This comes with some compromises. Being so small leaves no spare space or depth for a 3.5mm jack, so the device cannot connect to any external Lavalier mic. Nevertheless, the transmitter supports a single yellow button, used for initiating control over video recording or taking photos on your mobile phone, next to enabling noise cancellation. Speaking of which, the dedicated LARK Sound App (Google Play, App Store) will enable additional functionality such as remotely adjusting noise cancellation levels (Strong/Low) to fit specific recording needs. The smartphone receiver comes with either a lightning port for older iPhones or with USB-C for the iPhone 15, Android smartphones, select action cameras, and computers. Both receivers will have an additional input for power, etc, and are equipped with an MFi-certified Apple chip.
The camera receiver module provides more control over audio recording. The standout design feature is a large dial for gain control. The LED indicators display the gain level. Two additional LEDs will indicate the connection status (one for each transmitter). On one side we’ll find a 3.5mm out to plug into the camera mic socket. The other side supports a USB-C port to connect the receiver to your computer directly. There is also a pairing button and a mode-switching button. Pushing both will toggle between Mono and Stereo recording.
The Hollyland LARK M2 will provide 48kHz/24bit output. These figures are in line with most high-end hybrid cameras and some dedicated cinema cameras, audio recorders, etc. Such audio quality is more than enough for most use cases of the target market for the LARK M2. In addition, a noise-canceling algorithm is also on board. While we haven’t tried it, from past experiences with different noise-canceling options from different manufacturers in similar audio devices, we recommend proceeding cautiously with such a feature, depending on the environment you are recording in.
Battery life and transmission range
One may reasonably expect such a tiny device to compromise battery life. Well, this is not the case here. The Hollyland LARK M2 offers 10 hours of uninterrupted shooting. The included charging case will fully charge the set in 1.5 hours and have enough power to charge the full set twice. The system will support stable transmission up to 300 meters. These are Hollyland figures, so we’ll have to check how it performs in the field once we get the opportunity.
Various attachment methods
Being so compact, the LARK M2 transmitter-mic module has no built-in clip. Its attachment is magnet-based. A rather strong magnet may hold it from the other side of your shirt, collar, etc. If this doesn’t work, there are two additional methods: A clip that is magnetically attached to the mic or a magnetic necklace to wear around your neck. Considering the size and weight of the device, all methods seem to be secure enough for all but the most extreme situations.
Several compact dual-mic wireless systems populate our market. There’s Hollyland’s own LARK M1 and C1, both at $109. GODOX offers the WEC system for $99, but it will have a shorter range and inferior audio quality at 48 kHz / 16-bit, compared with the LARK M2 48 kHz / 24-bit. If you would like to cut costs, you can go with something like the Ulanzi J12 but will have to significantly compromise on range, as the J12 only goes as far as 20m compared to 300m with the LARK M2 (both manufacturer-published specifications).
The Hollyland LARK M2 still holds one significant advantage – its transmitter-mic unit is much smaller and stealthier than any competitor I know. Though an additional Lav-mic may be better concealed on your talent, we see many content creators clipping transmitter-mic units, foregoing the additional hustle of attaching the Lavalier. In this regard, the LARK M2 reigns supreme.
You can find out more about Hollyland’s LARK microphone technology by watching our video here and our review of the “bigger brother” LARK MAX here.
More information on the LARK M2 can be found here.
Price and availability
The LARK M2 is available in four different kits: The combo kit, including both camera and smartphone receivers is priced at $179. The camera kit will set you back $159. Two smartphone kits are available, one with a USB-C port and one with a Lightning port. Both will cost $149.
What do you think about the new Hollyland LARK M2 button-sized dual-mic system? Is it something you will consider working with? Please share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.