Hollyland Lark C1 review | Wireless mics for iOS and Android at a great price

by W. Andrew Powell
Hollyland Lark C1

Professional audio is a cornerstone of great video content, and the Hollyland Lark C1 finally delivers an affordable wireless option with great quality and features.

Available for $179 in the U.S. and $249 in Canada, the Hollyland Lark C1 is priced very well against the competitors, and it’s available in two versions, either for iOS, or Android.

The duo kit includes two transmitters and one receiver, and it works up to a range of 650 ft. The receiver simply plugs into a mobile phone’s USB-C or iOS Lightning connector, depending on the model you pick, and then you record with your phone’s camera app.

For vlogging, or interviews, the Lark C1 is a versatile tool that improves audio quality dramatically, and it’s a lot easier to use than many wired alternatives.

If you’re looking for a great audio without a lot of work, and for the right price, read on for my full review.

Lark C1 design, compatibility & build quality

Hollyland Lark C1

The whole package for the Lark C1 is excellent. It’s a great design, and similar to wireless earbuds, it comes with a charging case, as well as a storage and travel case that includes two furry windshields and a charging cable.

Everything is really well made, with the storage case keeping the whole package from getting bumped around in your bag, to the charging case that’s sturdy and doesn’t open easily by mistake, even if you shake it around.

The transmitters and receiver are small and light, but they’re well made. I don’t recommend throwing them around, but I tried some drop tests from a few feet and everything still worked well.

The receiver connects securely and easily to all the phones I tried, and if you’re using the Android model, it also works with GoPro and potentially other camera systems with a USB-C port. It’s really simple to clip on the receiver and start recording.

With devices other than a phone, just keep in mind that you won’t be able to use the app to control volume or noise cancellation levels, but the setup worked well for me with the GoPro and seems to use default levels.

Another alternative is to capture video with your favourite camera, and record audio using a compatible phone and the mic system.

Hollyland has created a list of the devices (under HiFi sound capture for Android) they consider fully compatible with the Lark C1, however it is possible the system will work with other devices. I found that it worked great with the OnePlus 10 Pro, OnePlus 10T, Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro, and the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Clipping the mics onto clothing, they have a good grip, although it can be difficult sometimes to get the right angle, but the mics are omnidirectional, so they work well even if they’re not perfectly aimed at the speaker’s mouth.

Overall, I really appreciate the design and the quality of the devices. They’re well made, and the only thing I’d love to see would be a way to cover the transmitters below the mic heads so the lights and logo aren’t visible when you’re filming. There are ways to hide the mic though, if you position it right and depending on the angles you’re shooting.

Audio quality & battery life

Hollyland Lark C1 transmitter

What I love about the Lark C1 is that you don’t need to use the app for great results. You can just plug in the receiver, and put a mic on the subject, and hit record.

The app, however, gives you full control of the volume and the noise cancellation, which can be very helpful in some conditions when you need to be more precise, but in my tests the audio quality was still good without using the app. That’s great news if you’re hoping to use the mics with a device other than a phone.

I was very pleased with the audio quality from the Lark C1, and the 48 kHz/16 bit sound is high quality for vloggers, interviewers, and media. The results are warm and clear, and better quality than your average lavalier mic. The only way you could get better audio would be a pricier handheld mic, or perhaps a good shotgun mic, but the difference is that the noise cancellation and the way the system processes the audio from the Lark C1 is likely still better for most situations.

The Lark C1 also works up to 200 meters or 650 feet via line of sight, so you can really film from a distance and capture great quality audio.

Battery life with the mics was very good, and Hollyland suggests you’ll get up to 8 hours with each mic transmitter, and up to a total of 32 hours using the charging case. In my tests the mics lasted very well, and while I didn’t check whether they would last up to 8 hours, they easily made it over 5 hours of use over two sessions.

Charging the mics in the case will take up to about 90 minutes, and charging the case itself will take about the same amount of time.

Final thoughts

I’m a big fan of the Hollyland Lark C1. First and foremost, the quality was excellent, the battery life was great, and the case offers the option to recharge on-the-go.

I also liked the app, the controls, and the overall features. The windshields worked well in windy conditions, and the design is overall very good. And the whole system is small and lightweight to take it anywhere you need.

My only wish would be that the transmitters could be designed so that they don’t stand out so much, to make them less visible in shots. A nice-to-have would be an option to attach an external lavalier mic so you could hide the transmitter on the subject.

Otherwise, if you’ve been looking for wireless mics for your mobile shooting, the Lark C1 outperformed my expectations.

Hollyland Lark C1 travel case, charging case, transmitters, and receiver
Hollyland Lark C1 travel case, charging case, transmitters, and receiver

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