Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C review: Easily improve microphone quality on your USB-C devices

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With the amount of video conferencing and social media video posting going on these days, good audio is as important as ever. Fortunately, there are several microphones on the market you can use to improve your video’s audio.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Our Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C review looks at a simple to use USB-C microphone from one of the leading audio companies in the world. Read on for our full review!

Specifications

The Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C clip-on lavalier microphone we reviewed has the following features and specifications:

  • Ideal for podcast, video and voice-over recordings that require a simple, high-quality set-up
  • Omnidirectional microphone capsule provides clear, natural sound
  • Accessories include a mic clip, windscreen and storage pouch
  • USB-C connector for use with mobile devices and computers
  • Cable length of 2 m (6.6’)
  • Also available: XS Lav USB-C Mobile Kit (includes Manfrotto PIXI Mini Tripod and Sennheiser Smartphone Clamp)
ConnectorUSB Type-C 2.0 Full-speed
Transducer principlePre-polarized condenser
Pick-up patternOmni-directional
Frequency response70 to 18,000Hz
Equivalent noise level32 dB
Sampling rates8, 16, 32, 44.1, 48kHz
Sensitivity in free field, no load (1kHz)-16 dB FS/Pa
Max. sound pressure level110 dB
Diameter10.5 mm
Power supplyPowered by PC, Mac, Android, or iPadOS device
Cable length2.0 m
Weight17 g
Supported operating systems• Windows 10.0 or higher
• macOS 10.15 or higher
• Linux Kernel 5.4 or higher
• Android 8.1 or higher
• iPadOS 13 or higher

What’s in the box

  • Clip-on microphone with USB-C connector and 2 m (6.56’) cable
  • Microphone clip
  • Windscreen
  • Storage pouch
What's included with the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone
What’s included with the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone.

Design

There isn’t much to the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone. On one end of the 2m (6.56′) thin rubber-coated cable is a USB-C connector. It’d be nice to see the cable a bit thicker or even braided for added protection. At the other end is a small microphone. Sennheiser also includes a windscreen that slides easily over the top of the microphone and is held in place by a rubber ring. Finally, a small metal clip is fastened to a sturdy plastic holder. The opening on the holder is large enough for the wire to go through, after which the user slides the clip up onto the base of the microphone.

Sennheiser also included a pouch for your XS Lav USB-C microphone. It’s a simple black cloth pouch, just over 5″ by 5″ with drawstrings to close it. The Sennheiser logo is printed in white on the front. It doesn’t offer much in the way of padded protection but makes it easy to store and transport your USB-C microphone without having to worry about your cord getting tangled up.

Ease of Use

To be honest, the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone can’t be easier to use. I tested it on both a Google Pixel 5 Android smartphone and a Windows 11 laptop. In both cases, all I had to do was plug it into the USB-C port on each respective device and I was good to go. No driver installs, no app installs, nothing. It can’t get any easier than that!

The microphone also has a small clip on it, which slides up onto the microphone. It works on most clothing like shirts with a button-up collar or jackets best. It also works fine on sweaters, t-shirts, and other tops that aren’t too thick. With these, you can clip it on the collar or fold the material over a bit lower down and clip the microphone that way.

The Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone has a clip for attaching to clothing
The Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone has a clip for attaching to clothing.

Microphone Quality

What better way to test a microphone than to take a listen for yourself? I tested recording audio using Google’s Recorder app on a Pixel 5 Android device, sitting about 3 feet away.

Here’s a clip without the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C:

Here’s a clip with the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C plugged in:

I also tested it on a Windows 11 laptop. Here’s a clip without the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C, sitting about 18-inches away from the laptop’s microphones:

And here’s a clip with the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C plugged into the Windows 11 laptop’s USB-C port:

Of course, any microphone is going to give you better audio quality than the default one on your smartphone or Windows computer. As you can see, the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone is pretty crisp and clear in both cases. While the volume levels on the Windows laptop were comparable, the audio clip with the Sennheiser microphone was a lot less hollow sounding. It definitely sounded louder on the Pixel 5, but if you play with your microphone settings on your Windows PC, you can easily increase the input volume as well.

Price/Value

The Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C is available on Amazon and the Sennheiser website for US$59.95/CA$79.95, which is a reasonable price for this USB-C microphone. In addition, there is an XS Lav USB-C Mobile Kit available for $99.95 which also snags you a mini tripod and a phone holder clip.

The Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone with the included windscreen
The Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone with the included windscreen.

Wrap-up

If you do a lot of podcasting, social media videos, or simply want better audio while on a Zoom or other video call, the Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C is a solid choice for your PC, mobile, or other supported device.

Last Updated on April 7, 2022.

Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone

US$59.95/ CA$79.95

Design

9.0/10

Ease of Use

10.0/10

Microphone Quality

9.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Easy to use
  • Simple plug-and-play design
  • No software required
  • Decent microphone audio quality
  • Works on PC, Mac, Android, iPadOS devices
  • Long cable
  • Carrying pouch included
  • Reasonably priced at current Amazon pricing

Needs work

  • Cable could be a bit more substantial, maybe even braided for added protection
  • Clip, while solid, is attached to microphone by plastic piece
The Sennheiser XS Lav USB-C microphone
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