Telefunken M80 Dynamic Microphone Review

Telefunken M80 Dynamic Microphone Review
8/10

Telefunken M80 is a rugged dynamic cardiod mic for live vocals. It reminds of the well-known SM58, with a similar sound except for a better-balanced low-end response that helps it cut through the mix better. In terms of gain before feedback, there isn’t much of a difference either (when both are adjusted to the same levels) although it appears that M80 requires less gain despite the specs actually saying it has a lower sensitivity. Telefunken…

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Audix ADX51 Overhead SDC microphone review

Audix ADX51 Overhead SDC microphone review
8/10

Audix ADX51 is a very bright small cardiod condenser mainly used as overheads and not without success. The unit is known for being included in Audix drum kits; however, some drummers realized they actually like the ‘sound’ of ADX51 overheads better, and began using them outside the kits in custom setups, sometimes even grabbing them over higher-end and more expensive SDCs with technically better specs. The thing about this mic is it sounds great out…

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Audio-Technica ATM450 instrument cardioid SDC review

Audio-Technica ATM450 instrument cardioid SDC review
9/10

Audio-Technica ATM450 is a low profile side-address cardiod condenser, which can be used for miking a wide range of instruments and percussions. Though unsuitable for vocals… it offers a small footprint and has a situational placement advantage over more common front-address instrument mics without sacrificing a bit of quality. On contrary, this mid-range model sounds surprisingly smooth for a small diaphragm condenser: despite adding a noticeable amount of presence, it just cannot be described as…

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Heil Sound PR35 – Cardioid Dynamic Review

Heil Sound PR35 – Cardioid Dynamic Review
9/10

Heil Sound PR35 is a high quality, recording-grade dynamic handheld with an emphasis on presence and a rich, extended low end. This mic sounds very smooth, the highs are clean and there is almost zero harshness. It can be used for high quality live recordings while being stage-worthy and this is a great advantage. On the other hand, in the hands of an unskilled sound engineer and a mediocre quality PA, it may actually sound…

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Shure MV51 – Condenser USB microphone review

Shure MV51 – Condenser USB microphone review
7.5/10

Shure MV51 is a feature-rich USB mic with a good low frequency response. It works for all platforms, however only iOS users are given the option to access the mic’s advanced settings, as this requires downloading Shure Motiv™ application, which is only found in the Apple Store. Despite an array of features, Shure MV51 fails to satisfy the expectations of most users. The offered advantages are narrow and they come at a cost! No matter…

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Blue Snowball iCE – budget USB mic review

Blue Snowball iCE – budget USB mic review
6/10

Blue Snowball iCE is a stylish, entry USB mic with an attractive price tag. Unlike the similar-shaped Samson Meteorite, it is not as blatantly hot and it has a detachable USB cable with a solid Type B connector. The midrange is by far superior and technically, it produces a much more accurate sound than the former. However, there is literally nothing but midrange. It sounds thin and dark at the same time, and it also…

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Cyber Acoustics CVL-2004 Rainier USB mic review

Cyber Acoustics CVL-2004 Rainier USB mic review
8.5/10

CVL-2004 from Cyber Acoustics is a fresh and valuable addition to the USB microphone market. Reminding a lot of Blue Yeti, it offers similar features and performance with one major difference – price. At the time of writing, CVL-2004 is considerably cheaper, and despite certain shortcomings, the value for money is just excellent. To name some of the features, this mic provides zero-latency monitoring via 3.5mm headphone socket, flexible volume and gain controls and switchable…

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Sony ECM-44 Condenser Omni Lavalier Review

Sony ECM-44 Condenser Omni Lavalier Review
7/10

Sony ECM-44 is a decent quality wired lavalier with a standard XLR output, which can be powered by either phantom power or a single AA battery. It has a bright response with an overall balanced sound and even if it’s not devoid of certain flaws, there is nothing particularly bothersome about it. Except two things – a very low output and a high self-noise. This produces an obscene level of static hiss, which is difficult…

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Shure SM7B Review: Vocal Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Shure SM7B Review: Vocal Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
10/10

Shure SM7B is a legendary high-end dynamic microphone, often used for radio stations, voiceovers and studio recording as well. Many people believe that to get the best sound it is somewhat mandatory to use only the expensive condensers like Neumann and similar. This microphone can easily prove them wrong. Three times cheaper than TLM 103 and 8 times cheaper than U37, it is capable of producing just as good, and in some occasions, even better…

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Shure SM93 / WL93 Review – Subminiature Omni Lavalier

Shure SM93 / WL93 Review – Subminiature Omni Lavalier
9/10

Shure SM93 and WL93 are subminiature condenser lavs with omnidirectional pattern. Both mics are the same units that terminate with TA4F (aka TQG) connector, designed for Shure’s wireless transmitters, except the SM93 version actually includes an additional preamplifier with a balanced XLR output for wired applications. The preamplifier module is powered exclusively by phantom power, but it drains a relatively low current. Overall, the mic sounds very smooth and as a subminiature lavalier it also…

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The Messy Nessie – Blue Nessie USB mic review

The Messy Nessie – Blue Nessie USB mic review
6/10

Blue Nessie is a relatively new and fancy-looking USB mic with just about decent sound quality. It has some interesting features like switchable recording modes and a touch sensor mute button. The stand is quite tall and it almost raises the mic to the head level but it also makes for a larger footprint. Nevertheless, the stand is non-detachable and the whole complexity of that eye-sticking-out-of-the-socket design makes it vulnerable without providing any feasible advantage….

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Samson Meteorite USB review – cheap, small and hot!

Samson Meteorite USB review – cheap, small and hot!
6/10

Samson Meteorite is a cheap USB mic with a small footprint, compatible with Mac and PC. It also works for IPad when combined with a Lightning USB adaptor, which is not included by the way. However, an obscenely short and flimsy cable creates limitations, so it’s hard to justify using it for anything other than a MacBook or a laptop. Samson says the mic’s pickup pattern is cardioid but that’s a lie. Meteorite has a…

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Lewitt DTP Beat Kit Pro 7 Review, Shipped From Heaven

Lewitt DTP Beat Kit Pro 7 Review, Shipped From Heaven
10/10
Editor's Choice

Lewitt DTP Beat Kit Pro 7 is a stunning quality premium set of drum mics that beats pretty much anything in the $1,000 range. The value for money is simply amazing, because this kit includes two externally polarized LCT 340 as overheads, for which alone it is actually worth buying! Toms, snare and kick mics are excellent too – for dynamics, they offer a breathtaking amount of detail and clarity without compromising their low-end response….

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Shure MVL Omnidirectional TRRS Lavalier Review

Shure MVL Omnidirectional TRRS Lavalier Review
4/10

Shure MVL is a new lapel mic with TRRS connector designed for mobile devices. It belongs to Shure Motiv line and comes with a handy mobile app for iOS users. Other platform users will have to rely on third party software but it shouldn’t have any compatibility issues. This mic is also the worst from their new line and the sound quality is unimpressive at best. It does have its own strengths, for instance, it has…

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AZDEN EX503 Omni-Directional Lavalier Microphone Review

AZDEN EX503 Omni-Directional Lavalier Microphone Review
6/10

Azden EX503 is a cheap omnidirectional lavalier, ideal for home use and super low budget production. The quality is about decent: it may not be as crisp and clear as to capture all the inflections of speech but it still sounds intelligible and doesn’t make your ears bleed badly. There are issues with static noise –Rode smartLav+ and especially Giant Squid Audio Lab are way better in this respect. This is due to low sensitivity,…

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Shure SM81-LC: Cardioid Instrument Mic Review

Shure SM81-LC: Cardioid Instrument Mic Review
9.5/10

Shure SM81-LC is a very neutral and transparent instrument condenser with electret bias. It is mainly used in studios for recording of guitars, pianos and cymbals but it’s also suitable for a wide range of different instruments. It is considered industry standard and although there are plenty of different SDCs available on the market today, few of them can quite match the old Shure in terms of quality. SM81 offers excellent definition, very consistent highs, low…

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Shure Beta 58A Review – Supercardioid Dynamic

Shure Beta 58A Review – Supercardioid Dynamic
8/10

Shure Beta 58A is a great performance supercardioid mic, capable of delivering nice and clean vocals without killing your budget. Fairly bright but unobtrusive in character, it clears up vocals without exaggerating on the higher register. It has a linear response throughout the entire vocal range, which is especially appreciated by versatile singers. All in all, this mic is very easy to work with, both for singer and sound engineer alike. It is also quite…

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CAD e70 Review – Dual Capsule Pencil mic

CAD e70 Review – Dual Capsule Pencil mic
7/10

CAD e70 is an excellent quality pencil mic with interchangeable omni and cardioid capsules. Very natural sounding, it is crisp and has plenty of air with a nice sparkling flavor. This mic also features fine low end, which really nails the sound of an acoustic guitar. Not thin, not too deep, and just about right to handle the most instruments. There are of course exceptions: if you want to achieve warmer and richer sound, you’re…

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AKG C1000s Multipattern SDC Review

AKG C1000s Multipattern SDC Review
8/10

AKG C1000s is an inexpensive all-around mic with a switchable cardioid / hypercardioid pattern. It has a signature bright sound that creates an illusion of higher fidelity but also helps to clear up the sound in a live environment. Definitely not the highest quality mic, but if used correctly it can produce very decent results for instruments and female vocals. For videographers, of course I don’t recommend it. There are simply no viable mics at…

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Audix SCX1-HC – indoor hypercardioid review

Audix SCX1-HC – indoor hypercardioid review
10/10

Audix SCX1-HC is a professional hypercardioid SDC, mainly used for booming interviews and dialogues indoors. It can also be used for instruments when you want to achieve maximum isolation. Hypercardioid pattern makes it ideal for working in untreated rooms as it helps to minimize the impact of reflections. This mic has high sensitivity and requires some distance from the target. It has quite a narrow pickup, compared to other hypercardioids, and thus works best for…

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