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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Sennheiser e835 Cardioid Dynamic Review

Sennheiser e835 Cardioid Dynamic Review
8/10

Sennheiser e835 is a budget mic of above average quality that has a very distinct wide cardioid pattern. As such, it offers minimum proximity effect and it’s quite forgiving if the talent goes a bit off axis. This mic is very easy to handle and it will be ideal for presenters, churches and other non-critical applications. It can produce quite clean, unobtrusive and intelligible voice as long as you don’t push it to the limits,…

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Azden SMX-30: DSLR Shotgun +Stereo mic review

Azden SMX-30: DSLR Shotgun +Stereo mic review
9/10

SMX-30 is a solid DSLR mic that makes a hybrid of shotgun and X/Y stereo mic. It’s surprising to see this innovative approach from Azden, which is a relatively new manufacturer but they’ve actually created a new, highly demanded and quality piece of equipment. SMX-30 also wears a modest price tag. Costing about the same as Rode VideoMic Pro R, it brings you an additional stereo mode for free. We were skeptical about this announcement…

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RØDE NTG3 Review: Professional short shotgun

RØDE NTG3 Review: Professional short shotgun
9/10

Rode NTG3 is a well-priced professional shotgun that boasts stellar sound quality and low self-noise. It is ideal for budget film or field production where you want to get the best sound for the money. It can be a good alternative to Sennheiser MKH 416 because it does almost exactly the same job at a lower price. This mic has RF-bias capsule, which is known as true condenser. This sets it up from entry shotguns…

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AKG D5 Review – Supercardioid Dynamic

AKG D5 Review – Supercardioid Dynamic
8/10

AKG D5 is a cheap but rugged supercardioid mic. It offers similar but slightly superior sound to Shure SM58. Tighter pick up pattern also gives it more flexibility to deal with gain before feedback. This mic can thus be considered as a more viable, cheaper alternative. However, it does suffer from the same disadvantage, which is the lack of detail. When comparing to more advanced handhelds, D5 may kind of sound inarticulate but as a…

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Audio-Technica AT2035 Review – Best Affordable LDC

Audio-Technica AT2035 Review – Best Affordable LDC
9/10

AT2035 is an inexpensive back electret condenser from Audio Technica that boasts pretty clear and balanced sound with low noise floor. This mic is a veeery good tradeoff between price and quality and hence, an ideal choice for home studios where budget is a factor. AT2035 has cardioid polar pattern and large diaphragm that actually works for both vocals and instruments. Having said that, the essential features of pad and low pass make it an…

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Shure MV5 Review – Portable USB microphone

Shure MV5 Review – Portable USB microphone
9/10

This device reminds us of legendary ‘Elvis Microphone’ except it is digital… and, it is packed with new features! Shure MV5 is a solid USB mic that boasts very decent quality at reasonable price (probably the best in up to $100 category). It is portable and highly compatible with Windows, Mac, iPad, iOS, iPhone and Android. Although it may lack the clarity of more expensive mics, the difference is not that huge. On a positive…

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Apogee MiC 96k for Mac, iPad & iPhone review

Apogee MiC 96k for Mac, iPad & iPhone review
7/10

Apogee MiC 96k behind the simple look offers a polished performance alongside with native Apple compatibility. This device brings a smooth experience for users of iPhone, iPad, Mac and new iPod. However, Microsoft Windows and likely other operating systems are not supported. As the name suggests the mic supports up to 96k sampling rate via 24 bit DAC. Paired with Core Audio interface it also results in a very low latency and can give demanding…

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CAD U37 – budget USB mic unbiased review

CAD U37 – budget USB mic unbiased review
7/10

CAD U37 is a very cheap USB mic and while some may not take it seriously, it actually offers the best bang for the buck. Despite having some disadvantages, overall quality is quite decent. This mic is mainly designed for situations that don’t demand maximum performance. Particularly, it will be a great choice for Skype, amateur videos and even gaming. Musicians who make simple covers for YouTube will also probably find it suitable. If this…

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7 Best Headworn Mics for Wireless Systems Review

7 Best Headworn Mics for Wireless Systems Review

Headworn mics provide unrestricted freedom of motion while cancelling a great bit of noise due to their close proximity to the mouth of the talent. They are invaluable for live shows and stage performance that involves moving around, dancing or even gesticulating. Being partly concealed they are less distracting for the audience. With both hands free, speakers also find it easier to hold audience’s attention. In order to use headworns it is necessary to have…

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Sennheiser e935 Review – Cardioid Dynamic Microphone

Sennheiser e935 Review – Cardioid Dynamic Microphone
10/10
Editor's Choice

Sennheiser e935 is a very powerful but inexpensive handheld. It has a beautifully balanced sound and clarity of a condenser mic. On the other hand, it is quite unpretentious and works wonderfully for both female and deeper male voices. As a cardioid microphone, it sounds more natural than its supercardioid brother e945 and that is expected. What we find most striking is the level of feedback rejection – it is simply incredible… Works not only…

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RØDE NTG4+ Review: Semi-pro short shotgun

RØDE NTG4+ Review: Semi-pro short shotgun
10/10

NTG4 Plus is the latest short shotgun from Rode, which features digital controls, rechargeable lithium battery and improved sound quality. It is positioned in between the classic but inexpensive NTG2 and professional NTG3. However, in terms of price, it still fits into the entry category, so consider it a very good investment! The usage is a total breeze, and believe it or not, it won’t leave you indifferent. Whether you are a professional or just a beginner, NTG4+ has…

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Rode NT1 Cardioid LDC Microphone Review

Rode NT1 Cardioid LDC Microphone Review
10/10
Editor's Choice

Introduction. NT1 is a new all-purpose LDC from Rode with a truly exceptional sound. It resembles the appearance of older NT1-A, however, the inside has been redesigned from scratch. Comparing to predecessors the sound has become clearer, purer and far more natural, showing a tremendous improvement in every single aspect! As a large diaphragm mic, it also has a very neutral response, which is a privilege of expensive professional units. Particularly, it is very similar to…

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Shure KSM9 Condenser Microphone Review

Shure KSM9 Condenser Microphone Review
9/10

Shure KSM9 is a professional on-stage condenser mic. This model is renowned and remains a favorite choice of many musicians. It offers a natural, open sound, with a very balanced low-end, beautifully smooth midrange and brilliant highs. Giving just enough brightness to put you in line or slightly ahead of the instruments, I find it working great for all types of voices too. As expected from professional equipment, you’ll get that superior quality and low noise levels. The unique…

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Shure PG Alta Drum Kit 7 Review (PGADRUMKIT7)

Shure PG Alta Drum Kit 7 Review (PGADRUMKIT7)
10/10
Editor's Choice

Here come the latest 7-piece drum mics from Shure, which rely on their new model range called “PG Alta” or simply “PGA”. Those microphones are highly cost-effective and yet retain that professional quality for which Shure is renowned. If you cannot afford premium sets of drum mics and still want to get every bit of quality, then PGADRUMKIT7 will be your best investment. For only about $500, you are offered a complete package with a…

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Rode NT-USB: USB Recording Microphone Review

Rode NT-USB: USB Recording Microphone Review
9.5/10
Editor's Choice

Rode NT-USB is one of the best USB mics that beats anything in the under $200 range. It brings exceptional for USB quality without the need for special drivers or any additional 3rd party equipment. Neither is it overly expensive as it offers a solid and durable build, not skimping on quality components. The design is well thought out and provides for a handy headphone monitor and a pair of solid controls. It also comes with a well-fitted pop shield and…

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