Electro-Voice RE20 Broadcast Dynamic Microphone Review

Electro-Voice RE20 is an industry standard dynamic broadcast microphone that offers maximum background rejection without sacrificing the quality and the tone of the voice. The mic has a rich and deep sound to it, not as bright as the RE320 as but certainly brighter than the Rode Procaster. The greatest advantage of the Electro-Voice RE-20 is what they call the variable-D response, which gives it a uniform sound regardless of how close you are to the mic. It has a very big sweet spot with negligible changes in proximity. The downsides of the RE-20 are the bulkiness and a fairly high price.

Sound quality

RE20 is an industry standard for a reason and that reason being the sound quality. Of course, it may not be the most expressive mic out there, nor the most transparent or crispy as condenser mics are. Yet, it produces a reliable, quality signal that is suitable for live and radio broadcasting. Most importantly, it ensures the maximum rejection of the background noises that no condenser mics can offer no matter the price range. In a live recording, you don’t want to capture any accidental room or street noise with no ways to cut it out and this is especially true for the venues that have far from studio conditions.

re-20-boxAside from it having a massive dynamic diaphragm of course, the RE-20 capsule is wrapped in a thicker foam than the RE320, which gives it an extra bit of dampening. In a side-by-side comparison, the RE-20 may sound weaker and darker but don’t get fooled by the first impression, because the RE-20 still has an upper hand when it comes to signal quality and that extra bit of background rejection is what distinguishes a high-end broadcast mic from a regular one. RE320 is also a nice mic, especially if you like a brighter sound and want something more expressive but the RE-20 is overall smoother.

And finally, why people use dynamic broadcast mics is because of the RF-interference, which obviously is an issue at the radio stations where powerful radio transmitters are used. Why dynamic mics are less sensitive to the electromagnetic interference is mainly because of the simplicity of their electrical design – there is only one thing and that’s the coil and all modern mics use humbacking coils that help to neutralize the induced signals whereas condensers are much more complex and electrically sensitive. The body of the mic and grilles also serve as shielding and the RE-20 metal casing is almost as thick as tank.

Overall

Overall, the Electro-Voice RE-20 can be considered the heavy artillery of the broadcasting. It is considered an industry standard and it probably surpasses other broadcast mics when it comes to signal quality, but it’s also more expensive and may require other pieces of equipment, such as preamp to be on par to get the best of it. The sound tone can be described as deep, rich and neutral but also quite smooth. It is bulkier and heavier than the alternatives and the offered shock-mount from the EV could have been better, on the other hand, it is not designed to be moved much and has a very good sweet spot.

- Reviewed at $399.00

Pros

  • Maximum background rejection
  • Bulletproof body, immune to RF interference
  • Deep and smooth sound with a neutral tone
  • Very big sweet spot, negligible proximity
  • Offers a low cut switch
  • Industry standard

Cons

  • More expensive than other dynamic mics
  • Somewhat heavy and bulky
Best Price on Electro-Voice RE20
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Review score
  • Outstanding - 10/10
    10/10

COMMENTS

  • John Razen

    This mic indeed makes you sound like you are from the radio, even if you try not to do so. It dampens as you say the background so much that it almost sounds sterile, there is literally nothing but the voice, the breath, the ambience, the background – everything is cut off. Surely a great find if you specifically require a broadcast mic of this caliber, but it might be overrated if used for anything else. For podcasting I would personally choose SM7B, for voiceovers – MKH416, for recording anything else. But for broadcast yes, EV RE20 is the king… amazing mic in the right hands!

    • Peter

      Well said and yes, sometimes I don’t even know how to rate them, I mean it is the thing for radio broadcast… and it does it, not like there are many alternatives anyway. But as every mic it is only as good as promised when used for the right purpose, I wish everything could be done with a single mic but the truth is there are several dozens of different applications that may require different approach and the right tools of course. That is why I keep those reviews going.

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