We have a new microphone here that we came into contact with to share with you, coming from Beyerdynamic in Germany. This is the new Beyerdynamic M90 Pro X Studio Condenser Microphone, a model targeting studio recording as well as another great opportunity for YouTubers to share their music-related content with.
It’s always fun putting a new mic through trials and this one was no different. It offers pretty good performance for those looking to break out of entry-level solutions and into something that is going to give a bit more range to what they are looking to record. There is a lot of space to play around with when you include a proper EQ to shape things to your liking.
The design features a very durable aluminum body with mesh grills on all sides and at the head. There are no physical switches of any kind (HPF, pad, etc), which means any modifications to sound are going to be made at the board (or software if you are using an interface).
There is definitely a touch of modern in the design and surprisingly offers little weight. In fact, weighs in at just 10.5oz, making it light in comparison to many of the mics in our inventory of gear (less than half of the weight of the Shure SM7B, for an example).
It uses a ring approach for locking it down to the provided mount. The ring unscrews from the base of the XLR connection, the mic slides into the mount, and the ring screws back on to tight the two together.
The mount itself offers a very simple design. Nothing really impressive here to talk about. Mostly a plastic design (although still seeming more than durable) with a thread adapter included. It gets the job done and should even last if you take it on the road.
Along with the mount, it also comes with a pop filter, which is good since it doesn’t have a windscreen in the kit. A pop filter is preferred anyway since you’ll likely only ever be using a mic like this indoors and away from any sources of wind (ie, fan).
The microphone comes tucked away into a semi-tight-fitting pouch, which is plenty thick for storage or travel, keeping the microphone protected from scratches. There is a basic user manual as well, although you will only likely care to use it for checking on specifications.
Performance-wise, this microphone does fall into a couple of categories, which caused us to lean toward a nice Rode for comparison this round. It graduates away from any of your entry-level options and tries to stand up against some of the other big names (bd being a big name of its own, of course),
It is definitely noticeably crisp within the mids and highs, allowing for clarity in speech and vocals. There is also plenty of low-end depending on your distance from the mic (as expected). It isn’t as deep in the low-end as some of the other models we have kicking around, but this can be brought back up in the mix to compensate.
This round, we paired it against a Rode NT1-A condenser mic to see how well it fended. We thought it to be a fair comparison despite the M90 Pro X being $100 more, since we have used the Rode many times over the last few years and like it a lot, and to see if the M90 Pro X could bring something better to the table in exchange for the price. The results were pretty good.
We dragged our Senior Editor into one of the rooms to get a capture of his voice a few times to see how it came out. Mostly because he does a good job behind the mic even though he feels otherwise (you are your worst critic).
Here is a sample recorded using the Rode NT1-A microphone:
Here is a sample recorded using the Beyerdynamic M90 Pro X microphone:
Notice how the Rode comes across a tad muffled, with a heavier focus on the low-end. Great if you are looking for a spotlight on warmth when it comes to lower voices but not so much if you’re looking for clarity. Then the M90 Pro X comes in with a clean recording, including some things we weren’t hearing from the Rode. This may be a great all-around solution for various voice scenarios and would sound great for podcasting as well. There is a slight tinniness there, but this could easily be cleaned up with EQ.
There is a lot of space to play with when it comes to vocals though as long as you give it a good mix for each individual voice. We did a quick sample of some vocals here:
As you can see, the result is pretty good. There isn’t really a lot of noise to clean up. In fact, there only noise we would have cleaned up is some slight clipping here or there because the M90 Pro X comes in pretty hot. However, we didn’t want to adjust anything. This way, you could hear the audio coming from the mic, right out of the box. No EQ or any other adjustments were made to the tracks.
For another look at vocals with the M90 Pro X, here is a sample recorded by Beyerdynamic:
We can’t say for sure how much adjustment was made in the mix on their end since we weren’t there, but it does sound like there was a little cleanup in the EQ to match it well to the artist’s voice (artist identity unknown).
This would be great for capturing string instruments with, including a mix of both string and vocal into the same mic for a nice live session record. While not limiting you to just string. It would likely lead to some great records from brass as well. Where the Rode would sound great with string but could discover some limitations with other options.
Currently, the microphone is available via BD’s website as well as Sweetwater. You’ll likely find it at other certified retailers in the future as the microphone makes its way further into the market. The MSRP is $349.
It’s an impressive microphone that just squeezes right into its price category. From there, it’s upon whoever is behind the mix to make it sound even better. It comes in a little bright, which you can soften in the mix, and there isn’t as much low-end, but this too can be fixed in the mix. However, the low-end would be highly situational for times where you need that added effect. In many cases, it sounds great as-is on the lows. Especially, if you plan on using it for podcasting, voice acting, or narration (this would be a great mic for narration).
There is a lot of flexibility that can be had within the mix using this microphone, while also sounding pretty great right out of the box.
We will likely play around with it some more and it may be featured in future comparisons. Although, I think I was told we aren’t keeping this one (just a loaner), so don’t quote me on that just yet.
|20 Hz – 20 kHz
|Open circuit voltage at 1 kHz
|Mac. SPL at 1 kHz
|133 dBSPL (A)
|Signal-to-noise ratio rel. to 1 Pa
|88.4 dB (A)
|A-weighted equivalent SPL
|5.6 dB (A)
|20 – 52V
|Length 197 mm
|Diameter 52 mm
|Contents of package
|Elastic mount (microphone spider)
|Pop filter with gooseneck
|Mic transport bag
Co-Authors: James H.
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