MXL-550 XLR Condenser Microphone Review / Test

Today is part 1 of 2 in the MXL 550/551 review series. For this review, we will be focussing on the larger of the two microphones, the MXL550. I do need to let you know that this is an XLR condenser microphone which means you will need a phantom power supply, or an interface with phantom power, in order for this microphone to work properly. For this review video, I connected the microphone to my computer using the Focusrite Scarlett Solo USB Audio Interface with +48v Phantom Power turned on.

If you are interested in this microphone pack, it will set you back $77 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. Carrying Case
  4. Micro Fiber Cloth
  5. Documentation
  6. 1 Year Warranty

Performance / Features

The construction on this mic feels pretty nice for the price. It has an all metal construction and has some decent weight to it. Even though it feels nice, I would be careful with it because these lower price tag mics do tend to utilize cheaper components, and suffer due to lower quality assurance standards. As far as features, there is really nothing to discuss, as it is a simple XLR microphone with a single XLR plug on the bottom.

The frequency response is listed as 30Hz - 20kHz and it sounds pretty decent. On the voice I thought the microphone sounded very crisp while also providing a decent amount of low end. On the acoustic guitar and electric guitar, the mic sounded a little warmer than I typically prefer, but all around, it sounded acceptable. 

There are no surprises when I say, the polar pattern is listed as cardioid. As we move around the side we lose quite a bit of volume, and on the rear we pick up very minimal sound. The microphone also performed only decently when typing behind the mic.

Pros

  • Decent construction
  • Affordable
  • Acceptable performance

Cons

  • Not best sound on guitars
  • Only decent elimination of background noise

Conclusion

I actually kind of like this microphone. It is not the greatest sounding mic, and it is definitely not the worst sounding mic, but it does perform pretty damn well considering you get two mics for $77. I don't think that this mic would necessarily work well for gamers, but I do think it would be a great mic pack if you are starting a home studio and want to get your feet wet. Other than that, I think you would be better off saving up a few more dollars for some higher quality microphones.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the MXL550/551 Pack
US: http://amzn.to/2aUKVwf
UK: http://amzn.to/2aWggxI

Buy the Scarlett Solo
US: http://amzn.to/2bqU7bl
UK: http://amzn.to/2bgovb2