Telefunken M81 Dynamic Mic Review

Today we're looking an awesome microphone from Telefunken, the M81.

For this review, I have the mic connected directly to the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 2nd gen, with the gain set at 3:00. I have done no post processing on the audio, it is all raw, but the audio was slightly boosted in final cut pro X to simply make the audio easier to listen to.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $250.00 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone

  2. Carrying Pouch

Specifications

  1. Frequency Response: 30Hz - 18kHz

  2. Polar Pattern: Cardioid

  3. Sensitivity: ~-60dB

  4. Impedance: 250-ohms

  5. Max SPL: 140dB

Performance / Features

The build quality of this mic is outstanding. It has a great feeling machined metal body that has a really good amount of weight to it, which feels nice in the hand. It has a shiny metal mesh grill on the top which seems sturdy enough to handle the abuse of stage use. Inside the grill there is a substantial amount of foam, as well as an additional piece of foam to attempt to curb plosives.

The frequency response is listed as 30Hz - 18kHz. The frequency response on this mic has a slightly recessed mid section that helps with clarity, but avoids having a v-sound or scooped mid sound. The presence boost on this mic helps you cut through a mix, but immediately after the boost, the air frequencies are rolled off drastically to help battle shrill higher frequencies. Lastly, the low end is controlled well. It allows for some decent proximity effect without getting overly boomy or muddying up your mix.

The polar pattern of this mic is cardioid. The off axis coloration on this thing is incredible. At 90-degrees the tone is almost the exact same as at 0-degrees, just quieter. At 180-degrees the rejection is impressive as well. In my tests there was minimal keyboard noise from my Cherry MX blues, and I think would translate great to a live venue. 

The overall performance of this mic is excellent. On spoken word you're getting great clarity with a nice warm sound even with the slight mid-cut while the low end allows you to utilize the proximity effect without ruining a recording. One draw back to this mic is that it did not handle plosives well at all. Therefore if you plan on using this mic on a singer, you may want to add an additional windscreen. The company states that this mic is a great option for taming brighter vocals and guitar tones and for fattening up percussion, horns, and thinner sounding sources. 

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Pros

  • Amazing off-axis coloration

  • Great rear-rejection

  • Sturdy build quality

  • Decent job with handling noise

Cons

  • Did not handle plosives that well

  • A bit expensive in comparison to other handheld dynamics

Conclusion

I think this is a great mic to have in your live mic locker. When comparing this to the industry standard SM58, the slight mid cut and the less prominent low end makes for better clarity in singing/guitar, as well as offering a more forgiving sound for performers with less than optimal microphone technique. The presence boost will also help stick through a mix, and the air roll off will keep the harshness from overwhelming your mix. If you're just looking for a new tone to add to your live sound, I think this would be a great option.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them on the youtube video, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the Telefunken M81
US: http://amzn.to/2FE7Tcj
UK: http://amzn.to/2FYio9G
CA: http://amzn.to/2FD6YIQ
DE: http://amzn.to/2IufmZd

Buy the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 (2nd Gen)
US: http://amzn.to/2vDFbzK 
UK: http://amzn.to/2w8O2f6 
CA: http://amzn.to/2wKGKfG 
DE: http://amzn.to/2hbtxsV

 

Behringer C-1u USB Microphone Review/Test

Today I am testing out the USB version of I microphone I have already tested. Today I am testing out the Behringer C-1u USB Microphone.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $60 on Amazon.

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Stand Mount
  3. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  4. USB Cable
  5. Driver CD & Podcasting / Audio Editing Software
  6. Documentation 

Performance / Features

The build quality is pretty good. It has an all metal body and a metal grill, but it does not feel like high quality metal. The USB cable is your standard rubber cable, so there's nothing special there, and the microphone stand mount is made of a cheap plastic. Lastly, there is a light on the front that turns green to indicate that it is plugged in and receiving power.

This microphone has a 16mm condenser microphone capsule and provides a frequency response of 40Hz - 16kHz (40Hz - 20kHz for the XLR version). It provided a decent sound in every situation we put it through; vocals, electric guitar, and acoustic guitar. There weren't any frequencies that stuck out as harsh, and it didn't sound like any freq's were missing. 

The C-1u also has a Cardioid polar pattern. We heard quite a significant drop off as we got farther away from the microphone. However, as we moved around the microphone, it still tended to pick up a bit of noise around the sides and back. The microphone did perform well with eliminating the background noise of the keyboard.

Pros

  • Decent sound
  • Good at eliminating background noise
  • Plug & Play
  • Cheap

Con

  • Poorly built microphone mount
  • Difficult to trouble shoot
  • Low output volume

Conclusion

This is nothing more than a decent, middle of the road microphone. It sounds decent in every situation, but that's about it. It will not provide top of the line audio, but it will get you recorded for youtube. I did find that it had a relatively low output volume (had to set at 75% input gain to get decent volume). This can lead to issues with hiss/buzz, so if that's a concern of yours, this microphone is not for you. 

This microphone is basically for anyone who is just looking for a super easy, plug and play microphone to get audio that's good enough for chatting and voice overs. It is not for people who want to make professional videos/music or people who want to eventually upgrade their microphone with additional gear.

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

Buy it on Amazon (US): http://amzn.to/25ENGHa
Buy it on Amazon (UK): http://amzn.to/1oAn4oV