Syntec | RRP AU$369 (M 70 Pro X), RRP AU$439 (M 90 Pro X)
Given the brand’s rock-solid reputation as purveyors of all things transducer in the professional space-from their much loved, highly touted instrument and live mics, to their era defining popularity in the broader headphone market, few manufacturers were as well poised to enter the comparatively consumer-driven world of Content Creation, with both their integrity and professional legacy in tact.
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Hat’s off then to beyerdynamic, who have successfully managed to enter the Content Creation market on their own terms, maintaining the same uncompromising approach to R’n’D and audio quality that has made the brand such a trusted name in professional electroacoustics and distilling it into their most accessible range yet, a line of moderately priced, premium quality headphones and microphones, designed with everyday use in mind.
The new beyerdynamic Pro X series has been designed from the ground up, and the result is some of the most versatile and malleable products around in terms of intended application and ease of use, equally adept at Content Creation and Professional Musical and Broadcast sources alike.
While the Pro X Series 900 and 700 model headphones offer clean monitoring at both the tracking and mix stage (as well as being a more than adept everyday listening headphone), the M 90 Pro X and M 70 Pro X microphones are for capturing natural, detailed audio for creators of all disciplines. Much like the yin-yang approach of the open and closed profiles of the headphones, the Pro X Series microphones offer two mics that contrast each other in functional design whilst sharing the same familiar aesthetic that typifies the Pro X Series.
Both mics feature high-quality aluminium in a sleek, minimal matte black case that oozes class and professionalism. A durable steel mesh grille offers protection for the internal components and much like the headphones in the series, the microphones are comprised of replaceable elements, allowing for ecologically conscious performance for years to come. At just 296 grams for the M 90 Pro and just 320 grams for the M 70 Pro, they inspire confidence without introducing the issue of dreaded microphone stand droop. Both mics come with a pop filter to reduce sharp plosives and an elastic suspension microphone holder to actively minimise unwanted noise from physical movement and mechanical vibration. Pair one of these mics with either of the headphones from the Pro X Series, grab a microphone stand and an audio interface and you’re in production.
The M 70 Pro X is a dynamic, speech-optimised mic aimed at podcasters, streamers and those creating content on the go. The M 70 features a cardioid pickup pattern to record assertive, intelligible sound even in challenging recording environments and maintains consistent clarity across a wide range of performance distances thanks to a finely tuned proximity effect. It’s ready for capturing the full gamut of speakers in this diverse age of content production. The frequency response captures audio from 25 Hz (when close-miked versus 40 Hz when miked at one metre) up to 18 kHz, with slight peaks at 4kHz and 8kHz to accentuate vocal clarity and detail.
In use, we found the M 70 Pro X excelled at recording clean, present speech in a home studio, with awesome off-axis rejections properties that make it an excellent choice for anyone operating in a less-than-ideal recording environment. Its lightweight, front address design makes it an awesome plug and play option for mobile recording applications, allowing you to use it where it suits you most, as opposed to having to build your ergonomics around your microphone’s limitations. The fact it eliminates so much of the ambient room noise champions its use for streamers and vloggers looking to keep the vocals hi-fi and detailed without capturing unwanted keyboard and movement noise or podcasters that have an exaggerated, tactile performance style, such as comedians.
The M 90 X Pro is a condenser mic created for capturing the subtle details of vocal performance or delicate instrumentation capturing audio from 20 Hz up to 20 kHz. With a 34mm true condenser capsule and low signal-to-noise ratio, it shines in studio applications where precise and intimate recordings are the goal, or for voice-over artists seeking a solution to showcase the rich presence of a vocal performance in treated spaces. The minimal design doesn’t feature a high pass filter or pad, focusing on capturing a full spectrum recording and leaving the acoustic shaping to other studio equipment.
Trialing the M 90 Pro X in the studio produced a naturalistic, open capture-perfect for offering maximum flexibility at mix. The vocals captured were clean and accurate, allowing the finishing touches such as accentuating breathiness or building mid to low warmth to be done at other stages of the signal chain. A little adjustment to the signal went a long way, leaving the distinct impression there was a lot of detail to work with. Close miking had an intimate and almost cinematic quality, highlighting its suitability for voiceover work and without having a cello on hand to test its use for stringed instruments, its sensitivity inspires confidence in a wide variety of instrument recording applications.
As their names suggest, both mics sit firmly in the professional use category, whilst their affordability dictates they hit a significant sweet spot for content producers looking to level up from the more entry-level options out there. Both mics punched well above their weight performance wise, providing low noise, professional quality capture that excelled in civilian style recording setups. The M 70 Pro in particular had a pleasantly simplistic functionality, with it’s awesome tolerance of plosives and tendency to minimise diaphragm distortion, while the M 90 Pro had that precisely accurate, top end sheen that you tend to only hear in gear of a certain price point (to which the M 90 still comes in considerably cheaper than), making it an extremely good investment, particularly for vocal applications.
In summary, the Pro X Series continues to impress, offering flexible recording tools for a myriad of modern content creator and musical workflows, as well as providing an optimal balance between investment and performance. Expect to see the beyerdynamic M Pro X microphones pop up as staples in both home and professional studios soon.