Sound & Music | sound-music.com | Expect To Pay: $399
Those of you who have not come across sE Electronics’ microphones by now must have been living under a rock. Their range of studio and live microphones covers just about every application. They have a microphone to suit your needs no matter what you need to record and no matter what your budget. But for now let’s focus on just one, the stalwart of the sE range, the sE2200 cardioid condenser microphone. It’s a casing that many of you will be familiar with, as several versions of the 2200 have been available over the years, but this month I got to unbox and test out the cardioid patterned version.
Although multi-pattern microphones do have a lot to offer, a cardioid pattern is more often than not going to be your go-to for vocal and instrument use in the studio. It doesn’t make sense to compromise on quality or increase the price with additional pattern switching when you just want the simplicity of a cardioid pickup pattern. That is exactly what the sE2200 gives you: nice side and rear rejection to cut down on room reflections and operating noise from other hardware and a beautiful, clear audio capture in front. This is a microphone that many of you may already own; it’s now coming packaged in a swish new colour box to match the new marketing campaign. But don’t worry, the microphone is all that it should be and still behaves the way you want it to when it’s out of the box.
As well as creating a large diaphragm microphone perfect for vocal and instrument use that doesn’t break the bank, sE have included some nice little touches to ensure it can work in a range of situations. Firstly, a -10 or -20 dB attenuation switch allows you to pull back the gain for high SPL signals, taming even the loudest of voices before you get to the preamp. There is also a high pass filter with two different roll-off points to take care of low frequency rumble.
This is further addressed with the included shock mount and pop filter, making this an ideal combination for any home studio or professional setup looking for another microphone flavour. And let’s not doubt the quality of this microphone’s performance. It could stand up to a range of higher priced microphones and deliver results time and time again. When you consider the price of this model, it would be hard to consider any microphone collection not having an sE2200 in it ready to go.
You could do a lot worse if you wanted to stand with just one microphone in your kit, but you should certainly consider having an sE2200 in there for variety of tone and additional signal source offerings even when more expensive microphones are in use. In all, there’s a reason why this microphone has remained so popular over recent years. It performs and sounds well above its weight, that’s for sure.