Beyerdynamic M70 PRO X review

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The audio market is exploding with new podcasting and streaming microphones from well established and respected audio companies. Nearly century-old German headphone and microphone maker Beyerdynamic recently entered the fray with the M70 PRO X, a sleek, front-addressed dynamic broadcast microphone released alongside the M90 ​​PRO X studio condenser microphone. both Beyerdynamic PRO X pickups put to the test in my home studio (I gave the M90 ​​PRO X its own dedicated test). Comparing the M70 PRO directly to the similarly focused Shure SM7B microphone, I was surprised to see how finely tuned the Beyerdynamic mic sound is and how it fits into the content creation ecosystem.

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The Beyerdynamic M70 PRO X dynamic microphone delivers broadcast-ready sound without processing or editing.

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The design of the Beyerdynamic M70 PRO X

As a company that claims a very clear and unifying visual aesthetic in all sectors, Beyerdynamic is no slouch when it comes to product design. The M70 PRO X is a microphone with simple lines and a matte black chassis, exemplary features of the entire PRO X range (which includes the DT 700 PRO X and DT 900 PRO X headphones). The M70 PRO X features a comfortable shock mount that it attaches to using a single screw mechanism, as well as an optional clip-on pop filter to block out plosives in close-range communication applications.

The M70 PRO X’s body features evenly spaced oblong windows around its outer edge that reveal a gray mesh protective grille underneath. At first glance, this detail suggests that the microphone can be spoken from the sides, but it actually receives sound through the grille on the top – a fact made more confusing due to the identical body shape and shock-absorbing suspension. from his brother the M90 ​​PRO X capacitor, which receives sound from the side. This difference is indicative of the internal design differences between condenser and dynamic microphones, but some novice users may not find it intuitive based on design alone.

Being a dynamic microphone, the M70 PRO X uses a relatively robust internal cartridge and magnetic coil to pick up sound by induction. These circuits are generally less sensitive to distant noise and more tolerant than condenser microphones, making them ideal for capturing clear, consistent sound in a variety of acoustic environments. For this reason alone, it’s clear why the M70 PRO X is primarily marketed as a streaming and podcasting microphone: vocal clarity is key to producing high-quality vocal recording, and a dynamic mic is inherently better than a condenser microphone to reject room echoes and reverberation.

Unlike many other podcast microphones on the market, the M70 PRO X does not have USB connectivity and instead relies on a traditional XLR connection for sending audio signals. This paves the way for compatibility with a whole world of professional audio equipment, but it does mean that the microphone requires a separate audio interface. On the one hand, the use of an external audio interface makes the M70 PRO X overall less portable than a single-cable USB microphone; on the other hand, industry standard XLR connectivity gives users more control over the choice of their interface, preamp and other connected equipment.

First steps with the Beyerdynamic M70 PRO X

The M70 PRO X comes in a black cardboard box alongside a shockproof hanger tucked into a molded plastic insert. Underneath this insert is a surprisingly large gooseneck pop filter that is reminiscent of the Shure Popper Stopper and provides a higher level of coverage than I expected. The microphone itself comes in a drawstring neoprene bag which will definitely come in handy for long term protection, but unfortunately there is no housing for the shock mount or pop filter, so users who wish to keep the three items together and protected during storage and travel should keep the box and packaging.

Thanks to its straightforward design, preparing the M70 PRO X for recording was a simple and intuitive process. The basket in the center of the shock mount matches the diameter of the microphone perfectly, and all I had to do to attach the two was to unscrew a silver ring from the microphone base, place the microphone in the basket, and reattach the ring to securely fix the microphone to the holder. I have installed many microphones and shock mounts throughout my day and know the process can be fraught with stability and alignment issues, but it was by far one of the easiest experiences I have had. My only concern was that the microphone was rubbing against the inside of the basket a bit, which can lead to possible scuffing on the microphone body if repeated several times. As for the PRO X shock mount, only time will tell if it will drift or come loose over time, but I have found its basket design to inspire more structural confidence overall than traditional ring designs. .

After attaching the M70 PRO X to its shock mount, I screwed the entire device onto a microphone stand and added the pop filter by screwing it onto the boom of the stand. The gooseneck design should theoretically make it quick and easy to find the best position for the filter, but the neck is rather short and doesn’t offer much resistance in certain positions, so I had to make some adjustments for myself. make sure the filter has seated securely without sagging. I then plugged the microphone into my Universal Audio Apollo 8 interface with a single right-angle XLR cable, booted up Apple Logic Pro, and it was off to the races.

Beyerdynamic M70 Pro X
XLR connectivity offers compatibility with professional level audio equipment.

The sound of the M70 PRO

According to its spec sheet, the Beyerdynamic M70 PRO X has a specially designed frequency response curve that features generous high-end amplification starting at 1000Hz, with +8dB at 4000Hz and again with +9dB at 8 000 Hz. It is very common for manufacturers to introduce a slight increase in high frequencies into their microphones for the sake of speech clarity and this can often provide more lively production-ready sound that requires less post-editing. production. In the case of the M70 PRO X, however, this boost adds almost 10dB of information to one of the most varied and nuanced ranges in the human voice, which seems like a risky design choice given that ‘it cannot be turned on and off. . This is clearly intended to complement the widest possible range of voices and excel in live broadcast scenarios, but the sheer magnitude of amplification unfortunately limits the usefulness of the microphone in recording scenarios where you may want to. be capturing natural and unaffected sound for musical purposes. production.

To get a clear idea of ​​how the M70 PRO X sounded in context, I placed it next to a Shure SM7B dynamic microphone and recorded two simultaneous close-speech tracks for direct comparison. The SM7B is one of my favorite vocal microphones for recording my own voice due to its flat frequency response and smooth highs, but it also happens to have a switchable high frequency boost of + 5 dB which helps it capture a response in the same way. neighborhood than that of the Beyerdynamic microphone.

Overall, I found the M70 PRO X to beat the SM7B in almost all frequency ranges. The M70 PRO X delivered thick, detailed low-end information with great precision and without a hint of mud, supporting a smooth, natural midrange that lacked the hollow shoebox sound that plagues cheaper dynamic microphones. . Unfortunately, my vocals happened to contain some disagreeable resonance in exactly the same range as the dramatic high boost of the M70 PRO X, so the resulting recording contained an unusually large improvement in high frequencies that I normally seek to suppress. .

The M70 PRO X also captured quite a different sound when placed behind the included pop filter, a somewhat expected effect but surprisingly effective in taming some of its unsavory hi-fi amplification. With the pop filter in position, the microphone was receiving levels 2dB to 5dB lower, prompting me to increase the gain on my interface. This resulted in a rich, full sound with a smoother high end finish that is much closer to that provided by the SM7B.

Beyerdynamic M70 Pro X microphone
The M70 PRO X delivers full, natural sound, especially in the bass and midrange.

So who should buy the Beyerdynamic M70 PRO X?

While the official literature says the same, it took me a while to figure out how well the Beyerdynamic M70 PRO X was of a dynamic microphone for podcasting and streamers in particular. Beyerdynamic has a long-standing reputation for creating some of the most flexible high-end audio gear on the market and, coming from a background primarily rooted in music production, I believe the unusually altered frequency response of the Beyerdynamic microphone m ‘threw for a loop. Yet streaming and podcasting are very different creative processes from music production. While the M70 PRO X can be a one-ride pony in a way, it undoubtedly excels at producing rich, lively sound ready for broadcast without the need for any additional editing or software.

If you work in critical music production applications or have heavy high frequencies in your voice like I do, you might be best served by a more sensitive and natural microphone, such as the M90 ​​PRO condenser microphone. X from the same product line, which offers more neutral sounds ready for all kinds of post-production sculpting. However, if your job is limited to recording voiceovers or other spoken media, the razor-sharp, broadcast-ready sound can make the Beyerdynamic M70 PRO X mic one of the best microphones for broadcast. streaming and streamlining your workflow to produce the consistent, clear voice recordings your audience deserves.

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