At a very low price of $77 (Amazon), this microphone remains always at the top of the great condenser microphones to start your home recording with.
We all start at some point. But, most of beginners are always hesitant to bite the bullet and just start as they fancy themselves only with a very expensive, high-end studio equipment and don’t want to start with “cheap” stuff.
I guarantee you, if you are just starting into home recording and want a reasonably priced mic that will not only get you up and running but also will help you make fantastic recordings, this is the mic to get.
MXL, as you probably know, is a giant microphones manufacturer. Its microphones have been always well received among recording enthusiasts mainly because of their good quality at very affordable prices.
The MXL 770 is no exception. It’s the small brother for the very famous MXL 990. Its price/performance ratio is incredible. Performers love this mic for the sound it produces.
It is a multi purpose small-diaphragm microphone with a great FET preamp that gives a balanced output for a wide dynamic range. This makes the mic produce a solid bass and low-end sound with extra clear top-end which makes it excellent for vocalists especially rappers.
Being a small-diaphragm condenser is a good and a bad thing at the same time. Large-diaphragm condensers are better at capturing the whole spectrum of the human voice very accurately. This also means that they are usually super sensitive and will pick almost all sounds around them and will be better used in a good isolated room.
Small-diaphragm condensers, however, are less sensitive and can be a little forgiving in noisy environments. That also means that they won’t cover all the human voice as accurately.
The 770 has a cardioid pickup pattern which means that it picks up sounds that occur on the front of the mic and reduces or ignores sounds from the sides and the back.
MXL 770 gives you some extra features to make it work for your voice and situation. The two switches on the mic give you the ability to add a 10dB pad to attenuate and reduce loud sound sources. The bass roll-off switch, on the other hand, let you get rid of unwanted rumble.
The included shock mount is a great free add-on that prevents vibrations from the stand or the desk from reaching the mic and making their way into your recording. It’s nice that they also include a hard plastic case, padded with foam for storing and protecting the mic while not in use.
It’s good to know that the MXL 770 microphone uses an XLR cable which means that you can’t plug it directly into your computer like you would with a USB mic. You will need a USB audio interface into which you would plug the mic then plug the interface’s USB cable into your computer. You can also use a mixer or a digital audio recorder. Whatever device you use has to be able to provide 48v phantom power in order for the microphone to work.
To get the most of this mic or any mic, you should use an interface with good quality preamps. Poor preamps may introduce hiss, hum or noise into your recording no matter how good your mic is.
Speaking of XLR vs USB, some beginners opt for a USB mic. While a USB mic has a great convenience over an XLR mic, it means that you will be tethered to a computer all the time. It also makes you always feel the need for upgrading to a professional XLR mic with an audio interface or a mixer just like the “pros”.
As with any condenser mic, a pop filter is highly recommended to prevent pops with certain letters such as “P” and “T”. Instead, you can develop a good mic technique by not speaking directly into the mic but rather to an angle.
The MXL 770 Look and Feel:
I like the nice black color with gold accent of the MXL 770. I highly prefer it over the boring champaign finish of the MXL 990. The large black grill on top of the mic is beautiful too.
The MXL 770 feels great in the hand. It doesn’t feel cheap or flimsy at all. The included black shock mount is also a very nice pice that makes the mic even nicer.
MXL 770 Features:
- Multipurpose recording condenser microphone
- Cardioid polar pattern
- Small, gold-sputtered diaphragm
- Gives warm sound with clear top end
- FET preamp to produce balanced output
- Wide dynamic range
- Excellent for vocals, pianos and strings
- Great for recording hip-hop and hard rock
- -10db pad switch
- bass roll-off switch
- 48v phantom power
- XLR plug
- Sturdy build
MXL 770 Tech Specs:
|Pressure gradient condenser microphone|
|6 micron gold-sputtered|
|30Hz – 20kHz|
|0 dB, -10 dB|
High Pass Filter:
|6 dB/octave @ 150Hz|
|20 dB (A-weighted IEC 268-4)|
|74 dB (Ref. 1 Pa A-weighted)|
Max SPL for .5% THD:
|48V phantom power (+/- 4V)|
|59mm x 158mm/2.32 in. x 6.22 in.|
|Black with black grill|
MXL 770 Polar Pattern
MXL 770 Included in-the-box Accessories:
- sturdy shock mount
- hard plastic case with foam padding for storage and travel.
You can get lost in the huge number of options in the market. But if you want a solid Microphone that will server you many years, get the MXL 770 and you won’t regret it. This is a great starting microphone for newbies with no prior recording experience.
MXL 770 Price:
The MXL 770 microphone sells, at the time of this review for $77 at Amazon.