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The Electro-Voice RE320 is designed for musicians, but it can also work great for podcasters. This dynamic mic sells for only $299, and its sound reproduction is better than the Heil PR40.
Why spend money on a good mic?
Your podcasting microphone is the best investment you can make for your podcast. The principle of “garbage in, garbage out” starts with your mic. A bad microphone produces bad audio that is hard to enhance. But a great microphone will produce high-quality audio that you won't have to fix.
Hot signal from RE320
The first thing you may notice from the RE320 is that it's louder than most popular podcasting microphones. This means you can turn down your input gain and decrease the risk of line noise.
Positioning with an end-fire microphone
The Electro-Voice RE320 captures audio from the end, not the sides. So it's best to speak 4–6 inches away from the mic.
If you have to turn your head, pivot around the mic so that you voice is always in front of it.
I recommend positioning the mic slightly off-axis, about 45º to your right or left, to prevent your plosives from hitting the microphone.
Built in pop filter
Plosives are the pops of air that come especially from the consonants T and P. Unlike most other microphones, the RE320 and RE20 have a built-in pop filter that does a good job preventing these plosives from being in the recording.
If you still get plosives with the mic slightly off-axis, then I recommend the Popless Voice Screens VAC-RE20 Pop Filter (Amazon.com | B&H).
Variable-D for reduced proximity effects
Electro-Voice's exclusive Variable-D effect reduces or prevents tone changes when you get extremely close to the mic or far away. This was most impressive compared to the Heil PR40 and Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB. Both of those mics had a serious drop in quality as little as 8 inches away, but the RE320 and RE20 both still sounded great.
Kick Drum Switch
The RE320 has a kick drum switch that drastically changes the dynamics of the microphone. It's almost like two different microphones in one.
Off (right)—great for voice
- Flat frequency response at 45 Hz – 2,9 KHz
- -2 dB at 3.2 KHz
- +5 dB at 4 KHz – 18 KHz
On (left)—kick drums or specialized uses
- Frequency response extended down to 30 Hz
- +2 dB at 100–150 Hz
- -4.5 dB at 380 Hz
- +4 dB at 2.8 KHz
- +7 dB at 4–5 KHz
- Remaining frequency response up to 18 KHz
More accurate sound than the Heil PR40
The Electro-Voice RE320 is $299, which almost the same cost of the Heil PR40 ($300–$325). Since testing the RE320 and RE20, I've discovered just how much of a bass boost the PR40 gives. The PR40 also tends to make sharper S sounds.
If you want to spend $300 on a mic, I recommend the Electro-Voice RE320 over the Heil PR40 as you'll get a much more accurate sound.
Recommended accessories for RE320
- Heil PL-2T overhead boom arm (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Electro-Voice 309A suspension microphone shock mount (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Popless Voice Screens VAC-RE20 Pop Filter for Electro-Voice RE20, RE27, and RE320 (Amazon.com | B&H)
RE320 vs. RE20, PR40, and ATR2100-USB
- RE320 is louder than all other dymanic mics.
- Both the RE320 and RE20 sound great even 8 inches away.
- Side rejection is almost the same on all mics, but the RE320 made the background noise a bit more “tinny.”
- Both the RE320 and RE20 reproduced voice the most accurately.
Equipment used in this video
- Electro-Voice RE320 dynamic microphone (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Electro-Voice RE20 dynamic microphone (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Heil PR40 dynamic microphone (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB dynamic microphone (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Canon Digital Rebel T4i DSLR camera (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Sigma 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM Lens (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Heil PL-2T overhead boom arm (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Behringer X1832USB mixer (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Zoom H4n digital recorder (Amazon.com | B&H)
- Joby Gorillapod SLR-Zoom minitripod with BH1 Ballhead (Amazon.com | B&H)
- MacBook Pro (Amazon.com | B&H | MacMall)
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.
This review was really helpful. I’ve been doing screencasts / video tutorials with the EV RE-20 mic for several years and love it. The base tilt switch always confused me, so thanks for clarifying.
Also helpful was your tip for positioning the mix off-axis and keeping 4-6 inches away. Previously I’d gotten closer to the mic but ended up with the unwanted mouth noises as you say. Thanks for the excellent info!
One thing you didn’t mention is the preamp/mixer that you use with XLR mics like this one. I’ve found that I have to raise the volume a bit with this mic. I use the Behringer Xenyx802 along with the H4 Zoom recorder and find that works well for converting to digital.
I’m glad this helped, Tom!
In these videos, I was using a Behringer X1832USB into a Zoom H4n. I didn’t mention this in the video because it could change in the future, and I tried to even the playing field so that switching preamps wouldn’t matter.
Wow Daniel. I’ve heard people compare microphones on podcasts before but never as in-depth and with such quality as your video. I was most impressed with the “8 feet away” test. The difference in volume and sound quality was immediately apparent!
Your video might just have changed my title of my “Heil PR40 Savings Goal” to “RE320”.
Thank you so much to make this great and serious RE320 Testing which give me a better idea of this microphone …
Thanks for the comprehensive test. You addressed many salient points. I have enjoyed my EV RE320 for a year now. Your clip was one of many I included in my initial research before purchase. Whilst the RE20 is a lot more expensive in Australia, the RE 320, I deduced, would be a little clearer on my thick low voice and it does suit it very well. I also like the option of recording kick, guitar amps etc with it which has worked very well. It is quite versatile. It has a nice warm, clear, articulate and natural sound. I like the end address design which really allows you to work the mic. You can get really close for softer deeper intimate results or back off a little and the variable-D keeps your voice timbre sounding the same even when you are a bit off axis – wonderful and very useful EV design. I’ve just done a VO test on half a dozen or so mics I have, including condensers/electrets, and I prefer the RE320. It just gives my voice a really nice lower mid foundation without any boominess and mud. I like hearing my voice on playback. It is natural but not bland. It projects well and has a lot of character. It has a clean top end that never sounds spitty, like some dynamics can. It adds enough for consonant intelligibility. I love the look of it also. It is heavy, so a good mic stand is a must. A good mic cable and preamp really do it justice as well. I therefore recommend this wonderful mic
Wonderful! I’m glad to have helped!
Great mic for FM radio studios.
Good job! I got a 320 and so far love it. Sounded the best of your test, too.