3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics [2021 Review]

To make your life easier, we have compiled a list of the 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics on the market. In our assessments, we covered some of the most important factors to consider when purchasing 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics.

Maximum SPL, sensitivity, frequency response, ribbon thickness, and polar pattern are among them. They are the most important factors in determining the overall performance and build quality of a ribbon mic. We considered these when we made our list of the 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics.

If you are interested in these models, keep reading our 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics review for more information below. Let’s explore the details below.

Our Top Pick: Beyerdynamic M160 Double Ribbon Microphone

Features: This is a highly adaptable microphone for amps, drums, and vocals. Since its beginnings, it has been used by music legends. Beyerdynamic M160 Double Ribbon Microphone is made entirely by hand in Heilbron, Germany.

The iconic ribbon mic, which is ideal for a wide range of recording scenarios. This company of electronics has been developed for over 90 years. Heilbronn-based Beyerdynamic GmbH & Co. KG is known for creating unique audio devices with the best sound quality and cutting-edge technology.

The M160 performs admirably in a wide range of recording and live sound applications. The M160 has a wide frequency range and is quite adaptable. It deviates from the standard “Dark” sound of ribbon microphones.

It can be utilized as overheads on a drum kit by a specific classic rock band to create one of the most recognizable drum sounds of all time. M160’s are not only for overheads; they are also terrific on toms, snares, and HiHats.

M160 has captured some of the most iconic guitar tones of all time. The M160 full frequency response has been used by Grammy-winning producers to create epic guitar tones that have gone down in rock history as some of the best.

The M60 is a must-have microphone for creating iconic sounds of the past and molding the newest sounds and tones for today on live stages and in the studio.

The quality promise “Made in Germany” applies to product development and manufacture: the designs of Beyerdynamic engineers and designers in Heilbronn are subsequently built in Germany by roughly 180 highly qualified personnel – primarily by hand.

The M 160 from Beyerdynamic is a dynamic double ribbon microphone with a hypercardioid polar pattern that works well for both distant and in-studio speech reproduction. The M 160 is ideal for making violins, violas, cellos, pianos, and saxophones in the studio, as well as hi-hats and toms.

Its non-glare black surface and small dimensions make it ideal for usage in TV and film studios. The M160 is perfect for stereo recordings in MS style when used with the M130 dynamic double ribbon microphone.

Beyerdynamic has been a German family-owned firm dedicated to continuing research and development for the audio market since 1924. Beyerdynamic is known all around the world for using cutting-edge technology and maintaining a high level of quality.

Runner Up: sE Electronics X1R Passive Ribbon Microphone

Features: The X1 R is a vintage-modern hybrid that gives all the natural smoothness of a hand-crafted ribbon mic. However, it comes with more adaptability, durability, and ease of use than the delicate ribbons of the past. It draws on some of the technology in sE’s VR1 & VR2 ribbon mics.

The X1 R, the second member of the X1 Series, brings the enchantment of traditional ribbon mics into the modern-day with a rugged build that can handle any SPL. This is a ribbon you can take with you on the road.

Guitar cabs, overhead drums, brass, woodwind, strings, commercial broadcast, and voice-over are just a few of the recording possibilities for the sE Electronics X1 R. Some of the most cutting-edge ribbon microphone technologies are housed in this state-of-the-art ribbon element, which is encased in top-grade Neodymium magnets.

To create a classic-sounding ribbon mic with a mild HF lift, sE has blended traditional ribbon technologies with some of the mechanical aspects of the VR1 and VR2 microphone HF extension technology.

Every X1 R’s ribbon element is handcrafted by capsule experts with decades of experience in the sE factory’s specialized capsule room. sE’s capsule master has been making capsules for nearly 30 years because they sound better when they are constructed by hand.

The X1 R’s all-metal build and 135dB SPL handling make it suitable for use in both the studio and on the road. It also includes a mic clip that secures it to any mic stand, but it also fits sE’s Isolation Pack shock mount and pop filter if needed.

The X1 R’s ribbon, like all of sE’s ribbons and true condensers, is produced and hand-tuned in our own factory by professional experts. This is almost unheard of in the world of inexpensive microphones, and it is a source of tremendous pride for sE.

If you want a cheap and quality ribbon mic that is made by hand, you should definitely go for sE Electronics X1R Passive Ribbon Microphone. This mic is for the ones who are looking for a good ribbon mic.

However, you should keep in mind that sE Electronics X1R Passive Ribbon Microphone might not be the mic to go for when doing serious recordings.

Best for Budget: MXL R144 Ribbon Microphone with Shockmount

Features: The MXL R144 features a Figure-8 polar pattern and a 1.8-micron aluminum ribbon, making it an outstanding microphone for vocal and instrument recordings as well as broadcast applications. The R144 also excels on acoustic instruments, strings, and horns, with high SPL capacity, excellent side rejection, and pinpoint directivity.

The aluminum ribbon transducer used in the MXL R144 Ribbon microphone has a bidirectional pickup pattern by nature. A figure-8 layout will pick up sounds equally well from the front and rear sides of the microphone while maintaining a high level of rejection 90 degrees off access.

The MXL logo indicates the front of the microphone, where the audio signal is ‘in-phase,’ whereas the backside has an inverted phase. Ribbon microphones have a lower output than condenser microphones and may require a high-gain preamplifier.

A preamp with minimal noise, high gain, and an input impedance of 1500 ohms or above is strongly recommended. To minimize possible equipment damage, MXL highly encourages experimenting with location and isolation needs with the gain initially set low.

MXL is a world-renowned manufacturer of high-quality audio devices for professionals and recording amateurs. Today’s best musicians, engineers, professional producers, and corporations that seek sonic perfection on stage, in the studio, and in the conference room continue to be astounded by MXL’s award-winning solutions.

The MXL R144 features a Figure-8 polar pattern and a 1.8-micron aluminum ribbon, making it an outstanding microphone for vocal and instrument recordings as well as broadcast applications. The R144 also excels on acoustic instruments, strings, and horns, with high SPL capacity, excellent side rejection, and pinpoint directivity.

This is the best alternative for anyone looking for high-quality items at a reasonable price. The MXL R144 is one of the best cheap ribbon mics available, and its top-notch performance lives up to the high praise it has received from enthusiasts and professionals alike.

When purchasing this mic, you have two options: a bundle with just the mic or a package with the mic and a shock mount. The mic can be mounted on the shock mount for excellent location and to reduce mechanical noise.

What to consider when buying 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics?

There are some things to consider when buying the 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics and we want to talk about these a little bit for the ones who are new to mics.

Build Quality

Ribbon microphones have delicate diaphragms. Other components, such as tubes, are equally delicate. Though it is not a deal-breaker in the studio, it can be an issue when you need to travel and use the mic for live performances on stage.

Frequency Response

This is an extremely important factor to consider because it impacts how much frequency your microphone will pick up. The human ear can detect frequencies between 20Hz and 20kHz, which is a fun fact.

As a result, you will need a microphone that can take up audio in this range, such as the Rode NTR. The frequency response of a microphone is also influenced by the sound you are trying to record with it. Some mics have a flat frequency response, which means they catch all frequencies evenly, whereas others amplify or reduce specific frequencies.

Connections

To avoid signal loss, most ribbon mics, especially passive types, require high-quality wires. Make sure you’re using high-quality cords, as low-cost, high-resistance connections can severely decrease the mic’s performance.

Ensure that the connectors are properly wired and that the cables are not shorted, as this can cause the ribbon to blow.

Power

Phantom power can injure or destroy the ribbon element in some ribbon microphones, particularly vintage types. Some are powered by phantoms. Before you start using any ribbon mic, you should be aware of the differences in order to avoid any damage that may be produced by existing abnormal conditions.

How should be the best cheap ribbon mic like?

Ribbon microphones are small and light, yet they are built of durable materials that can withstand constant usage and damage. Their small size makes them simple to set or place, as well as transport, especially on the road.

Nothing compares to the crisp high notes and precise deep tones provided by ribbon microphones. They have the ability to record a wide spectrum of sounds in great detail. As a result, they can sound a little somber at times. Furthermore, if you want to generate a mellow and gentle tone, you might utilize a ribbon mic to improve your voice.

Most ribbon mics may be used with several sound sources to generate a classic, clear, smooth, and warm sound. The figure 8 pattern is another name for this design. It picks up noises from both the front and back of the mic, but any sound from the back is rejected.

This design is used by a lot of ribbon mics. It is also used in a few big diaphragm microphones, such as condenser mics. Make sure your choice of the mic has at least these features.

Conclusion: 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics [2021 Review]

Choosing the best ribbon microphone can be difficult, especially if you are new to microphones. That should not be the case anymore, because we provide you with the  3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics with this article.

If the numerous brands and types available overwhelm you, you can choose from any of the 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics we have reviewed. The Beyerdynamic M160 is our top pick for the greatest all-around ribbon mic you can get your hands on.

All of the mics we have reviewed in this 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics review have a long lifespan and produce warm, clear, and sharp sound. They are designed to resist a lot of punishment while maintaining its sound and quality.

So, there is no poor choice when it comes to our list of 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics. We hope you liked our 3 Best Cheap Ribbon Mics review and it was helpful.