MXL 990 Condenser Microphone Review: Best Budget Condenser Mic in 2022


Updated: October 20, 2022

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MXL 990 Condenser Microphone ReviewWould you like to record great vocals that captivate your listeners?

Then do I have a microphone for you! The MXL 990 condenser microphone is high quality industry’s most ground-breaking microphone.

In this MXL 990 condenser microphone review, you’ll find why this condenser microphone continues to astound artists with its silky, high end and tight, solid low and midrange reproduction?

Best Affordable Condenser Mic: MXL 990 Condenser Microphone is a studio-quality condenser microphone that is perfect for recording vocals, instruments, and podcasts.

It features a large diaphragm and gold-sputtered capsule, which delivers accurate and clear recordings. The mic also has a cardioid pickup pattern that helps to reduce noise and feedback.

The MXL 990 is also built to last. It features an all-metal body and chassis, which makes it durable enough for even the most demanding environments.

In this article, we’ll review MXL 990 and discuss in detail at some of the key features of this mic, as well as its performance and specifications. We’ll also discuss some of the pros and cons of this mic so that you can decide if it’s the right choice for your needs.

The MXL 990 is a studio-quality condenser microphone that is perfect for recording vocals, instruments, and podcasts. It features a large diaphragm and gold-sputtered capsule, which delivers accurate and clear recordings.

The mic also has a cardioid pickup pattern that helps to reduce noise and feedback. The MXL 990 is also built to last. It features an all-metal body and chassis, which makes it durable enough for even the most demanding environments.

MXL 990 is a popular condenser microphone that’s often used in home studios. It has a cardioid polar pattern and is phantom powered. In this review, we’ll take a look at its features, performance, spec and pros and cons.

Overview – MXL 990 Condenser Microphone Review

A good quality condenser microphone is an essential tool for recording vocals, acoustic instruments, and much more. It’s the only way to capture the nuances of a performance or instrument well enough to produce a clear, clean recording.
Since a good condenser mic is expensive, choosing a quality condenser mic is a wise investment.

The MXL 990 is a budget-friendly option for a great vocal condenser mic. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a simple, no-frills mic that does the job without breaking the bank. The MXL 990 is a decent option for a budget-friendly setup. It’s a decent choice for a budget-friendly setup.

$87.96 On Amazon

Key Specification

Pros & Cons – MXL 990 Condenser Microphone Review

The pros and cons of the MXL 990 are pretty simple. The pro side is that it’s a great vocal microphone for the price. The MXL 990 is a large-diaphragm condenser mic with a 6 micron gold-sputtered diaphragm. Taken as a whole, that means it has a wide frequency response of 30 Hz – 20 kHz and a low noise floor of 20 dB.

The MXL 990 also has an excellent signal-to-noise ratio of 80 dB. The overall sound quality of the MXL 990 is great, it’s a great vocal mic for the price point.

The biggest drawback is that there isn’t a lot of bells and whistles on the MXL 990. There’s no additional comping, no measurement controls, and no EQ controls.

Performance – MXL 990 Condenser Microphone Review

The 990 is a small diaphragm condenser mic that is really well-suited for vocals, instruments and close miking of instruments. It has a smooth, natural response with a surprising dynamic range.

The 990 sounds great on a wide range of instruments and vocals, from acoustic guitar to flute to synth.

It is also a great choice for close mic of instruments. It is a little more open than the 988 and therefore sounds better on the latter. The 990 is a small diaphragm condenser mic that is really well-suited for vocals, instruments and close miking of instruments.

It has a smooth, natural response with a surprising dynamic range. The 990 sounds great on a wide range of instruments and vocals, from acoustic guitar to flute to synth. It is also a great choice for close mic of instruments. 

Characteristics of MXL 990

Polar Pattern and Frequency Response

The MXL 990 is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone that was manufactured by Marantz in 1980. The microphone is a small, compact, and affordable option for vocalists that does not require a great deal of space.

This microphone uses a 90-degree polar pattern, which is reflected in a wide frequency response, starting at about 1 kHz, and peaking at about 5 kHz. The frequency response is then followed by a drop off in the high frequencies, peaking at about 15 kHz.

The MXL 990 has a maximum SPL of 130dB. This makes it an excellent choice for vocalists, as it will not deviate from its frequency response too much.

The 990 has a reverse-polar pattern, meaning that the signal’s pressure on one side of the diaphragm is opposite of the pressure on the other side of the diaphragm. This polar pattern, which is known for delivering a wide frequency response with a smooth roll-off and flat frequency response.

This microphone is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone. And with a large diaphragm, it has an extremely wide frequency response, from DC to about 10 kHz. The microphone has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

Build Quality And Design – Classic Vintage Style Body

This revolutionary condenser microphone has classic appearance with champagne finish. It remain one the top notch choice of vocalists and guitarists. It has a very wide and smooth frequency response, which may be a problem for more aggressive sound sources.

The MXL 990 is a 6-pole condenser microphone that comes with an ionic conversion device. That’s a good thing for voice recording. It will let voices sound like they are coming from a vocal booth or studio.

Ideal for Singers and guitars….

It comes with shock mount that provide maximum isolation from vibration and reduce background noise. This feature makes it perfect choice for vocalists, musicians, radio broadcasting studio, voice-over sound studio, recording, Great for your YouTube videos, podcasting, and online gamers.

It also comes with a touchpad which allows you to adjust the focus. It has no buttons, just a touchpad which is functional and easy to use.

In short, The microphone has a decent build and feels solid. It’s not heavy, yet it feels sturdy enough for most applications. It’s more of a quiet strong than a fragile or flimsy one.

MXL 990 Sensitivity

The MXL 990 has a cardioid pattern that means it can record instruments or vocals. It’s best for tracking vocals, guitars, and bass guitars. It does a great job at capturing the nuances of those instruments.

The MXL 990, a cardioid condenser mic comes with a cardioid polar pattern. A cardioid has a 15dB or 20dB of rejection. The MXL 990 is only 5dB, which is a weak form of rejection. The polar pattern allows it to reject up to 70dB. This is stronger than a cardioid.

It’s better for capturing details like cymbals, strings, and other instruments that are close to your microphone. The microphone can also record acoustic guitar chords. It’s not the best for recording drums.

That said, the MXL 990 is capable of recording drums under the right conditions. For example, make sure that the mic is close to the drummer’s drum head.

Noise Reduction

Most condenser mics are low-noise. However, the noise is not as clean as the mics with capsules.

However, the MXL 990 doesn’t make any noise. It can record crystal-clear instruments and voices in any environment. There are no pops, clicks, or crackles. The noise floor is low, at 20db. That said, it’s not as low as the mics with capsules, but it’s still good enough for most recording applications.

In contrast, the noise would get louder and be more obvious with dynamic mics. The MXL 990 has a high-pass filter. It’s a pre-amp filter that gives the mic its characteristic sound.

It enhances mid-range frequencies, which is why it seems to have a warmer sound than the standard switch option. However, its voice response is not as flat as the standard switch option.

SPL

The MXL 990 mic can operate up to 130dB SPL. That’s well above normal levels. It can be loud enough to overpower the most sensitive speakers. That said, if you’re recording in a quiet room, the 990 model won’t be a problem. It can capture frequency sounds down to 30HZ.

However, it can’t go as deep as more expensive models. In this regard, the MXL 990 is best for vocals and acoustic guitars. If you’re recording drums or electric guitars, you’d be better off using more expensive models.

Application – MXL 990 Condenser Microphone Review

Guitar Amps

For guitarists, this is a solid choice. There are some things we would change about it, but as a whole it’s a great option for the price.

This mic is a solid choice for guitarists. The slight boost around 8 kHz can help to compliment the mids and highs of a pickup guitar. The max SPL of 130 dB also makes for a less viable option for room miking, but will do the trick when recording a single guitar.

The MXL 990 can be one of the best options for a close mic on an electric guitar. It is a bright, but still quite usable microphone. The slight boost around 8 kHz is quite useful for adding some character to the instrument, and can also help with the lows that are present.

The 990 can put out a bit of a boomy thump that can make it a bit difficult to get a clean sound on a guitar with a pick. We would recommend using this mic in a closet or in a small room that has a controlled environment, and not on a stage.

This is another great option for a close miking overhead, and can even be used as a great drum mic if you prefer the sound of a single mic.

The MXL 990 is a budget-friendly, high-quality vocal condenser mic. It’s a simple design with no frills, but gives you a solid vocal mic for less than $100. It has a multitude of settings for adjusting the sound, and a built-in compressor.

You can use it as a vocal mic for vocals and other vocals, as a microphone for drums, a condenser for guitars, bass, and other instruments, and a vocal mic for vocals and other vocals.

Bass Amps

The MXL 990 provides a great balance in the bass department. While it might not be able to capture the lower frequencies as well, it can provide a great amount of upper-mids and give off some extra sizzle.

The MXL 990 can be a solid choice for vocalists and guitars. Not only can it help to balance out the presence of another microphone, it can also provide extra sizzle to a vocalist. The microphone is a bit on the expensive side, but at least it comes with a 5 year warranty, which is a good thing.

Live Vocals

The 990 is a vocal microphone, and is thus more suited to recording vocals in the studio than in the live arena. The slight boost in the upper frequencies can sound a bit harsh when recording vocals while standing in front of a singer.

It can also be a bit difficult to hear the microphone itself when standing right next to the singer, so it’s important to have a good bit of space between the voice and the mic.

Drums

The MXL 990 doesn’t really produce bass frequencies. The frequency response isn’t really flat, which can lead to a somewhat muffled sound when recording drums.

However, it’s a very affordable option for those who aren’t looking to spend a lot of money on their microphone.

Songwriting

This microphone excels at recording vocalists, however for songwriting it may not be as great. The boosted 8 kHz can be a bit harsh, and we would be wary of using it if you want to add a bit of character to the sound of a vocalist, or even if you’re looking to add some space between instruments.

What’s in the Box

It’s a decent package comes with:

  • MXL 990 mic
  • A user manual
  • Hard case
  • Custom Shockmount
  • Mic Stand Adapter
  • Carrying Case

Key Features – MX 990 Review

It’s a studio instrument microphone with an XLR connector. Not only does it need phantom power, but it also requires an XLR to USB adapter, just like many other models.

Unlike the Yeti Blue, it doesn’t require an external power supply. That means you don’t need an interface or mixer to use it. You can use it separately, too. Though, the external power supply is required to use it with a mixer or external processor.

It’s the cheapest condenser mic you can find in the market. I have to note that it doesn’t deliver a natural, flat, or raw sound. Instead, it mixes sweet highs with solid mids and lows. The tone balance, though, feels superb.

It makes it work with guitars just as much as basses, though it will always punch the high-end frequency sounds. It’s best suited for home studios or similar projects.
Some Key Features are:

  • A versatile, high-quality microphone for voice-over, podcast, music, and audiobook recording.
  • High-quality condenser microphone with cardioid pickup pattern.
  • Ultra-low noise for excellent sound quality.
  • Excellent sensitivity for accurate voice recording.
  • A balanced sound, with rich mid-range and low-end response.
  • Built-in headphone output.
  • Unique low-noise FET preamp with true bypass.
  • All-in-one package with mic, cable, and shock mount.
  • Condenser mic design
  • The MXL 990 is a 6-pole condenser microphone that comes with an ionic conversion device. That’s a good thing for voice recording. It will let voices sound like they are coming from a vocal booth or studio.

Pros


  • Great sound quality for its price range

  • Excellent for vocals and acoustic guitars

  • Very comfortable to hold

  • Extremely affordable

  • Max SPL of 130 dB make it a less viable option for louder sound source

Cons


  • Not very good for other applications

My Thought – MXL 990 Cardioid Condenser Microphone Review

A well build, excellent sounding, classic design with all accessories and costing only $87 on Amazon is MXL 990 condenser mic.

It has a very clean sound that is very smooth and silky. The sound is bright and is a very versatile microphone. The sound can be used in a variety of different types of music and work as a great vocal mic as well.

The sound is very smooth and a nice change from the harsh sound of other condensers. The MXL 990 is a great microphone to use in the studio.

Here are some noteworthy points:

  • It’s light weight and is easy to transport.
  • The microphone is very easy to use and can be used in a variety of different applications in the studio.
  • The MXL 990 is a very versatile microphone to start your microphone collection.
  • It has a very nice sound and is worth the money.
  • The microphone is inexpensive, which is always a plus.

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Jimmy Altucher

Jimmy Altucher

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