MXL Microphone Review

I’ve been looking to expand my audio gear for a while and when I was at NAB I found the MXL line of microphones. Here’s what I thought when I first saw them: MXL at NAB. Well, I finally got my hands on some and decided to test them.

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I got ahold of the FR-304 14″ shotgun, FR-330M 6″ shotgun, and FR-500WK wireless lavalier. Like all gear, they had they’re pluses (The biggest of which is price) and minuses; but overall I’m happy with their performance.

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MXL is a line of mics from Marshall Electronics; and everything they offer has the same build quality of the Marshall monitors. I feel like I could put these mics through some heavy production use and they’d keep on going.

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The 304 and 330M are extremely solid mics for their low-cost. And the 500WK is definitely usable (and you can’t beat its price), but if you’re looking for a wireless lav that absolutely won’t fail, then you may want to look into something a little more road durable.

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Check out my video review here:

MXL Microphone Review from Jeremy Widen on Vimeo.

And here is the script from the video:
“Hey everyone, its Jeremy from Widen Media. Today I’m taking a look at some MXL microphones.
MXL is a cost-effective microphone line from Marshall Electronics. They offer a wide array of audio solutions for both studio and field recording.
Being primarily a shooter I found MXL to be really enticing because I mostly just need usable reference audio and don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on microphones.
So today I’m looking at the FR-304 Shotgun, FR-330M Shotgun, and FR-500WK Wireless Lavalier.
The 304 is a 14” shotgun made for use with a boom pole. Its supercardiod pickup pattern means it picks up enough audio for a multi-person scene, but is still closed off enough to eliminate excess noise. It runs off either a single double A battery or phantom power. And it can be found for under 200 dollars.
I’ve been needing to get an ENG style mic for my C300; something simple to pick up audio since the C300 doesn’t have an onboard mic. The 330M is a 6” short shotgun mic that has a built-in XLR and runs off phantom power. I’ve been using it on pretty much every shoot since I got it, and it’s now living in my camera kit. At around a hundred and fifty dollars it’s definitely worth it.
Because I shoot a lot of interviews I need to use wireless lavs, but I also don’t want to spend a ton of money on a two mic kit. The FR-500WK is about half the price of a Senheiser kit. It comes with a transmitter, receiver, and microphone. each unit runs off two double A batteries and it transmits in a wide UHF range. I’ve found that for sit-down interviews the 500wk works great, but as soon as the subject starts moving or getting more than about 40 feet away the audio starts to suffer.
I ran some tests with the mics running straight into my C300, so I’ll let you judge the audio for yourself. But I’m more than pleased with the short and long shotgun mics performance, and the fr500wk is a solid option for its price point.
You can find more information about these, and the other mics, at MXLMics.com.”

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MXL Microphone Review

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