MXL R80 Ribbon Microphone Review 2021: Is It For You?

MXL R80 Ribbon Microphone Review 2021 Is It For You

The MXL Ribbon Microphone R80 has a smooth frequency response and produces a natural sound that is warm and full. This microphone can handle extremely high levels of SPL. It is ideal for vocal use and room mics to capture ambiance and detail.

MXL has been providing professional equipment for over 40 years. This allows the company to offer quality products at a competitive price.

This MXl R80 Ribbon microphone review will help you make the right decision about which product you should buy. The Mxl R80 will provide you with excellent sound quality and excellent product quality. If you are looking for the best, Mxl R80 is your best choice.

What will you get in the MXL R80 Microphone Box?

This is important as you don’t want to miss anything. There is nothing more than what you see in this example.

MXL R80 Microphone Box

You will find the following items when you unbox MXLR80:

  • MXL Ribbon Microphone R80
  • Rugged mount microphone stand adaptor
  • Cleaning cloth
  • Unlike most of the microphone sets, you are not getting the pop filter, etc.

Technical Specifications for MXL R80 Ribbon Microphone

MXL R80 Ribbon Microphone can be used for daily recording. This microphone is ideal for small projects, freelancers, and those who need to record something frequently.

This microphone is designed for high-output instruments like amps, guitar cabinets, and horns.

All-metal construction makes the microphone more durable and reliable. Considering the microphone’s price, its build quality is impressive.

MXL R80 features the figure-8 pattern, which makes it ideal for dynamic microphones or ribbon mics. It captures all sound from both the microphone’s front and back directions. It will reject 90 percent of the sound. The front of the microphone is indicated by the MXL logo where the pro audio signal is in phase while the backside has an inverted phase.

The MXL R80 microphone has an audio frequency response of 20Hz-20KHz and a maximum SPL of 130dB.

Technical Specifications for MXL R80 Ribbon Microphone

Long-running cables can be run with an output impedance of 250 ohms. This will prevent sound degradation. Given that your output impedance of 250 is high, 1500 Ohms is a suitable load impedance.

This mic has a sensitivity of -54dB. This is slightly lower than a typical dynamic microphone or other MXL ribbons. The MXL Ribbon Microphone’s Max SPL value shows that it can record sounds up to 130 dB without distortion. This is a reasonable price.

MXL has one piece of advice that you may already know: Pair your MXL R80 and a preamp with high gain, low noise, and a minimum input impedance (minimum 1500 ohms).

This will bring out the best of this microphone. Although the microphone’s onboard preamps do a good job, it sounds better when paired with a preamp. This is not only the case for this microphone. All Ribbon Mics should have an adequate preamp to get the best from them.

You should also ensure that your microphone cable is high quality as it can affect the sound recordings. The cable you choose mustn’t allow noise in, as this can cause distortion or loss of information.

They don’t require phantom power and can be blown off if they do. Your MXL R80 does not require phantom power to function. The ribbon element can be severely damaged if you plug in phantom electricity. In the end, the device may become unusable.

They are made of fragile aluminum materials. MXL warns that they can be fragile, so it is essential to take care. MXL recommends that you keep it away from vibrations and shocks drops as this could cause transducer failures. To prevent damage to delicate ribbon elements, use a pop-filter if you take it outside for recordings.

MXL R80 is a better choice than condenser microphones for recording high-frequency details. It is most useful for recording instruments such as drum overhead, electric guitars, and Horns. However, vocalists have found it to be beneficial in recording vocals.

This good mic has a much higher sound quality than you would expect from low-price microphones. The one mic has a soft sound and a rich midrange which makes it ideal for vocal recordings.

More technical specifications for MXL R80 are available here.

  • Microphone: Microphone MXL R80 Ribbon
  • Type: Ribbon Velocity Microphone
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20KHz
  • Maximum SPL: 130dB
  • Impedance: 250 ohms
  • Polar Pattern: Figure-8
  • Phantom Power is Required
  • Weight: 322 grams
  • Sensitivity: -54dB
  • Rated Load Impedance > 1500 Ohms

Core Features Of The MXL R80 Microphone

These are the essential features of the MXL-R80 Ribbon Microphone, which are extremely useful and make it more worth Ribbon Microphone at this price.

  • All Metal construction
  • No power required
  • Daily use of recording microphone
  • This is suitable for guitar cabinets or horns
  • Figure 8 Polar pattern (Picks sound both from the front and back sides of the microphone).
  • Access denied 90 percent of the time
  • A rich midrange with a mellow sound.
  • Each product has its good and bad points. You can get an idea of how reliable the MXL R80 mic is by looking at the pros and cons.

Core Features Of The MXL R80 Microphone

Pros and cons of the MXL Ribbon Microphone


  • The MXL R80 microphone sounds excellent when it is paired with a good preamp.
  • Phantom power is not necessary.
  • For high-output instruments
  • High SPL Capability for loud instruments
  • Construction in all metal
  • Affordable pricing


  • You will be disappointed if you expect the onboard preamps and mid-range recording interface to do the job.

Alternative to the MXL R80 Microphone

You don’t have to search for an alternative; this microphone is perfect.

You can also check out our top-rated studio microphones list for more specs.

You can still get the microphone by MXL 770 if you wish.

You can also check: MXl 770 Cardioid Condenser Microphone Review 2021: Is It For You?


Is MXL R80 a ribbon microphone with low impedance?

Yes, the MXL R80 ribbon microphone has a low impedance. The impedance for the MXL R80 microphone is 250 ohms.

What is an excellent preamp to use with the MXL R80 ribbon mic?

The ribbon preamp can be used to make your MXL R80 mic sound better. This will increase the mic’s performance.

excellent preamp to use with the MXL R80 ribbon mic

Is it worth buying a ribbon microphone?

They can be used when you want your recordings to sound natural. Dynamic and condenser mics will add color to your sound, while a ribbon mic can capture the tone you have created.

it worth buying a ribbon microphone

What are the disadvantages of using a ribbon mic?

Condenser mic sounds much better than most ribbon mics, which had many drawbacks. These microphones required large magnets, which made them bulky. These magnets, such as the RCA 44 classic, weighed six pounds. The ribbon microphone is fragile.

What’s so special about ribbon mics?

Ribbon microphones can capture the sound of instruments, voices, and the atmosphere of a room. They are one of the best mics you can use. Ribbon mics sound more like your ears because of their figure-8 polar pattern and massive low-end pickup. They also have natural high-frequency roll-off.

Are ribbon mics good room mics?

Far-field ribbon mics are the best choice for room mics. They retain a strong bass response even at distances over 10 feet from their sound source. It captures vocals/instruments in the front with room sound at the back. This gives you more flexibility in positioning your mic within the room.

ribbon mics good room mics

Are ribbon mics dependent on phantom power or not?

Phantom power can cause damage to some ribbon mics. It is recommended that you turn off phantom electricity when using ribbon mics. They need phantom energy to function and are not affected by it.

What is the working principle of the ribbon microphone?

Ribbon microphones use a corrugated ribbon of light metal suspended between two poles of a magnetic. The ribbon vibrates and induces a voltage at right angles to the ribbon velocity. Contacts at the ends pick this up.

Is the ribbon mic noisy?

A ribbon mic can produce excessive noise when paired with a standard amplifier, making recording quieter sources such as vocals and acoustic guitars more challenging.

Are ribbon mics capable of producing self-noise?

They produce less audible noise. A preamp’s gain is proportional to how much noise it adds to the audio path. Passive microphones require more gain and have a higher self-noise decibel rating than their active counterparts. It is good for loud singing.

Are ribbon mics fragile?

Ribbon microphones are often misunderstood as fragile. You are not as fragile as you think. They are not as durable as dynamic mics, but they can withstand a lot of abuse.

Do ribbon mics need a preamp?

A ribbon microphone must be paired with an amplifier with sufficient input impedance not to load the microphone. The mic’s output will be decreased, which means that the preamp gain will be higher, which adds noise to the recording.

Is ribbon mic better than condenser?

Condenser microphones have a rougher, more abrasive top end. Ribbon microphones tend to have a smoother and less abrasive bottom-end.

They are more delicate and have a flat middle-range frequency response that rolls off over 15kHz. The ribbon microphone is the most delicate of the three types of microphones.

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The MXL R80 studio microphone is an affordable alternative to expensive studio mics. It sounds excellent and has excellent imaging, clarity, warmth, and bass response.

The MXL R80 Ribbon Microphone can be used for vocals, acoustic guitar as well as instruments. It is a versatile microphone that can handle all tasks.

It is lightweight and durable, so it can be used for gigs easily without fear of breaking or damaging.

Hooke Audio hope you enjoyed my review. If you have any questions, please let me know. Thank you for reading.

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