Is it time to trade in your dynamic mic?
Item: Audix VX5, Hand-Held Condenser Microphone
Price: $249 US, £225 UK
At A Glance: The Audix VX5 is a high-quality vocal condenser microphone designed for live, studio and broadcast applications. It aims to replicate a studio quality vocal sound on stage and has a smooth and detailed frequency response and can handle high sound pressure levels without distorting. The microphone is designed with a tight super-cardioid polar pattern to help isolate vocals from the rest of the stage and minimise the chance of feedback. Other features include a multi-stage pop filter to minimise plosives and a bass roll-off filter to prevent unwanted low rumbles from being picked up.
High Notes: With a frequency response of 40Hz to 16.5kHz (±3dB), the VX5 has a wider range than a typical dynamic model, meaning it will pick up more of the natural characteristics of your voice. Its slim metal body is sturdy enough to withstand years of live use (unlike a studio condenser mic) and it comes with a fabric pouch and stand clip. The microphone has a clear and articulate sound that is reminiscent to a studio mic and it has good rejection to handling noise. As well as being a great vocal mic, the VX5 can also be used to capture instruments such as guitars, woodwinds, percussion and piano in a live setting.
Off Pitch: The microphone has a flatter frequency response than many live mics, meaning you may need some additional EQ to cut through the mix if you are singing in styles such as rock where you need to compete with loud distorted guitars. Some singers may struggle to justify the higher price when compared to good quality dynamic microphones such as the Shure Beta 58, Sennheiser e935, or Audix OM5.
VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Like most condenser microphones, the VX5 requires phantom power; however it sensibly has a wide operating voltage range (18 – 52v) to allow for variances on different mixing desks. On vocals it produces a crisp and natural sound that would be ideal for singers working in jazz or folk genres. Keep in mind that Audix also makes the VX10 microphone ($479), which is popular amongst artists such as George Strait and Katie Melua and can help get you even closer to a studio sound on stage. Overall the VX5 is a great mic which produces a detailed sound that most dynamic microphones are not capable of. On the other hand you will need to decide whether it is worth spending the extra over a good dynamic microphone, especially if you need something to help your vocals cut through on stage.
Manufacturer’s Website: www.audixusa.com