Can a microphone this cheap have any value for gigging singers?
Item: Behringer XM1800S, Live Vocal Microphone Set
Price: US $47, UK £29 (for a three microphone set)
At A Glance: Behringer XM1800S is a set of three live vocal microphones intended for singers with limited budgets. They feature a cardioid pickup pattern to give the microphones good off-axis rejection in order to minimise feedback on stage and a dedicated on/off switch. The microphones connect to a mixing desk using a standard XLR cable which is not included, however the set does come with stand clips and carry case, which is impressive considering the price.
High Notes: The microphones have a frequency response that is tailored to help vocals cut through on stage and an internal shock-mount to minimise handling noise. The build quality, whilst not quite up to the levels of some top live microphones, is certainly good enough to withstand years of live use if treated well. The microphones’ ability to handle high sound pressure levels means they can also be used in a live setting for guitar amplifiers or even drums if you have no better alternative and need something to quickly grab and stick in front of a sound source.
Off Pitch: When compared to a microphone such as a Shure SM58, the Behringer XM1800S microphones sound much less defined and exciting. Also, although Behringer say that these can be used in the studio; however, there are far better choices of microphones for studio use and it would be hard to recommend them for this application for any serious recordings.
A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Although the Behringer XM18000S microphone set would probably not be the number one choice for lead vocals if money was no object; considering the price of the microphones they do perform adequately for some vocal applications. For example, they would be useful for bands starting out who want to add some backing vocals to their live set. They could also be good as a set of emergency backup microphones in case your main (and more expensive) lead vocal microphone stops working moments before going on stage. Overall, these microphones offer a very low-cost solution for bands starting out who need some vocal microphones, however if you are a solo singer it would probably be a better to invest more money and get a higher quality microphone if possible.
Manufacturers’ Website: http://www.behringer.com