Review: DPA d:facto II, Live Handheld Condenser Microphone

This is one of the most expensive live mics in the world – but is it worth it?

Item: DPA d:facto II, Live Handheld Condenser Microphone

Price: $980 (US), £690 (UK)

Mic Rating: 4.5/5

At A Glance: The DPA d:facto II vocal microphone aims to bring studio quality sound to the stage. It provides extremely clear sound with superb definition and features a supercardioid pickup pattern to minimize feedback to offer good vocal separation from other sound sources. Its high SPL rating of 160dB means that it won’t distort no matter how loud you sing, and its capsule is suspended in a “pop-proof” housing to minimize handling noise. The microphone requires +48v phantom power and comes with a padded carry case and stand clip.

High Notes: The d:facto II features a removable multi-function capsule that, combined with an optional adapter, you can use with various wireless microphone systems from manufacturers such as Sony, Shure, and Sennheiser (to name a few). In use, it is hard not to be impressed with the sound quality on offer from the microphone – in fact, it wouldn’t be entirely out of place in a studio setting and would certainly be a good option for singers looking for a microphone to both perform alive and record with. It is very solidly built and its grille has a three-stage filter that protects very effectively against wind noise and pops. The microphone has a smooth and detailed sound that is great for picking up the nuances and dynamics of a vocal performance, and it responds well to EQ should you need to make the singer cut through the mix a bit more. It also has a fairly subtle proximity effect – which is great if you like to get close up to the mic and don’t want your vocals to sound muddy.

Off Pitch: The price! Although one could argue that other musicians, such as keyboard players, guitarist and drummers, will often spend $1000+ on instruments to get the best sound; so why should singers not do the same?

VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: There is no doubt that the d:facto II is a great mic – the problem for many however is going to be the price. Firstly, there are other great live condenser microphones from manufacturers such as Neumann and Shure, which offer similar levels of performance at a lower price point. Secondly, you are going to need a high quality PA system (and a good singer) to really get the best out of the microphone. If money is not a major factor and you are looking for the ultimate is live vocal tone, then the d:facto II is definitely worth trying out; however there are much cheaper options on the market that you can still achieve a great live sound with.

Manufacturer’s Website: DPA Microphones

Other Reviews: Sound On Sound | Mix Online | Songwriting Magazine | FOH Online | ChurchTechArts

  • Robert Lunte

    The best handheld condenser mic on the market for value in my opinion is the ROD M2. You can learn more about it here