I can say this without sheer doubt: investing in the right microphone will take your home recording game to the next level. Though, I have always been a fan of condenser microphones, certainly not every product in the market is worth raving about. But I’m sure you won’t be disappointed after bringing home the sE electronics X1 S.
This amazing bundle includes a mic, isolation filter and pop filter so that you can record your favorite tracks with ease. I am amazed when I bought these babies since it makes it possible for you to achieve isolated vocals when you’re recording at home or in an untreated environment. You’ll be pleased to know that the price is pretty affordable. Since I’ve also worked with its predecessor model X1 S, I’m sure all recording enthusiasts will appreciate the extra features and specs. Hopefully, my review will give everybody some solid insight on whether the product is worth buying or not.
sE Electronics X1 S Microphone Features:
So let’s discuss the features. The condenser microphone is definitely something you’d want to get your hands on. It features a large diaphragm and is excellent for recording acoustic instruments and vocals. Some other amazing features of the product include:
- Metal capsule: With its sturdy body, you don’t have to worry about this mic feeling lightweight or cheap. The high-grade material also includes long-term reliability which ensures the microphone will continue to work for years.
- Large-diaphragm: Experience the best recording experience. I’m a big fan of large-diaphragm condenser mics and was happy to add this one to my collection.
- Fixed cardioid polar pattern: This provides optima tonal consistency ensuring the sound output is high quality.
- Two position, switchable highpass filter cuts: Thanks to this feature, you no longer have to worry about low-frequency rumbles as it successfully reduces proximity effect. This helps you achieve better sound in a home recording environment.
Here are a couple of other notable specs I liked about the product:
Fixed Cardioid Mic
I know a lot of people rave about the benefits of multi-pattern microphones but a fixed cardioid can be better for various situations. It is great for people who would like to benefit from the simplicity and consistency of a direct signal path.
If done right, using such a mic will help you achieve better clarity as far as your recording is concerned. Plus, at this point, you might not even need a multi-pattern mic. Hence, investing in the X1 S means you no longer have to pay for features that you wouldn’t benefit from.
Now this is something I absolutely LOVE about sE. A hand-crafted capsule is clearly a depiction of how much the brand cares about excellence. You will be pleased to know that the capsule is hand-made and is meticulously constructed by some of the best technicians. You’ve probably figured this out by now but I’m a huge fan of companies that go the extra mile with their equipment.
Because of the extra attention to detail the brand has put, this mic stands tall and will perfectly complement your finest musical instruments. Plus, the solid build also enhances the overall appearance of the microphone.
This model is a new and improved version of the classic X1 that takes performance to a whole new level. If you’ve worked with its predecessor, you can expect to experience the high dynamic range than ever before. I would say that for the current price, this is a complete steal for its exceptional quality. You will also notice improved internal design which eventually leads to better sensitivity and increased SPL handling.
All of these features combine to reduce surrounding noise for the best recording experience. You especially appreciate this if you’ve worked with the previous model.
Two Switchable Levels
Another thing I absolutely loved about the sE X1 S condenser is that it allows you to switch between -10 dB and -20 dB. This results in better range and I’ve also found this makes recording loud instruments so much easier. I have personally used this mic to record vocals along with super heavy electric instruments and it was able to do a pretty good job both times. This also makes the mic incredibly versatile for all kinds of artists.
Spectacular Reflexion Filter
I was surprisingly impressed by the quality and functionality of the Reflexion Filter. It does a decent job at reducing excess noise especially when you combine the pop shield. Considering its low price tag, I would say the sE X1 S performs better than most mics belonging to same price range. You can use it to record loud instruments. Owing to all of its features, this microphone does well as an all-rounder and will take care of most of your basic recording needs.
Pros of the sE X1 S
There are a number of reasons to why I would recommend this product – especially for beginners who are starting off their career. Here’s why we love this mic:
Dampens Room Noise
sE was among the first brands to introduce reflexion filters in their mics and since then, many companies have taken the lead. My bandmates and I have personally found that this mic does a great job at dampening room noise.
In fact, the filer has really helped us achieve a dry vocal sound which then allows us to add effects to the mix. Especially when we compared it to a few expensive microphones that we have worked with previously. We suggest that if you aren’t able to achieve the sound you want, try adding some sort of absorption behind the vocalist. Once you’re able to figure out what works for you, you’ll find that the vocals are terrific.
Decent All-Rounded Microphone
My girlfriend has used this microphones a couple of times so I can attest to this fact: practically anybody can use this mic! It’s great for both men and women and sounds incredibly smooth. We also liked how you can play around with all kinds of vocal styles. Because of its flattening tone, you can also use it for recording acoustic instruments, especially if you’re a fan of the guitar.
Reduces Unwanted Reflections
Now for the real deal: I was especially impressed by how well this model does when it comes to reducing unwanted reflections. For this particular product, sE has worked hard to develop new materials that are both lightweight and are designed to withstand tough environments. You can also reduce unwanted reflections in the room by maintaining optimal mic placement. That way, the sound will appear much clear and focused. Learn how to reduce echoes while reducing your microphone.
I don’t know about most folks but I love a good mic that also LOOKS great. That’s exactly what you get with this stunning model. Yes, the product itself is pretty affordable but it doesn’t look that way with its elegant gold-sputtered capsule. I love the solid feel of the mic, it certainly adds on to the whole experience of home recording. Plus, the high-quality exterior will ensure the product lasts for plenty of years to come without wearing down too quickly.
This makes the sE X1 S a steal, especially for folks who are new to the business and don’t want to spend on something exuberant. You’ll also be pleased to know that the mic does not contain any plastic parts so you don’t have to worry about it breaking easy.
Again, I’m a pretty huge fan of budget-friendly mics since they allow you to do more on a limited budget. Though this is primarily a vocal mic, you can do a pretty decent job recording instruments. I also liked how the mic is able to pick out details so accurately. We recorded some of our instruments and the sound was reasonably well, I would say that I could hear a little high-end sparkle.
The switchable attenuation pads allow you to benefit from a wide range of applications. The switchable -10 dB and -20 dB pad gives you the freedom to record vocals and record super hardcore electric guitars at the same time. My bandmates and I have personally used this mic to record a wide range of instruments including drums, guitars and lots more. Also, the low-cut filters do a pretty job at wiping out low-frequency noise or rumble. I have found that this works well and compensates for the extra bass.
New and Improved Version
If you a were a fan of its predecessor then you should know that this model indeed is a highly improved version of the sE’s best-selling X1. This highly refined microphone offers plenty of new specs resulting in better sound performance. It has been tuned to give you the best results, enabling home-recording folks
The X1S is a refined version of sE’s best-selling X1, tuned for advanced performance. This allows you to enjoy the classics of the old model with improved features. I’ve personally used both of the mics and I’ve been more than happy about my purchase.
How to Use
So let’s get down to the actual functionality and usability of the mic. I actually got this as a birthday present from one of my buddies, I was using the older version and it was starting to wear down. I’m quite choosy when it comes to buying equipment and pretty much only stick to the best brands. The reason is pretty obvious: I don’t want to waste money or buy something that I would have to end up replacing in a couple of months.
Anyway, my buddies and I were quite excited to try out this microphone. We’ve found that it works well as a vocal iso shield and that you can also use it on your combo amp. I would also recommend you treat your environment appropriately if you want to achieve the best sound.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Microphone
A little extra research can never hurt. It’s important you know what to look for in a microphone or what factors to take into account:
- Type of Microphone: There are several types of microphones you can choose from. This ranges from condenser mics, dynamic and your typical USB version. If you’re serious about home recording then I would recommend purchasing a condenser one. However, the choice may vary depending on your usability.
- Polar Pattern: The polar pattern defines what direction the mic will pick up sound. You can choose from omnidirectional, bi-directional and cardioid. Again, the choice here will depend on what you would like to record.
- Ease of Use: Needless to say, you wouldn’t want to invest in something that comes with complicated instructions. I thoroughly recommend you always make a purchase from a reputable brand that prides itself on offering its consumers high-quality grade products.
- Price: Certainly, it helps if the price falls under your budget. Usually, it is pretty straight forward: you get what you pay for. But there are quite a lot of products (including the one we’ve mentioned in our review!) that perform incredibly well for its price range. If you are a beginner, I do suggest that you start off with something basic. After that, you can move over to more expensive and advanced products.
While these are a few major details you should take into account, I’ve also written a detailed guide on choosing the best microphone for singing. Check out this post for more information.
All in all, I am pretty satisfied with this microphone and have enjoyed working with it. Although, I will advise, simply investing in the right mic won’t solve all of your problems. There are multiple things you’ll have to take care of if you’re serious about home recording. This includes the environment, mic placement and of course, your own expertise. So if you’ve done your research and are ready to put in the extra effort, I’m sure you’ll love the sE X1 S.
For its price, it certainly is a budget-friendly mic and best of all, it is perfect for both entry-level and intermediate recording professionals.
Further reading: best laptops for music production.