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Reviews Categories | Microphones | Electro-Voice RE-320 Help


Reviews Summary for Electro-Voice RE-320
Electro-Voice RE-320 Reviews: 13 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $299
Description: Variable-D dynamic vocal and instrument microphone
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.electrovoice.com/product.php?id=1065
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W6NFL Rating: 5/5 Apr 4, 2012 16:12 Send this review to a friend
Great Mic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Ive had a bunch of mics over the years including almost all of the Heil offerings including the PR 781 and PR 40 and the Goldlines (i have a GM5 also in the shack). These are all good mics for sure but,the RE-320 will shock you on how well it sounds up against those mics. It produces extremely smooth round audio. Its almost the clone of the popular RE 20 at a lower price. You can find sellers on ebay selling them new at a much lower price than your local retailer or if your lucky, find a used one here on eham or qth.com.
 
W1GNK Rating: 5/5 Feb 19, 2012 00:15 Send this review to a friend
Both Looks And Sound!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
This microphone will someday be a legend in the ham radio committee. Its share the same body as its more expensive siblings the re20 and re27 N/D. It has a nice black matte finish and fits into the EV 309A broadcasters shock mount. Its performance would best be described "smooth and natural". If you are using one of the newer DSP rigs you should have no problem tailoring the audio to your liking. An older analog rig may need a little external EQing to find that sweet spot. On the street you can find the re-320 from $199 to $240. Though not cheap, well worth every penny
 
W6LBV Rating: 5/5 Feb 18, 2012 13:22 Send this review to a friend
Moving up in the audio chain  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Electro-Voice RE-320 dynamic microphone, the new “kid brother” to the RE-20 and RE-27 N/D, was launched at the beginning of 2011. I saw it first displayed at (ironically) the Rock&Roll Audio Company’s (“R&R’s”) booth at Dayton 2011, somewhat later I chased down its technical description, and still later I bought one and integrated it into my station. I have not been disappointed.

The RE-320 shares a heritage and many of the same components with the RE-20 and RE-27 N/D broadcast microphones. It does have the improved neodymium magnet of the ‘27 N/D, the same hum-bucking coil, the same freedom from “proximity effect,” the same internal pop filters, and the same massive case (but a different external finish scheme, though) of the other two. The major differences in the 320 are a new diaphragm assembly and a more modest price.

While EV classifies the ‘20 and ‘27 N/D as “broadcast announce microphones,” curiously it lists the 320 in the “live performance” category. But E-V’s advertising does indicate that the 320 is well suited for broadcast uses also.

The 320 uses an XLR output jack and thus is designed for professional balanced (audio) line standards and systems. For Amateur service use, the rewiring from balanced line audio to match an unbalanced transceiver microphone input has been well described previously. The 320 has sufficient voltage output so that an external pre-amplifier should not be necessary for Amateur service; most rigs should have sufficient internal mike pre-amp gain to reach full power output.

I have not done laboratory measurements on the 320, but its performance curves and specs have been published and are available. This review is based entirely on subjective listening comparison tests.

Shortly after receiving the 320 I set up a side-by-side performance evaluation for my entire microphone collection. Under identical conditions, I recorded my voice directly to audio CD with each microphone and then listened to the finished recording with a high quality, wide-range Sony studio headset. Each microphone under test was fed into the same input on a small pre-amp/mixer to boost the signal to the line level necessary for the stand-alone CD recording deck. The pre-amp added no equalization at all, and the signal was fed directly from the output of the pre-amp to the line input of the CD deck.

The microphones undergoing testing included the 320, two dynamic microphones made by the R&R company, one large-diaphragm studio condenser mike, and a small hand-held professional dynamic mike. None of the hand-held OEM mikes originally supplied with my transceivers was tested

The listening results were completely unequivocal: the 320 was in a class by itself. Nothing else could come close to its performance. Even non-technical listeners could easily spot the quality difference. The range and articulation of the 320 in basic voice-over service far exceeded each of the other test microphones on the recording. One of the R&R company’s dynamic mikes tied for second place in overall performance, but it had been factory-refitted with a “professional grade” dynamic cartridge. (The other R&R company microphone produced noticeably poor quality tracks.) The testing also confirmed in the 320 the (advertized) absence of a “proximity effect,” its strong resistance to breath “pops,” and its accurate cardioid pickup pattern, a pattern that is desirable for a shack that also contains computer, rig, and amplifier fans.

On air, using Kenwood HF transceivers (with their recognized good transmitted audio) and a small amount of external audio equalization and processing, I’ve received excellent results for the 320, paralleling the recording tests. More than one station has broken into a QSO to say, “I was just tuning across the band when I heard your signal. You have outstanding audio, and I just had to stop and inquire what you are using.”

Most modern transceivers include at least rudimentary audio DSP equalization provisions, allowing roll-off of the 320's “bottom end” and a little boost around 2-4 kHz, if these prove necessary. Older transceivers might benefit from the use of an inexpensive outboard equalizer for the same purpose.

Finally, cost considerations. The street price of the 320 is significantly lower than the prices of the ‘20 and ‘27 N/D, thus making it available to Amateurs who cannot afford the best grade of professional audio equipment. The 320 is only very slightly more expensive than the competing mikes from the R&R company, and it actually costs less than the R&R company’s most expensive model! It also is directly cost-competitive with many of the ham transceiver OEMs’ high end microphone offerings.

For a one-time investment the 320 purchaser receives a professional piece of equipment designed and manufactured by a company with a long and well-recognized audio engineering record, a mike that is mechanically solid and that is “built like a brick out-house,” a product that is designed for long-term survival in commercial service under the daily abuse delivered by ham-fisted broadcast and live performance talent, and a fine transducer of the human voice! And it demonstrates that not everything in a ham station need be “made expressly for ham radio.”

With the caveats that there cannot be one single “best microphone award” winner and that many other companies produce fine microphones that are well suited for Amateur use, at its price and performance point the RE-320 is very attractive indeed for Amateur service.

Radio broadcasters well understand that their own product offering is differentiated from their competition largely by the quality of the air signal their station delivers to listeners. This is also true in Amateur Radio.
 
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