Greetings friend and Welcome!
Before we get into the Electrovoice RE20 vs. RE27, grab a snack, sit back and relax because…
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
I will outline the RE20, compare it to the RE27, and then give a Final Word/Recommendation. 🙂 The rundown:
- Video Review
- Who this mic benefits?
- What you will need?
- Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- Similarities & Differences
- Final Word
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!!
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- Microphone Type: Dynamic.
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid. What is a Cardioid Capsule?
- Output Impedance: 150 Ohms
- Frequency Response: 45Hz – 18kHz
- Color: Silver
- Connector: XLR. The difference between a USB microphone and an XLR microphone
- Weight: 1.62 lb.
- Included Accessories: Stand Mount, Carry Case
- Manufacturer Part Number: F.01U.117.389
The Electro-Voice RE20 has become a staple over the last 20+ years and is considered the Gold Standard in Broadcasting. Just take a look around on television and you may spot one! In fact, I was watching the show “Love” on Netflix a while back, and one of the characters (who was a broadcaster) used an RE20 in his radio station.
One of the most prominent features is its lack of a proximity effect. Whereas most mics require you to be at a specific distance and position in relation to the mic, the RE20 is very forgiving. Its sweet spot is much larger in diameter and you can get away with talking into it from pretty much anywhere!
It’s also very forgiving of your less than ideal studio environment, not unlike other dynamic microphones. It does a phenomenal job of rejecting background and ambient noise, with minimal room treatment.
- The holy grail of broadcasting. Gold Standard?
- Retro 60’s charm.
- Sweetspot is basketball-sized. Lots of freedom and movement allowed.
- Built like a tank. 3-year factory warranty. You may be able to kill a Soviet bear with it according to one Amazon reviewer (Lol).
- Rich sound.
- Uses “Variable D” to prevent positional sound issues such as gain differences. It in essence enables your voice to sound full from an array of different angles, distances, and directions.
- Flat sound and Bass roll-off switch on mic.
- Features heavy-duty internal shock-mount and pop-filter.
- Zero background/ambient noise, which is typical of good dynamic microphones. Condenser mic. vs. dynamic mic. It is very forgiving of your environment, but good Acoustic Sound Treatment never hurt anyone!
- True reproduction of sound. Flat and true. You can always add EQ and effects later.
I honestly couldn’t find anything negative about it that was noteworthy enough to mention.
Who this mic benefits?
Endorsed for all of the following:
- You-tube game-play
- Spoken word
- Bass drums or bass amps because of that low-end rumble.
- Does well with loud vocals such as death metal.
- Hip-hop vocals/Deeper male vocals.
- Ham Radio
Wouldn’t recommend for:
What you will need?
A good preamp, or an audio interface in conjunction with the Cloudlifter. Your audio interface. The Cloudlifter in essence provides the extra 25 dB of clean gain required to power this mic effectively. If you don’t want to drop the money on a preamp, this is the perfect route.
So to save money, your chain would look like this:
Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 + Cloudlifter + RE20. That would be my recommendation to cut costs. In addition to that:
- XLR cable(s). What is XLR?
- The boom arm that we discussed.
- A shock-mount and pop-filter. Note: The RE20 comes with both as mentioned earlier, but you may want to invest in these depending on how good you want it to sound raw.
What preamps are people using?
- Triton Audio FetHead
- Grace Design M101
- FMR RNP
- DBX 286
Bit depth vs. sample rate (how your computer processes sound).
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- A standard condenser mic shock mount, boom arm, and windscreen work fine according to an Amazon reviewer. You could also opt for the Electrovoice 309A shock mount, and the RODE PSA-1 Boom arm, which is both stellar as well. In my opinion, you really want to make sure you invest in a good boom arm because of how solidly built this beast is. It’s like Conan the Barbarian in mic form.
- If you don’t want to bother with a Preamp or Cloudlifter solution, the Shure X2U XLR to USB adapter is just about the easiest hook up on the planet (aside from soliciting a prostitute). 😛
- ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the morning utilizes an RE20. Thom Yorke of Radiohead also uses one for webcasts, and used one for the album “In Rainbows.” The lead vocals on Bob Dylan’s “Blood on the tracks” used an RE20.
A rock-solid and versatile microphone with a more than forgiving nature. Just make sure your audio chain is set up properly, and to suit YOUR taste.
Similarities & Differences
Both have similar look and feel.
- The RE20 may sound more natural with a flatter response, due to the neodymium-magnet used in the RE27 (which makes the RE27 sound brighter).
- The RE27 has an improved frequency response.
- The RE27 may be more forgiving.
- The RE27 may do better for you on kick drums and bass cabs, but less so on vocals.
- The RE27 is a bit more colored overall.
- The RE27 may bring out the high-end and has a little more power. It is said to be brighter and more pronounced. Some people claim this gives it a forced sound at the top, with sucked-out mid-range, rendering it rather dull.
- The RE27 has a 6dB higher sensitivity.
- The RE27 has a high-end roll-off switch, as well as two other filters.
- The RE20 just has a nice low-end resonance that is very rare to find. It’s smooth and lush. The highs are very clean and natural as opposed to forced like the RE27.
Think about the type of sound you want before purchasing either of these. If you need a brighter sound and have a heavier voice, the RE27 may be your boy. If you prefer a darker, flatter, more radio-type sound, the RE20 is a beast. It’s much more flexible due to its neutral response. It really comes down to preference, and if you need the added features that the upgraded model provides. The RE20 is my choice because of two things: 1) It’s easier to EQ, and you will do less EQ’ing with it overall. 2) I’m an original type of fella. I want to hear the first that came along, and in this case, that’s the RE20.
SEE THE RE20 FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!
Now I do believe the top 3 dynamic microphones goes like this:
- Shure SM7B – More versatile. Better on vocals.
- Electrovoice RE20 – Broadcast standard.
- Heil PR40 – Broadcast Standard.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE HEIL PR40 vs. SHURE SM7B!!
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Electrovoice RE20 vs. RE27.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
Are you convinced that the RE20 is the way to go? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,
Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!
THE RE27 BETTER FREQUENCY REPONSE THAN THE RE20? DEPENDS HOW YOU MEASURE IT. THE RE20 IS FLATTER AND HAS MORE BASS. THE RE27 IS OVERLOADED WITH HF AND THE BASS REALLY ROLLS OFF BEFORE 50 HZ. THE HF IS VERY UNNATURAL AND THE 27 IS ONLY USABLE BY USING THE HF ROLLOFF, OTHERWISE TH 27 IS SHRILLY. MOST RECORDING STUDIOS PREFER THE RE20 FOR ITS NATURAL RESPONSE. RADIO LIKES THE RE27 FOR ITS CLARITY AND PUNCH. I AM OLD SCHOOL AND PREFER THE RE20 FOR ITS VINTAGE SOUND. THE RE27 IS TOO MODERN SOUNDING FOR ME AND SOUNDS GREAT ON A CELL PHONE SPEAKER, SMALLER THAN A BABY’S FINGERNAIL. SO, THE RE27 HAS BETTER QUALITY? NO. IT’S DOFFERENT, NOT BETTER. SIMILAR TO THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE HEIL PR30 AND PR40. VERY SIMILAR. I HAVE ONLY BEEN IN THE BUSINESS FOR 50 YEARS AND OWN RADIO STATIONS, WORKED IN STUDIOS. THESE COMPARISONS ARE VERY SUBJECTIVE. TO SAY, IT’S BETTER? THINK AGAIN.
Thanks for your input Anthony! Would you say there’s a huge difference between lower priced mics and higher ones? I’m of the opinion that the law of diminishing returns tends to kick in fairly early with mics, even more so than headphones, or amplifiers and dacs!