In-Depth Review: MXL 990 Condenser Microphone

In case you have similarity to a great many people who have an enthusiasm for sound, you most likely dream about fitting out an extravagant studio outfitted with the best in class gear. You can nearly imagine stocking your mic in storage spaces with the Neumann U87s and AKG C414s of the world. Sadly, that isn’t constantly practical. For a large number of us, a player in creating extraordinary sound is the test of discovering gear that will carry out the responsibility without using up every last cent. One of the most profitable devices in such manner is an all-around receiver that can competently deal with a wide scope of devices.

I’ve heard various lovely analogies with respect to the significance of microphones: they’re similar to the brushes a craftsman uses to apply colour to a canvas; a wizard’s wand that architects use to catch the enchantment, etc. I don’t dissent, however to me, a mic is additionally similar to a Geiger counter. It must be precise enough to reveal to me where the hotspots are and exact enough to capture them. All things considered, our chronicle lives rely upon it, particularly on the off chance that we need our music to be “radio-dynamic.” Making things vanish isn’t the sort of enchantment I search for in a mic.

MXL 990 Condenser Microphone

On the off chance that this hasn’t just disclosed to you that I’m an excessively critical mic big talker, at that point let me reveal to you straight out; I’m an excessively meticulous mic braggart (to say the very least). In the event that I have a decision between a $10,000 high-quality mic and a financial limit mic, surmise which one I’ll choose? Wrong. It depends completely on the sound source. I don’t discount anything dependent on cost alone. The significant thing is the sound. So here’s my inquiry: Would an expert discover the MXL 990 helpful paying little heed to its value, Let’s find to out.

The MXL 990 stays one of the music industry’s most noteworthy microphones. The primary top-notch condenser microphone to come into reach of music performers, the MXL 990 has a FET preamp and a huge diaphragm for really expert sound quality in both computerized digital and analog sound chronicles. This progressive condenser mouthpiece keeps on surprising specialists with its sleek, very good quality and tight, strong low and midrange proliferation.

The MXL 990 Condenser Microphone which has been made of 3/4″ gold-sputtered diaphragm and has 30Hz – 20 kHz frequency reaction range which is intended to hold high and low frequencies and keep the general sound all around adjusted and straightforward. This straightforwardness enables it to function admirably with usually recorded sound sources in-home studio conditions, including acoustic instruments and vocals. It is enveloped by a vintage motivated metal design that looks great and can get beating very well, making it a versatile mic to have on the off chance that you need the additional support.

Initial impressions and specifications

The MXL 990 arrives in various arrangements and setups including straight up condenser and XY stereo. There is likewise USB variant of both. We had tested one of each into play. Beginning with the development, assemble quality is incredible and the mic has a strong and considerable feel. The hardware highlight a FET preamp and transformerless structure that, as indicated by MXL, is inexactly founded on the hardware found in the early British chronicle consoles. The benefits of this structure are lower self-commotion and extended powerful range. The 990s have a littler lodging than your ordinary enormous diaphragm condenser and dependent on look and feel alone, I would not be humiliated to put this mic up before a prominent customer. Presently how about we proceed onward to sound quality.

The first is a responsive, excellent capsule. The capsule is the endpoint of the microphone and it contains the segments that really catch the sound. The capsule itself is made out of a strong metal backplate and a meager diaphragm produced using conductive material. Most present-day condenser mouthpieces, similar to the 990, utilize gold-sputtered Mylar diaphragms to accomplish the best loyalty and dynamic range.

The size of the diaphragm is likewise significant. Huge diaphragm condenser microphones have a diaphragm of one inch or bigger in breadth. They basically give a greater surface region to approaching sound waves, creating more prominent affectability and a higher signal voltage. This improves bigger diaphragms at grabbing calm sound and inconspicuous detail without including undesirable commotion and noise. The MXL 990 is commonly charged as a huge condenser microphone, yet its diaphragm distance across really falls a fourth of an inch shy of the one-inch standard.


  • Cylinder tube structure Type: Pressure angle condenser receiver
  • Diaphragm: 6 micron gold-sputtered
  • Recurring frequency Response: 30 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Affectability or sensitivity : 15mV/Pa
  • Impedance: 200 ohms
  • Comparable Noise Level: 20 dB (A-weighted IEC 268-4)
  • Sign to Noise Ratio: 80 dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)
  • Max SPL for .5% THD: 130 dB
  • Power Requirements: Phantom Power 48V (+-4V)
  • Current Consumption: Less than 3.0mA
  • Size: 60mm x 130mm/2.36 in. x 5.11 in.
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds (544.3 grams)
  • Metal made Finish:  in different Champagne, Midnight, or White (Blizzard Edition)

Box contents

The MXL 990 Blizzard Edition came bundled in a cushioned cardboard box. The mic itself was enveloped by a plastic pack alongside some anti-moisture bags to keep dampness from entering and harming the touchy internals.

  • MXL 990 Blizzard Edition
  • Hard mount connector
  • Euro string stand connector
  • Client’s uses manual
  • MXL sticker

MXL 990 working performance on different scenarios

Give me a chance to state first that this mic is to be free of commonation, and that I do like its sound. It’s smooth yet with a touch of edge, and it has enough in the mids to give you bounty to work within a music blend. That is the place a portion of the spending cost limit of mic tumbles down. They have the case with the smiley face EQ bend that sounds incredible all alone yet bites the dust in a blend, or they sound like costly German mics until the artist belts, at that point they separate and contort. Not so with the 990.


As a rule, I especially enjoyed the sound of the 990 when joined with its cylinder tube preamp. On vocals, it gave profundity in sound without sounding noisy or hard and the high-recurrence frequency nearness bump (beginning at 5 kHz and topping at 14kHz) was useful for bringing out detail. I found that it enabled my vocals to approach in the blend without having to EQ highs (constantly giving more). Remember that I have a delicate, intelligible voice, so I need all the presence and additional push that I can get. In that lies the mystery of this mic—picking the fitting sound source. With regards to the economically cheaper among others, I additionally got astounding outcomes joining it with a Summit 2BA-221 and a Joemeek VC1Q. Likewise, removing a line from the VC1Q into an A-Designs REDDI yielded a sound I would use on a record quickly.

  • On Instruments

I saw the MXL 990 as impeccably fine for acoustic guitar and piano. It gave me a decent equalization all through the range and a lot of punk music data. I offer it a go-ahead for account steel-string, fingerstyle acoustic guitar. I would utilize this mic to record rock or blues piano, where punk music data and the capacity to slice through a blend are fundamental. I additionally got great outcomes utilizing it for drum overheads. The decent thing about utilizing an MXL mic is you just need to put one mic over the pack. In addition, you don’t have to stress over the catch moving its phantom picture to the other side of the sound-field as you do with A/B miking systems.

They state that actions speak louder than words, yet on account of the USB-controlled MXL 990, I’d state it’s just cheap. In case you’re a podcaster or voiceover artist, a MXL 990 USB and a decent PC are basically all you’ll require. Nearly tube-like in quality, its natural sound is smooth, and “talks” with power and lucidity. For the individuals who wish to play about in Garage-Band or a comparative PC-based program, you ought to have no issue getting a tolerable sound for voice or acoustic instruments if you keep the mic quite near the source. You’ll need to put the stereo USB mic somewhat more distant back, in any case, however not very far away. You’ll have to keep your signal to clamour proportion as high as could reasonably be expected. Remember that you are constrained to 16-piece/48kHz, so if 24-piece, the high-goals recording is your objective, you’d best stick with the XLR forms.

USB arrangement setup is snappy and effortless. My Mac installed it quickly, and on a PC, the arrangement wizard strolls you through it without issue. MXL additionally offers a free programming software download from their webpage that gives you a virtual preamp with volume control and a level meter.

MXL 990 review

This is an incredible, basic mic for accounting vocals, both male and female, doing voiceover work, and webcasts. There aren’t numerous highlights, however, one extremely cool element that the Blizzard Edition has are its 4 blue LED lights situated inside the wirework around the diaphragm. These are fueled off the +48V phantom power that is no doubt provided by your sound interface, even the modest ones.

If your home studio lighting is blue so this was an ideal match and looks magnificent you’re your setup arrangement. The LEDs are not excessively splendid and play off the wirework pleasantly, making the cold look from which the name originated from.

The MXL 990 is one of the most flexible cardioid design condenser amplifiers in this value section, and its quality is authenticated by the measure of positive surveys that it keeps on aggregating from common clients and specialists alike. As expected, some revealed that it can’t deal with high SPL sources given its 133 Max SPL particular, yet it will work fine and dandy in ordinary studio conditions. There were additionally rare sorts of people who saw that the mic will in general catch encompassing sounds, particularly when not situated appropriately.


  • Comes in a few designs for most extreme flexibility
  • Generally perfect and brilliant sound that fits an assortment of voices and instruments
  • Same case as the well-respected MXL 603S
  • Entirely reasonable
  • The MXL 990 Blizzard Edition is a ravishing mic and adds to the style to your arrangement


  • Can sound excessively high and brutal for certain applications
  • Not a genuine enormous diaphragm condenser
  • Needs a significant number of the extra highlights found on other condenser microphones

Best Competitions of MXL 990

The MXL 990 is to some degree one of a kind in that there basically aren’t numerous equivalent condenser microphones in its value extend. That is particularly obvious when you think about that it’s accessible in such a large number of various arrangements. Most budget condenser microphones appropriate for leisure activity or passage level proficient sound work are well outside of the MXL’s average value run. All things considered, there are a couple of choices worth considering in case you’re searching for an adaptable, pocket-accommodating condenser.

1. Samsun C01

Likely the most immediate challenge for the 990, the Samson C01 is another strong decision in this budget classification. Truth be told, the receiver microphone is comparative from numerous points of view. It utilizes an also estimated diaphragm and recurrence frequency reaction of 40 hertz to 18 kilohertz is just somewhat smaller than the 990s. On a viable level, the C01 conveys a somewhat more brilliant and airier tone than the MXL 990. Regardless of whether this is a positive or negative thing, obviously, will rely upon your application. The Samson doesn’t perform very good in the low range and it additionally will in general produce somewhat more self-commonative noise than the MXL 990. In any case, it’s reasonably well-built and it’s fit for creating a spotless and responsive sound. In the event that you’d lean toward a USB structure factor, you can likewise look at the up and coming Samson C01U Pro.

2. Audio Technica AT2020

 The Audio-Technica AT2020 is regularly one of the principal microphones referenced with regards to moderate section level apparatus. In truth, the AT2020 performs all around ok that the “passage level” tag is practically pointless. The back-electret configuration includes a similarly estimated diaphragm and a full data transfer capacity that keeps running from 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz. The construction quality is amazing gratitude to a cast metal structure and a tough wire work spread over the capsule. Sonically, the AT2020 is extremely simple and dependable. The mic includes moderately little of its own shading and highlights a genuinely manageable sound nearness reaction contrasted with a portion of its rivals. Be that as it may, a few people may see the absence of character as a disadvantage instead of an advantage. The AT2020 is additionally more exorbitant than different alternatives, especially with regards to the USB – enabled AT2020USB+

Bottom line about MXL 990

At last, the MXL 990 is all that you’d expect a passage level condenser receiver microphone to be. Regardless of whether that is something to be thankful for or a terrible thing relies upon your financial limit and your needs. Studio makers and expert musicians will most likely discover little an incentive in the 990’s utilitarian design and simplicity, to some degree characterless record quality. In case you’re a specialist working on a budget limit or searching for a basic, comprehensive kind microphone that can deal with an assortment of work, notwithstanding, the MXL 990 is a skilled and profoundly moderate option. The MXL 990 has the correct parity of reasonableness, quality and versatility, bringing about a generally welcomed and exceptionally suggested condenser mic for the thrifty or tenderfoot. We were suggesting this mic to make the best sound in budget, anyway it happened to be in our prescribed list on the grounds that our most recent comprehensive study of the market demonstrated that different choices had turned out to be all the more exceptionally well appraised and you can see those in our manual for The Best Condenser Mic Under $100 while searching it in google


I’m continually adding mics to my stock since no one can tell when a mic you wouldn’t hope to will catch lightning in a glass. I accept the MXL 990 to be simply such a mic. Between it’s budget low cost and excellent execution, it’s out and out senseless not to have one. On the off chance that you don’t have a decent FET condenser that can bring out a detail or add a little sizzle to voices and acoustic instruments, the MXL 990 causes a phenomenal and effectively reasonable option to any to mic bureau. What’s more, on the off chance that you’d like to add the profundity and measurement to your chronicle that lone stereo miking can offer, the XY-design 990 Stereo makes it simple as far as both arrangement and reasonableness. As I stated, considering the cost to execution proportion of the MXL 990 family, it doesn’t bode well not to have at any rate one.


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