MXL 550/551 Microphone Review

In this article, I’ll be reviewing the MXL 550 and 551 microphones. I tested it in my studio and can share with you my impressions. Let’s see the specifications at first.

The MXL 550 / 551 Specifications:

TypeThe MXL 550 SpecificationsThe MXL 551 Specifications
TypeFrequency ResponsePressure gradient condenser microphone
Capsule Size22mm/1.26 in.Sensitivity
Output Impedance30Hz – 20kHz30Hz – 20kHz
Polar PatternS/N RatioCardioid
Sensitivity15mV/PaCurrent Consumption
Power Requirements200 Ohms110 ohms
Equivalent NoiseWeight20 dB (A-weighted IEC 268-4)
S/N Ratio80 dB (Ref. 1Pa A-weighted)Connector Type
Max SPL for .5% THD130 dB137 dB
Current Consumption<3.0mA<3.0mA
Power Requirements48V phantom power (+/- 4V)48V Phantom Power (+/- 4V)
Size47mm x 170mm/1.85 in. x 6.69 in.22mm x 134mm/.87 in. x 5.25 in.
Weight0.8 lbs /362.87g0.2 lbs/90.72g
Metal FinishRed with chrome grillRed with chrome grill
Connector TypeXLR ConnectorXLR Connector

Product Identifiers

  • Brand MXL Mics

  • Item model number 550/551R, MXL 550551R

  • UPC 0801813134421

  • Color Name Red

The Box Includes

  • MXL 550 Microphone

  • MXL 551 Microphone

  • MXL H-03 Hard Mount Mic Stand Adapter

  • Hard Mount Mic Stand Adapter for the MXL 550 Mic

  • Rugged Carrying Case

  • MXL Microfiber Cleaning Cloth

  • Owners Manual

  • Documentation

  • 1 Year Warranty

The MXL 550/551 Features

  • Microphone pair that can cover all recording needs

  • Distinctive design: Freestanding, a striking red body

  • Fine-tuned to deliver extra clarity and detail

  • Sound Mode: mono

  • FET preamp with balanced output and low noise

  • Usage: Professional

Product Description

This two-in-one Recording Ensemble delivers outstanding performance for both vocals and instruments. Good for quality-oriented but budget-mindful musicians, the MXL 550/551 Ensemble includes the MXL 550 and MXL 551. The MXL 550 is a robust vocal condenser microphone with exceptional clarity and tonal quality. The MXL 551 instrument microphone provides the dynamic range needed for acoustic guitars, pianos, drums, stringed instruments, high-hat cymbals, percussion, and more.


  • Decent construction

  • Affordable

  • Acceptable performance


  • Not the best sound on guitars

  • Only decent elimination of background noise


It’s two condenser microphones, one with a large diaphragm and one a little bit smaller diaphragm. The MXL 550/551 microphones are the optimal home recording microphone pack for instruments that demand a clear and detailed recorded tone for such a good price. The two-in-one MXL 550-551 Microphone can be used for vocal recording as well as with instruments when on-the-road or in the studio. 

This 550-551 microphone also features a robust vocal condenser microphone delivering exceptional clarity and tone quality. Each mic has a pressure gradient condenser capsule with a cardioid pickup pattern for off-axis noise rejection. The MXL 550-551 Microphone has a signal-to-noise ratio of 80-decibels and 78-decibels and an output impedance of 200-ohms and 110 ohms respectively. The 550-551 microphones have a red chrome grill metal finish with a sensitivity of 15mV/PA, a frequency response of 30Hz–20 kHz, and current consumption of less than 3.0mA. The MXL microphone has a cardioid polar pattern, an equivalent noise of 20db, and a power requirement of 48V. All this provides a good sound quality. 

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