The MXL R144 Review

TypeRibbon Velocity Microphone
Frequency Range20Hz -17kHz
Polar PatternFigure-8
Sensitivity-56 dB (0 dB=1V/Pa)
Ribbon Element1.8-micron aluminum ribbon
Ribbon Length47mm/1.85 in.
Impedance250 ohms
Rated Load Impedance>1500 Ohms
Max SPL for 0.1% THD>130 dB @1 kHz
Size47mm x 171mm/1.85 in. x 6.75 in.
Weight400g/0.85 lbs
Metal FinishPurple and chrome

Polar Pattern

R144 Review

So, let’s take a look at the MXL R144 Microphone. So, when you open the box you’ll be  greeted with the 20th-anniversary MXL microfiber cleaning cloth. I like that the fact that they put that in there. Then you’ll also be greeted with the isolation black shock mount, which is a quite sturdy pretty good build. Also, you get some more tensioning rubber bands, that’s pretty good that they added that in there. And the good-looking microphone itself. It’s very easy to put a mic into the mount. There are two little knobs you need to press in. And it will just slide right in and as soon as you start letting go it really provides a good grip and it holds it in there quite well. So, you don’t have to worry about the thing coming out it’s such a snug fit. You can turn it upside down and you have no worries of this thing falling down they did a great job with the quality of the build of this microphone and the isolation shock mounts. 

So, there’s one more thing that you might want to add and that would be a small microphone stand or maybe even a boom mic. So this microphone incorporates a figure-8 polar pattern and a 1.8-micron aluminum ribbon, which is different from your standard condenser microphone with the figure-8 polar pattern that is. It’s really good for catching vocals instruments and for its recording. The R144 also performs brilliantly on strings, acoustic instruments, and horns and offers high SPL capability, outstanding side rejection, and precise directivity. 

The MXL R144 Ribbon microphone uses an aluminum ribbon transducer which by nature is a bidirectional pickup pattern. A figure-8 pattern will pick up sounds from the front and back sides of the microphone with equal sensitivity while maintaining a large amount of rejection 90° off access. The front of the microphone is indicated by the MXL logo where the audio signal is in-phase while the backside has an inverted phase. Ribbon microphones typically have a lower output than condenser mics and may require a preamplifier with a lot of gains. It is highly recommended to use a preamp with low noise, high gain, and an input impedance of 1500 ohms or greater. MXL strongly advises experimentation with placement and isolation requirements with the gain initially set low to avoid possible equipment damage.

The MXL R144 is an optimal microphone especially for someone who’s trying to take their audio to the next level. I mean I was by myself was using a blue Nessie microphone which sounded really good but compared to R144 and the Scarlett 2i2 the quality of the sound really clear, rich in quality, and as I said before this microphone is super nice-looking. I recommend this to anyone who’s looking to upgrade their microphone or just audio in general I mean this combined with the Scarlett 2i2, it’s a perfect pair. Also, you need to have a pop filter because talking close to the microphone it’s gonna catch a lot of the air that comes out of your mouth. 

 Pros

  • Very affordable for a ribbon mic.
  • Versatile, though EQ is often needed to shape the sound.
  • Great mic to broaden the tonal palette of your sound
  • High SPL capability—ideal for horns and electric guitars
  • Nicely built with included shock mount.
  • Mellow sound with a rich midrange and rolled-off top end
  • Classic ribbon sound with a rich smooth midrange
  • Compact design that makes mic placement easy

Cons

  • The relatively low sensitivity means that for the best results, you’ll need a decent‑quality mic preamp.

Conclusion

The MXL R144 is an affordable means to attain the unique sound of a ribbon microphone in your studio. Like all ribbon microphones, it lacks the detail and airiness of a condenser, but the warmth and smooth high-end it provides can be the perfect fit for certain recordings.

We do not recommend the R144 if you are buying your first microphone, as its unique sound character is not desirable for many recordings. If you already own a number of microphones and you want to add a new sound to your collection, the R144 is a great option. You can learn a lot from experimenting with a ribbon mic, and the MXL R144 is one of the most affordable microphones as an addition to your studio.  Thanks for reading.

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