MXL 550 Review: Microphone Features, Pros, and Cons

The MXL 550 is a cardioid condenser microphone as a small diaphragm, low price, and entry-level mic for the people. This mic delivers the best performance for recording clean audio that is recorded. If you are looking for an honest review of the MXL 550 XLR Condenser Microphone then keep reading.

The mic has decent looks for an average user or for a beginner, and it comes with a silver grill on top of it. It’s a solid body metal constructed mic, which means it is durable and strong enough to take on any impact or accident by mistake.

This mic is ideal for mindful musicians who look for the best mics under budget to record quality audio. This robust vocal condenser microphone has an XLR connector with the use of supply phantom power to connect it to a pc.

MXL 550 Microphone Review


MXL 550/551R Microphone

XLR Condenser Microphone

Best Entry Level Microphone For Vocals and Instrumentals

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Features of MXL 550 Microphone

MXL 550 is the XLR Condenser Microphone which is popular as the best and budget-friendly instrumental microphone for beginners. The microphone has got so many recommendations from some industry experts as well.

Here’s everything you should know about the MXL 550 XLR Condenser Microphone.

You will get the microphone as two components as MXL 550/551R together. You will get the two microphones that cover a wide range of vocal and instrumental applications without any exhausting sound at all.

MXL 550 mic does have the cardioid (unidirectional) polar pattern which captures the sound only from the front side of the microphone. The mic rejects all the unwanted sound from other sides of the microphone which gives much better sound quality.

MXL 550 does have the XLR connectivity which is quite easy for all the people. MXL 550 microphone has the frequency response of 30Hz to 20kHz which is quite a wide range for recording vocals. It has the maximum sound pressure level (SPL) of 130dB which is much better for guitar, drums or any instrumentals.

According to my experience, there are few things I noticed, and I would say these are the best features that come preloaded with this microphone from the company.

·   It is a pressure gradient condenser microphone, and it’s best to use with acoustic guitars. The basic frequency that you can expect from this mic is 50Hz with a little bass boost.

·   It has microphone pairs that are perfect to be used together in order to cover every type of recordings and music. It picks the sound from its front side, which means that any sound coming from the sides is slightly ignored from getting into the recording of audio or music.

·   As far as my experience with mics is concerned, this mic works really well for the recordings of vocals and for such instruments to record audio. The mic delivers a fine-tune with the vocals to deliver clarity and detailed output of the sound.

·   The design of this mic is a distinctive design, and the common color with this mic is striking red which catches the eye of a user for its shiny heavy metal body that gives you a feeling of using a studio microphone.

Specifications of MXL 550 Microphone

Microphone TypeCondenser
Polar PatternCardioid
Frequency Response30Hz – 20kHz
Capsule Size22mm
Max SPL130dB
Output Impedance200 ohms
Equivalent Noise20dB
Signal to Noise Ratio80dB
Current Consumption<3.0mA
Power Requirements48V phantom power
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  • Elegant and unique design
  • Boosted high end
  • Built-in mic stand mount
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Not recommended for live streaming or YouTube
  • No shock absorption

MXL 550 vs. MXL 990

The MXL 550 is a basic or an entry-level condenser microphone that is used by several users around the world. But if you don’t have a FET condenser for more detailed audio input for recording voices and instruments, then MXL 990 is the best option.

MXL 990 is best like MXL 550 because both of these mics have a win-win situation for their low prices and excellent features that are offered to the users. On the other hand, I would use the MXL 550 over the 990 as my main mic, but there is another problem that I see is that 550 doesn’t have a suspension mount for use on my mic stand, which is mounted to the desk for recording any podcasts.

The interesting thing about MXL 550 is that its capsule appears to use a white plastic diaphragm retainer ring, but overall, MXL Microphones is a great brand to offer the best variety of condenser microphones like MXL 550 and MXL 990 for Studio, USB, Podcast, Video Conferencing, and Field Recording.

MXL 550 vs. Audio Technica AT2020

The AT2020 is a good microphone with a frequency range of 20Hz to 20kHz with an SPL of 144db. This mic is best used for studio recording, and when I compare it with an MXL 550, both these mics record the audio from the front of the mic. I think that at2020 is in most of the cases, just like MXL 550.

The only advantage of having an MXL550 is that you get that microphone for a very low price that provides all the features that a good microphone should have. It doesn’t include professional-level quality, but it’s not the worst. On the other hand, at2020 might be more expensive than the 550, but it offers more features and better sound quality.

What do you get in the box with the MXL 550 Microphone?

As I always say, it is necessary to know what you are going to get in the box with the microphone. You can know what else you might need in order to get everything for your setup.

Here are the things that you will get in the box with the MXL 550 microphone:

  • MXL 550 Microphone
  • MXL 551R Microphone
  • Mic stand mount
  • Adapter

If you are going to use it for studio then I would recommend you to get a shock mount for yourself.

MXL 550 Review: FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are MXL Microphones any good?

Yes, MXL mics are good for the price that they offer. A lot of user reviews have been shared on the web that shows happy customers because these are low-budget microphones that provide good quality results to the users for recording. So MXL mics have made their place in the heart of many customers.

Is a condenser mic good for vocals?

Condenser microphones are actually very good at capturing vocals and any high-frequency sounds. These types of mics are best applicable in studios or any application that supports studio-based audio. Because of their accuracy and details, people prefer to use these microphones in the studio for recording quality vocals and sound.

What is an MXL microphone?

MXL Microphones is a brand that has a variety of different mics that are actually designed for live stage use. This brand delivers mics from handheld dynamic microphones to the mics that are designed for drums and even for guitar amps. These mics are cheap and very durable to last longer than most of the other mics.

What is microphone phantom power?

Phantom Power is a process of delivering Direct Current to the mics that require some electric power to drive the active circuitry.


You have got the idea of MXL 550 microphone and if I have to sum it up then I will say this microphone is best for those who are just starting out in the studio recordings. If you are planning it for live streaming or something, then it is not recommended.

Do you have anything to ask? Do let me know in the comment below.

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