Review: ETHOS Earthworks Audio XLR Microphone
Earthworks has a reputation for its influence in genuine sound presence and clarity, and once again Earthworks delivers another premium product that is sure to make a big noise. Their newest ETHOS XLR mic for broadcasting is something many Podcasters and YouTubers will want to seriously check out! Let’s listen in and hear what we can expect from this product.
The ETHOS Earthworks Audio XLR Microphone is an amazing broadcasting mic. I had the privilege of reThe ETHOS Earthworks Audio XLR Microphone is an amazing broadcasting mic. I had the privilege of reviewing the Earthworks Audio ICON USB Microphone last year and have to say that Earthworks keep upping their game! Performance, quality and sound of any Earthworks microphones are built with the end users needs. This XLR microphone is made to sound like you are there in the audience.
True to Life Sound
Ethos is a user-friendly, high-end broadcast microphone that can be used with budget-friendly audio devices. It is just as comfortable in a standard broadcast studio as it is on top of a streamer’s desk. The ETHOS is a 14mm diaphragm condenser microphone with a tight super-cardioid pattern. As a condenser microphone, it’ll pick up a much wider range of frequencies compared to the dynamic capsule on the ICON, and so delivers a much truer sound. It’s an XLR broadcast microphone built for genuine intimacy and vocal warmth, as if it’s responding to each individual voice while also satisfying the needs of engineers. It plays well with all types of voices and offers the sharpness of broadcast with the clarity that is expected from an Earthworks microphone. The windscreen stack on ETHOS sets a new standard for plosive and wind noise protection. It’s simple to clean or replace, and the foam, mesh, and steel combination means even the most enthusiastic vocal personalities are unlikely to require any aftermarket augmentation.
ETHOS vs ICON USB
Comparing this with the ICON USB, at first glance you can tell a difference in diaphragms size with the ICON only managing a 12 mm diameter. The ETHOS boasts a frequency response that covers up to 30kHZ and beyond. It needs 24-48v phantom power from an audio interface, just like other condenser microphones. However, with the many inexpensive options to choose from when it comes to audio interfaces, this shouldn’t be a problem. For users who have to deal with background noise, such as children or busy city streets, using ICON at a distance may present some challenges. While there is considerable noise rejection from close sources, anything audible outside of a three-foot radius gets picked up by the ICON. Some of these issues can be overcome by speaking closer to the microphone – roughly 2-3 inches away.
However, I found that with ETHOS, despite being a condenser microphone, which is prone to picking up a lot of background noise, it excels in noise and shock rejection. This means that users can benefit from the condenser microphone’s wide frequency response while providing a rich tone. The ETHOS will allow you to move your microphone around freely. For example, it can be used up close for a warmer effect or positioned over a foot away for improved plosive rejection and clarity- it truly blurs the lines between broadcast and studio microphones.
A Premium Microphone?
It is very simple to attach and place the ETHOS to a mic stand, and users will love the supplied Earthworks M2-R ball-mount. It truly makes mic setting simple and quick, which is ideal for a live stream or podcast. The placement of the XLR output, which is on the microphone’s end is straight out, so users may want to purchase a right-angled XLR connector to make it a little less awkward when attaching and unplugging. This is obviously up to the users setup.
When using the ETHOS XLR microphone, users will notice that they need less post-production EQ to get a good sound out of their voice. Although each voice is unique, the ETHOS will deliver a more accurate and pleasant approximation of your voice right out of the box. It’s also been fine-tuned so that a slight presence boost between 100Hz and 900Hz, and some mild peaks and valleys between 2kHz and 20kHz brings about a much sharper and bolder sound, truly bringing out the best in your voice.
Because of its internal damping and sturdy stainless-steel design, ETHOS is inherently resistant to handling noise and thumps. The integrated Triad-Orbit M2-R ball joint mic adaptor enables for precise placement and adjustments, making it perfect for use with a mic arm. It can also be used at any angle and with any stand, including traditional mic stands, desktop, and boom-arm designs.
Why choose The Earthworks ETHOS?
First and foremost, the sound quality is exceptional. The lows are rich and graceful, but never overwhelming, making your recordings sound professional. The upper end is crystal clear without sounding overbearing. In my opinion, it does an outstanding job of suppressing plosives and wind noise. The beauty of this instrument is intangible. The high level of craftsmanship is immediately obvious and the unmistakable care and dedication that went into its design and construction is simply magnificent.
Overall, users will find that it exceeds all expectations and should be extremely impressed with the ETHOS. It’s perfect for any form of content creation. You can record audio for endless hours without feeling fatigued as it will stand up to distortion, ambient noises and high sound pressure levels whilst effortlessly capturing low-level sounds. And considering the design and engineering that it boasts, the ETHOS is well worth the investment. In fact, there is no hesitation recommending this mic for any type of production, especially for those in the broadcasting, voiceovers, and live streams crowd. You can find where to purchase the ETHOS Earthworks Audio XLR Microphone from the Official Website or on Amazon.