The UK-based brand Aston Microphones builds some of the most rugged boutique-style mic you can find on the market today – and it’s no secret that we are big fans of theirs. With huge aesthetic appeal and an awesome performance, their Origin mic is easily one of the most capable condenser microphones you can buy for less than $300. Worth a closer look? We think so!
Just pull the Origin out of its box and it won’t take you long to realize that it is not your ordinary condenser. Aston have taken the aesthetics of this mic to a whole new level with a design that is on par with the higher-end Spirit. This includes a solid stainless-steel chassis with a cool tumbled finish that gives it an industrial look.
This shaft is topped with the brand’s signature head, comprising a tightly woven metallic mesh grille that sits under a rustic metal cage. Designed and built in UK, Aston really pushes the boundaries of build quality in this price range – this mic is made to last! From a purely visual point of view, this has to be one of the best-looking $300 mics out there.
Things get even better when you pop the hood and look inside. The core of the Origin is its capsule – a 1” gold-evaporated design with internal shock suspension to keep self-noise low. On top of that, the cool mesh head features a built-in pop filter that works very well indeed.
Looking at the specs of the Origin, it lists a frequency response range of between 20Hz to 20kHz and a max SPL of 127dB. Aston has also included a -10dB pad as well as a low-cut filter that kicks in around 80Hz. When it comes to connectivity, Origin uses a standard XLR connector which means that phantom power is a must.
One interesting thing about the Origin is that Aston asked a number of engineers, vocalists and producers to contribute their ideas. This combination of expertise really reflects in the end product. It has an excellent core performance for both vocals and instruments.
Often when you see a model with lower max SPL capabilities, you might wonder how good that mic actually is when it comes to recording instruments. In the case of Aston’s Origin, there is nothing to worry about.
While it may struggle with more aggressive instruments (i.e. drums, brass, etc.), acoustic guitars simply flow through this mic and require little to no touching up later on. Both male and female vocals sound simply amazing and very natural, with lots of clarity, detail and warmth. The built-in pop filter also helps to eliminate those nasty plosives.
With that awesome steampunk-esque design, the Origin is by far one of the coolest-looking condensers in this range, while its performance is stellar for the relatively affordable price. For home studios and serious recording artists on a bit more of a budget – but still after something with a striking visual appeal – it is a real winner.