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CAD Audio Equitek E100S Review – Low Noise, High Performance

4.7 out of 5 stars

With more than 85 years of experience, CAD Audio is one of the oldest manufacturers of microphones in United States. Their condenser mics have been used in professional studios as well as by amateurs for decades, with the Equitek E100S proving one of the most unique and – for that reason – popular condenser microphones you can find for under $500. Let’s look at this one in more depth…



Unlike the tubular mics that make up the majority of the higher-end mic market, the E100S approaches things differently by offering a rectangular design with an extreme side-address grille layout, which all looks a little 1980s. Whether or not this appeals to you is for you to decide – it’s not our favorite design, but it serves its purpose if nothing else.

Designed and crafted in America, the good news is that this mic feels like it is built to last. It features an all-metal body with an all-black rubberized finish on the chassis and a matching black grille. One downside to the mic’s shape is its inability to work with modern shock mounts. To solve this, CAD integrate a mic stand mount onto the chassis itself, along with an internal shock mount system.



The Equitek E100S is a large-diaphragm condenser that features a 1” nickel-plated capsule, with a fixed supercardioid polar pattern. The circuitry involved with the capsule is fairly complex, with a Quadra-FET platform and a variety of proprietary solutions.

Additionally, the E100S comes with an 80Hz high-pass filter and a -10dB attenuation pad. In terms of specs, the frequency response range spans from 40Hz to 18kHz, which is slightly narrower than what’s usually seen in this category. With the pad engaged, the max SPL is 150dB, leaving plenty of space to record even the most aggressive instruments.

Finally, thanks to the quality circuitry, the 3.7dBA self-noise level – probably the lowest in this range – is very commendable and will make it hard to pass on for many engineers. Note that, with an XLR connection, 48v phantom power is still required to power this mic.


While one of the highlights is that low, low self-noise level, the E100S offers a very tight performance, providing you know how to get the best out of it. Recording vocals is what this mic does best, adding a layer of richness and warmth that many users want with a studio condenser mic. It’s well-balanced, but still offers a satisfying vintage tint.

It’s pretty flat, to the point where you shouldn’t run into compatibility issues with different vocalists. Similar rules apply when recording instruments, while the large SPL allows this mic to handle whatever you can throw at it – from acoustic guitars to powerful electric amps.


While CAD Audio’s unique Equitek E100S may not be the most refined condenser mic out there, it’s a very silent piece of gear that delivers great core performance and clean recordings – versatile for everything from podcasting to recording a drumkit. Providing you aren’t put off by the boxy design, it proves a formidable choice in a highly competitive segment.

For more info about the CAD Audio Equitek E100S, click here.
For more Condenser Microphone Under $500 you might like, click here.

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