Attacking the established hierarchy in the world of dynamic microphones takes a lot of work, although the longstanding German company Telefunken is one of the few audio brands that has managed to do so successfully. Their midrange M80 is one of the most capable dynamic microphones you can currently find on the market, consistently seen on huge stages around the globe. Today we are taking a closer look at why…
On the face of it, the M80 features a pretty standard design when it comes to a dynamic handheld mic – truth be told, there’s not much a brand can do to make this interesting… or can they? Telefunken considered this issue, then went against the grain and offered a rainbow of color choices to make each mic feel very unique.
They offer a choice of finishes such as blue, green, orange, pink, purple, red or yellow, which all extend up and cover the grille as well as the shaft. There are also more sophisticated wooden chassis designs (including cherry and oak), or even spectacular gold and silver finishes too. These all come in at different price points, depending on the finish you choose. Of course, you can also find good old black, if you want something more traditional (and, dare we say it, boring). The build of the mic itself feels sturdy and durable, and inspires plenty of confidence.
Aside from the flashy exterior options, what makes the M80 so popular is the hardware found inside. It features a specially-designed low-mass capsule which helps reduce proximity effect, fitted with an ultra-thin diaphragm and a custom-wound impedance-matching transformer (made in America, no less).
In terms of specs, this mic features a supercardioid polar pattern, a wide frequency response range that is listed as 50Hz to 18kHz, and a considerable max SPL of 140dB. Even on paper, this is a recipe for more than a decent performance. It actually lacks some of the features we are used to seeing on a handheld dynamic mic. In fact, there are no switches – not even one for power. However, it does arrive with a quality M780 microphone clip and a soft leather zipper bag.
When it comes to core performance, the M80 is a versatile beast, excellent for both vocals and instruments. It is very well-balanced and, out of the box, offers plenty of girth for vocals to punch through the mix with great clarity and definition, and provides good transparency for a natural replication.
With the strong max SPL and wide frequency range, not to mention the supercardioid configuration, recording instruments is also fairly forgiving. Ultimately, Telefunken promise a condenser-like performance and they deliver!
For a multi-purpose dynamic mic, the Telefunken M80 delivers exactly the kind of balance you would want for both vocal and instruments. It’s not the cheapest dynamic mic out there, but neither is it unaffordable – for a professional stage-worthy handheld mic, it shows very good value! With those cool finish options, this really is a microphone that should appeal to everybody.