Electro-Voice is a name that should be familiar to anybody with an interest in studio recording, with the RE320 a very popular tool. It bears a suspiciously similar resemblance to its higher-end brother, the RE20, although this one sits at a slightly more affordable price. Does that mean it is just a cheaper version of the RE20? Far from it…
When it comes to design, the RE320 is very similar to the higher-end RE20, albeit with a stealthy black semi-gloss chassis instead of the smooth champagne finish. Everything else is very similar, with a sturdy diecast steel body, broken up by that distinctive full-body grille.
Aside from this, there is no decoration or other cosmetic features to mention, with limited controls – just one switch on the side of the mic. As for build quality, it may look a little delicate, but this impressive dynamic microphone is very robust indeed.
So, in terms of design, the RE320 is quite similar to the RE20. How does it compare when we look at the features? Firstly, looking at similarities, the RE320 includes Electro-Voice’s Variable-D technology, designed to effectively reduce the proximity effect.
Otherwise, this mic is pretty different to the RE20 under the hood. The capsule design is completely different, although it does boast a very solid Neodymium magnet paired with an integrated humbucking coil and integral pop filter.
It is also fitted with a dual-voicing switch, allowing you to choose between two response curves for different applications, essentially giving you two mics for the price of one! Elsewhere you are looking at a fixed cardioid polar pattern, which perfectly suits the RE320’s intended application. Note that it also comes with a semi-hardshell case and a stand adapter.
It is no secret that the RE320 is meant to be used in a studio environment. It’s not exactly a vocals-only microphone, but it is a main player in the broadcasting world for a reason! This is where those two response curves come into play. Flick the switch to the right and the RE320 becomes a proper broadcasting mic, with a flat frequency response to deliver clear and natural vocals, with a touch of warmth.
However, switch it to the left and you have a mic optimized for recording instruments. In particular, the RE320 proves a great choice if you want to record drums, as it has a high SPL, with plenty of low end and midrange girth to support this application. Toss one in a kick drum and it you will find that snappy, punchy sound we all love.
Whatever the application, with that humbucking coil and built-in pop filter, and it provides a clean noise-free sound that’s so essential for pro studios. Overall, mightily impressive and endlessly versatile.
It’s no surprise, then, that the Electro-Voice RE320 is one of the most well-rounded and practical mics you can have in a studio. It’s not just a lower-priced version of the RE20, but a unique dynamic mic with plenty of worthwhile qualities of its own. Even for the midrange price, it shows off exceptional value.