Audix i5 Reviews4.6/5.0 based on 22 customer reviews
Great attack when used on snare - it really captures the "pop" of pop music snare sounds. It's also very durable - a plus when using on drums particularly.
When tracking electric guitar in the past I always found myself sticking to the industry standard cardioid dynamic mic for that type of work. However, I recently came across the i5 and found that it does everything that other cardioid dynamic does really well, but the i5 does it much better with the right frequency response from the start! I've found my new guitar amp mic and I have a great suspicion that it will be my new snare drum mic, too.
The Audix i5 can handle high SPL, has quick response, good range, and strong off-axis rejection. Definitely my go-to instrument mic on stage. Ideal for guitar cabs and snare, I've also used it on acoustic guitar and mandolin with good results.
from Philadelphia, PA, USA, Earth
March 14, 2013Music Background:
Recording / Mixing Engineer, Musican
Doesn't replace an SM57 and an SM57 doesn't replace an i5I have been a professional mixing and recording engineer at several different music and broadcast studios over the years, so of corse I have my own home studio. I am always hearing engineers and clients comparing the sm57 with the i5 and which "is better". I own two i5's, five sm57's, a beta 57, two e906's, and an e609, as far as multipurpose dynamic microphones (not counting kick and bass mics). What it really comes down to is what sound I want, the instrument, the mic placement, and the outboard gear I'm mixing with.
As far as drums, I love the i5 on the bottom of the snare with a 57 or sometimes e906 on the top (depending on the drum kit and the sound the client wants). The i5 really captures the high end transients of the snare, while the sm57 captures the body. I also love the i5 on most rack toms, while for some reason I like the sm57s on the floor toms (with an MD 421 II also well sometimes). I've even used the i5 on a high hat before and got a nice sound (with a pencil condenser at the same distance with the -db pad on and with overheads of corse).
On several different guitar amps I've A/Bed the i5 and the sm57, on and off axis, in several different parts of the speaker cone. It really depends on the cabinet and the amp. Sometimes I like the i5 on vintage tweed style amp if it's lacking high-end, and sometimes I like the 57 on tweed amp because of the ways the 57 makes very subte even harmonic distortion on the high end. But for the most part, I use the i5 on modern amps especially for lead guitar and the sm57 on vintage style amps. But I always have at least a ribbon mic, a condenser, and a room mic on the amps as well.
The i5 has great upper mid range that stays clean and clear, and it also has a lot of body. I think if you have the money and you're recording guitar, drums, or whatever, you should get an i5, an SM57, and an e906. I have no personal favorite they all are great tools. And you can't have too many multipurpose dynamic mics.
from Hampton, VA. USA
February 6, 2013Music Background:
Project Studio Owner, Recording Engineer, Guitarist
ImpressiveThis mic sounds great. Using them drum mics. They handle the drums well. Got these for acoustic guitars but have not actually used the for that yet.
from Hood River, OR
March 27, 2012Music Background:
Pro Musician, Sound Engineer
Perfect for FluteAfter searching for many years have finally found the perfect flute mic for the stage.This mic is like a 57 on steroids....a big clear full bodied sound without the sometimes muddy thin hollow sound of a 57. Is music to my ears which makes my playing on the stage so much better.
Have used it to mic snares also and will never use a 57 again.
from Central, MN
January 30, 2012Music Background:
Live Sound, band, live recording.
Great mic.I use this to mic guitar cabs, snare, even used it as overheads before. In a pinch, I have used it as a kick mic. as well. It works for pretty much everything. I have since traded off, or sold all of my 57's, and use i5's. I love this mic!!
November 28, 2011Music Background:
better than a 57Micing a guitar cab with this will make you use your sm 57 as a back up. No joking, it's that much better. Very full and clear sounding. Plus, it's shorter which comes in handy if you use a cab shield.
Not sure how it works on vocals. A sound guy at church wants me to
buy a couple more for drums, etc.
November 16, 2011Music Background:
Great on Snare or Guitar AmpsI recently picked up the Audix DP 5A kit and was amazed at the quality of the mics. This works great on SNR. I prefer it to a sm57. Also works great on Guitar Amps. Since I've used it in miking stereo ac30s with an audix i5 and an sm57 and once again I preferred the tone of the audix i5 so much so that I'm definitely gonna be picking up a few more of these.
from Wilkes-Barre Pa
November 15, 2011Music Background:
Pro Musican Saxophone
Every horn musician needs oneClean, dynamic and realistic. My shure 57 and 58's could never do what these have done for my system. The industry standard has been de-throned. I has replaced my Pa System serveral times thinking that was the problem. Guess what? it was the mics. Before you invest in new equipment try a set of i5's
from Santa Barbara, CA
November 8, 2011Music Background:
Local Pro Musician and recording hobbyist
breathe life back into your snareIf you think an SM57 sounds good on snare, you're right...but who wants to settle for good when you can get great! Scrap that SM57 and try an Audix i5 instead and hear the life and presence come back into your drums. Plus these things are built like tanks.
April 3, 2011Music Background:
promoter, live sound, setup
Get rid of your 57's and get these...I mix for a lot of live bluegrass/blues/folk musicians. Many of which use washboards, stomp boxes, acoustic guitars without pickup's, etc. I use to use 57's to mic these items all the time, but then bought a used i5.......now, the 57's stay in the box, and I just buy these. This mic. sounds better by far. I put these on a low stand in front of stompboxes, or in front of a washboard, or soundhole on an acoustic and they always sound great! Great all around mic, and everyone should have several of these in the mic box!!
from Eatonton, GA USA
October 13, 2008Music Background:
Musician in rock band.
Wonderful General Purpose MicI love this mic. We use it for whatever we need it for in our demos. While the Shure mics are also great, we find it easier to find a particular instruments sweet spot with this mic (especially when searching for the ideal tone while micing a guitar amp). And just like the Shures, this little beast can take a beating. I have dropped it a number of times and it still sounds perfect. It even works great for vocals. We use it as a background mic live.
from Minneapolis, MN
September 28, 2007Music Background:
Hello Snare!We all know how to get a great snare recording...stick a 57 on it and add a little 100Hz. Not anymore! The i5 is like a 57 with some booty! I just tried it on a snare in my last session and my suspicions were confirmed -it sounded incredible. My 57 has been demoted to the bottom of the snare (where it really shines). Do yourself a favor and buy one of these little guys...you will not regret it!
from Macon, GA USA
September 28, 2006Music Background:
Recording/Mixing Engineer, Producer, Live Sound Engineer
Thinking about the old "standard"? Buy the i5 instead.The i5 is a fantastic recording microphone for guitar amplifiers. I have found it to be sort of like using a Shure SM57 for the highs and a Sennheiser 421 for the lows, only with the i5 you don't have the phase issues plaguing you that would be present when using two mics. While it has sufficient presence, it doesn't come off as bitey.
Smooth without being dark, present without biting, and lots of body without spilling out of the spandex; all appropriate descriptors of this mic's character.
When using this mic on guitar amps in a live sound application, I have found it to work so much better than the SM57 when I am using a proper system. The bitey flavor of the 57 sometimes helps cut through the character of a cloudy old mixer when something more balanced just doesn't do it. Also, so much of live guitar sounds is so subjective to the system, the guitarist, their equipment, and tone (not to mention the rest of the band) that to report on any particular experience that I have had with this mic in a live setting in the short time I have owned it, just wouldn't be fair. My feeling is, that if all the variables aligned into a "perfect" live sound situation, then the i5 would be found to be "the perfect dynamic mic" for that situation.
Another MAJOR plus is the i5's build quality. Nothing about this mic says, "flimsy" or "this piece of plastic will split some day". It's a little monster built for the road and drunk drummers lacking proper aim.
Speaking of drummers... this really is one of the best mics to come along for snare drums. While Audix makes some of the best available dynamic tom mics as well, a handfull i5's can handle the job nicely.
To me, this mic is the new "standard" and it's only earned it's stature with me because it corrected the deficiencies of the old standard to sound and perform the way that it does. You won't be disappointed.
from Wapakoneta, OH
February 8, 2012Music Background:
Worship Leader, Pro Musician, Singer/songwriter
Pleasantly surprisedI read the other reviews on this mic and thought I'd give it try. It's now our standard snare mic. It sounds amazing. It's has a little larger head on it so you have to place it carefully, but the sound is great. It sounds so good on our snare I haven't tried it on anything else yet, but like a 57, I'm sure it's great almost everywhere.
from cinnaminson, nj
October 23, 2011Music Background:
performer, writer, engineer, producer
awesome! Dont compare to 57 tho.....People who compare this to a 57 are overlooking a significant difference between these mics:
An I5 has a wide pattern for a dynamic mic. This makes for a natural, full, open sound. However, the I5 is a terrible snare or tom mic because it's wide pattern makes it pick up the entire kit! An sm 57 has a tight pattern that has excellent side and rear rejection. It is ideal for close micing when isolation from other sources is desired.
The I5 sounds better than an sm 57, but can't mic a guitar amp on a loud stage without lots of bleed from drums, etc.
from Tulsa Oklahoma
June 23, 2009Music Background:
Audix i5I bought this mic with the express purpose of plugging into my vox amp and jammin on the harmonica. I have no recording experiance but I have played the harp with other exceptionally good mics and I am happy to report that for dirty or clean harmonica playing I am very pleased with this mic. I don't want to get into comparisons because when you are playing the harmonica different mics and amps are different things to different people. I just wanted to say that I like jammin with this mic.
from Athens, Greece
April 16, 2009Music Background:
Musician, Sound Engineer.
Fantastic all-around micI bought this microphone as a more quality alternative option to micing my guitar cab. Although SM57 may work in a live situation, I was less than impreesed with the results I got from it recording in my home. So when I first tried micing my guitar cab with Audix i5, I was blown away. Just imagine an SM57 of greater quality and detail, and without its muddiness or boxiness! It was also much easier to find a sweet spot ("sweet spotS" I should say).
Paired with a decent condenser microphone, it produced reecordings which were hard to believe that they were "home-made".
A few days ago, I also used it to record some vocals, "just to see", and the results were equally (if more) satisfying with the ones I got with budget-md prized "vocal" microphones!
If you want the best microphone for recording ONLY guitar amps, then get a Sennheiser e-906. If you want a damn good microphone for recording guitar amps AND other possible sources, then get the Audix i5.
I seriously cannot of any sound source this microphone cannot handle well. Oh... great built quality, too!
from St. Louis MO
July 8, 2006Music Background:
Student, recording and live engineer
Audix i5 is better than SM57I bought my Audix i5 a couple of months ago and have fallen in love with it. It is by no means my most expensive microphone, but it is one of my favorites, and is my best sounding dynamic insturment microphone. I have used it on live and recorded drums, acoustic guitar, guitar amps, bass amps, piano and vocals, and in every situation it has given me sound quality that will put any SM57 to shame. It's a great dynamic mike, and rejects most feedback, but is still not as good as my good condensers.
June 12, 2011Music Background:
recording and live engineer
Works on acoustic bass in live setting4- 6 inches from the f hole. Deep and smooth through subwoofer (K12 tops and K-Sub- monitored through Bose L1 compact). Outdoors in a large corporate tent.
The subwoofer was loud and "rocking" with the acoustic bass. Acoustic Hawaiian music. Everyone happy and impressed. Pro player (day job).
I was ready to switch to condenser but didn't need too. i5 was deep, smooth and articulate. With authority. Could have gone louder if I wanted to.
October 1, 2009Music Background:
The new standard workhorseA really great multi purpose mic. One of the most useful mics in the cabinet. Bulletproof design. A little more clarity than a 57. Even works as overhead in a pinch!
from Western, MA
July 25, 2011Music Background:
recording engineer/producer, studio owner, drummer
Don't believe the hype. I made that mistake.I run a pro recording studio and rely on a wide variety of mics for daily use. I have never liked that Shure makes the SM-57 with a plastic diaphragm cap. One whack from a heavy metal drummer and it just breaks right off. However, the SM-57 is a stage and studio standard for a reason. The frequency range and pickup pattern of the SM57 are absolutely perfect for making snare drums and guitar amps sit perfectly in the mix. I bought an i5 about a year ago and at first listen I noticed that, by itself, it sounds much fuller and crisper than the SM57. This is not necessarily a good thing when trying to fit an instrument into a dense mix. However, every mic has a time and place. My main gripe with this mic is the way it sounds on snare drum (which is why I bought it). It is so unreasonably DYNAMIC that the snare hits are either lost or right in your face from hit to hit with a relatively steady drummer playing (I also had an SM57 on the bottom snare head). I literally had to use 3 compressors in a row on the i5 to catch all of the crazy peaks in order to make it listenable, When the dynamics were finally under control, the sound was not nearly what a snare should sound like. It was very thin and a bit tinny sounding. Far beyond the capability of any corrective EQ-ing. Obvoiusly the necessary overcompression doesn't help this. Not a fan of this mic on distorted guitar amps either. I would say that it sounds far too sizzly for my taste. Either way, all I'm saying is that this mic is DEFINITELY not for me. SM57s are time-tested and well-loved for a reason and I'm sure as heck not parting with mine any time soon.
from New York
April 30, 2006
i5This mic works wonders for snare. Paired with a condenser mic, on guitar the i5 rules. ALlthough it really helps to have a 70hz, 80hz or 100hz rolloff on a preamp, this mic is beefy and the proximity effect is not subtle. If you aren't careful, you can get some bass buildup. So proximity effect aside, proper mic technique and a good preamp make this mic a real nice addition to my mic locker.
January 9, 2006
Audix i5This mic is amazing. I have used it on vocals (female and Male), acoustic guitar, my mesa boogie F50. Gives me a great sound, all the time. On female vocals, I got this beatles like sound (live studio track), vintage like. Very smooth sounding.
This mic always seems to fit into the mix well, with anything I record with it. Assuming you know about compression and mic techinque, you can achieve awsome results with this dynamic mic.