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Microphone Month 3

Electro-Voice RE20 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 29 customer reviews
Questions about the Electro-Voice RE20?

Questions about the Electro-Voice RE20?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Greg Baum

    I bought my first RE20 in 1982 to use on my demos for Motown. In all these years it has never failed me. Believe it or not, my partner used to like to record vocals with it. For me, it is still my choice for a kick drum.

  • from San Pedro CA December 7, 2016Music Background:
    Engineer/ Songwriter

    Perfect Vocal Mic for Male VOX

    I love this microphone so much, it is perfect for male vocals. I bought this because I was looking for a big warm broadcast sound while recording singing. The microphone delivered in a big way. When I track live, this is my go to. I added the Cloudlifter to the mix for extra signal. The cloudlifter adds the dynamic that makes this sound like a vintage condenser with less background noise. I love it and will always use it!

  • from Roanoke, VA January 12, 2016Music Background:

    Podcasters delight

    This is a seriously professional mic and will immediately set your recordings apart from the crowd. Lots of dynamic range and nuance. Amazing for voice recordings. If you're a podcaster, voice over producer, or do any type of work that demands demands first rate vocal presentation, look no further. If you can afford it, invest in one and don't look back

  • from Punta Gorda, Florida October 16, 2015Music Background:
    Vocals, Rhythm Guitar & Bass Guitar

    Everything I expected it to be.

    For the longest time I've been wanting to experiment with this legendary microphone. I toyed with the idea of purchasing a used one but I was afraid to get stuck with a mike that may have hidden damage. Recently, I received some gift cards so I was able reach the price of a brand new one which enabled me to truly evaluate the performance of the RE-20. Research prior to my purchase revealed that the mike needed plenty of gain to provide a suitable signal. Knowing that, I connected the RE-20 to a Mackie mixer (for a boost in the gain) and then the mixer to my interface. The mike gives my voice the rich tone I prefer and I'm glad I made the decision to buy it. Out of curiosity, I tried connecting the mike directly to my interface but that required turning the gain control much higher than normal. I'm never comfortable driving equipment near maximum levels so I'll be running the RE-20 through my mixer in the future.

  • from Charlotte, NC April 3, 2015

    Electro Voice RE20

    After consulting my sales consultant "Chris" I decided to buy the RE20. This microphone is fantastic for voice recording. The sound is rich and clear.

  • from January 26, 2015Music Background:
    Composer, Producer, Engineer

    Great Bass Drum Mic

    I bought this primarily as a bass drum mic. I swapped out my D112 for this, moving the D112 to mic my floor tom and using an EV e901 inside the kick by the beater head and the RE20 on the back resonant head in the port.

    I have to say, it's a delightful combination. I also quite liked my D112. But on my particular bass drum (Pearl Reference 20"), this combination through my focusrite ISA428 is amazing. It's that really meaty, substantial kick sound I'd been longing for. And bonus - the D112 as a floor tom mic is pretty impressive, too.

    Overall, very happy and impressed with the mic.

  • from United States December 5, 2014Music Background:

    Great Voiceover Mic

    What a great mic! In my 30+ years in broadcasting and voiceover I have used a lot of different mics. The RE20 is one of the best. I even like it better than the RE27. It has such a clean sound yet it's very warm and inviting. You can't go wrong with the RE20! Plus the price at Sweetwater is nice too.

  • from Temple, TX August 14, 2013Music Background:
    Recording/Mixing Engineer

    One of the Best Mics on the Planet

    I've been using the RE-20 for years now and it is my go-to vocal mic for nearly any performance male or female due to the Variable-D proximity enhancement the mic offers.

    This mic is very flat and accurate so any source it's placed in front of will have 100% accurate reproduction with no real hype on the lows or highs, though I find the Variable-D actually enhances low end information in the right areas.

    You can use this on a number of sources without a problem. Vocals, bass, electric guitars, you can throw a LOT at the RE-20 and have it sound awesome. Get two, not one!

  • from Studio City, CA July 17, 2013Music Background:

    As radio as it gets...

    Still the best microphone in broadcasting, especially for the spoken word.

  • from Eustis Fl. May 10, 2013

    Electrovoice RE-20

    What a GREAT Mic!
    I am a amateur radio operator (KJ4QVJ) and since I started useing my new RE-20, my audio reports have been GREAT! I have had several stations comment that my audio is "broadcast quality".
    Thanks Sweetwater!

  • from Boston, MA April 21, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician

    Great Bass Microphone

    This mic is absolutely amazing for capturing bass guitar both on the road and in the studio. An RE 20 channel paired with a good DI channel will make your bass sound stunning. Get it!

  • from Danville KY, United States March 19, 2013Music Background:
    locally grown singer/songwriter, hack recordist

    Love the RE20

    I've been very happy with the EV RE20 for home recording and for singing live through a Fishman 220 (with a Cloudlifter). The night I forst used the RE20 live, I got several comments on the fine quality of the sound from the audience. This was an upgrade from a Sennheiser e935, which I still like and will keep. But the difference is extraordinary. I particularly like the minimal proximity effect. (I will say that I had to put a counterweight on my mic stand - this thing's a tad heavy.)

  • from Miami FL December 27, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer

    RE20 Classic

    I feel like I still have so much to explore with this mic, because it is so well-suited to recording any kind of sound. I purchased it for my vocals after being disappointed with the tone of my voice through many condensers, and I was instantly satisfied with this microphone. This is that sound I have been looking for. It also sounds great on acoustic guitar, and any other kinds of sounds. The lack of proximity effect is amazing too, you get the sweet spot instantly.

    Honestly, even if you end up not liking it for vocals, you will eventually use it on something. Like many people have said, every studio should have one. Excellent mic.

    (Oh, and they're not exaggerating about the build quality -- if you buy this mic, you will still be using it 20 years from now. Completely solid construction)

  • from New Zealand October 31, 2012Music Background:
    Drummer / Recording Engineer (enthusiast not

    Worthy of the accolades

    I love it, I brought it primarily for use on the outer resonant bass drum head paired with a D-6 about 1/3rd the way inside the shell, balancing the levels between the two gives a tonne of options and different sounds/feels.
    From the few tests I've done so far I expect this will be one of my "go to" mics for just about everything. the flatness of the sound and lack of proximity effect is fine by me as it allows me to do whatever I want with the source sound.

  • from June 26, 2012

    Great mic

    There is a reason this mic is considered the Gold Standard. It's rugged. If dropped from waist height onto a concrete floor, be concerned for the floor, not the RE20. Its internal mounting provides will gladly absorb gentle bumps without producing the slightest hint of a thump in the audio.

  • from New Orleans, LA February 8, 2012Music Background:
    Touring Musician, Recording Engineer

    A "Must-Have" Mic for any collection!

    I originally bought the mic to record kick and upright bass and it has NOT disappointed in those areas. This mic has a "true" sound, meaning it will pickup your sound just as it is. For drummers that know how to tune your drums, this mic is for you.

    This mic also excels at vocals. Recently I was recording an artist who's voice was warm, yet powerful. I tried the U-87 and the C-414 but the producer wasn't happy with the results. Before I reached for my ribbon mic, I pulled the RE-20 out and was blown away. This mic does it all!

    One side note...Mic needs gobs of gain. I strongly recommend a nice preamp or a Cloud lifter to boost gain.

  • from New Zealand April 7, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording Engineer,

    Dynamic mics all the way!!!!

    After months of research I have finally found the vocal mic with the sound that I have longed for. Personally I prefer the RE-20 and the Shure SM7B over many of the hi-end condensors, which is really saying something. I also own the Blue Bottle with B6 and B7 capsules, but I was shocked to hear that I prefered the vocal takes with the RE-20 over the Blue Bottle! (WTF!!!!!!!!!)
    The sound has very smooth highs and mojo warmth that sits inside the mix, without the annoying sibilance that I tend to get with alot of condensors.
    The RE-20 has excellent noise rejection, which makes it perfect to record pro results without having to leave my computer screen, it sits right next to me while I work. Bonus.
    RE-20 or SM7B, Pacifica, SSL XL 9000 K dynamics. EQ not needed = BLISS

  • from Philadelphia, PA October 3, 2008Music Background:

    Astounding Clarity & Presence

    We just put this mic up (through 1073>Pultec>LA-3) next to an original 251 (through 1073>LA-2A) for a low male vocalist, and there was NO comparison. The presence and power of the RE20 made the vocal sound bigger than life (especially in the intimately quite parts); my new favorite vocal chain!

  • from St. Louis, MO USA October 2, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Video, Lighting, Student

    An incredible sounding microphone

    I recently started using this microphone at one of my jobs and have found that it sounds incredible for use with any full range miking situation, especially with it's warm and smooth low end. It sounds great on kick drum, low toms, bass amp, and broadcasting vocals. My only problem is that it is somewhat awkward and unbalanced as it sits in it's clip so I have to tighten everything up a lot more than for something like a 57. It sounds incredible though and I am very pleased with it.

  • from Knoxville, TN USA January 31, 2008Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Recording/Live Sound Engineer

    The standard "must have" double bass microphone.

    Being a professional double bassist and recording engineer, I am constantly crafting my tone, from both sides of the microphone. After years of consultation and experimentation, the RE20 has proven to be the ideal recording/live sound microphone for the double bass. Placed near the upper f-hole and combined with a signal from a pickup (Realist, Underwood, Fullcircle), one can capture a true acoustic bass timbre that is very accurate and consistent. The pickup just adds a little clarity and growl incase one is going for that Ron Carter/Eddie Gomez sound. I recently recorded the great bassist John Clayton for The Knoxville jazz Orchestra's latest album. The album was a combination of a live performance and a studio session. Sure enough, Mr. Clayton shows up from LA with his OWN RE20, NO pickup and says that's all he needs. I also know that Edgar Meyer carries an his RE20 when on tour. The proof is in the pudding. I also use an AMT S25B. With this config., I move the RE20 to the lower f-hole. Depending on the instrument and live PA, consider using the low-cut on the RE20 to reduce excessive bottom end boom. The mic of course sounds great on vocals, reeds and brass. The RE20 is definitely one of my "Desert Island" picks.

  • from AL June 4, 2013Music Background:


    Smooth, great for voice overs. You'll also need the CloudLifter CL-1 to boost the gain.

  • from Seattle-ish April 13, 2012Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Hobbyist Drummer

    THE mic for kick drum

    I bought this mic as something to try on kick drum. I've been trying to get a certain recorded sound from kick drums that I'd been unable to achieve: tight, snappy, yet with plenty of bass punch. I knew a bunch of engineers swore by this mic for kick, so I decided to try it out.

    They're right. Stick this mic in the hole (if the drum is so equipped) or stick it just in front. On a jazz kick, I didn't need to do any processing at all. No EQ, no compression. It just worked in the mix.

    For rock drums, just EQ some bass boost to it, and add a little compression. (This mic has a flat response above 100 Hz or so, and rolls off in the bass... Which isn't usually a problem with a bass-heavy instrument like a kick drum, unless you want it larger-than-life.) It takes almost no effort to get a fantastic kick drum sound.

    Note that if the drum is not tuned, has dead heads, or the drummer isn't good, this mic will not mask those flaws. You'll hear every shortcoming in perfect detail! When the kick is properly tuned, with good heads, and played by a good drummer, you'll be floored by how good the drum sounds on the recording.

    I deducted a half-star because this mic is very heavy, and the included swivel mount being at the very end of the mic puts a lot of strain on the mic stand -- especially when using this mic on a kick drum.

  • from February 2, 2012

    Nice Mic

    I like it a lot. I also own the SM7B (the original model) and it was close to a coin flip between the two. Testing with my own voice (male, somewhat bassy), this is what I ended up liking:

    For dialog, I liked the SM7B with the presence boost and the RE 20 flat for dialog, both pretty close to the mic. To my ears, the RE 20 was a little more smooth. It seemed to have a bit more core and a nice air on top. The SM7B was a bit more articulate and a bit less flattering. I think I would prefer the RE20 with my voice unless I was concerned about projecting over other sounds.

    For singing, I liked the RE20 flat at more of a distance (around 4 inches), and the SM7B flat and pretty close. I preferred the RE20 for what I was singing, but I can see how the SM7B would work better for more punchy vocals.

    I think it would depend on the voice and the material which one I would prefer, but if I had to have only one of the two mics I would probably go with the RE20.

  • from new bedford ma usa June 1, 2011Music Background:
    musician producer engineer

    great value

    great addition to our mic closet handles transients well multi kick drum mic

  • from Bahamas June 22, 2009Music Background:

    Bass drum resident

    This mic now lives inside my bass drum. Its as good as I have recorded with so far.

  • from md December 8, 2016

    I made a good choice

    I like the mic. I can't believe the gain I get without the booster unit but I had the booster unit anyway.

  • from Fallston, MD December 12, 2014

    Electro Voice RE 20

    This is the workhorse of the broadcasting world. It is also a part of my VO arsenal along with my 416 Shotgun mic. I would recommend the RE 20 to anyone desiring a quality sound.

  • from January 10, 2013

    Fairly Good

    I used one of these mics for a little bit. I can't say I was that impressed. I used it for broadcasting work. The main issue I had with it was how airy and thin it sounded on my voice. It sounded very natural though. If I had the money I'd probably buy another just because of how cool it looks. It inspired me to try out the re320 and re27 as well. The RE20 is the better of the three. It sounds much more natural. It's a favorite for a reason. The others are failures in my opinion. If I owned EV I would have worked on making cheaper version of the RE20 not variants that perform worse with those horrible neodymium magnets. I definitely miss this mic a tiny bit. I will be looking back at it later. It has sibilance and buzzy issues among a few other things. It's definitely not always perfect. I've gone back to condensers after trying all the popular dynamics. I'll probably relook at this later. It's just so cool looking!

  • from NJ October 18, 2006Music Background:
    home recordist

    Kick Drum

    This is my go-to kick drum mic. I don't like to use the "specialty" kick drum mics, I'd rather use a nice dynamic like this and eq to taste. I also own the shockmount which is very high quality. I use the RE20 close in, and a condenser mic further out to get my kick sound. I have tried this on vocals, but if I want to use a dynamic, I prefer a Sennheiser 441 or a Shure SM7. However, for bass cab and kick drum, this is my go-to piece.

  • from June 4, 2015

    Noise issue

    The mic itself sounded great, however it picked up 7.5khz noise. The source, after much testing, tweaking, checking, and correspondence with EV is presumably a near by cellular tower. Tried two mics sorting through the problem. Only mic that's ever picked up this interference. Unfortunate, because otherwise, I quite liked the microphone.

    While the mic didn't work for me Sweetwater was great to deal with through the process as was Electro Voice. Both were professional and extremely helpful throughout the process.

Questions about the Electro-Voice RE20?

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