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Rode S1 Reviews

5.0 stars based on 12 customer reviews
Questions about the Rode S1?

Questions about the Rode S1?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • from Lake Tahoe August 24, 2016Music Background:
    Pro performer

    Best in class

    Rode offers the best values in vocal mics. If you're screaming rock'n'roll lyrics, the SM 58 will do you just fine. But if you're a singer and want something to capture the warmth and resonance in your voice, spend the bucks for this mic. If $100 is all you can afford, get the Rode M1. The next step up in the Neumann KMS 105 at more than twice the price. If you've got the bucks, you might go for the KMS 105; but (to my ear) there's a MUCH bigger gap between the SM58 and the S1 than between the S1 and the KMS 105, and I haven;t heard any other mic in this price range that comes close to the warmth and clarity of the S1.

  • from Dorset September 20, 2015Music Background:
    Jazzband leader & electronic test engineer

    Rode S1 condenser microphone

    I run the 7 piece traditional jazzband 'Spirit of New Orleans' based in Bournemouth UK. The resident band at the Bournemouth jazzclub . For 20 years I've used SM58 & 7s & find them abit too bassy for my taste , not enough clarity & presence , I record every gig digitally . I bought a Rode S1 to test at home & was impressed , but not enough to be worth a change . Disappointed I went back into research mode & discovered to my horror that my upmarket Yamaha amp [EMX212s] only supplied 15v phantom power ? The Rode S1 requires 48v. [thought that this was the standard]. Most condenser mics. will be ok on 15v but NOT the Rode S1 , it was designed for 48v & incorporates a FET preamp. Ok it works but design specs. will not be achieved i.e. [sensitivity, fading ,volume, frequency response] . For studio quality the designers know best . I bought a 4 x mic. 48v phantom power supply . The result was spectacular to say the least , enough for a tight Yorkshirman to buy another 2x S1s . QUALITY. NOTE ;- one 48v supply will only work one mic. [4ma] Expensive ones are made for multiples . Try & fading problems & hum occurs. THESE MICS. ARE FANTASTIC clarity natural sound , you name it. If I were prime minister I'd make them compulsory . No feedback problems, S - plops , all gone , gain turned down . SM58s although the industry standard are simply none starters , only take notice of tech. people who know what they are listening for , most only hear volume & false tone ! [ guitar amps spring to mind ] , not quality . Equalisation has a huge effect , why destroy a true sound , leave it alone . VALUE FOR MONEY no need to spend more , its only the placebo effect of a higher price so it must be better . The Emperors cloths spring to mind . BUY ONE you will never regret it .

  • from December 17, 2014Music Background:
    Semi pro musician

    Very, very good

    Bought this for a specific usage. Male vocals (quite a low range think Mark Knopfler, George Ezra) with acoustic guitar through a really nice amp (Schertler Jam 400) and was looking for a vocal to match the rich guitar sound.
    Have used a Sennheiser 835 for 10 years or more.
    The Rode S1 on an A/B test through the same amp (literally next to each other on a double mic clip - same eq) is more articulate, louder & just a cleaner & clearer sound without losing any warmth.
    Everybody noticed the difference as I was in company during the test. My musical partner bought one too having first heard and then used mine in the same solo player type application. Sounded amazing with someone else (tenor range) using it.
    I have used both the S1's for live vocals in a duo with lots more going on..monitors, guitar amps, backing tracks etc but find (tried twice..) it seems fade in and out a bit ie: lose power and then comes back in too strong & feeding back when I've tried to adjust the input gain to compensate - whether it's due to trying to supply 2 x 48v phantom to both mics straight from the desk which is well overdue a service I don't know...probably!! Reverted to the 835 just for feedback saftey for those duo gigs as we both think the dynamic mic is better for the louder duo.
    For the acoustic application mentioned above it's really very good indeed. I do get a 'feedback swell' every now and again but don't panic - I do like to push the vocal and set a reasonable length of reverb to really enable singing off the mic - I find it helps me 'get into it'. I also have my amp really close by and often behind me (speakers facing the mic..) to avoid taking monitors to small gigs...For most singers this won't a problem as most peoples voices are much stronger than mine and will have up front monitoring! Used it for 18 months on and off and it's performance is superb - looks cool too in the nickel finish! The guarantees with this thing are not to be ignored either - I treat mine with the repect it deserves but nice to know I'm covered if I were to drop / break it.

  • from Grand Junction, CO August 30, 2011Music Background:
    lifetime musician going pro


    Crisp & clean, beyond expectations. Makes muddy & distorted sound a distant memory. Strongly recommend for anybody wanting to clean up vocals & make them shine. Great value for the money.

  • from WY November 12, 2009Music Background:
    Gigging amateur musician (less frequently than I used to)

    outstanding sound and durable

    I purchased this mic 4 years ago after being told by a pro sound vet that my dynamic mic was ripping me off sonically. Once I received the mic we did the "pepsi challenge" with my old mic to compare. The difference was night & day. Many folks over the years have said that condensers are fragile and temper-mental; this one is not. It has stood up to hard use without ever faltering. The only issue I have ever had is that it requires 48v phantom, period. Anything less than 48v will not light it up. Overall the price may seem a bit prohibitive, but when you consider that the sound quality you get from this mic alone is comparable to what you could only get by having an expensive pre-amp. This mic's frequency range is 20-20k ensures that you get all of those frequencies that most mics will not pick up. The guarantee is icing on the cake. If you are on the fence, jump off and buy it, you won't be disappointed.

  • from Holland, MI November 4, 2011Music Background:
    Sound Designer, Engineer

    Very Nice Mic especially at the price

    Purchased this mic because i was looking to step up in vocal mics for my venue, but had to keep an eye on the budget. I have several SM58's, Beta 58's, Sennheiser e845s and a Neumann KMS105. I was looking for something that would provide the sound of the Neumann but were a little less costly. I have to say that I have been very impressed with the S1. It has great warmth and a smooth response. I recently had a concert with the S1 on stage with the Neumann, and it compared very favorably

  • from LA October 18, 2011Music Background:

    Great studio mic

    Excellent sounding studio and live mic for acoustic guitar, loud guitar amps etc. . . . but especially for vocals. Provides great results with no fuss set up. To my ears the mic sounds like a cross between a high end large diaphram condenser mic and an SM58 dynamic mic - a mic sought out for excellent clarity of live vocals. Has the sound sensitivity of a large diaphram condenser but without handling noise. It sounds different, crispier, enough from large diaphram condensers that you'll not want to alternate between it and a regular condensor on a single lead vocal studio track. I've had the S1 a couple of months, and already it's one of my go-to mics. I recommend this mic, and only wish I'd had several to use over the last thirty years.

  • from Charleston, SC June 8, 2008Music Background:
    Pro Musician, Worship Leader, Recording Engeineer

    Beautiful Sounding

    Bought this mic after being reasonably pleased with the Beta 87a I had been using. Wow! What a difference. Everything from a whisper to a scream had more warmth without being muddy, clarity without being brittle and, it just felt like I could connect. I have run it into Beringer and Allen & Heath mixers, but my usual rig is to tour with a Presonus Eureka. What an amazing combination.
    This mic is affected by the quality of the pre-amp you are plugged into, so don't take the mixer for granted. Very little handling and breath noise. Not quite as nice as my large diaphragm studio mics, but what do you expect.

  • from Bay Area, CA, USA May 8, 2007Music Background:
    Vocal, choir, home audio

    Rode S1 - a sweet versatile excellent vocal stage & very good studio mic

    I first heard about Rode name from a Karaoke buddy who had whispered into my ears about a rising star line of mikes - Rode. That was a few years back.

    Then I joined a vocal group. Rather, it's a church choir. At some point I convinced them that Rode mics are great performers, so we bought a Rode S1 along with an NT4 pair. Whenever a soloist, especially a male vocalist sang on it, the sound produced was sweet, feedback and plosives free. I know, because I had owned and been using Shure Beta 87, AKG C535EB condenser mics, among other lesser mics. There's certain distinctive sweetness yet being faithful to the voice of the S1 that I missed when using the other mics.

    So, I purchase a Rode NTK for my home use. Its excellent tube stage lets me hear and enjoy all nuances of vocals when played through MacKie 1620 Onyx mixer. The mike, however great it sounds, is to be used strictly in-house only.

    Today an S1 arrived from an order placed 2 weeks ago. I instantly hooked it up to the same system, let it cook for a few minutes, and start singing into it. Sure, side by side compared with the NTK, it lacks the ultimate bass and sensitivity of the latter, but I adjusted to the more close-up proximity and voila, a very rich Rode-family sound can be achieved with the 1/2 priced S1.

    Having an S1 and NTK side by side is a very interesting and educational experience that doesn't seem to stop giving me smiles and sheer pleasure.

    Thank you Rode, for creating truly fabulous pro-audio products at down-to-earth prices.

  • from Pisgah, IA USA May 1, 2007Music Background:
    Christian Musician / Hobbyist

    Studio Quality

    I bought this mic hoping that it was as good as they make it sound and it was. I didn't think so at first because I had a cheap phantom power supply, but once I plugged into a good system... WOW! Handles plosives well and very little handling noise. The price might seem steep but once you start traveling with it you wouldn't want to send it back.

  • from Santa Fe, NM USA June 1, 2005


    I have been using a mid-line dynamic microphone for live performance and was pleased with my sound until I heard my mic side by side with a condenser (it was not the S1), the difference was very noticable. After hearing that I decided to look for a live condenser mic even though I heard about all the problems with feedback. After some research and reading reviews I decided on the S1. To my surprise I have not had any feeback issues. I have used it on small to medium sized stages, have had no problems with bleed from other instruments and monitor placement has not been an issue either.

    The sound is excellent! The vocals really project in the mix. Presence is great, tone is great. The vocals are articulate, no muddiness and there seems to be no coloration of the sound. The build quality seems to be equally as good but I have only had the S1 a short time so it has not been through all the rigors of live use. It comes with a 5 year parts and labour guarantee and according to the literature Rode will honor the waranty even if the owner is at fault! How can you beat that?

    Summed up, this is an EXCELLENT live microphone! I would buy it again.
    Great job Rode!

  • from Sydney, Australia February 1, 2005

    Rode S1

    I have been trialling the Rode S1 amongst other Mics (The short list being AKG D880, Shure SM86, Rode S1) as a replacement for my aging EV PL80 Vocal mics.
    Initial Impressions are that it is a well built Mic that provides a good clear Sound.
    I have found it to be exceptional on male Vocals Particularly although perhaps a bit edgy with Female Vocals though this can of course be EQ'ed out and possibly with a bit more work with the S1 I will learn to get used to/around this.
    The only real concern is that I have found is that I have had (like other condensors) one case where it picked up the shimmer off High hats etc however again other Mics can pick up spill as well and in this instance I did not have time to do further experimentation to determine wether this was a problem with the Mic or the Stage set up.
    So far it rates Highly in the Selection I am trying and given that I can pick up an S1 for slightly less than the price of an SM86 It is likely to be the winner on the grounds of performance although the sound and Relative cost of the D880 also make it a tempting alternative.

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