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Blue Microphones enCORE 100 and 200 Dynamic Mics

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Blue Microphones enCORE 100 and 200 Dynamic Mics
enCORE 100 enCORE 200
Blue Microphones, noted for their cost-effective studio quality microphones, has launched a new line of live microphones with the enCORE 100 ($99MSRP) and 200 ($149) dynamics and the enCORE 300 ($199 and coming soon) handheld condenser model. I received both the 100 and 200 dynamics and was surprised by their build-quality considering their price points. These are very elegant-looking microphones that will instantly dress up your stage look.

Both the 100 and 200 share the Blue's Aria Dynamic cardioid capsules with proprietary internal shock mounting for very low handling noise. Frequency response is stated 50Hz to 15kHz for the 100 and 50Hz to 16kHz for the 200. Both mics have maximum SPL rating of 147dB SPL (able to take the loudest of sounds for sure!) and both mics weigh a little over 3/4 of a pound. The 200 is more sensitive because it uses Blue's Active Dynamic phantom power circuitry and I would recommend this one over the 100 if you sing quietly and want to provide a good hot signal to the FOH mixer.

I tested the 100 and 200 against three other microphones: the venerable Shure SM57, Bob Heil's PR20 and the Audix i5. Sonically both the 100 and 200 seemed very close together with the 200 being a hotter mic and slightly more open in the high frequencies. The Heil has a very 'carved' sound heavily weighted in the low frequencies while the i5 is close but with less bass boost and more treble boost.

On my voice, the i5 tends towards sibilance compared to the other mics. Both the 100 and 200 were good at rejecting off-axis sounds but not as well as the i5--the best of the five tested here. The Heil is OK in this department and it rejects more than the Shure SM57--a mic with a very nasally overall sound compared to these other mics. The 100 and 200 beat all the others with the least handling noise. Even if I violently shook these mics, the resultant audio output was very minimal. The Shure was terrible but then I don't think it was designed to be a handheld microphone.

Blue Microphones is on the right track with this new line. The look great, sound superb and they seem very ruggedly made. Check www.bluemics.com.



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