Testing The Audix OM2 Microphone
You may recall a few months back we at TMVJ happened to get our hands on a rather svelte yet excellent sounding Audix VX5. Well as luck would have it our friends in Wilsonville, Oregon have again been kind enough to bestow upon us yet another offering from their lineup. This time, around we have in our only slightly greasy paws [ I promise! ] the Audix OM2 dynamic vocal microphone. Unlike the condenser VX5, however, the OM2 represents the all-around workhorse performance mic of the lineup.
Audix OM2: Look And Feel
Representing one of Audix's more budget minded offerings in terms of price with a street tag of $99.00 the Audix OM2 certainly doesn't feel like corners were cut in terms of build quality. While the Audix OM2 ditches the polished mesh trimmings and pad/lo pass switches of the VX5 in lieu of the classic yet durable black Audix finish with matching black mesh grill the Audix OM2 would feel right at home alongside its bigger brothers the OM5 and OM7. As with its brethren, it retains the slim yet comfortable tapered shaft design and gold-plated XLR connection. Construction is all alloy giving the mic a nice weighty yet balanced feel in hand.
Audix OM2: Pricing And Competition
My initial concern with the Audix OM2 before even giving it the juice was the fact that at a sub $100 the sheer amount of competition at this price point. For reference the venerable industry standard Shure SM58, EV 767a, and Rode M1 [ the latter two we reviewed earlier this year ] all retail for $99. While no two mics sound the same and I cannot stress enough that each singer should choose the mic that best matches their respective voice the primary question in my mind was how the Audix OM2 stacked up against the competition given the other solid alternatives.
Audix OM2: IN PRACTICE
For the test environment signal chain the Audix OM2 was run through a TC Helicon VoiceLive 1 to a Mackie 1604VLZ mixer into a pair of Mackie SRM450 mains. EQ and effects were removed from the signal chain. Since the OM2 is dynamic no phantom power was required. As always I prefer to test a vocal mic both with solo vocals as well as with a backing band to get the best overall feel for its strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes a mic which sounds excellent in an acoustic scenario will later cause the vocals to get 'lost' in the full band mix for lack of enough cut. For others, the reverse scenario is true.
Audix OM2: TEST 1
Starting with the solo vocal test, I began with my usual series of vocal warm-up exercises which service to work out my entire range. This can be a good window into a mic's given sweet spots. Not knowing what to expect from the Audix I found the Audix OM2 to have a pleasantly balanced sound. I did not to find its overall frequency response to have any necessarily hot spots nor did it sound dull. In a word, it sounded relatively natural. I found it to have quite a bit more clarity and sibilance than the Shure SM58 and Rode M 1 without being harsh on S's and C's. Getting right up on the grill resulted in a moderate proximity effect which was well controlled and sounded a bit more natural than that produced by the EV 767a. At times, I found myself wanting a bit more sparkle on the top end, but this was easily corrected with a bit of EQ.
Audix OM2: TEST 2
Continuing the test with the full band setup, I found the Audix OM2 to perform rather admirably as far as providing enough 'cut' to be heard over the rest of the band. My vocals sounded a bit more full as compared to the big brother Audix OM5 but without feeling boomy like the EV 767a has a tendency to do. With the mains at significantly higher levels than with the acoustic session I often find myself reaching for EQ to compensate for other mics being on the verge of feeding back but I found the OM2 to perform quite admirably in this respect. Not at one point did I need to attenuate any EQ settings. I would have to say arguably in this particular scenario the OM2 demonstrated some of the best feedback rejection than any of the other mics we have reviewed recently.
As the weeks wore on and I became more comfortable with the Audix OM2 I started to find it becoming my go-to mic. It's balanced sound, high gain before feedback and hyper cardioid pickup pattern offerin g excellent feedback rejection make it an excellent choice as an all-around performer. It's relatively flat response curve would likely work well with most voice types as well. This would be the mic I would take gigging with me to an unknown venue and/or with a bored half deaf sound engineer. The OM2 while priced more like a budget mic certainly doesn't sound like one. TMVJ can decidedly issue this one as recommended.
Audix OM2: SPECIFICATIONS
Transducer Type Dynamic
Frequency Response 50 Hz - 16 kHz
Polar Pattern Hypercardioid
Output Impedance 250 ohms
Sensitivity 1.7 mV / Pa @ 1k
Capsule Technology VLM Type B
Off-Axis Rejection > 25 dB
Maximum SPL 140 dB
Power Requirements None
Connector Switchcraft male XLR connector
Finish Zinc Alloy / Black E-coat
Weight 307 g / 10.8 ounces
Length 176 mm / 6.9 inches
Review Travis Northuse the 50% Discount Code for "Review my singing" Forum: TMVWorld50