Presonus has been a fixture in the music production industry since 1995. The company is best known to audiophiles for creating Studio One, a digital audio production (DAW) platform. Many audio engineers use this program in their projects.
Presonus has also produced high-quality microphones such as the PX-1 or the PD-70. However, these microphones seem to be quite expensive for a regular user. With this in mind, Presonus has launched a more affordable alternative to its microphones in the form of the M7. This model delivers decent performance for a home studio, podcast or livestream.
Overview of the Presonus M7 microphone
The Presonus M7 is a studio condenser microphone with a large diaphragm. This condenser or condenser microphone is supplied with a microphone clip, an XLR connection cable and a carrying case. The Presonus M7 doesn’t come with a suspension bracket, however. This is not a real concern considering that the M7 is very light in its design. It is also very pleasant to hold the microphone in the hand due to its polished metal finish.
This is understandable as the M7 is initially offered as an accessory to the Presonus AudioBox 96 Studio kit. The kit comes with an M7 microphone and its table stand, an audio interface, an XLR cable and a USB cable to connect the sound card to a computer. It also includes a license for One Artist, a very useful software for any studio recording.
The table stand supplied with this kit is sufficient if you want to use the Presonus M7 for gaming or podcasting (by the way, discover also our guide to the best gaming and streaming microphone). However, a boom or shotgun microphone stand is recommended if you wish to use the M7 as a vocal microphone.
If you don’t buy the M7 with this kit, you can always use it with a mixing console by exploiting the XLR connection. A mixing console is certainly a more common piece of equipment in a professional recording studio than a home studio. Nevertheless, it allows the M7 to be used with a preamplifier or other condenser or condenser microphones.
A mixing console also gives you the possibility to combine the M7 withs dynamic studio microphones in addition to other static microphones. However, such an investment may seem exorbitant considering the microphone price. This is even more true knowing that you also have to get an external 48v phantom power supply to power the Presonus M7.
The Presonus M7 is not an omnidirectional microphone like most condenser microphones on the market, including the Warm Audio WA-8000 or the Manley Reference Cardioid. The Presonus M7 has a cardioid pattern. The directivity is also not switchable as it is with a condenser microphone such as the SE Electronics SE2300. The Presonus M7 operates with a cardioid directivity only.
AT THE LOWEST PRICE 👇
Presonus M7: a cardioid directivity
The Presonus M7 microphone uses a cardioid-type directivity. This type of pattern has some notable advantages over an omnidirectional or figure-8 pattern. However, it can be more disadvantageous than either of these two types of directivity in some situations.
Cardioid microphones are not only receptive to surrounding sound sources. They are also more attentive in their listening. The cardioid pattern is more sensitive to frontal sounds. Side sounds are picked up more weakly, while rear sounds are very attenuated.
This is why the vast majority of stage and studio microphones are cardioid. This includes models with the design of a lavalier microphone. Cardioid microphones are used for lead vocals, speech and acoustic instruments.
A microphone with omnidirectional directivity picks up any surrounding sound source with equal sensitivity to the magnetic field in all modes. This is equivalent to human listening, where background or handling noise has no effect on your own perception.
Omnidirectional microphones are often used for orchestra recordings. They can also be used in the home studio to record acoustic guitar, percussion, or backing vocals. This type of pro microphone works poorly in the recording ensemble of any dynamic instrument that sounds better with a little space.
The figure-of-eight or two-way pattern is difficult to grasp in the principle of human listening. It is equivalent to standing between two people and listening to them without considering the rest.
A bidirectional microphone such as the AKG C314 has the same sensitivity to sounds coming from the front and the back. Sounds from the sides are very attenuated. This type of directivity is most useful for professional recording methods. This includes stereo techniques such as crossed bidirectional and mid/lateral stereophony.
The figure-of-eight directivity is also the dynamic description of the natural directivity for professional ribbon microphones. Many condenser microphone models with switchable directivity can also be used with a figure-8 pattern.
A dynamic moving-coil microphone with figure-eight directivity is rarer. Only a handful of manufacturers produce small diaphragm condenser microphones with true figure-8 directivity. These include Neumann and Austrian Audio.
AT THE LOWEST PRICE 👇
Presonus M7: technical performance
The Presonus M7 microphone is defined at a frequency response of 30 Hz to 18 kHz. These pure numerical values over the transmission range are not very useful in themselves. A frequency response curve is more telling, as it illustrates the tonal balance of the microphone.
Let’s assume that there is a 6 dB increase in the higher frequencies. We can deduce that the m7 will sound bright. However, the frequency response cannot tell whether this brightness is pleasant to the ear or unpleasantly sharp.
Frequencies are often graduated logarithmically, because this corresponds better to human perception than a linear graduation. We can thus say that frequencies are represented in octaves, which are always accompanied by a doubling of the frequency.
The range between 100 Hz and 200 Hz is as wide on the x-axis as the range between 1000 Hz and 2000 Hz or 10.000 Hz and 20000 Hz. The lower range contains almost no musical information, except for the lowest parts of the bass drum.
The range of 40 to 200 Hz is the foundation of a recording. The lowest note in the electrical signal of a four-string bass is about 40 Hz. The lowest note in the electrical signal of a guitar is about 80 Hz. The notes of a baritone are around 100 Hz, but it is rare to hear them except in a country singer. The songs of pop artists have almost no sound component below 150 Hz.
The bandwidth from 200 to 500 Hz corresponds to the lower midrange. This is the body of most instruments. It is also on this band that the human voice deploys the most energy. The range from 500 to 3000 Hz is associated with the midrange. This range is crucial for the nature of the sound, because the human ear is sensitive to the smallest details.
The transducer of a telephone transmits very little around this range. However, you can recognize a caller in an instant just by hearing them say hello.
The 3000 to 7000 Hz range is important for sound definition and speech understanding. Essential speech consonants are located in this frequency range.
The range of 7000 to 14000 Hz is associated with the treble. It determines the brightness with which you perceive a sound source. However, it is not advisable to amplify the dynamic range at this frequency, as this could lead to an overly piercing sound or obscure the other sound components. The part above 14,000 Hz is necessary to give an airy quality to the voice or to string instruments.
AT THE LOWEST PRICE 👇
The maximum sound pressure level (SPL) of the Presonus M7 has been specified at 134 dB. The SPL indicates the maximum value that you can achieve at the microphone volume without producing audible distortion. The limit for total allowable distortion has traditionally been 0.5%. Microphone technology then developed in favor of broadcasting.
In this situation, the transmission should be as clean as possible. For this reason, many of the newer microphone manufacturers measure the SPL at a limit value of 1% total harmonic distortion or THD. This is supposed to give better values in appearance.
The limitation in the microphone level used to be quite substantial. Many of the older models barely reached 120 dB SPL. More modern equipment such as the Presonus M7 or the Blue Yeti USB microphone can often process huge levels without distortion.
The SPL is most relevant for picking up percussion. A tambourine can easily reach 120 dB in sound level in a short distance, picking up. This is not a problem with modern condenser microphones. Older condenser microphones or inexpensive gooseneck microphones may still exhibit audible distortion at such levels.
Les microphones dynamiques commencent aussi à se déformer à des niveaux sonores élevés. Il est pourtant assez rare d’indiquer le SPL sur ce type de micro.
Sound quality of the Presonus M7
The components of the M7 have not been tuned for recording complex-sounding instruments. This microphone is also not suitable for recording the deepest voices. The Presonus M7 doesn’t deliver enough bass in its results for such use. This is because it is not optimized for picking up the low frequencies of an electrical signal. The sound captured is more focused on the treble, which is the highest frequency of a sound wave.
The Presonus M7 can also produce a proximity effect when used. This means that bass transmission increases the closer the microphone is placed to the sound source. The proximity effect is problematic for the casual user. It can, however, help to achieve a more creative sound for the more experienced sound engineer.
The proximity effect can virtually add volume to a singer’s voice. However, it can reduce speech intelligibility or make a mix sound spongy. Vocals and guitars can get fat in the low frequencies and interfere with the bass and kick drum.
AT THE LOWEST PRICE 👇
The presence of a proximity effect is beneficial and innovative to your recordings. It can be used in a targeted way to make the sound thicker and more imposing. However, its use must be controlled so as not to destroy the sound balance and deprive the mix of its transparency.
The proximity effect is most noticeable on sound sources with low frequencies below 200 Hz. It is important for recording male voices, but is less useful for recording female voices.
This can also be a problem when recording guitars, since the low E string resonates at about 80 Hz. Acoustic guitars, in particular, tend to produce a rumbling bass when the microphone is placed too close to the sounding board. The proximity effect is more advantageous for low-frequency instruments such as double bass.
It should also be noted that the audio signal from the m7 microphone is not very strong in itself. A preamplifier is needed to strengthen the signal at the transmission line. Note that a preamplifier is not to be confused with an amplifier. Amplifiers strengthen the signal in the transmission line so that it can be sent to a speaker.
The Presonus M7 microphone produces a very weak signal that must be amplified to the same level as the other signals by a preamplifier. The amplified signal can then be processed by an amplifier to be reproduced in an electrostatic field on the magnet of a loudspeaker.
By the way, see also our complete microphone test guide of the Lauten Audio Atlantis FC-387. In this guide you will find the dynamic characteristics, sound quality, as well as our opinion and some test demos of the Lauten Audio Atlantis FC-387 condenser microphone.
Technical characteristics of the Presonus M7
- Microphone type : Studio microphone
- Polar diagram : unidirectional
- Frequency response : 30 Hz à 18 kHz
- Maximum sound pressure levels : 134 dB
- Output impedance : 150 Ohms
- Microphone sensitivity: -38 dB ± 3 dB
- Signal to noise ratio : 75 dB
- Noise ratio at the input : 19 dB
- Microphone input : XLR
- Power supply type : 48 Volt phantom power supply
Our Global Review
Global Sound Quality
Quality / Price ratio
Our opinion on the Presonus M7
The Presonus M7 is a great option for those who want to have a home studio without investing a lot of money in a microphone. Its sound imaging is not nearly as pristine as a Neumann or Austrian Audio microphone. It may sound duller to the audiophile’s ear. The frequency response is not as fast to ensure accurate recordings.
The technical specifications of the Presonus M7 are nevertheless very satisfactory in view of its price. The weight and quality of the finish give this microphone a very pleasant feel in the hand. Its approach to bass also makes it a good choice of microphone for recording percussion and male vocals, and especially with the range of a baritone.
AT THE LOWEST PRICE 👇
Presonus M7 Demo
Special offer from Presonus 🔥
AT THE LOWEST PRICE 👇