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Beyerdynamic M160 Test & Reviews

Is a ribbon microphone missing from your collection? I've found just the thing. Check out our full review of the legendary Beyerdynamic M160 ribbon microphone, and what makes it the benchmark for recording string instruments and guitar amps.

Beyerdynamic M160

🎤 from Kevin Jung

Test Summary 👇

What’s the Beyerdynamic M160?

The Beyerdynamic M160 is a double ribbon microphone. In other words, its design differs from other ribbon microphones, because it has a cardioid directivity.

Surely you can hear the sound of this microphone on so many world-famous records. For example, renowned songwriter David Bowie used it to record his voice.

Microphone Beyerdynamic
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Similarly, Eddie Kramer, producer and sound engineer, used it on almost all of Jimi Hendrix’s recordings.

This microphone is a small microphone. At 16 cm in length, it uses the dynamic transducer principle. By the way, the two ribbons that make up the microphone guarantee its power compared to other models on the market.

Beyerdynamic M160 Achat
Beyerdynamic M160


Most ribbon microphones have the usual figure-of-eight directivity. The Beyerdynamic M160, however, has a hyper-cadioid directivity. With this directivity, the volume drop at the sides can be clearly heard in the sound samples.

This makes it the instrument of choice for recording stringed instruments, percussion instruments, and piano. It has also shown exceptional sound quality for all types of vocal reproduction in live and studio situations.

Microphone à Ruban à Directivité Hypercadioïde
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You can see through this link our full review of other professional studio microphones.

The very special design of the M160

The Beyerdynamic M160 has a very particular shape. Its proportion immediately catches your eye because it consists of a small spherical housing sitting on top of a rather chunky body.

The microphone housing contains a double aluminum ribbon with a 0.05 mm spacing. The pure aluminum diaphragm blends perfectly with the black chrome surface of the microphone. This gives the Beyerdynamic M160 an impeccable and classy finish.

Beyerdynamic M160 Achat
Beyerdynamic M160


Ribbon Microphone Directivity

Unlike other ribbon microphones, the Beyerdynamic M160 impresses with its hypercardioid polar diagram. This directivity makes the Mic M160 an excellent tool where the figure-8 directivity would pick up too much sound at the rear.

In addition to this feature, the transmission quality is excellent. Therefore, the Beyerdynamic M160 is the ideal microphone for the most demanding. Its hypercardioid polarity and its ability to reduce background noise by 25 dB at 110° also make it your ally on stage.

Beyerdynamic M160 Excellente Qualité de Transmission
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Adapted applications for Beyerdynamic

The Beyerdynamic M160 can be considered a versatile microphone. It’s one of the most famous models of the German brand Beyer. Moreover, its double ribbon design allows for an authentic sound without any coloration.

This microphone is particularly popular as an overhead. Indeed, users are unanimous on this point. But it has also proved itself on violins, saxophones and vocals.

Microphone Polyvalent
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With an application on the drums, for example, it manages to capture the slightest subtlety. This is a rare feature for ribbon microphones. By the way, only one condenser microphone usually has this feature.

Moreover, the tiny size of the Beyerdynamic M160 makes it suitable for use in television and film studios. In combination with other microphones, such as the M130, this microphone remains the ideal material for stereo recording in MidSide (MS) technology.

Beyerdynamic M160 Achat
Beyerdynamic M160


The two ribbons of the microphone are much more sensitive than the moving coil of dynamic microphones. Obviously, ribbon mics are very delicate, and handling them is much more difficult.

So, if you are going to use a pole, I recommend using a selfie pongee as a shock absorber. You can also use it on a tripod or microphone stand to improve the sound quality.

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Sound quality of the Beyerdynamic M160

With 25 dB of noise suppression at 110°, the microphone completely ignores unwanted side noise. Similarly, with the properties of the M160, raw sound sources are reproduced smoothly and elegantly. Indeed, the Beyerdynamic M160 shows a mastery of low frequencies.

In the midrange, it produces a warm sound and in the treble, the tone is silky. The result is a very characteristic and pleasant vintage sound. This microphone has become known for its recordings with a guitar and drum preamp. It stands out from its competitors mainly because of the sound it produces.

Qualité Sonore Agréable
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So the frequency response curve, which starts around 1.5 kHz, peaks between 4 and 6 kHz. This is something to take into consideration when recording a snare drum or when using it as a hanging microphone.

In comparison with the condenser microphone of the brand Neumann (KM184 for exemple), the Beyerdynamic M160 produces a much darker sound.

Its ability to provide a lush quality of sound is specific to Beyer microphones, but the microphone owes its fame above all to its great versatility. It has very quickly become an essential professional microphone in the area thanks to this.

Beyerdynamic M160 Achat
Beyerdynamic M160


Used in home studios and on acoustic instruments, the Beyerdynamic M160 produces a sound with a high quality/price ratio.

Its frequency response allows it to offer a warm, natural sound with a fairly pronounced proximity effect. As was the case with the Coles 4038, this type of microphone is rather professional.

Nevertheless, its use requires a little investment, among other things the use of a good sound card or a good preamp.

In a recording studio and for voice recording, a windscreen or pop filter can also be used to remove occlusive consonants.

Un Microphone Très Précis
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As a ribbon microphone, the Beyerdyamic M160’s sound reproduction is very accurate. Even though it falls into the category of dynamic microphones, it can be phantom powered +48v. As a dynamic microphone, it has a very low output level. So, for best results, we recommend linking it to a decent preamplifier.

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M160 Connectivity

The XLR connectoris a type of plug used to connect different types of equipment in the world of sound and entertainment. Therefore, they meet an international specification. This is one of the reasons why most microphones and mixing consoles are equipped with them.

Beyerdynamic M160 Achat
Beyerdynamic M160


The Beyerdynamic M160 is no exception to the rule. Equipped with a three-pin XLR connector, it can be used with almost any type of audio interface and mixing console.

However, for best results, I recommend using symmetrical microphone cables. As a revolutionary microphone, it also requires use of a good preamp to achieve optimal results. It is important to note that the M160 offers excellent transmission quality.

Un Microphone Révolutionnaire
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What are the technical specifications of the Beyer M160?

  • Transducer type: Dynamic
  • Principal : Pressure gradient
  • Bandwidth: 20 – 18.000 Hz
  • Directivity: Hypercardioïde
  • Off-axis mitigation: > 25 dB à 110°
  • Sensitivity at 1 kHz (0 dB=1V/Pa): 1 mV/Pa = -60 dBV
  • Nominal impedance: 200 Ohms
  • Load impedance: > 1000 Ohm
  • Diaphragm: Pure aluminum
  • Connection : XLR Male
  • Length : 156 mm
  • Weight : 156 g
Beyerdynamic M160 Résitante
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My opinion on the Beyerdynamic M160

Made in Germany, the Beyerdynamic M160 exudes strength and quality. Indeed, with its outstanding design and meticulous finish, the microphone exudes elegance and power.

Equipped with a double ribbon, the microphone has a hypercardioid directivity. By the way, this characteristic makes it one of the main competitors of condenser microphones such as the Neumann U67, and dynamics of the same rank.

Beyerdynamic M160 Achat
Beyerdynamic M160


In view of its characteristics, it will always find its place in a home studio or in a professional recording studio. At the same time, it becomes the essential recording equipment of any professional in the sector. And it is an essential piece of studio equipment in its own right.

Have you always wanted a ribbon microphone? The Beyerdynamic M160 is for you. Among the microphones in its range, it has no equal.

Whether in frequency response or directivity, this is the exception that proves the rule. All in all, we are dealing with a professional microphone: a reference for its competitors.

Beyerdynamic M160 : Un Microphone Professionnel
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Thanks to its directivity, you can use it on stage. The microphone’s cardioid directivity allows it to focus on its sound source. Ambient and unwanted noise will be considerably reduced. For a better sound, you can also add a windscreen.

In short, live, in the studio (professional or home studio), the performance of this microphone is unquestionable. In the studio, you can use a microphone stand to reduce vibration and handling noise.

Beyerdynamic M160 Achat
Our Global Review

Global Sound Quality

4,8 /5

Quality / Price ratio

4,6 /5

Overall Score

4,7 /5

Our opinion on the Beyerdynamic M160 microphone

The Beyerdynamic M160 is one of the oldest microphones produced and offered in specialized stores for more than 50 years. It is without doubt one of the legends of studio microphones. So, you want to buy a microphone to complete your collection? This is a very competitive microphone with a warm, rich sound.

Beyerdynamic M160 demo

Special offer from Beyerdynamic 🔥

Beyerdynamic M160 Achat
Beyerdynamic M160