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SE Electronics X1R Test & Reviews

Produced by the Anglo-Chinese firm SE Electronics, the X1R is a ribbon microphone that is within the reach of all budgets. It combines quality and performance at a lower price. Discover our complete test on the SE Electronics X1R, a hybrid between old and new ribbon technology.

SE Electronics X1R

🎤 from Kevin Jung

Test Summary 👇

SE Electronics X1R Overview

The SE Electronics X1R is a passive ribbon microphone. It works exactly like a coil microphone (dynamic microphone) with one difference. A thin metal ribbon replaces the moving coil system. Usually made of aluminum, the ribbon is shaped like an accordion to ensure maximum mobility.

SE Electronics X1R Achat
SE Electronics X1R


Neodymium magnets surround the microphone element. The entire unit is housed in a chassis that is reminiscent of its counterpart, the X1 cardioid microphone from SE.

Crafted from metal, the design of the SE Electronics X1R stands out from other entry-level microphones. Also, its all-metal casing has a premium finish with an attractive, textured, non-slip matte black coat.

Accessoires du X1R
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The main features of the X1R

This microphone incorporates a robust ribbon. The microphone can be considered a vintage-modern hybrid with all the smoothness inherent in a handmade microphone.

However, it’s much more versatile, durable and easy to use. By the way, you can carry the microphone anywhere with you. The SE Electronics X1R incorporates a pop filter that is much more effective than typical gooseneck pop filters. This also contributes to the sound quality that the microphone will produce.

Se Electronics X1r Packaging
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The power supply of the Tube Microphone

A 48-volt phantom power supply powers the microphone. Usually, passive ribbon microphones don’t need this kind of power supply. However, it is used to achieve better sound results.

This type of power supply can be found in the majority of microphones on the market. And it can be adapted very easily for different types of recording. In any case, it is very common. For example, mixing consoles, audio interfaces and preamplifiers have this type of power supply. It is activated by a 48 volt switch.

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Note: You can also visit the Beyerdynamic M160 microphone. This guide offers you a complete review of this microphone.

Frequency Response and Sound Pressure

The frequency response of the microphone makes it an all-purpose tool. Thus, it will always find a use in professional recording studios or in your home studio. It also has a place in broadcast applications.

A 2µ aluminum ribbon composes the SE Electronics X1R. Two Neodymium magnets connect it. It presents a rather linear frequency response from 90 Hz to 3 kHz. And from 20 Hz to 18 Hz, we notice a small bump breaking its linear curve.

SE Electronics X1R Achat
SE Electronics X1R


In terms of sound pressure, the X1R microphone can withstand rather high sound levels. This places it among the modern ribbon microphones. In addition to these characteristics, it has a sensitivity of -55.3 dB at 1 V/Pa. For optimal results, it can be combined with a preamp (preferably a good one).

The frequency response of the SE Electronics X1R is much wider than that of most ribbon microphones, making it an all-purpose microphone. By the way, it is perfectly suited to various types of recording.

It produces authentic sounds on both electric and acoustic guitars. Then, the retranscription of the sound is done without any aggressiveness. On a drum set, we also get a natural sound.

Se Electronics x1r et pince
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X1R Sound Quality

This microphone is characterized by its warm and soft musical tone. This is particularly useful for taming the high excesses of certain stringed instruments. You will also appreciate this tone for voice-over recordings or for commercial broadcasting.

In fact, the sound quality produced by the microphone remains unchallenged. With the SE X1R, you won’t find the proximity effect as with a condenser microphone or dynamic microphone. But it should be emphasized that the sound produced remains clear and sharp even with an impedance of 200 ohms.

SE Electronics X1R Achat
SE Electronics X1R


Items delivered with the SE Electronics X1R

Supplied with a microphone clip, the SE Electronics X1R will securely attach to any microphone stand. Also, if you want a shock mount, it fits perfectly with the isolation pack of shock mounts and pop filter compatible with the X1 series.

Note that plastic is the main material of the anti-shock support. It also includes an elastic band. Equipped with a built-in pop filter, the X1R is one of the recording mics suitable for subwoofers. It will also do for an electric guitar amp.

Pop filter et studio microphone
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SE Electronics specificity

Basically, this microphone remains a hybrid ribbon microphone. In fact, it offers all the smoothness of a handmade microphone, but with much more versatility and durability. Also, the SE Electronics X1R combines traditional craftsmanship with some mechanical elements of HF extension technology.

This combination results in a slight HF lift compared to a conventional ribbon microphone. This combination characterizes the sound of this microphone from other microphones in its range. It sounds very natural and uncolored, and is able to convey the magic of the music. With a very soft timbre, you will be able to master both the bass and treble perfectly.

SE Electronics X1R Achat
SE Electronics X1R


It is this new technology that makes the microphone so versatile and easy to use compared to its peers. By the way, the SE Electronics X1R is a professional microphone. It will therefore easily find its place in a professional studio or in your home studio.

Adapted to your voice recordings, it can also be used to record string, wind or percussion instruments. Multidisciplinary, it adapts to all types of situations. Its lightness makes it easy to carry. With its integrated pop filter, there is no need to use a windscreen when recording.

SE Electronics X1R
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X1 R Technical Specifications:

  • Microphone suitable for recording wood/brass/percussion instruments…
  • Microphone adapted for guitar amplification.
  • Perfect for voice recording (voice over, podcast, commercial broadcast…)
  • Passive type ribbon microphone
  • Capsule: hand-stretched 2.5μm aluminum tape
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 16 000 Hz/- 1 dB
  • Sensitivity: 1.78 mV/Pa (-55 dB)
  • Directional characteristic: figure of eight (bidirectional)
SE Electronics X1R Achat
SE Electronics X1R


  • Impedance : 200 Ohms
  • Maximum SPL: 135 dB (0.5% THD at 1 kHz)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 71 dB
  • Auto noise: 23 dB (A)
  • Corresponding connectors: XLR3F
  • Delivered with a microphone clip
  • Weight: 510 g/17,99 oz
X1-R microphone
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By the way, you can also consult our guide on the Neumann U67 microphone. You will discover on this article the complete review, the advantage of this microphone, and all that there is to know.

My verdict on the SE Electronics X1R

The SE Electronics X1R is an entry-level ribbon microphone. The microphone is durable and versatile and is very easy to use. The latter is due to its wide frequency response.

It can be used for many types of recordings. We can for example note the electric and acoustic guitar, the overhead, the wind instruments, plucked and strummed. But in addition, it can also be used in a recording studio for a podcast, or in home recording.

SE Electronics X1R Achat
SE Electronics X1R


Compared to its competitors, the SE Electronics X1E produces a simply exceptional sound. It reproduces sound sources perfectly, with almost no coloration. Its bidirectional directivity is very different from the cardioid directivity found in dynamic microphones.

This means that it picks up sounds from the front and rear of the microphone and ignores sounds from the sides. To pick up complex instruments, this type of microphone is usually combined with omnidirectional or cardioid pickups. This gives a very smooth and pleasant high frequency response. But its weak point is only the slightly low output level.

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The Contemporary Ribbon

As a modern microphone, the SE Electronics X1R has an unbeatable price-performance ratio. Like all conventional ribbon microphones, it has a figure-of-eight polar pattern. When used at very close range, the microphone may require equalization compensation. Unlike most ribbon microphones, the X1R is a very durable beast.

The ribbon being cut in two micron aluminum, it can manage SPL up to 135 dB. Equipped with a passive ribbon, its output is quite low with a sensitivity of -55.3 dB. To get the most out of it best profits from the microphone, Consider combining the microphone with a good preamp. Alternatively, an active gain amplifier such as the Cloud Lifter can be used.

SE Electronics X1R Achat
SE Electronics X1R


As a ribbon microphone, the audio quality is close to that of dynamic coil microphones. This is due to its frequency range, which does not differ too much from that of dynamic microphones. Since the SE Electronics X1R has a single diaphragm, it offers a sound that is completely free of coloration.

As a result, when applied to the electric guitar, the sound produced sounds crisp and clear. In other words, the sound produced is perfect, with no extra sparkle, but authentic. For vocal applications, the microphone sounds like a moving coil microphone.

Se Electronics marque
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After comparison, we can even attest that the sound result of the SE Electronics X1R remains the best, much more open and natural. The performance remains the same for acoustic guitars. The sound produced is then of an incomparable softness. So you can use a 20 kHz HF EQ boost without any worries.

All in all, I find this microphone to be an all-purpose microphone. By the way, it performs well overall for many types of instruments and for vocal recording.

Finally, it has nothing to envy to the Coles 4038, the professional recording microphone.

SE Electronics X1R Achat
Our Global Review

Global Sound Quality

4.7 /5

Quality / Price ratio

4,6 /5

Overall Score

4,8 /5

Our opinion on the SE Electronics X1R

Do you want a professional microphone of very good quality and versatility? Then I highly recommend the SE Electronics X1R. Although it is a ribbon microphone, its sound quality is close to that of condenser and dynamic microphones. With the X1R, you are dealing with a ribbon microphone that is at the cutting edge of technology. By choosing this microphone for studio recording, you are choosing quality at an incredible price.

SE Electronics X1R Demo

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SE Electronics X1R Achat
SE Electronics X1R