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Rode M3

Rode M3

4.45 4.45 out of 5, based on 6 Reviews

Small-diaphragm Condenser Microphone


17th February 2012

Rode M3 by Chris Martins

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Rode M3

Let's be clear. This is a very good mic, not just for the price but overall.
If only for features, it would already be a great deal : Mute switch, Hi-Pass filter, 10 or 20dBs pad, obviously it runs off 48 volts phantom power, but will run from 24 volts up, and you can run it off a battery if necessary ( a battery gives you around 200 hours of operation which is pretty good ).

But with all the features, the main question is how does it sound ? Well it sounds very nice ! Much nicer than the 100$ price tag might tell you. As with most Rode microphones, I find you can at least triple the perceived sound value of the mic ( not a hard rule, but some of their mics do sounds well above their price range, the NT3 for instance could be 500$ and that still would be a fair price for the tone the mic delivers ), so this one sounds like a 300 or 400$ microphone at least. You get a lot more than what you pay for. The sound of the microphone is pretty different from other SDCs I've used before, including the NT3. It is very directional, which is a good thing, and it is much warmer and softer than the NT3 for example. It still has plenty of air in the top end and will pick up lows clearly unless you use too much of the proximity effect, then it becomes slightly more "muddy" than it should, but that's the obvious trade off for the warmth you get.

On acoustic guitars, the mic really shines, with a nice warm tone, a very detailed and present midrange , and a nice sheen on the top end, but no shrill high end. Sort of a vintage flair if you'd like.

On a guitar cabinet, an inch or two away from the grill cloth, slightly off center you get a very faithful representation of your tone and it stays clean an dynamic. Very very cool, and with the pad engaged you can still turn the amp loud enough so that you get that tube vibe everyone wants.

Didn't try it on voice, but I guess the warmth should produce a slightly over present proximity effect and plosives could be an issue.

On bass, I'm sure it's pretty handy and effective but I would use a dynamic and LDC first most times. Maybe I'm wrong and I'll have to try it as the warm tone might lend itself to recording a bass quite effectively actually.

The build quality is absolutely great. The mic seems bullet-proof, is pretty heavy and is quite big at almost 9 inches in length and over an inch in diameter !

So, YES ! I'd recommend this mic to anyone who need a very good, pro-level SDC microphone but can't ( or won't ) spend a grand on one. Heck, you can get two and use them as overheads, stereo XY patterns for acoustic guitars, cabinet stereo mic'ing, background vocals... At 100$ a piece, there's nothing not to like about this microphone.

4th February 2014

Rode M3 by bargerstage

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Rode M3

Made to replace the well-respected NT3, which was a true condenser, hyper-cardiod SDC, the M3 is a Cardioid electret condenser (which helped lower the price a bit). When you first take it out of the box, you know this thing was made to be a Swiss Army mic to beat all: All steel (and heavy at that!), durable switches and the ability to run on a 9v battery if phantom isn’t available. It can even run on either 24v or 48v power, just in case you have a console or a preamp that for some reason cannot pump out enough power. This is GREAT for gigging engineers who have to deal with house systems that may be beyond low-end or have systems that are so abused that even phantom power is inconsistent. It also makes it a great alternate condenser for indie film sound guys when you need a cardioid but the shotgun mic you have just doesn’t seem to fit the shot (and I have used this several times in this manner, and it does surprisingly well!). The two part case unscrews to reveal the battery compartment and a nice hidden gem: A Pad of 0, -10 or -20! Granted it’s not the most well designed, since you need a pen or knife point to switch it, but that is a feature many utility mics at this price lack!

Other features include a low-cut filter at 80Hz (built into the mute switch) and an included foam windsock. The box came with the mic, clip, decent zipper pouch and expected literature. They even included a nifty ” I *heart* Rode” bumper sticker. Call me frivolous, but I like it when I get free stickers with my mics. Something to add to the various motorcycle helmets I own…

The frequency response is low up until 300Hz when it hits unity, and then is surprisingly flat up until around 6-8k, where it peaks a bit for 2 to 3 dB until rolling off around 16 to 18KHz. This makes it a great fit for drum overheads, brass, large group vocals and even strings! I found them VERY easy to control, and very predictable especially on small jazz session kits. They didn’t sound brittle on the hi-hats I was using them on, and they were fairly well rounded as far as the bulk of the signal goes. If the room is around 200 people or less, I can get a GOOD kit sound from a pair of these and an AKG D112 on the kick. No snare or tom mics! The drummers appreciate not being surrounded by kit, and it adds a lot more room sound when going for a live feel that is actually quite manageable.

Are they the best mic out there? Hardly. But, from the construction and limited interaction I’ve had with these in the past, for $149 US you cannot beat the price and the performance you get out of them!

21st August 2015

Rode M3 by rol123

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 4 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Rode M3

I have used many microphones throughout the years. It's important to know this for what it is. It's an all around mic, but a very good one at that..Kind of like an Olympic triathlete. It Is very, very good at many things, but not great ant any one thing.

Reminds me of a car that is good on the highway and able to hold its own off-road as well. Because it does both well, there will be some compromises. On the highway it might not be the most quiet; and off road might not be able to manage the biggest bumps.

So it goes-we have the Rode M3. A combination of condenser and dynamic characteristics...has the frequency response of a condenser (40-20k) and smooth highs (a tad bright but in NO way hyped), with lower sensitivity like a dynamic and a natural bass roll off for noisier environments. Bass roll-off is somewhat steep upto around 200Hz. Has a 3-way switch as well--Off position, On, and High pass extending bass roll off even more ...great for noisy environments outside and wind noise.

Can be used with phantom power; or without if unavailable (just pop in a 9v battery which will power the mic. If you leave it in you can still connect it to phantom power..the battery will not be automatically bypassed). Rode claims battery life of 200 hours). Construction seems tank-like, and quality is truly beyond its price.

How does it sound? to my ears very very'good'..not hyped, natural, with a slight 'crispness' in the top end like MXL mics, but not cheap sounding in any way.The M3 Sounds much more expensive than the price would suggest (I agree with the Sound on Sound review)

I would recommend this for vocal, acoustic guitars, snare drums, overheads...interviews and spoken word as well, and recording outdoors. Because of its natural roll-off vocals and acoustic guitars would be my choice.

Downsides: it is heavy, and really long, so not suitable for every situation... is much more susceptible to wind noise than a dynamic or LDC (it's actually has a SDC electret capsule)..so if using outdoors, the provided foam windscreen is a must and engaging high-pas filter often necessary.

If you need one mic that can do a lot, this is it. Can it replace an LDC? YES... SDC? yes.. Dynamic? yes, in certain situations.

For a a mic to elegantly go from studio to recording an interview to recording an outdoor event says a lot.
Should this be your only mic? No, but I see it as being difficult to outgrow, as I'm sure you'll always find a use for it. I HIGHLY recommend it.--truly a bargain.

26th January 2016

Rode M3 by barney69

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Rode M3

Great all-around microphone. Relatively flat sounding, not harsh like many other Rode or similar budget microphones.

Works well when powered via 9v battery if you have no phantom power.

For vocals a pop filter is a must. I really like it on acoustic guitars. The low cut filter helps out a lot when recording in less than ideal rooms.

This is a great microphone for the price, you will probably keep using it even when you upgrade your mic collection with higher end choices.

24th April 2020

Rode M3 by voiceoversteve

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Rode M3

HI, I Have foud a great accessory for the RODE M3,Using a SHURE A81WS,
I have just used this combination for Voice Over, and the results are EXELLENT,,
Used it with the high pass filter on, amazing results,

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