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Telefunken M80 review

Tired of using an SM58? Looking for something different? Enter the Telefunken M80, a dynamic handheld microphone. It looks fairly similar… Maybe you could use it instead of that boring old SM58. But how does it sound? Let’s get into it.

About the author

I’m a producer, audio engineer, and songwriter with over 10 years of experience with a wide range of gear and recording techniques. I’ve worked with a huge variety of microphones from Shure, Electro-Voice, Neumann, and AKG, among others.

Telefunken M80 dynamic microphone review
Image: Higher Hz

Final verdict on the Telefunken M80 3.5

The Telefunken M80 is an incredibly bright microphone. Not the best in every scenario, but for those who are able to bear with it and work the EQ a bit, this microphone can definitely hold its own.

What I like

  • “Lively” high end.
  • Solid build.
  • Affordable.

What I don’t like

  • Extremely bright.
Buy Telefunken M80 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Polar pattern and frequency response 3.5

The M80 features a supercardioid polar pattern, which effectively captures sound while minimizing unwanted noise. It also has a frequency response of 50 Hz – 18 kHz.

While this may look fine on paper, it’s crucial to note that this microphone is extremely bright. The accentuated high end can be either a desirable or problematic characteristic depending on your personal preference and the application.

Telefunken M80 with microphone clip and carrying bag
Image: Higher Hz

The M80 microphone can be used in a wide variety of applications, although its bright character might not be best for every situation.

Studio vocals 3.8

The M80’s brightness can be a blessing or a curse depending on the situation. Well, the high end might make some voices seem more lively, in other cases it may demand some serious overhaul on the EQ or a de-esser.

I’d recommend you check out this vocal microphone selection for options better suited to studio recording.

Telefunken M80 tested with microphone stand
Image: Higher Hz

Live vocals 3.5

The M80 definitely isn’t the most obvious choice when it comes to live sound reinforcement. The extremity of its bright character doesn’t always blend well with the mix and it might require some heavy EQ-ing as I already mentioned.

Guitar amps 4.0

This microphone has worked well for me whenever I’m trying to get a heavier, more aggressive sound out of a guitar. Not my first choice for recording cleaner tones, but I’m sure it could work in a pinch. If the amp leans on the brighter side, I’d veer away.

Again, for dirtier sounds, it’s one of my go-to mics for recording electric guitars.

Acoustic guitars 3.5

Eh, this wouldn’t be the first mic I reach towards if I’m laying down acoustics. However, I can see its characteristics being somewhat nice if you’re looking to get a bit more emphasis out of the transients on a steel-string.

For my recommended microphones for this purpose, check out this article here.

Bass amps 2.0

I would maybe use this in conjunction with another microphone as an experiment. I could see it working in a punkier sort of setting, like if you’re trying to recreate a Krist Novoselic-esque tone.

Drums 4.3

This thing is a menace as a snare mic. Lots of snap and punch. It also works as a decent overhead, but I don’t use it much for this purpose. It can feasibly work on other parts of the kit, but I don’t have as much experience using it elsewhere.

You can check out another article where I put together a list of the top 10 mics for recording a drum kit.

Telefunken M80 supply box
Image: Higher Hz

Build quality 5.0

The M80 is definitely a pretty-looking microphone, and its build is solid and durable. Not much to complain about here.

Compared to other microphones

Here are a few alternatives to check out in comparison to the Telefunken M80 microphone.

Telefunken M80 vs M81

The M81 is the tamer option of the two. Otherwise, they’re daily similar in design and application. Go for the M80 if you want a more accentuated high-end.

Telefunken M80 vs Sennheiser e 945

The M80 offers a similar amount of presence as the e 945, but again, be mindful of that brightness. If you have access to both, take a minute to shoot them out and see which you prefer.

Telefunken M80 vs Shure SM58

The SM58 is a lot more useful and versatile than the M80, and if I had to choose one, the SM58 would be my obvious choice. Can’t knock a classic.

Read the full Shure SM58 review

Telefunken M80 vs Shure SM57

Same goes for the SM57, useful in almost every context and setting. I’d much prefer to have a single SM57 than three M80s.

Read the full Shure SM57 review

Telefunken M80 vs Neumann KMS 105

I would never use the M80 if I had a Neumann lying around. Downside is that the KMS 105 is about four times the price of the M80.

Who is the Telefunken M80 best suited for?

The M80 is best for anybody looking for a bright and energetic sound. It isn’t great for every context, but it can do wonders if you’re willing to work with it.

Buy Telefunken M80 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Video demo

You can also watch this video by my colleague Fabio where he puts the Telefunken M80 microphone to the test.