A dynamic microphone designed for live performance use, the Electro-Voice PL80a is a fantastic sounding mic that delivers world-class performance at a price that every musician can afford. We began testing the mic before we had any idea of its price, and almost everyone who spent time using it thought it was a much pricier microphone.
The PL80a has a bright top end that let vocals cut through mixes beautifully, and its output is extremely hot, making it easy to get strong signal levels without pushing your PA system to the edge of feedback. This is mostly due to the fact that its super-cardioid polar pattern creates a narrower “sweet spot” for the mic, and because of this the PL80a does a great job of rejecting off-axis sound.
The frequency response of the PL80a is quite a bit different than the familiar SM-58, and this contributes greatly to the sonic difference. Low-end response ends 30 dB higher in the PL80a (at 80 Hz), and our vocalists in the baritone range appreciated that there was slightly less boominess or lack of clarity in the low end of their vocals.
On the high end of the frequency response, the PL80a had more “air” and overall brilliance to the tone.
The Electro-Voice PL80a is one of the best sounding dynamic vocal mics we’ve had the pleasure of singing through, and it is well suited to a wide range of vocalists in any genre that calls for crystal clear vocals. In particular, soft voiced singers, who need an extra push in volume in a live situation, should definitely try it – at little more than $100 street price (MSRP $247.50), this is a small investment that could make a big difference. – Read the full review here.