The sE Electronics sE2200 is the latest iteration of a microphone that has become a popular choice worldwide. With the addition of some extra features, it continues to shine as one of the leading large diaphragm microphones in its price bracket. In this review, we take it for a spin to see what it offers.
sE Electronics sE2200
The sE Electronics sE2200 is a highly capable microphone with a lot going for it. Robust construction combines effortlessly with exceptional recording capabilities. But as with any microphone, you’ll need to assess your needs before committing.
The newest version of this legendary microphone adds extra pads and filters to maximize its versatility while retaining the authentic sound quality that made it a standout option in the first place. Let’s dive into the details of this fantastic cardioid microphone.
The sE Electronics sE2200 offers exceptional sound quality while retaining a modest price tag. But beyond that, it is also highly versatile and can comfortably slot into different roles in a studio setting.
The sE2200 features a cardioid polar pattern, making it suitable for voice-over work, vocals, and direct recording of various instruments. It does an excellent job of minimizing capture on either side and the rear to ensure clean and smooth recordings of the source material.
Consistently reliable performance for a range of studio tasks.
For vocals, the sE2200 offers a relatively balanced response with a gradual lift from around 4kHz before a sharper lift beyond 10kHz. The result is a profile that leans on the bright side but retains authenticity without too much harshness that can befall some microphones with an elevated top end.
This type of profile is also well-suited for voice-over work. Ample clarity and precision without sounding dull or overhyped in any region. A solid basis point that responds well to EQ.
The microphone itself doesn’t feature an internal pop filter, but the package does come with an excellent mount and pop filter to help eliminate plosives in your recordings.
“Vibrant sound with excellent performance for both vocals and instruments.”
The high clarity and relatively controlled response also makes the sE2200 an excellent choice for acoustic guitars with perfect definition. I can see myself reaching for this microphone regularly for any acoustic recordings.
The sE2200 also performs well with other instruments like strings, brass, and woodwinds. Its high max SPL range ensures you can easily capture the loudest of instruments, and it will not struggle with instruments like a trumpet or trombone.
The high SPL rating also makes it a viable choice for various drum applications. I especially like it as an overhead for cymbals. The high clarity and relatively restrained top-end capture the crashes perfectly, whereas other microphones would inject too much sizzle in the top end.
I’ll be honest that I was not expecting the sE2200 to perform this well across such a wide variety of situations. But after being able to put it through its paces, it is unsurprising that it has become a mainstay in studios worldwide.
If you want a workhorse microphone that you can consistently rely on to be a catch-all in a studio setting, the sE2200 is a superb choice. And hey, if it’s good enough for the likes of Amy Winehouse, it’s good enough for me.
The sE Electronics sE2200 features a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz, which covers the span of human hearing. The slightly elevated top end adds some brightness while the low end digs relatively deep.
The sE2200 also features a 10dB and 20dB attenuation pad that helps elevate its base 125dB Max SPL to greater levels, giving you ample headroom to handle even the loudest recording situations.
Access to two pad settings gives you high SPL reach.
Another impressive specification is the high 82dB signal-to-noise ratio. Maximum potential to capture clean detail without unwanted intrusions in your recordings.
The self-noise is also relatively low at 12dB. Some microphones offer an even lower level, but the sE2200 is still a viable choice for softer recordings or whispered voice-over content.
Wrapping up the inclusions is a switchable filter with an 80Hz and 160Hz low-cut option. Ample flexibility to adjust the capturing profile to suit your needs. Output impedance is also low at 50 ohms, making integration with a broad range of devices easy.
The sE Electronics sE2200 offers a relatively plain and straightforward design. The long cylindrical shape and all-black finish ensure it will blend seamlessly into any studio setting.
The only hint of color is the bright red sE logo and the model number in crisp white. I’ll admit there is nothing overly impressive about the look of this microphone, but I’ll take high performance over excessive design any day of the week.
The clean design extends to the included shock mount and pop-filter. Functional design that meets the needs of any professional studio setting or project home studio.
Simple and effective design.
As expected for a high-quality condenser microphone, the sE2200 features an XLR connection point and requires 48V phantom power.
The main thing I want to highlight is the approach that sE has taken with the sE2200. This microphone is an update to an already highly regarded microphone. I appreciate the restraint in how they have approached this refresh.
sE has kept all of the things that made the original so successful, and instead of toying with the initial idea, they have opted to add extra features to enhance its versatility further.
When it comes to the build quality of this microphone, the sE2200 is a superb example of what having complete control over the production process can deliver.
Unlike some microphone manufacturers, sE owns its manufacturing facility, allowing it maximum oversight over the creation of every microphone in its extensive lineup.
Expertly crafted components in a tough casing.
It is hard to overstate how crucial direct control is regarding studio gear, particularly microphones. Every sE product is designed and built in-house with hand-crafted capsules made by a team of highly skilled engineers.
The 1-inch gold-sputtered condenser capsule ensures smooth and consistent recording through its cardioid polar pattern. The discrete Class A components also highlight the high attention to detail sE employs in its manufacturing processes.
I love reliable products that can withstand the demands and rigors of frequent use, and the sE2200 is a perfect example of that. Ultra-tough and supremely versatile while retaining a price that is more than reasonable.
The sE Electronics sE2200 is noticeably longer than some other large condenser microphones on the market but falls within the average in diameter. Still, you might want to explore alternatives if you prefer your microphones a bit shorter.
The sE2200 is longer than many other microphones.
The sE2200 is also rather hefty at 1.34 lbs. (611 grams). It is considerably more weighty compared to some other choices. But in practice, the exceptional mount and heft add to the feeling that it is a solid and dependable microphone, so I don’t see the increased weight as an issue.
I’ll be the first to admit that setting up a studio can be a huge money sink. You’ll need to acquire so much gear, so taking some extra time to assess value is always prudent. Luckily, the sE2200 isn’t out to set you broke.
It might not be the cheapest microphone on the market, but it represents excellent value for money. It can comfortably go toe to toe with much more expensive choices, and I’ve yet to come across anyone who was let down by its capabilities.
The sE2200 comes with an excellent shock mount and pop filter.
The excellent stand mount and pop filter are also nice to have inclusions at this price point. When you also factor in the microphone’s flexibility, there is nothing to fault.
Can you experience better performance from more expensive microphones? Yes, but the rate of diminishing returns is very noticeable. I would hesitate to spend thousands on a microphone when something like the sE2200 can still produce such fantastic results. If you are conscious of budgetary restraints, the sE2200 is a superb value-for-money offering.
The sE2200 continues its predecessor’s exceptional legacy with many positive reviews and industry awards. This popular microphone consistently scores top marks from casual enthusiasts, professionals, and industry experts.
OEM manufacturing, also known as Original Equipment Manufacturing, is the practice of one company producing components or products that are then used or rebranded by another company as part of their own finished product.
In this process, the original manufacturer (OEM) typically specializes in producing specific parts or products and supplies them to other companies that incorporate them into their final offerings.
OEM manufacturers often have specialized expertise and experience producing specific components, leading to high-quality and reliable products. This makes them appealing to a company that wants to leverage outside expertise.
Owning your own manufacturing facility allows greater control.
OEM manufacturers can also be cost-effective for companies as it eliminates the need for investing in expensive manufacturing facilities and equipment. It also allows companies to focus on their core competencies, such as design, marketing, and distribution, rather than getting involved in the intricacies of production.
While this all sounds fantastic in theory, some drawbacks are also associated with relying on OEM manufacturers.
The primary concern is the potential lack of control over the supply chain and quality assurance. Companies using OEM parts must rely on the OEM manufacturer to maintain quality standards and meet production deadlines. Any issues in the manufacturing process or supply chain disruptions can significantly impact the final product and the company’s reputation.
sE Electronics began its journey by utilizing OEM manufacturing, but within the space of a couple of years, it established its own facility. While I don’t have a significant issue with OEM manufacturing, I also appreciate when a company wants total control of its products.
This particular price point is rather competitive in the microphone market. Multiple manufacturers have capable large diaphragm microphones available at this price. Below, I take a quick look at some of the leading alternatives to the sE2200.
Aston Microphones Origin Review
The Aston Microphones Origin offers a unique design and superb sound quality. It is also one of the most popular British-made microphones on the market.
- Outstanding tonal detail that is ideal for vocal recordings.
- Built-in random weave pop filter and ultra-tough wave-form mesh head.
- The top end might be a bit too bright for some.
Aston Microphones Origin
Audio-Technica AT4040 Review
The AT4040 from Audio-Technica is another highly capable large diaphragm microphone with an impressive reputation for neutral sound.
- Excellent capturing capability across a range of applications.
- Solid range of accessories and modern styling.
- It only features one pad and one filter.
Rode NT1000 Review
The Rode NT1000 is a popular microphone from the legendary Australian manufacturer. While it is more expensive than the sE2200, it does offer superb sound.
- Exceptional recording capability with a high Max SPL.
- Ultra-tough construction, including internal capsule shock mounting.
- Bland design, and it comes with minimal accessories.
Should You Buy?
The sE2200 is a true example of a workhorse microphone in a highly competitive market. It ticks several boxes. Vibrant and detailed sound, high versatility to handle multiple roles in a studio, and premium build quality without a debilitating price.
If you are looking for a dependable and highly-capable microphone, the sE2200 should be high on your list of options and one that I can readily recommend to both beginners and seasoned pros.
sE Electronics sE2200