Title: Beyerdynamic M 160 Review
Author: Nick Mavridis
Translated from the original German article
Considering (...) that this classic is the product of a world-renowned traditional company, makes a statement to the microphone particularly interesting: With a price of 500 Euro the transducer can be described as very reasonable, because for that amount you usually get only ribbon microphones from Far East or Russian production - English or American Ribbons with such quality characteristics are more expensive.
First of all, alternatives to the Beyerdynamic M 160 are rare or practically not existing. Only very few ribbon microphones supply another polar pattern than eight, in combination with a very small size and a good price there are simply none. And these are the advantages: You cannot or want always use a huge microphone. The M 160 does its job quite unpretentious and looks just banal, yes almost naively like a microphone. It always finds room under the snare and due to its low weight long boom arms are never critical. Its polar pattern is generally known to be helpful in representing more isolated sound sources, rear influences are present, but low enough so that they are not disturbing in some distance. The sound characteristic of the M 160 is not uniformly like an eight on the different directions of sound, but even with a moving signal it is not noticeably that strong.
Beyerdynamic’s ribbon microphones are the most robust microphone of this design. The aluminium of the M 160 ribbons is rolled and becomes tear-resistant through this and the magnet consists of one casting which is to make the capsule durable as well.
The character of the microphone strongly resembles its sibling with the eight polar pattern. As the M 130 it sounds transparent, occupies signals with a very, very modest veil of dust, tames points and corners in the signal. Regarding its good nature and sound character, it counts to the more muted microphones among the ribbon microphones (...) especially when percussion is picked up. When speaking into it with a human voice, the level drop is noticeable, and of course, the microphone is also suitable for picking up a guitar amp. "
The Beyerdynamic M 160 is a ribbon microphone, which is very small and robust for this transducer / receiver type showing a restrained ribbon character - and at the same time it is not too expensive. The peculiarity lies in hypercardioid polar pattern which is unusual for a ribbon. This can be very useful on the one hand, such as when a high channel separation is required, but you have to take a certain sonic compromise. This was really excellently solved by Beyerdynamic, because with the M 160 they originated a microphone which really exists only once in this form.