sE Electronics V7 Black dynamic mic review

Used by artists like Billie Eilish, Justin Timberlake and Sammi Doll, sE Electronics’s dynamic microphone, the V7, is now available in a full black version appropriately listed as the “V7 Black”. This mic has an all-metal housing and beveled spring steel grille with the handle in a black satin finish, and it just looks great. More importantly, this mic sounds great and can easily compete with more expensive mics.

My test unit came with the red internal windscreen mounted, but if you want a totally black look you can easily replace it with the black one that comes in the box. I personally love the black-red combination, though, so I left the windscreen in place.

When you unscrew the bang-on-the-table-resistant steel grille that protects the windscreen and capsule, you will find an integrated shock mount with a DMC7 dynamic element that has an open sound and was designed to capture the human voice in a natural way. As a handheld stage mic, the design needs to avoid unwanted sounds spoiling the content that matters.

This translates into a super-cardioid capsule design that is extremely good at isolating a zero degree signal from any sort of sound that comes in from around 30 to 180 degrees — almost regardless of the level. Furthermore, the shock mount is very efficient at isolating the capsule from mic manipulation.

sE Electronics V7, the specs that matter most

The V7 Black has an aluminium voice coil with a neodymium magnet. Its sensitivity is on the low side. I needed to crank up the gain on my Apogee Element to its maximum 75dB before the mic would capture a signal that is loud enough for recording a soft-spoken text at 20-30cm away from my face.

Given the extremely low noise floor of the V7, though, you can record at levels that are about a third lower than you’d be used to and increase the gain in post, either by just increasing the fader’s levels (or routing through a bus with faders at 0dB) in your DAW or increasing the gain in an app like iZotope’s RX 9 — both methods saving the dynamic range of the signal and making it easy to keep levels in check with loudness standards.

Yet another solution is to use sE Electronics’s own inline pre-amps, of which there are now two, the older being the DM1 “Dynamite” that boosts gain with a fixed 28dB, and the new DM2 “TNT” which has a switchable gain boost of 15dB or 30dB and an impedance switch that goes from 50Ω all the way to 1MΩ.

The V7 further has a frequency range of 40 Hz to 19 kHz, an impedance of 300 Ohms for a relatively long cable run without sound degradation, and a sensitivity of 2.0 mV/Pa or -54dB sensitivity. It connects through a 3-pin male XLR (the same capsule and head can be had for use with Shure and Sennheiser handheld transmitters) and weighs 296g. Besides the mic, the box comes with a hard plastic mic clip, a thread adapter, a spare internal windscreen, a sticker and a soft carrying pouch.

Silky sound with balanced clarity

What does all that technical jargon translate into when you record your voice or an instrument? Well, one of the major attractions of the V7 Black besides its looks, is the clarity you’ll get out of this thing. With the V7, the proximity effect will distort the signal much less than some of its direct competitors tend to do and the high-end is nicely extended without harshness or overemphasis, while the mid-range is articulate and natural.

It is, in other words, a very good microphone for voice recordings and, I would imagine, woodwind and brass instruments, and it can compete with more expensive dynamic mics that are usually made in Germany. Based on my own experiments, I would say the V7 is excellent for anything from studio interviews and podcasting to jazz, a capella singing and some instrument types.

It will smoothen voices that have a sharp quality, while making a smooth voice even more pleasant to listen to and it won’t ring easily when you accidentally forget to mute your speakers!

For an idea as to how it sounds with a guitar, check out this video from a fellow mic reviewer (but one who can sing and doesn’t seem to do anything else but make music, and collect and use sound production equipment): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XjQYPIxP68.

The sE Electronics V7 Black retails for around 100-120 EUR, depending on the reseller and the country.

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