Beyerdynamic M300

The Beyerdynamic M300 was probably released in the late 70s or early 80s (Beyerdynamic’s more recent company history is virtually undocumented), and it’s not only kind of a lookalike, but was also designed to rival the Shure SM58 as a sturdy live vocal mic. Low feedback, high reliability, smoother sound. It was modestly successful in Germany, and especially popular with female performers because it doesn’t have too much of the aggressive midrange which makes some singers sound really harsh and unpleasant when they use a Shure model.

The M300 has – as have basically all SM58 contenders that ever were – of course long been discontinued and replaced by a newer model. It can now be found extremely cheap, while the ole SM58 is still standing strong – and will be until after the nuclear fallout, I guess. As for market value, the M300 seems to exhibit some very desirable features at the moment: quality, durability, former modest popularity turned into obscurity, rather high frequency of occurrence. One thing worth mentioning, if all the rambling about the notorious Shure mic hasn’t made that clear already: Many people seem to confuse the M300 for a ribbon microphone, as is the M500, its sibling – but it’s a regular moving coil dynamic.

Beyer M300

The Beyerdynamic M300 is perfect for recording the needle in the haystack, used here to capture the ghastly twang of an abysmal Ibanez amplifier.

There are several version of the Beyer M300, the most significant ones being the M300N(C) which you can see in the picture, and the later M300 TG (tour group) model, equipped with an updated magnet and designed to be even more sturdy, but with a somewhat less pleasant sound. The “S” version of both includes the Beyer trademark lockable on-off reed switch which gives those mics a kind of retro-futurist style.

Ok, so you can use it as a pretty good live vocal mic. If you remove the foam from the inside of the grille, though, you have a rather competent instrument mic with a sound not unlike an SM57, although a tad warmer to our ears. It has a pronounced presence boost, a rather modest proximity effect and lots of sparkle to it – highly recommended for bright and twangy Telecaster guitar amp sounds (it can easily get too bright, though, so mind the treble on guitar and amp), pretty nice on snare drum. Being a vocal mic, it can handle plosives well, won’t distort easily and takes a beating or two without complaining.

  • Impedance: 250 Ω
  • Frequency range: 50 – 15000Hz
  • Cardioid pickup pattern
Style: (2.5 / 5)
Sound: (4.0 / 5)
Uniqueness: (3.0 / 5)
Usefulness: (4.0 / 5)

Trash:Gold ratio – 1:2