MXL 770 vs MXL 990 – What’s the better pick?

MXL is one of the most recognized companies when it comes to producing high-quality microphones. They always try to improve their designs and follow the latest trends about the features that different types of microphones should have. However, people often wonder which microphone model is the best for them. So, MXL 770 vs MXL 990, what’s the better option?

One of the dilemmas that folks might have in relation to MXL’s microphones has to do with the MXL 770 and the MXL 990 models. They often wonder which of these two models is of better quality, sounds better, and performs better. If you are one of these people and you want to make up your mind on which microphone to buy, this review might come in handy.

The MXL 770


  • Good sound quality
  • Has a good-quality FET preamp with transformerless output
  • Very versatile
  • Good durability


  • Sounds a bit raw

The MXL 990


  • Good sound quality
  • Pretty sensitive
  • Very suitable for vocals
  • Sturdy and durable


  • Sounds a bit muddy


When it comes to their design, both the MXL 770 and the MXL 990 are attractive, regardless of the fact that they look different.

The MXL 770 is entirely finished in black, and it has a golden lining that matches the black neatly. Aside from the lining, MXL’s logo, the name of the microphone, and the mark for its polar pattern that you can see on the front side of the MXL770 are also written in golden. I would say that the XML 770 looks modern and smart.

One the other hand, the MXL 990 has a body and a grille that are finished in champagne. The lining of this microphone is in black, and so are MXL’s logo and the name of the microphone which you can also spot on the front of the 990. My personal opinion on XML 990’s looks is that the microphone looks classy and vintage.

mxl 770 vs 990

Both of the microphones are very durable and they are made of metal. They also have the same shape, and they both come with a shock mount.

The weights and sizes of the XML 770 and the XML 990 are different. The XML 770 has a size of 59mm x 158mm while the XML 990 has a size of 60mm x 130mm. Obviously, the 770 is the longer one of the two microphones, and when it comes to the width, the 990 is slightly wider than the 770.

Both of the microphones are lightweight, but the MXL 770 weight is 100 grams heavier than the XML 990.

MXL 770 vs MXL 990: Features

There are certain similarities and differences between the features of the MXL 770 vs 990 too.

What’s similar about the MXL 770 and the MXL 990 is that they are both pressure gradient, small diapghragm condenser microphone, which means that they are very sensitive to the sounds in their environment. They have a frequency response that ranges from 30Hz to 20Hz, which means that both of the microphones can capture low, mid-range, and higher-frequency sounds.

The MXL 770 and 990 have a cardioid polar pickup pattern. Both MXL mics are very efficient at eliminating background noises not produced by the sound source. They are both very sensitive with a sensitivity level of 15mV/Pa and can pick up even the tiniest of sounds.

When it comes to the differences between the MXL 990 vs MXL 770, the microphones differ in their maximum SPLs. The maximum SPL of the MXL 770 is 137 which is different from the maximum SPL of the MXL 990 which is 130dB. Furthermore, the S/N ratio is also different for both of the microphones with the S/N ratio for the MXL 770 being 74dB and it being 80dB in the case of the MXL990.

770 vs 990

The microphones also differ when it comes to having attenuation pads and rolloff switches. That being said, the MXL 770 has both a -10dB attenuation pad for the higher frequencies and a rolloff switch for cutting off some bass when needed. On the other hand, the MXL 990 microphone doesn’t have any of those two switches.

Performance Comparison

So, how do all of the similarities and differences between the two condenser microphones affect their overall performance? What is similar and what is different about the MXL 770 and the MXL 990 in relation to their way of performing?

The MXL 770 is a very versatile microphone meaning that performs well when used with vocals, acoustic instruments, acoustic guitars, and percussion. The 770 can be used for singing, playing an musical instrument, YouTube voice overs, podcasts, etc. On the other hand, the MXL microphone 990 works best with vocals.

The features that the MXL 770 and the MXL 990 have also contribute to differences in their sound. Don’t get me wrong—both of the microphones have a good quality of sound, but there are differences in how they handle sounds in their frequency response range.

That being said, the MXL 770 sounds very warm and it has beautiful bass undertones. The sounds it produces are clear, crispy, and, of course, rich in detail. However, this microphone sounds pretty raw at times.

On the other hand, the sound produced by the MXL 990 is silky, smooth, and pretty strong when it comes to the bass. Since it is better used with vocals, the microphone also has a nice-sounding midrange. However, it does sound a bit muddy and there appear to be some issues once it has to deal with higher-frequency sounds.

Again, both of the microphones sound very good. Also, since they are very sensitive, it is better if you use them in specially designed studious. However, if you do decide to use them outdoors, they will not disappoint you.

The MXL 770 vs MXL 990 verdict

In my opinion, both of these condenser microphones are of good quality, and the one you choose to buy will have to be the one that’s most attune to your needs and preferences.

When it comes to the MXL 770, the microphone is very versatile, has a clear and warm sound, but it can also sound raw. The MXL 990, on the other hand, sounds balanced throughout its frequency range and has a good midrange, but it can be muddy and with issues in the higher frequencies.

Now that you have more information on their design, features, and performance, go and think things through and make up your mind.

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