M-Audio’s Aries ($149.95) is a condenser, compact, handheld microphone designed to capture live vocals. It employs internal shock-mounting technology that allows it to deliver studio fidelity while minimizing handling noise. The cardioid pattern rejects background sound and minimizes feedback onstage.
Aries’ capsule is built using solid brass to ensure a warm, organic sound. The 6-micron evaporated-gold diaphragm and integral pop filter combine for sonic sensitivity and the ability to handle high SPLs. Aries uses Class-A FET transformer-less electronics and requires 48V phantom power. It has a frequency response of 20 to 20k Hz. Sensitivity is 13.8 mV/Pa (-37 dBV, 1V/Pa), with a maximum SPL for 134 dB for 0.5% THD. Equivalent noise level is 17 dB (A-weighted). Output impedance is 200 ohms, with a recommended load impedance of 1,000 ohms. The Aries is 6.6 inches long with a grille diameter of 1.57 inches; weight is 9.2 ounces.