7 Best Ribbon Mics for Trumpet

7 Best Ribbon Mics for Trumpet

Not happy with the condenser mic that you are using? This is expected.

At one time or the other, you may feel that the sax or trumpet mic you are using is no longer serving the purpose you had initially bought it for. When this happens, you may want to spice things up with a new mic.

If you are in this stage, you may be considering buying a ribbon mic. In this guide, we go present the best ribbon mics for trumpets and a quick review of each of them.

Let’s get started.

Best Ribbon Mic for Trumpets

#1. Royer 121

Royer 121

When you start reaching for ribbon mic reviews, there is no doubt that you will come across a couple made by Royer Labs.  In 2013, the company was honored with a Technical Grammy Award for its unparalleled contributions to the recording industry over the past many years.

Royer Labs manufactures the best ribbon mics for brass instruments. Among their collection, the Royer 121 is one of the favorites. If you can afford this ribbon mic, you should buy it.

There is also a newer version of the Royer 121 i.e. the Royer 122.

If the mic is too pricey for you, the others in this ribbon mics review are quite affordable.

Check prices at Amazon | Guitar Center | MusiciansFriend | Thomann

#2. Audio Technica AT4081

Audio Technica AT4081

When the Royer 122 was first built by Royer Labs, it was the first ribbon mic with active electronics.  Soon after, many microphone connoisseurs began making ribbon mics. The only problem was that the active ones are even more expensive than passive ones.

However, the Audio Technica AT4081 is different. This trumpet ribbon mic is about HALF the price of the Royer 122 and is the only active ribbon mic that is affordable to the average person.

The mic has good reviews from customers at different online stores.

Check prices at Amazon | Guitar Center | MusiciansFriend | Thomann

#3. AEA R84


The AEA R84 falls under a category of large ribbon mics. The mic has a “pill-like” capsule design and looks like a large diaphragm condenser.

Just from its looks, you may know that it is a popular microphone for vocals. However, don’t let the look fool you; the ribbon mic is designed to be a multi-purpose equipment.

Like is the case with most ribbon mics, the AEA R84 has a standard figure-8 polar pattern. For vocals, this pattern makes it excellent for singing duets.

If you are looking for a reliable mic that sounds great and has a classic vintage look, you should buy the AEA R84.

Check prices at Amazon | Guitar Center | MusiciansFriend | Thomann

#4. Royer 101 Matched Pair

Royer 101 Matched Pair

Like the name suggests, the Royer 101 is a pair of two mics.

If you are familiar with figure-8 mics, you probably know that they are best for Blumlein recording. For this recording, you need two figure-8 mics that are angled at 90 degrees from each other.

Royal Labs is well-known for its line of high-end ribbon mics. It is one of the best on the market, and if the price is not really a factor in your purchase, then it’s worth considering.

Their R-101 Matched Pair is a passive microphone with uniform frequency and low residual noise. It follows Royal Labs’ flagship model R-121 and utilizes an offset-ribbon transducer with a 2.5-micron ribbon element.

The matched pair is skilfully hand-built to offer high SPL functionality for excellent stereo recording. Considering its class, the R-101 is equipped with a multi-layered windscreen protective feature for its ribbon element.

The R-101 has a figure-8 polar design for better positioning. It also comes with a high sensitivity feature for capturing guitars, amplifier cabinets among other sources.

Check prices at Amazon | Guitar Center | MusiciansFriend | Thomann

#5. Beyerdynamic M160

Beyerdynamic M160

It will be surprising if you haven’t heard of Beyerdynamic. The German, family-owned company has dominated the audio market since 1924, and their line of microphones have provided some of the rich classic sounds in history.

Beyerdynamic’s M160 is not an exception when it comes to excellent classic sounds with a modern touch. It’s a double ribbon microphone, and likely one of the few ribbon mics without a figure-8 pattern as it spots a hypercardioid polar pattern.

If you are looking for a great microphone with a super-fast transient response, the M160 is what you want. It’s perfect for both studio and remote voice production.

For stringing instruments like the cello, viola, violin, sax and piano, the M160 is the ideal mic. Still, for colorful stereo recordings in Mid Side technique, you may want to pair M160 with the M130 double ribbon mic.

Check prices at Amazon | Guitar Center | MusiciansFriend | Thomann

#6. Avantone CR-14

Avantone CR-14

If you checked the prices of the Royer 121 at the online stores we recommended, you will quickly realize that the accessory is damn expensive. In fact, most of the stores sell the mic at over $1000.

However, if you have never used a ribbon mic before, you may not be ready to shell out $1000 for the equipment. You need an affordable ribbon mic. And this is where the Avantone Audio CR-14 comes in. This is one of the ribbon mics that cost less than $500 and that has great reviews.

We highly recommend this ribbon mic for beginners.

The CR-14 is among the top passive ribbon mics. If you are looking for an active ribbon mic, the best deal would be an Audio Technica AT4081

Check prices at Amazon | Guitar Center | MusiciansFriend | Thomann

#7. Royer SF-12

Royer SF-12

In striving for excellence with ribbon microphones, Royer went for a breakthrough dual-microphone technique. The design makes SF-12 a unique ribbon mic that eliminates the hassle of fiddling with two microphones.

SF-12 features a couple of 1.8-micron ribbon transducers mounted in an ideal 45-degree Blumlein configuration. Now, if you are looking for vivid frequency response, this classic stereo configuration gives you that.

Much like its predecessors, the SF-12 features a figure-8 polar pattern. It’s also supplied with a 5-pin XLR connector and an 18-inch cable with standard XLR connectors.

For anyone familiar with Royer, they know their mics have high SPL capacities with very low residual noise. The SF-12 is no exception. It comes with a capacity for 130dB without residual noise and distortion.

Check prices at Amazon | Guitar Center | MusiciansFriend | Thomann


Well, there was a time when condenser mics pretty much supplanted ribbon microphones with their phantom power capabilities—and, of course, their low price. That time is long gone. Ribbon mics are no longer the delicate, classic microphones they once were. With their unique aluminium strip feature with a robust magnetic field, ribbon microphones are now incorporating ultra-modern innovations in their design. A unique metal strip design coupled with modern touch has once again made ribbon microphones a favorite for many sound engineers.

So, if you are shopping for powerful mics to spice up your trumpet sounds, the above list of ribbon mics are a great place to start.


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