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SE Electronics SE8

Test & Review

Immerse yourself in the captivating world of the condenser microphone with cardioid polar pattern, the SE Electronics SE8. This jewel of audio technology proves to be a versatile microphone, thanks to its operable switches, capable of adapting to a multitude of recording situations. In this review, we'll reveal everything about this mic's performance, from its technical specifications to our full evaluation. Discover how the SE Electronics SE8 can enhance the quality of your audio recordings and become a valuable ally in your quest for sound perfection.

Test and review on the SE Electronics SE8 microphone

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

Small diaphragm microphones are generally versatile. They are suitable for miking on most instruments (acoustic guitars, violins, drums, pianos, mandolins, etc.). With a small diaphragm , these microphones are both small and light and are also more responsive. They easily pick up highs, fast transients, bass, etc.

They are also appreciated for their small size, easy to handle , fix and orient . Regarding sound quality, it depends on the microphone, but in general, sound professionals associate small diaphragm microphones with large diaphragm models.

There are small diaphragm microphones that are expensive and affordable, even cheap models. According to some, these are not of good quality, that they tend to overpronounce the treble and that they are not suitable for recording and stage use. Note, however, that this is not a generality. It all depends on the microphone.

In this article, we tested a very affordable small diaphragm microphone : the SE Electronics SE8. For information, SE Electronics was founded by musician, composer and conductor named Siwei Zou. The company was established in 2000, but it wasn't until 3 years later that the company began designing its own products.

It offers several articles related to sound reinforcement, but it is best known for its microphones. Many of its models are among the favorites of sound specialists. The music press has even praised this brand's microphones.

This is for example the case of the SE5 . Now let's find out if the SE Electronics SE8 is also a good microphone like its predecessors, if it meets the expectations of lovers of quality sounds.

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SE Electronics SE8 Overview

The SE Electronics SE8 is an improved version of SE Electronics' small diaphragm microphones. The SE8 is available alone or as a matched pair.

If you order a SE Electronics SE8 or a pair, you will get your item delivered in an aluminum case. Inside there are the microphone(s), mounting clips and threaded adapters. The brand has also integrated foam pop filters, a sticker, a solid aluminum stereo bar (30 cm) and a user guide (in German) into the case.

When you unbox the product, you see impeccable manufacturing quality . The brand doesn't lie when it says its capsules are handmade. On each SE8 there is a serial number next to the XLR connector. The serial number of those sold in pairs is accompanied by the letter A and B.

To prove manual manufacturing , there is another serial number inside the SE Electronics SE8. According to the brand, the manufacturers of its microphones are trained by a master who has more than 30 years of experience in capsule design. The training lasts 18 months.

Design-wise, we can say that the SE Electronics SE8 is presentable. The paint and ironwork are impeccable. The dimensions are also very compact. The diameter of the SE Electronics SE8 is 23 mm .

Its length is 12 cm . It is certainly a little larger compared to small diaphragm microphones from Oktava, Shoeps or Neumann, but it remains compact. It is also lightweight, yet sturdy. The SE Electronics SE8 weighs 144g .

SE Electronics SE8
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As for the features, they are numerous and practical. The brand first placed a two-stage level reducer ( -10 and -20 dB ) on the microphone. Just below the latter there is a switchable high pass filter . With this filter you can eliminate low frequencies at 80 or 160 Hz .

To avoid mishandling when using the microphone, the brand has recessed the sliders a little. To reach them, you must use a pen or a small screwdriver for example. At the front, you will have a very fine mesh protective grille. This grid is placed in front of the golden membranes. At the end of the mic, there is a gold-plated XLR port and the model serial number.

The SE Electronics SE8 on a technical level

The SE Electronics SE8 is a condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern . Since it is not a permanently polarized electret condenser , it can withstand almost 160 dB of sound pressure, even if the source is very loud.

The SE Electronics SE8 has a small diaphragm . It works with 48V phantom power. According to the brand, the frequency range is 20 Hz to 20 kHz .

In the frequency response curve table, there is a slight rise from 4 kHz and a peak of over 5 dB arriving at 9 kHz . So there is an increase in the higher frequency range. This is practical, because it allows you to compensate for treble losses during recording, for example.

SE Electronics SE8-purchase
SE Electronics SE8


A microphone based on a modular system

Like the Neumann KM100 or the Schoeps MK, the SE Electronics SE8 is based on a modular system . Its polar diaphragm displays a constant increase up to a frequency of 4 kHz .

There is then a reduction observed when the frequencies are higher. The sound coming from both sides and the rear is attenuated (approximately -15 dB at 16 kHz ). The sound coming from the front is not attenuated.

Concerning the sensitivity, it is 20 mV/Pa . That's a bit high for a small-diaphragm condenser mic, but with its high output, the SE Electronics SE8 can lighten the load. According to the brand, this small diaphragm model also has excellent background noise at 15 dB (A).

In addition to these points, the SE8 was designed without a class A technology . Thanks to this design, there is no distortion of transients. The sound is quality.

A pad with two positions -10 dB and -20 dB

The SE Electronics SE8 microphone is versatile since it can be adapted to several types of recordings thanks to its switches which can be operated using a small screwdriver or a pen for example.

The top switch is a switch to enable and select attenuation. The pad has two positions -10 and -20 dB . With this switch, you can achieve a max SPL of 161 dB . Afterwards, even if the pad is not used, the SE Electronics SE8 can manage up to 140 dB .

SE Electronics SE8 packaging
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Frequency table and polar diagram

Thanks to a high-pass filter that can be activated via the lower switch, you can adjust the frequency range to 80 or 16 Hz . This switch will perform an attenuation of 6 dB/Oct . Concerning the output impedance, it is 110 ohms for this microphone. The recommended input impedance is 1 kOhm .

Zoom on the sound quality of the SE Electronics SE8

Looking at the technical specifications of the SE Electronics SE8, we can say that it is an excellent microphone . This is even impressive considering that it is one of the affordable microphones .

To understand the quality of this microphone , however, you have to take a close look at what it is worth on a practical level. Without further ado, let's see what the sound quality is like on an acoustic guitar, drums, cymbal and snare drum.

SE Electronics SE8-purchase
SE Electronics SE8


The SE Electronics SE8 on an acoustic guitar

Compared to microphones like the Oktava MK012 which are priced around that of the SE, the SE Electronics SE8 is impressive. The latter sounds good. By positioning it, for example, approximately 40 cm away from the guitar, in an XY layout and directed towards the 12th fret , the SE8 perfectly reproduces the sound of the source.

The rendering is very balanced . In addition, the microphone perfectly reproduces the highs and mids without forcing too much, without being too intrusive whereas the Oktava MK012 seems to push too much in the mids.

Guitar recording with the SE Electronics SE8
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The SE Electronics SE8 with a battery

On battery, the SE Electronics SE8 also displays excellent results. The sound remains balanced and reproduced in a natural and homogeneous manner. The microphone meanwhile reproduces the details of the snare drum and the hi-hat. Compared to mics of the same caliber and price, it is quite accurate.

The SE Electronics SE8 on a cymbal

In general, small diaphragm mics are used occasionally to pick up hi-hats, but some are also perfect for cymbals. This is the case of the SE Electronics SE8. This microphone reproduces a pleasant general sound , but more or less discreet.

This is useful for cymbals with a higher sound. Note that in addition, the SE8 has a filter which allows you to attenuate or even eliminate low frequency hums for a clearer sound.

The SE Electronics SE8 on the snare drum

When the SE Electronics SE8 is used on the snare drum, the sound is amazing. It feels like you're using a dynamic microphone like the Audix i5 or the Shure SM57. Listening to the sound, you would say that it is a professional microphone which is expensive because it is so efficient.

It perfectly reproduces the midrange with smoothness and homogeneity. It's less powerful than the Shure or Audix, which makes it sound even better.

Testing the SE Electronics SE8 on the snare drum
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The SE Electronics SE8 for vocal recording

The SE Electronics SE8 also reproduces vocals to perfection . The recordings sound very natural, without any weird coloration. We don't hear the exaggerated highs of classic condenser microphones . The warmth of the sound doesn't turn into a fuzzy midrange either.

The technical characteristics of the SE Electronics SE8

  • Designation: sE8 stereo set
  • Transducer principle: small diaphragm condenser microphone
  • Directivity: cardioid
  • Impedance: 110 ohms
  • Frequency response: 20-20,000 hertz
  • Finish: matt black lacquered
  • Output: XLR
  • Dimensions: L: 12.0 x W: 2.3 centimeters
  • Weight: 140 grams
  • Accessories: aluminum case, bracket, stereo bar, windshield, EU thread reducer, instructions
  • Country of origin: China

Alternative to SE Electronics SE8

The SE Electronics SE8 is a great all-around microphone. It is also affordable. If you're looking for an alternative, there's Aston's Starlight . It costs more, but it may satisfy your needs if you are looking for a more natural and well-balanced sound. The Rode NT5 microphone and the M5 are also interesting alternatives, as are the Audio-Technica Pro37 or the Sontronics STC-1 .

SE Electronics SE8 package
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SE Electronics SE8-purchase
Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4.8 /5

Value for money

4,6 /5

Global mark

4,7 /5

Our opinion on the SE Electronics SE8

After testing the SE Electronics SE8, we see that it does not disappoint. The Chinese brand has outdone itself again. Here we have a versatile microphone that is suitable for all kinds of studio recordings (instruments and vocals). Its price is even surprising given its quality. The sound is natural, clear and well balanced whether on an acoustic guitar, drums, cymbals, etc.

The build quality is also impressive. The handmade capsule, the impeccable finish as well as the dimensions and weight are perfect. The microphone is easy to handle as it is light, thin and compact.

The features are also on the microphone and not inside as is the case with some models. You can easily adjust the attenuation with the two-level pad or the frequency with the high-pass filter.

It seems to be a perfect microphone. If we really had to find faults with it, it would be the reproduction of sound during a live performance on stage. Afterwards, it's not really a stage microphone, but rather a studio microphone.

It would also perhaps have been preferable to have a second power supply such as a battery for example, but again, this is not really penalizing, because it is a studio microphone. The phantom power is perfect, plus its XLR port is gold plated.

SE Electronics SE8 Demo

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