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Sony C80

Test & Review

Do you want to acquire a professional microphone in your professional studio or home studio that has proven quality? A microphone that offers both exceptional sound quality and an elegant design? You can choose Sony C80 microphone. Designed for studio use, this condenser microphone features a double-diaphragm capsule with a cardioid polar pattern. Discover through this guide our test and opinion on this microphone from the Sony brand.

Sony C-80 microphone test and review

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

Looking for a microphone for your recording studio can be a real obstacle course. Indeed, studio microphones come in several categories. These include ribbon microphones , USB microphones , dynamic microphones and condenser microphones . Additionally, there are a multitude of brands on the market, which makes choosing even more difficult.

To help you, we decided to test a condenser microphone designed by a renowned brand: the Sony C80.

Let's discover together what this model offers us in terms of sound quality and manufacturing quality . Let's also see how to use the mic and its switches. In this review of the Sony C80, we also give you our full opinion.

Testing the Sony C80 in the studio
Picture from Audioxpress.com

Focus on the Sony brand

Sony is a brand whose reputation is well established. Established in 1946 in Tokyo, Japan, this company specializes in the design of various cutting-edge products. In its catalog, we find in particular televisions, Hi-fi systems, telephones, computer equipment and audio equipment .

In this article, what interests us are its microphones. You are probably wondering if Sony brand microphones are reliable. Well, you should know that the microphone models of this Japanese brand are very popular with professionals and sound enthusiasts around the world.

Sony offers three categories of microphones, namely:

  • Dynamic mics such as the F-112, F-780 and F-720
  • Shotgun microphones such as the ECM-680S, ECM-678, ECM-674 and ECM-673
  • Condenser microphones such as the ECM-100N, ECM-100U, Sony C100 , C38B, C800GPAC1, 800G and C80

In this last category, the brand's most popular models are undoubtedly the C800G and the C100. Please note that the microphone on our test bench today is a microphone whose design is inspired by these two legendary Sony models. Let's see what this gives in terms of performance.

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Sony C80

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Sony C80 Microphone Overview

Let's find out right away what's in the box:

  • A Sony C80 microphone
  • A spider suspension
  • A storage case

The Sony C80 is a condenser microphone like the SE Electronics sE2200a II , the MXL 770 and the Telefunken UF-47. This type of microphone is characterized by the presence of a capacitor . It is this device which takes care of converting the charge into an electrical signal. The signal will then be transmitted to the sound card or preamplifier.

That said, if you don't have a sound card, you can use a USB microphone like the Rode NT-USB or the Blue Yeti. This type of device plugs directly into a computer via a USB cable.

Unlike dynamic moving coil microphones , condenser mics have a built-in amplifier . As such, they require an external power supply. In particular, you will need a 48 V to operate the Sony C80.

This microphone is capable of capturing frequencies ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz with a dynamic range greater than 125.5 dB .

Appearance-wise, this professional microphone has an elegant look . With its all-black body, this studio microphone is sure to bring a modern touch to any recording room.

On its front side, we find the Sony brand logo below which is drawn an inverted heart. The latter refers to its cardioid polar pattern .

Sony C80 packaging
Picture from Amazona.de

On both sides of the mic, you'll find two switches, including a high-pass filter and an attenuator pad . We will come back to this in more detail a little further down in this test.

This is a model that is very light since it weighs only 215 g. It measures 40mm in diameter and 158mm in length.

Now let's talk about the accessories that come with the microphone. The spider suspension will be of great importance to optimize the resistance of the device to vibrations . As for the padded storage case, this device is used to store the microphone during periods without recording.

The build quality of the Sony C80

The design of the C80 was inspired by the C100 and C800G, two legendary microphones from the Sony brand. Just like these two big brothers, this model is notably equipped with a double membrane capsule .

However, unlike the C100, the C80 does not come with a switch to change the sensitivity of the mic. Indeed, the C100 offers you the possibility of switching between 3 polar patterns (unidirectional, bidirectional and omnidirectional).

As for the C80, this microphone only displays cardioid polar pattern . This means that this model is designed to capture the sounds in front of it. It rejects sounds from the rear and attenuates those from the sides.

Another point that differentiates the C80 from the C100: the design of the capsule. In fact, we do not find the small electret capsule of the C100 on the C80.

However, just like the C100 and C800G, the Sony C80 has components that look sturdy. This model is therefore designed to last a long time. Noise Elimination Construction technology . A feature that allows the microphone to suppress acoustic vibrations and reproduce sounds with clarity.

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Sony C80

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By the way, you can also check out our test and review of the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 microphone . This guide shows you the complete overview of the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 microphone, its Sphere plugin features, its application areas, as well as its sound quality and technical specifications.

Sony C80: its high-pass filter and attenuator pad

Just like the C100, the C80 is equipped with an attenuator pad . This device makes it possible in particular to reduce the gain by 10 dB . Consider turning this switch on when capturing loud sound sources. This way you avoid distortion. Furthermore, this will protect your mixer against possible overloads of its input circuits.

As for the Low Cut switch , this helps to attenuate all kinds of unwanted noise. This could be, for example, vibrations, background noise or even sibilance. Note, however, that the manufacturer has not indicated the starting point of the high-pass filter.

Application areas of the Sony C80 microphone

The Sony C80 is a professional microphone designed for studio use . The manufacturer particularly recommends using it for recording vocals and acoustic instruments. This model is aimed at singers, musicians, podcasters and streamers.

Since it is a cardioid condenser microphone, this model is useful when recording in stereo.

For example, you can use it to implement the XY technique . To do this, you will need another cardioid condenser mic. As for setup, simply position the two mics to form a 90° angle.

Furthermore, the Sony C80 also allows you to record stereo sounds with the MS (Mide-Side) technique. To do this, you need to get a two-way microphone. Most ribbon microphones feature this kind of polar pattern. This is particularly the case with the MXL R144, the Beyerdynamic M130 ribbon microphone and the Superlux R102.

As for the configuration, you must point the C80 (the Mid microphone) towards the source to be captured. As for the figure 8 microphone (the Side microphone), you must position it below the Mid microphone and perpendicular to the latter.

Recording Acoustic Guitar with the Sony C80
Picture from Musictech.com

Focus on sound quality on Sony C80

The Sony C80 offers excellent sound quality . Its sound character is quite similar to that of the C100. Which is really no surprise since these two models benefit from the same design except for a few details. Among other things, the C100 has an additional capsule. Not to mention its 3 directivities to choose from.

We can note a lot of detail in the high frequencies in the C80. This can be explained by its high sensitivity ( -30 dB/Pa ). This model also displays clarity in the midrange and offers a nice presence in the bass .

This studio microphone from Sony delivers clean sound in all frequency ranges. In fact, this device has been designed to prevent vibrations from reaching the capsule.

Used opposite a male or female voice, it faithfully reproduces the sound. In addition, it is capable of reproducing the sound of the strings of an acoustic guitar with impressive realism .

Unlike dynamic microphones, condenser microphones have the particularity of being sensitive to the proximity effect . The Sony C80 condenser microphone is no exception to this rule despite the presence of the double diaphragm capsule.

When the singer moves closer to the microphone, the low frequencies are amplified . To attenuate bass sounds, the singer must therefore move away from the microphone a little. To accentuate the bass, you should not hesitate to get closer to it. In short, it's up to you to see the ideal distance depending on the sound reproduction you want to obtain.

Sony-C80-purchase
Sony C80

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Good to know : You can also read our article which talks about the different special microphones . You can discover through this guide the 3 main types of microphones, as well as special microphones and their usefulness.

Technical characteristics of the Sony C80

  • Microphone type: condenser microphone
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity: – 30 dB (attenuation ± 3 dB), (0 dB = 1 V/Pa, 1 kHz)
  • Dynamic range: > 125.5 dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 81.5 dB
  • Maximum SPL: 138 dB
  • Attenuation pad: – 10 dB
  • Low cut filter
  • Power requirements: 48V phantom power
  • Dimensions (diameter x length): 40 mm x 158 mm
  • Weight: 215g
  • Accessories included: spider hanger, storage case
Sony C80 microphone capsule
Picture from Audioxpress.com
Sony-C80-purchase
Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,9 /5
4.9/5

Value for money

4,7 /5
4.7/5

Global mark

4,8 /5
4.8/5

Our opinion on the Sony C80 microphone

Fans of the Sony brand will certainly be delighted to welcome the C80 into their home studio. In addition to its modern look, this model offers impressive sound reproduction.

Obviously, we are not dealing with a Neumann microphone, but in terms of sound quality, it has nothing to be ashamed of in its performance. Its sound quality is not far from that of the C100, a high-end model from Sony whose price is almost twice that of the C80.

The sound offered by the Sony C80 displays incredible clarity, particularly in the treble and midrange. This is a great mic for singing or capturing the sound of a musical instrument.

Another interesting point about the C80: its switches. The high-pass filter is really effective in purifying the sound. As for the attenuation pad, this is a great help in improving sound reproduction when capturing a loud sound source.

With its maximum sound pressure level of 138 dB, this model is able to withstand powerful sounds.

Additionally, these two switches are easily accessible from the body of the mic. They also benefit from good resistance to avoid any unintentional manipulation.

We also like the shock mount that comes with the mic. This device attaches securely to the device and is effective in isolating handling noise. So, it is no longer necessary to invest in this type of accessory.

On the other hand, if you plan to use this microphone to record vocals, a windscreen will be useful to eliminate plosives.

Also note that the Sony C80 does not have a directivity change switch. As such, it's not as versatile as the C100. Among other things, the C80 is not intended to record the overall ambiance of a room since it is not an omnidirectional microphone. To get proper sound from the C80, the source must be aimed at the mic.

Let's finish our review of the Sony C-80 with a quick summary of its advantages and disadvantages.

Most :

  • Clear sound reproduction
  • Modern sound character
  • Good manufacturing quality
  • High-performance shock-absorbing suspension
  • Convenient noise reduction options
  • High SPL
  • Good value for money

The lessers :

  • No pop filter
  • Unique polar pattern (cardioid)

Our verdict: Considering all its advantages, acquiring the Sony C80 can only be a good deal. It is the ideal alternative to the C100. We recommend this condenser studio microphone to singers, musicians and audio content creators.

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Sony C80

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