Just two days after its announcement, the first X1 S review is in!
"Capsule: Made in China. Stop! Before anybody raises a cry of shame, something should be clarified. The sE company does not buy these capsules in one of the few OEM factories in China, putting their own logo on it. sE Electronics operate their own production in their own small factory, and this is located in Shanghai...this true condenser capsule with front center termination has therefore been specifically designed for the X1 S. The capsule is made of brass, not plastic."
"Even without pre-attenuation, the proportion of distortion products in the overall signal is only half a percent at 140 dB (SPL). With a two-stage pad one achieves values of 160 dB (SPL). This is enormous for a microphone of this price range."
"...it generates a flexible, technically accurate signal...required of a modern studio large diaphragm, but not necessarily [found] at this price range."
"in the bass, [it] does not become bulgy and spongy even with a small distance...The mids and centers have proper meat. Many instruments and voices get a great weight in the mix."
"Together with a brisk, dry transient reproduction, a clear, clean and completely detailed picture results in every case. Cheap condenser microphones often suffer from biting, edgy, and scrabbling heights. The X1 S also shows class here by being remarkably round, balanced and almost warm. Together with the uncolored and distortion-free character, the suitability as an all-rounder is again shown."
On off-axis response: "Even here the new sE mic is good. Particularly up to a distance of 90 degrees, there are no strong differences in level and phase, the naturally occurring high-frequency attenuation has a pleasantly smooth course, the sweet spot in front of the microphone is pleasantly large."
"[Self noise] is quiet, not just on paper...headroom is now really massive."