Sonarworks XREF 20 Mic

98 Customer Ratings:
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4.7 / 5.0
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1 written ratings
Total
features
quality
Gets the job done for a decent price
signed by happyC, 11.04.2019
The XREF20 does exactly what it is supposed to do:
it helps you to measure your speakers' response, in order to have them calibrated with Reference 4.


The build quality is decent, but this is what I have experienced:
The 1st XREF20 which have been sent to me had black marks (as from a mic clip) and few scratches.
Thomann's team was very helpful and, as I currently live in Germany, they sent me a replacement very fast.

Unfortunately, the 2nd XREF20 was just the same... it had scratches, plus a dent on the tip.

Again, Thomann moved really fast and they sent me a 3rd replacement. They were even nice enough to open the package and inspect the mic and make sure it looks like a new, unused product, before sending it.
They marked the microphone as verified to be in good condition and then they sent it over.

To my surprise, this 3rd XREF20 (replacement) was also scratched, looking like a B-stock product, which was very unsatisfactory... that's why I could only rate 3/5 stars.

I had to waste quite a lot of time with sending photos/videos, emails, phone calls, asking for replacements.
The Thomann team was always nice and helpful, but I ended up with a 3rd XREF20 that doesn't look better than the first 2 ones.

Fortunately, it worked better.
With the first 2 mics, I had to set up the speakers' volume very high (to the point where I had to wear ear protection) just to be able to run the measurements.
With the 3rd one, I was able to run the measurements at decent speaker volumes, similar to my usual mixing volume and without the need for ear protection.

Even if it doesn't look like a new product, which is very important for me as I take good care of all my studio gear, I have decided to keep the 3rd replacement because it worked better than the first 2 ones and I could not afford wasting more time with this issue.

As a conclusion:
Thanks to the Thomann team for sending me the replacements fast, even before I sent the first XREF20s back.
This was very helpful as I was able to run a few measurements and calibrate my speakers meanwhile, even if it was only possible in sub-optimal conditions.
However, as my initial issue with the first 2 microphones was that they were looking like used products, I was expecting that the 3rd one, which was opened, inspected and resealed by their "expert department", will look like a new product... which was not the case.

For buyers...
What made me think that all 3 XREF20 mics that were sent to me were previously used, even if all of them came in sealed boxes:
1. The scratches and mic clip black marks (Sonarworks told me that super small scratches can be acceptable, but no clip marks should be on a new mic).
2. The thin part of the mic is slightly bent on all of them (Sonarworks told me that this slight bending is acceptable, due to the fact that it is a cheap measurement microphone, but that should not have a negative effect on the measurements as the mics are individually calibrated by them).
3. There are scribbles on the white instructions sheet from inside the package. These scribbles look like someone would have made them with one of the edges of the microphone or with a piece of aluminum, to mark these packages. They are present in the same places on 3 different instruction sheets, from 3 different sealed XREF20 boxes: front side - bottom and middle.
4. The mic holder inside of the box, which is made out of a blue paper, was ripped on the right/tip side, inside all of these packages (Sonarworks told me that as long as the mic was still in place, this shouldn't be an issue and that this thing can sometimes happen during transport, due to a small design flaw of the packaging)

I still recommend this measurement microphone to anyone who uses the Sonarworks Reference software for speakers calibration, as a less expensive alternative for a measurement mic, as it comes with a calibration file (for 0°) and the 30° calibration is already included in their software.
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Sonarworks XREF 20 Mic

€57 £49.94
Including VAT; Excluding €10 shipping

The price in GBP is a guideline price only!

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