APEX has a large line of affordable microphones and was one of the first companies to begin importing ribbon microphones from China. The 210 is a beefy mic at nearly 2 pounds with an attractive blue base and chrome mesh grill. The mic has an integrated XLR cable and yoke mount and ships in an impressive lockable aluminum enclosure which is nicely padded on the inside and a padded nylon “gig” bag.
The 210 features a 55mm aluminum ribbon suspended between two thin Neodymium magnets similar to the classic AEA R84 design (but at a fraction of the price). As typical with ribbon mics, the APEX 210 has a figure 8 polar pattern with good off axis rejection. With a baffle placed to block reflections from the rear you could likely get usable results even in an untreated home studio.
I tested the mic on voice, acoustic, and an amp and results were mixed. On voice, the mic was very sensitive to placement. Too close and the low end became muddy and boomy. However, lowering the mic to the upper chest area/lower neck area and moving it a little over a foot away and the response evened out producing a velvety top end and rich lows reminiscent of old school crooners.
In front of an amp at about two feet away, the mic adds incredible warmth to the signal. In no way is this a go to mic for all occasions. However when you need to tame piercing highs or enhance the smooth warmth of a source, the 210 delivers nicely.
The results on acoustic were less impressive as I couldn’t get the crispness I like no matter where I seemed to position the mic.
The APEX 210 is a great affordable mic to add to your arsenal that will surely get usage as a secret ingredient to add a touch of vintage styled smoothness in just the right place.
Price: ~$150 USD
Pros: Smooth and warm tone. Ships in a very nice case
Cons: A touch too dark for some sources.