Aston strikes again with their first dynamic microphone in the Aston family! After the Spirit, Starlight, and Origin they released their dynamic flagship microphone. As we always see and mention, when Aston release something it just not just another microphone; Aston makes sure everything with the product is amazing and full of unique features and visually different.
The microphone announced on 17th December 2018 is now ready to be shipped worldwide and available in most audio shops. It should compete with the Shure SM7B and Rode Broadcaster.
As you can see below, they re-designed the box and product as well, compared to the very popular condenser microphones the Origin and Spirit. They go for an all-black design from the box until the small Aston logo badge in the box.
What is the Aston Stealth?
What is the Aston Stealth and why is it so unique and revolutionary within microphone world? From a design standpoint, it's unique and they gave it its own character like all their other products, it doesn’t look like your general dynamic microphone which is cool in our opinion. Aston is another level.
It’s a high-quality broadcast cardioid microphone for studio and stage use. Build in is A-class Mic Pre and an internal Sorbothane shock mount which makes it a very versatile and complete product.
The Aston has four settings with four different voices and four discrete signal paths, more on that later.
There is a built-in LED system which indicated if phantom power is on or off, it looks awesome! The LED can also be switched off at the bottom of the microphone which is good to have in some environments when a video is involved. The Aston Stealth works with 48v phantom power and without, ideal for all your needs and situations.
When used passively so without power the active circuit is bypassed, and Stealth functions with a simple signal chain to generate a clean sound.
When the microphone is powered it features their built-in Class A Mic Pre Amp.
Assembling the Aston Stealth to a microphone stand is very simple and different compared to other microphones. They used a clip system which you only press into the bottom of the microphone and take off as well. This way you don’t have to screw anything on a stand. We like this way of assembling just like the Aston Swift shield has is unique way of connecting, which is better than the traditional connections.
Functions and build
What you immediately see when you get the Stealth out of the box is the big size of the microphone. With 692 grams, it’s quite heavy and well sized. The middle is made of metal and the bottom and top part is quality plastic, it does not feel cheap at all.
The bottom ring to switch settings is easy to switch if you get your hand around the microphone. At the bottom, you will find the button to turn the LED-light off and on and also the XLR connector and microphone stand connection.
The internal schockmounth is built and designed so the capsule is in the mid-air and isolated from the microphone chassis – supported by 3 points by the Sorbothane polymer hemispheres.
The look doesn’t only make a product awesome, especially with microphones. What is unique are the 4 settings you can put the Aston Stealth in. These are switchable patterns with four different voice settings they tested with a very extensive team of 92 top engineers, producers and artists and the Aston 33 panel. They went to the next step and had double-blind listing tests; yes, like a real science experiment they tested their product against others. These intensive tests allow their users to achieve the highest possible audio quality, period. Below are the four modes.
V1 (Vocal 1): Top voted to set for male vocal takes even when the pitch is higher or lower of different voices. It has more to do with the texture of the vocals.
V2 (Vocal 2): Top setting for female vocal takes.
G (Guitar): best setting for Spanish guitars and basically any guitar.
D (Dark): No D for drums but... A vintage sound that will create the classic ribbon mic feeling.
In general, the microphone sounds very warm and full in every setting. In our opinion, the settings are beneficial when broadcasting or switch sound inputs on stage. It does not mean that if you are a male singer V1 is the go-to setting for you, and you can adjust parameters and hear it for yourself which setting works the best for you.
Below an important citation from Aston
“It’s important to note that V1 and V2 test panel preferences for male and female vocal takes respectively was little to do with the pitch of the singers and therefore can only be explained with reference to physical characteristics (vocal cords in particular) producing timbral differences. These results, while absolutely clear in double-blind tests, don’t mean that you should only check out one setting for your own voice… different settings should always be tried to find the best results.”