Review: Lewitt MTP 550 DM Handheld Dynamic

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Lewitt Audio—a progressive Austrian microphone firm that officially launched products in January 2010—began when founder Roman Perschon quit his job at a leading European microphone manufacturer to ultimately form a company with the help of Ken Yang. With design headquarters in Vienna and manufacturing facilities in China, Perschon led his design/build team to pursue new, progressive microphone designs. The results are most apparent in Lewitt’s studio-grade large diaphragm condenser microphones, yet the innovation is clearly apparent in its live handheld microphone models, too.

The Lewitt MTP 550 DM is a great example of a “workhorse” dynamic cardioid handheld microphone featuring no adjustable parameters, a hearty build quality with obviously high-grade shock mounting and materials throughout and an overall pleasing sound, all for an affordable $119 street.

In my own field tests, the MTP 550 DM performed alongside competing models from AKG, Sennheiser and Shure quite well, even compared to some that sell for $50-100 more. With a 60 Hz to 16 kHz frequency range, its response isn’t a ruler-flat transduction of its sound source but a sculpted, well-chosen translation. The MTP 550 DM shines on vocals, drums, guitar amplifier cabinets, and in other placements where a carefully detailed, slightly emphasized midrange response is needed and desired.

Vocalists and instrumentalists helped reveal the MTP 550 DM’s helpful off-axis rejection, nearly non-existent handling noise and its high-quality, built-in pop/wind filtering. In one particular outdoor application, the MPT 550 DM was the best of a four-model dynamic handheld array in resisting strong, whipping winds while in use. The mic boasts a notably road-ready build quality, too; it was dropped a number of times (from nearly six feet to concrete) with nary a scratch inflicted. It’s clear that Perschon and the Lewitt team spent a considerable amount of time crafting the MTP Series’ fit and finish; these attributes allow it to be considered alongside those world-class, ubiquitous handheld dynamics that we all know, love and depend upon.

The MTP 550 DM kit comes complete with a nice padded and zippered carry bag and flexible shock mount with plastic wing nut for tightening. It may seem like an unimportant feature, but being able to tighten a dynamic handheld without looking for a penny or grabbing a screwdriver is a lifesaver in some applications. That said, much of the appeal found in the MTP 550 DM involve small and thoughtful features, and I believe we will find similar perks in their studio models as we delve deeper in those reviews. Personally, I’m quite impressed with what Perschon has accomplished in a short six years since the debut of Lewitt’s first products at the 2010 NAMM Show, and the MTP 550 DM is a great example of the company’s successes thus far.