Lewitt RAY Mic Review: Let’s Talk About Lasers


Big thanks to Lewitt for sending us the Lewitt RAY for review purposes!

In 1950s sci-fi, lasers were tools of destruction. Today, in 2024, the laser is a much more humble and helpful technology. That is, of course, unless you’ve ever been stuck for 45 minutes trying to scan a bag of frozen peas at a self-service checkout. But I digress.

So why are we discussing lasers at all on a podcasting website? The reason is that I’ve been playing with a new mic called the Lewitt RAY. And it has a laser built into it!

This laser keeps track of where you are when you’re talking into the mic, and it can make adjustments to your audio based on your distance. Not charismatic supervillain-taking-over-the-world stuff, I know. But certainly an interesting feature that might come in handy for your podcasting ventures. So let’s get into it.

Lewitt RAY Review: The Lowdown

The Lewitt RAY is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone

It’s an XLR mic

It has a Cardioid polar pattern

It has a frequency range of 20 – 20,000Hz

It has a self-noise of 8dB

And it has a max SPL (Sound Pressure Level) of 131 dB

So, ultimately, it’s a mic suited to solo podcasters or streamers who have access to an audio interface, mixer, or digital recorder.

It’s also a classy-looking mic. There’s something both futuristic and retro about it. I can’t really articulate it, which is unfortunate as that’s exactly what I’m paid to do.

“Elegant” might be the word I’m looking for. Does that work for you?

Cost of the Lewitt RAY

At the time of writing, you can buy the Lewitt RAY brand new on Amazon for $350 and on Amazon UK for £300.

Our link to the Lewitt RAY is an affiliate link, meaning we’d earn a commission if you buy through it. Affiliate income helps support all of our free content, though it never clouds our judgment when reviewing products or services. You’ll always get our honest opinions, no matter what!

This price point definitely puts it in the “Premium Mic” camp. So, is it worth it?

A good starting point would be to take a look at the things it does that other mics don’t…

Unique & Interesting Features

I’ve reviewed scores of microphones over the years, and, in my experience, most are decent, but all are pretty similar. There’s rarely anything new under the sun. So it’s cool to be able to write about a couple of features that I’ve genuinely never come across before. Both involve the aforementioned laser, so let’s find out more:

AURA Technology

When you record into a microphone, there’s a Goldilocks zone of distance between your wagging tongue and the mic capsule. Get too close, and you’ll have issues. Get too far away, and you’ll have even more.

The Lewitt RAY bucks this trend. Here, our friendly laser (they call it a “sensor”, which doesn’t sound half as impressive) realises you’ve moved and adjusts the audio accordingly. Think of it like a metaphorical thermostat. Your audio gets too hot (you are closer), and it cools it down. Your audio gets too cold (you are further away), and it heats it up.

AURA uses a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor to measure your distance from the microphone. This information is used to adjust your tone and level to compensate for the change in distance. 

Lewitt

The AURA working range is from 5-100cm. 

When I tested this feature, it definitely managed to maintain a consistent signal, even when I was about 80cm away from the mic. The sound of my voice did change slightly due to the gradual change in the environment (I was literally in a different location, after all). This is totally understandable and not a mark against the feature. It’s just a fact of recording audio.

MUTE by Distance

Lewitt’s engineers probably thought, “Now that this laser can keep tabs on where its user is, what other cool features can we add in?” And once the idea to fire a raygun at a wandering podcaster was floated and rejected, they likely settled on this more user-friendly and less painful MUTE by Distance feature.

MUTE (capitalising random words is a trend in audio) by Distance is fairly self-explanatory. Once you get a certain distance (adjustable) away from the mic, it automatically mutes you.

What Problems Do These Features Solve?

These are cool, interesting, and unique features, for sure. But how useful are they to podcasters in the real world?

I think the AURA autofocus is the biggie. Poor mic technique and inconsistent volume levels are still an issue for many podcasters. Of course, this generally stems from people not knowing what they’re doing. And I don’t think anyone would invest in a mic like this unless they had a decent idea about recording audio. I could be wrong. In fact, I usually am.

If I were running an “I just can’t seem to stay in one place” podcast, I’d probably opt for a wireless lavalier mic. That said, if I were doing a remote interview and could pick any mic in the world for my guest, it’d undoubtedly be the Lewitt RAY. Imagine never having to say, “Can you get a little closer to that mic?” again.

The MUTE by Distance feature might come in handy if you often need to step away to argue with your dog or shout at the Amazon guy outside playing keepie-uppie with your parcel. Maybe you’re in a livestream or interviewing someone who’d almost certainly take your dog’s side. In any case, you’d like to keep what’s being said private, and pressing the mute button is beyond you.

And sometimes, pressing the mute button is beyond me, to be quite honest with you. You know those sudden coughing fits that spring from nowhere? In the future, I can simply step back or turn away from the mic, and my audio will cut out. (I could also stop eating deep-fried pies for my lunch, but instead, I’ll continue to blame my two-year-old daughter for my ruined immune system.)

Lewitt RAY Sound Quality

The focal point of any Lewitt RAY review is obviously going to be its unique features. However, it’d be a shame to overlook the mic’s performance in its most important duty of all – capturing a nice vocal recording.

I’m impressed with its sound quality, and the Lewitt Control Centre software’s presets enhance the audio in their own ways. Even if it weren’t for all the laser-based novelty of this mic, it’d still be a strong candidate for any podcaster looking to up their audio game. But then again, at that price, you’d hope so, eh?

Connections & Compatability

The Lewitt RAY is an XLR mic, so you’ll need some sort of audio interface, digital recorder, or mixer to plug it into. Your device will need Phantom Power (+48v) to run the mic.

I’m using the Lewitt Connect 2 USB audio interface and the Lewitt Control Centre software, which lets me toggle effects and save presets. A full review is on the way!

What’s in the Box?

Apart from the Lewitt RAY itself, you get a shock mount, pop filter, foam windscreen, and transport bag. I’m actually fascinated by the wee pencil case-style transport bags you get with almost every mic. Has anyone ever seen one of them being used out there in the wild? Has anyone ever literally used it as a pencil case instead? Are pencil cases still a thing?

Stickers, too. You get stickers. Or at least, I did. My daughter was there when I opened it and was delighted to see them. I told her I’d be sure to mention it in my review. Who needs lasers, eh?

Lewitt RAY Review: Conclusion

As I mentioned in the sound quality section, the mic itself performs well, and I’m impressed with the sound quality. The novel features are fun and interesting, too.

The autofocus is certainly useful for keeping your audio consistent. It would be brilliant if every inexperienced remote podcast guest had a Lewitt RAY. But that’s going to take a fair bit of organisation and expense to achieve. Maybe you could exclusively interview millionaires? There’s an idea.

The MUTE by Distance is a nice touch, too. It’s not solving any earth-shattering problems, but you’ll find situations where it’s convenient, for sure.

The price point of $350/£300 definitely puts it in the premium mic range, and if you’re just starting out, you shouldn’t be spending anywhere near that amount. You can pick up a solid starter mic for less than half the price of the Lewitt RAY. And if you love the sound of this one, add it to your birthday list and make sure you know you’re going to stick at this podcasting malarky before all that money changes hands.

Our Rating: 4.3/5

Sound Quality: 4.8/5

Price Point: 3/5

Unique Features: 5/5

Oh, and thanks again to Lewitt for the review opportunity. And thanks for the stickers, too!


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