MXL Tempo Microphone Review

MXL Tempo Usage

Setting up the MXL Tempo is very easy, as Microsoft Windows 10 quickly installed the device as a “USB audio CODEC”, and made the device available as both a recording device and an output device. Simple tweaks to Discord and Streamlabs OBS were needed to make it our input device, but other than that, the MXL Tempo was really a great example of plug-and-play.

MXL Tempo

In our time with the Tempo, we have used it in a variety of scenarios. Our most common uses for microphones are streaming, Discord discussions, and podcast recording, and the Cardioid polar pattern of the Tempo works great for these scenarios. In order to take advantage of the Cardioid pattern, we chose to install the included mic stand adapter and mount the Tempo on the included tripod. This allowed us to have the microphone right in front of us for great audio pickup of our voice, and reduced audio pickup from our keyboard and mouse. We used the Tempo both in front of and behind our keyboard, and while we did get better results with the microphone in front of our keyboard, it was definitely in the way when typing or playing games. The included stand is nice to have, but we would definitely recommend looking into a mic stand or arm when using the Tempo in this manner.

We recently looked at another standalone microphone, the HyperX QuadCast, and you can see how the microphones compare by listening to the audio samples below.

MXL Tempo

HyperX QuadCast – Cardiod

Corsair VOID PRO RGB Wireless

Final Thoughts

Like we said in our introduction, the MXL Tempo gets straight to business. This is a no-frills microphone, and we don’t mean that in a bad way. While we can definitely appreciate the extra features that some microphones offer, such as on-board mute buttons, gain control, and multiple polar patterns, we can also appreciate the simplicity of a product that is easy to setup and use. The solid build of the Tempo left us feeling confident in its quality and longevity, and while the glossy white and red color scheme isn’t necessarily our favorite, the microphone is available in other more subdued colorways.

MXL Tempo

The Cardioid polar pattern of the Tempo is great for most users, and the reduced sound pickup from behind the microphone body will help alleviate unwanted audio. In our testing, we found the Tempo to perform much better than our headset’s built-in microphone, and on-par with the HyperX QuadCast, if not a bit more richer in sound quality.

The only real complaint we have with the Tempo isn’t really with the microphone itself, but with the included mic stand adapter and tripod. The threading that is used to connect these two items just doesn’t match up well, and results in a very loose microphone on the tripod. A little more attention to detail and refinement could go a long way here to making this issue go away.

Overall, the MXL Tempo has turned out to be a solid, no-frills microphone that provides great sounding audio pickup. The Tempo is available from our favorite online retailer for $69.99, so if you are looking to step up your audio game, definitely consider giving this 8 out of 10 microphone a look!

rating8 10


  • Solid Build Quality
  • Quick and Easy Setup
  • Included Mic Stand Adapter and Tripod


  • Loose Mounting Threads