May 12

Aston Spirit Microphone Review: Our Full Take & Honest Critique

Aston Microphones may be fairly new to the audio gear industry, but the brand has shaken up the industry in a serious way. Its first product was the impressive Aston Origin, a cardioid condenser microphone that’s proven to be extremely popular for pros and project musicians alike. Launching off the success of that first microphone, the company has branched out into several other microphone categories.

The next microphone Aston released is the Aston Spirit, a bigger, more versatile and more professional version of the Origin. Building on the success of the Origin, the Spirit adds a lot of additional value. But is it worth an additional $150?

The short answer: we think so, for a good portion of at-home recording musicians at least. To find out why, keep reading this full Aston Spirit review. We’ll provide our full take on this intriguing microphone, including our honest critique of what could be better.

This review is one part of a three-part series. You should also check out my full review of the Aston Origin, plus my comparison piece, Aston Origin vs Spirit: Which Microphone Is Right for You?

Ready to get started with this Aston Spirit review? Let’s dive in!

Unboxing Aston Spirit Microphone: Look and First Impressions

When you open up an Aston Spirit microphone, the box is the first thing you’ll notice. It isn’t flashy or particularly solid like many pro microphones, and it’s not full of synthetic foam, either. Aston has taken an eco-friendly (not to mention budget-friendly) approach here, shipping the microphone in a simple box that can be recycled.

This choice might be a bit unorthodox, but I appreciate the earth-friendly choice here. And if the company is going to skimp somewhere to save money, I’d much rather it be the box than the microphone itself.

Your first impressions with the microphone itself will center on the look. “Iconic” is an overused word in gear reviews, but seriously. Have you ever seen another microphone that looks anything like these Astons? They’re gorgeous and unique, and once you know the look, you can spot one from 20 yards out.

Made from tumbled stainless steel, the cylindrical microphone body looks both precision-engineered and rustic. The head of the microphone is intricate and beautiful, packing some practical finesse in there as well.

You might also notice the size right off, especially if you already have an Origin at home. The Aston Spirit shares the same diameter as the Origin (a little more than 2.1 inches in diameter), but it’s much longer and somewhat heavier. The Aston Spirit is nearly seven inches long and weighs in at a healthy 1.38 pounds. (For comparison, that’s a little shorter and a decent amount heavier than the $3200 Neumann U87 we reviewed in our Top 10 Home Studio Microphones for 2024.)

Front and center, you’ll notice a polar pattern switch (more on this later). And down below, the custom-molded end cap might catch your eye.

All told, the Aston Spirit is a gorgeous, aesthetically pleasing microphone that will look great in your home studio.

Check current prices on Amazon for the Aston Spirit Microphone

Microphone Type

The Aston Spirit is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with a one-inch gold evaporated capsule. It’s also a multipattern microphone that can switch between cardioid, omni, and figure-eight pickup patterns using the center toggle switch on the front of the microphone.

Large-diaphragm condenser microphones seem tailor-made for studio environments rather than live sound applications. You’ll certainly see Aston mics used in live settings, but far and away, they’re more commonly seen in the studio (professional commercial studios and home studios alike).

It’s also a pro-grade microphone with high-end transformer balanced circuitry capable of delivering gorgeous sound with tons of headroom and plenty of harmonic sparkle.

These are the two main points of differentiation between the Spirit and the Origin. The Spirit is a multipattern microphone, and it uses a few higher-end components to deliver an even more accurate and transparent sound with plenty of headroom.

A Unique Microphone Head

Unless you’ve already seen an Aston mic, you’ve probably never seen a microphone head that looks like this. Aston spent considerable time and effort re-engineering a microphone head that looks and acts like none other. The wave pattern over wire mesh is beautiful to look at, but it’s built with far more than beauty in mind.

The wave-form exterior provides two forms of protection. First, it’s a natural shock absorber that can take a knock and bounce back to its original shape, protecting the delicate capsule inside. Second, because of the pattern of the wave, it can provide some additional natural off-axis rejection when the Spirit is used in a cardioid or figure-eight pattern.

The stainless steel mesh is a highly effective built-in pop filter. As an added bonus, you can remove and wash this mesh to keep it clean.

Both of these innovations are simultaneously cost-saving measures and true innovations that beat the quality and performance of other brands. And that’s an impressive combination.


Most large-diaphragm condenser microphones must be shock-mounted to be usable. Those big diaphragms are just too sensitive to noises and vibrations otherwise. You’ll notice that the Aston Spirit doesn’t ship with a shock mount in its standard configuration. What’s seemingly worse is that due to the unusual barrel shape, it won’t fit into most third-party shock mounts.

Here again, Aston innovates. They built the shock mount into the case of the microphone, essentially, so that you can attach it to a standard microphone stand without worrying about vibration noise.

And this isn’t just marketing hype—the internal shock mounting holds up better than we would’ve ever expected. One streaming-centric reviewer even posted a video where the audio was recorded on the Spirit as he held it in his hand, even switching hands multiple times.

This just isn’t something anyone does with condenser microphones because ordinarily it would never work. But it does here. Watch it for yourself — there’s hardly any handling noise at all.

The threaded mount is built directly into the custom-molded end cap, across from the XLR input.

Sound Quality

Look, Aston didn’t go from nonexistent to widely popular and highly respected on looks alone. Nope, it’s all about the sound quality. And the sound quality on the Aston Spirit is just crazy, crazy good.

Reviewer after reviewer reports the same kinds of things, talking about using Aston Spirits alongside something 10 or 20 times the price (including those $3200 Neumann U87s!) and regularly choosing the Spirits instead.

One top-tier pro engineer recorded takes with four high-end and vintage microphones alongside the Spirit, and everyone in the room unanimously chose the Spirit take.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly why the sound is so good or how the company has managed to do this at such a low price. Their panel of experts involved in the development process certainly plays a part, as do the higher-end components like a transformer-based circuit and novel nonlinear voltage/current source rectification.

But let’s be real: the details of the internals don’t matter much, as long as the sound is amazing. And it is.

Potential Drawbacks

As astounding and universally loved as the Aston Spirit is, we wouldn’t be doing an honest job if we didn’t include a few critiques. I had to search long and hard to come up with anything negative to say at all. But if you’re looking for something to dislike in this truly excellent studio mic, here are a few possibilities.

Unusual Shape Creates Mounting Obstacles

The microphone’s unusual shape makes it a little difficult to mount well. Your third-party shock mounts probably won’t fit right, and the integrated thread is perfect until it’s not. If you’re trying to use the Spirit for something besides vocal use, you might have an annoying time getting the microphone set to the right angle.

Now, you almost certainly don’t need to shock mount this microphone for audio reasons. But you might want to do so for aesthetics or ease of use. If so, your best bet is buying the Spirit Black Bundle, which provides you with a custom shock mount and external pop filter. You’ll also get a gorgeous black finish on the microphone itself, which is a nice touch if tumbled steel isn’t your style.

Not Everyone Appreciates “Shimmering Highs”

The frequency response for the Spirit shows a slight boost in high frequencies in all three polar patterns. In most contexts, this is desirable. But not everyone appreciates this boost, especially for recording certain instruments or in omni mode. This is debatable and subjective, but it is one criticism you’ll hear about the Spirit. On the other hand, other reviewers name those same instruments (acoustic guitar is one) as performing perfectly on the Spirit. It’s really in the ear of the beholder.

Other Modes Take Some Experience to Get Right

OK, now we’re really stretching it, but it can take some fiddling and finessing to learn how to properly use this microphone in omni or figure-eight mode. In terms of placement, if you’ve used one cardioid mic, you’ve used them all. But omni and figure-eight are just finicky. With the right placement, a Spirit microphone in omni mode can record almost your entire drum kit. With the wrong placement, it’ll sound terrible one way or another.

Check current prices on Amazon for the Aston Spirit Microphone

Final Thoughts on the Aston Microphone Spirit

The Aston Spirit microphone is simply fantastic as a large-diaphragm multipattern condenser. It goes toe to toe with high-end and vintage condensers, even winning in blind tests.

My main takeaway in this Aston Spirit review? Buy one. At this price, there’s almost no reason you shouldn’t add one to your home studio.


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