Royer R-121 Studio Ribbon Microphone

95 out of 100. Incorporating 90+ ratings and reviews.
Royer Labs

The ability of Ribbon Mics to capture ambience may not be a good thing for some home studios, but I find this feature important especially when injecting life and soul to a track. This “open” sound makes it ideal for acoustic guitars, resulting in professional quality and natural sounding recordings.

The R-121 has excellent sound and build quality, its premium price tag is truly justified surpassing my expectations.

The mic’s ability to reproduce fine details of high frequency sounds make this one ideal for fingerpickers and strummers alike – even John Mayer was spotted using this mic on one of his YouTube live performance videos. And since it comes with a genuine Ribbon design with max SPL of 135dB, it can be used to capture high SPL sources like guitar amps, trumpets and other loud instruments. The frequency response is a bit different compared to conventional microphones at 30Hz-15kHz so be sure to keep this in mind when buying this mic. Weight is fairly standard at 0.54lbs so positioning is easy.

The price is steep for some, but a ribbon microphone of this caliber is worth it if you can afford one.

Ready for a top-tier mic for your acoustic guitar recordings? The Royer R-121 is ubiquitous in big studios for a reason: it’s an amazing microphone that makes acoustic guitars sound natural and “in the room” thanks to its ribbon mic design.


  • Makes acoustic guitar sound natural and in the room
  • Captures fine details of high frequency sounds – great for fingerpicking and strumming
  • High max SPL – can be used for loud acoustic instruments


  • Pricey for some
  • Captures a lot of ambience – may not be great for home studios


  • Polar Pattern: Figure-8
  • Frequency Response: 30Hz-15kHz
  • Impedance: 300 ohms
  • Max SPL: 135dB (20Hz)
  • Power Requirements: +48V

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Gearspace guitarz 95/100
Sound On Sound Hugh Robjohns 96/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm’s adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Royer R-121 Frequency Response and Polar Pattern Charts:

Royer R-121 frequency response chart