The X-8S is available in three output formats:
- transformerless with pattern switch (omnidirectional, bidirectional/stereo, cardioid);
- transformerless, without pattern switch (bidirectional/stereo only);
- transformer output (bidirectional only).
The transformerless output versions of the X-8S do not sum the opposing signals from the two capsules internally in bidirectional mode, so a balanced input microphone amplifier is required to generate a bidirectional signal. The transformerless version may be ordered with or without the multipattern switch; the switchless version will operate in bidirectional or stereo/dual capsule mode only. To generate a bidirectional pattern with an unbalanced input amplifier (using external phantom power supply), a balun transformer should be used between the phantom supply and the unbalanced input.
The X-8S may also be supplied with a transformer-balanced output (such that an inline balun transformer is not required for unbalanced inputs); however, that option will limit the X-8S to bidirectional operation only.
The X-8S is intended for use in stereo recording applications such as mid-side or Blumlein configuration. Another X-8S or X-R microphone may be used as the mid microphone in mid-side configuration. An X-R remote capsule may be mounted to the X-8S body using the mid-side mount accessory. Two X-8S microphones may be used in Blumlein configuration.
The X-8S transformerless output may also be split to two XLR inputs for use as a single-point stereo microphone with opposing cardioid capsules, or a two-channel microphone for recording sources on opposite sides of the microphone. To use stereo mode, the pattern selection switch must be set to the bidirectional pattern (stereo operation is not possible with the transformer-output version). A stereo XLR microphone Y cable is available as an option. The stereo Y cable has an XLR-3-F input and routes each capsule signal (pins 2 and 3 on the XLR-3-F) to pin 3 on two XLR-3-M output connectors, with impedance-balancing components on pin 2 of each output. This results in positive polarity for each capsule when connected to standard XLR microphone input amplifiers. The stereo Y cable uses a white ring on the XLR output connected to the capsule with the blind hole and a red ring to designate the unmarked capsule.
In stereo mode, the X-8S has a stereo recording angle of 90°, with the frequency response of each capsule as shown below for the cardioid mode.