Hi friend and Welcome!
Today be going over the AKG C214 condenser microphone, a very well regarded microphone for good reason! Before we get started, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
- Ratings/Best Price
- Video Review
- Who this mic benefits?
- What you will need?
- Final Word
- Amazon: 4.8/5 (Over 50 reviews) | Check eBay! | Check zZOUNDS!
- Sweetwater Sound: 4.6/5 (Over 30 reviews)
- Musicians Friend: 4.9/5 (limited reviews)
- Type: Condenser. Condenser mic vs. Dynamic mic.
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid.
- Impedance: 200 Ohms.
- Switches: -20dB pad.
- Microphone Connector: XLR. What is XLR?
- Max SPL: 136dB (156dB w/Pad). What is SPL?
- Signal to noise ratio: 81dB (A weighted).
- Self Noise: 13dB (A weighted).
- Low Cut Filter: 160Hz (-6dB/octave).
- Color: Matte Grey Blue
- Weight: 0.62 lbs.
- Included Accessories: H85 Shockmount, Metal Carry Case
- Manufacturer Part Number: 3185Z00010
If you’re looking for a large diaphragm condenser mic that’s a step up from some of the lower end models, may be your best bet! Large diaphragm vs. small diaphragm. It performs extremely well for rap vocals as well as R&B. Apparently it uses the same cardioid capsule as the AKG C414, which is a $1000 mic! A lot of people can hear a huge difference in sound between the C214 and some lower end models. The value becomes apparent when people start asking you what professional studio you recorded that gangster rap song in. 😛
While most mics have somewhat of a neutral, flat response, this one doesn’t. It has a touch of warmth to it and is meant to accentuate your vocals a bit. It’s very clear and bright, but not harsh. It is also great for people who don’t speak very clearly on the mic, or mumble a little. This will make some of the other cheaper end models sound muddy and uncompromising.
Even turned all the way up it performs exceptionally well. Crank it all the way up, then turn it down a smidgen (or two), and then stand about 8-10 inches away. Now start rapping or singing, but make sure that the capsule is positioned between your nose and upper lip.
As for construction, this baby was built in Vienna, Austria, and truly performs well. It has an integrated capsule suspension that reduces mechanical noise and resonances for even greater sonic accuracy.
It also sports a double mesh, all-metal grille that protects the capsule and ensures high RF immunity without affecting the mic’s acoustical performance.
It features a modern scratch-resistant finish, dent-resistant metal grille, and gold-plated XLR output. Perfect for travel!
It’s also important to note why this is so good for both vocal and instrument applications. The 20-db switch allows you to record close up or far away. Close up it can record in very high sound fields; Up to 156 DB SPL (sound pressure level). For female vocals it’s also amazing. The recording is so live that you may have to throw on a hi pass filter.
- Comes with a cradle, pop filter, and a nice carrying case.
- Great for Rap/R&B vocals.
- Huge difference in sound from lower end models.
- Bright but not exaggerated or harsh. Crisp, clear, thick, natural, and warm.
- Great for a variety of uses.
- Extremely durable.
- There’s one 2-star review on amazon (with poor English and grammar), that says it “wasn’t as good as the AT 3035”
- 2 reviewers from Sweetwater sound said it doesn’t quite have the bass or fullness that they were hoping for.
Check out the sound test!
Who this mic benefits?
It’s great for rappers, vocalists, R&B singers, as well as instrumentalists. I’ve read it’s also very good at recording acoustic guitar, drum overheads, saxophones, etc.
If you’ve ever tried to mike a guitar amp with a Shure Sm57 and had trouble finding that sweet spot, then this mic may be your solution.
What you will need?
- XLR Cable(s).
- 48v phantom power via audio interface. What does an audio interface do? Check out my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review!
- Some basic knowledge on how to treat a room. Check out my post on Acoustic Sound Treatment!
More on the last point: this is a condenser mic, and a super sensitive one at that. It picks up everything. This means that you will need to isolate as much sound from the mic, and block out the rest. Here are some ideas:
- Record in a small space, such as a closet.
- Turn off all Air conditioners, extraneous noise, as well as ambient noise. Do not record near a window!
- Consider using Acoustic Studio Foam, line the walls with old comforters, use a CAD audio acoustic shield, or even record underneath a blanket! It sounds crazy but it works. Check out the video below to see the point illustrated quite humorously. 😀
Some good preamp options:
- GAP 73. A great option in conjunction with the 2i2.
- Warm Audio 12.
- Focusrite ISA one.
- Apogee Duet.
- RME Babyface.
Some good interface options:
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2
- Tascam UH-7000
- Audient id14/id22
- Steinberg UR22
Basically you could go with an audio interface and no preamp, or go with both. Popular opinion is that a separate preamp does improve the sound, and the options above are all top notch. I may go with an audio interface from the list however to start off, as the C214 doesn’t require a hugely powerful preamp.
So your chain would either be:
Laptop/PC > Interface > Preamp > Mic.
Laptop/PC > Interface > Mic.
This is a crisp sounding mic that will make all of your others pale in comparison. It is very versatile and does well with most applications. Namely rap, R&B, acoustic guitar, saxophones, drum overheads, and female vocals.
It is bright but not harsh, and records crisp and clear. One of the biggest endorsements I came across was the fact that people will think you recorded in a professional studio setting.
Well that’s about it for today folks! Hope you enjoyed my review of the AKG C214 condenser microphone!
What do you guys think about this mic? Let me know!
If you have any more specific questions, leave them in the comment box below or Contact me! I very much look forward to hearing from you..
All the best and God Bless,