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Rode NT1A vs. NT2A | CLEAR WINNER!

Hi friend and Welcome!

Have you ever wondered what the main differences are between the Rode NT1a vs. NT2A? Well look no further as I take an in depth look at these two microphones!

Rode NT1A vs. NT2A

Rode NT1A vs. NT2A

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

of each mic

  1. Ratings/Best Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Who this mic benefits?
  7. What you will need?
  8. Consensus/Conclusion
  9. Similarities & Differences
  10. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Rode NT1A

Ratings/Best Price

  • Amazon: 4.6/5 (Over 140 reviews) | Check eBay!
  • Guitar Center: 5/5 (Over 10 reviews)
  • Musicians Friend: 5/5 (Over 40 reviews)
  • B&H Photo: 5/5 (Over 52 reviews)

Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Small diaphragm condenser. Large diaphragm vs. Small diaphragm.
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 1″ (25.4mm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 137 dB
  • Output Impedance: 100 Ohms
  • Self Noise: 5dB (A weighted)
  • Color: Beige/Gold
  • Connector: XLR. What is XLR?
  • Weight: 0.7 lbs.
  • Included Accessories: Shock Mount, Pop Filter, 20′ Mic Cable, Dust Cover
  • Manufacturer Part Number: NT1-A
Rode NT1A

Rode NT1A

Summary

This mic seems to get either glowing reviews, or people really complain about it. Some say it’s the warmest, most even sounding mic you can buy in this price range. Others claim that the high end is harsh, sibilant, and much too bright. It can start to sound tinny and thin with big voices, coming out rather sterile.

Overall, it’s a very quiet mic, and the overwhelming majority of people say it’s extremely sensitive. I read a lot of folks regarding it so highly, that they would gladly put it up against mics way out of it’s price range, specifically a Nuemann U87. One thing to know, don’t even think about recording with this mic using your standard computer speakers. I have read that good studio monitors are a must. What are studio monitors? If you don’t, your mix will sound amazing to you but translate poorly on other electronic devices such as your car speakers.

The build quality on the NT1A is nothing short of amazing, and it goes really well with a Scarlett 2i2. It may pick up things that you don’t want, so be aware of your studio setup. One thing that really stood out to me was the 10 year warranty that can be bought through Rode’s website. One final thing to note, a ton of people commented on it’s ability to record acoustic guitars with the greatest of ease. If you’re looking for a mic that can do just that, this may be for you!

Pros

  • Clear and crisp vocals. Records very clean.
  • Competes with mics that are way out of it’s price range.
  • Versatile. Can handle anything from vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, drums, amps, etc.
  • Included pop filter is nice.
  • High SPL (sound pressure level). This basically means that it handles loud applications well. Stuff like drums and amps.

Cons

  • The included XLR cable is poor, and may give you connection problems. It would be wise to invest in a separate one.
  • You may have to turn up the volume on your pre-amp to get optimal sound. Some say that the positive accolades for “quietest mic” are a bit of a misnomer. It actually means that the mic itself can be too quiet when recording, while at the same time being pleasantly quiet while idle.
  • Some reviewers claim the mic sounds cheap without a lot of EQ. It’s not the type of piece that you can just casually record with. Having some knowledge on EQ, compression, reverb, and the like greatly benefits the sound, especially with the NT1A.
  • High end. One of the biggest complaints about this mic is it’s harshness and sibilance in the treble range. Many folks claim it’s too bright and tinny.

Check out the review!

Who this mic benefits?

All that said, I’ve seen it endorsed for:

  • Acoustic guitar. This is it’s biggest strength.
  • I’ve also seen it endorsed a lot for rap vocals as well.
  • If you have a Scarlett 2i2 or 2i4, or plan to get either, this will be a great choice.
  • Vocals (singing)
  • Piano
  • Drums
  • Amps
  • Mandolin
  • People who are ready to invest in a good set up, i.e. Audio interface, Studio Monitors, XLR cable, etc.

What you will need?

As alluded to above, this mic needs:

Find out more about your audio interface!

  • XLR cable(s).
  • Studio Monitors.
  • Shock-mount.
  • Pop-filter. The pop filter that comes with it is pretty nice, but some say you may need a new one.

Consensus/Conclusion

A durable mic with a rock solid 10 year warranty (purchased through Rode’s website). It’s extremely sensitive, and can pick up a fly farting in the next country. Lol that was straight from an amazon review, can’t take credit although it made me laugh. It compares favorably with mics way out of it’s price range, but may sound harsh and sibilant to many. The high end is a bit tinny and too bright for some peoples tastes.

If I had to choose one thing to say about this mic, it’s that it does really well for instruments, but not as good for vocals due to it being extremely bright.

Onto the…

Rode NT2A

Ratings/Best Price

  • Amazon: 4.8/5 (Over 20 reviews) | Check eBay!
  • Guitar Center: 5/5 (limited reviews)
  • Musicians Friend: 4.5/5 (limited reviews)
  • B&H Photo: 5/5 (Over 14 reviews)

Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Condenser.
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 1″ (25.4mm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 147 dB
  • Low cut filter: 40Hz, 80Hz
  • Pads: -5dB, -10dB
  • Output Impedance: 200 Ohms
  • Self Noise: 7dB (A weighted)
  • Color: Silver/Gold
  • Connector: XLR.
  • Weight: 1.9 lbs.
  • Included Accessories: Shock Mount, Pop Filter, 20′ Mic Cable, Dust Cover
  • Manufacturer Part Number: NT2-A Package
Rode NT2A bundle

Rode NT2A bundle

Summary

By many accounts, this mic is actually better than the NT1A, but does cost more. It has 3 different polar patterns for added flexibility, and a lot of people said it was the most versatile mic they’ve ever used.

  1. Cardioid. This is your standard pattern, and only picks up sound from the front.
  2. Omnidirectional. This pattern can receive sounds from all directions, and is good if you want to record a live band with a choir. Also good for recording classical and jazz ensembles. Omni is great if you need a natural sound, but work best with acoustically treated rooms.
  3. Figure 8. This pattern picks up sound from the front and back. Great for interviews or dual recording with a buddy.

Check out this great post, What You Need to Know About Microphone Polar Patterns.

The NT2A is better for vocals than acoustics, but does well with both. Like all condenser microphones, it’s very sensitive, and picks up a lot.

It has a natural sound, with a nice added warmth, but doesn’t really color the sound in anyway. It’s very true in recreating what it hears, with an even sound representation.

Pros

  • Build quality and construction second to none. Expect to have this for a long time. Very heavy. Make sure your mic stand can hold it properly.
  • Rode has a great warranty, and the studio package containing a pop-filter, shock-mount, XLR cable, and carrying case is a nice added bonus.
  • Some compared it with a Nuemann U87 and didn’t see much of a difference. Be aware that Acoustic Sound Treatment plays a big role here!
  • Warm sounding but also natural. It’s accurate, rich and balanced.
  • Smooth frequency response
  • Extremely versatile. Handles instruments, vocals, and voice-over with ease. Will be your workhorse mic.
  • A few reviewers were so happy with it that they bought 2!
  • A choice of 3 different polar patterns, bass roll off response setting, and a choice of pads.

Cons

  • Humidity Sensitive. If it’s really hot you may hear a bit noise from the mic during the scalding summer months.
  • One reviewer said he was missing the ring for mounting on a standard shock-mount, separate from the one provided. This could pose a problem if you plan to use a different shock-mount or upgrade in the future.
  • More body. Another reviewer said the mic could benefit from a heavier texture, and more sound body.

Check out the video review!

Check out this in depth video covering everything about the NT2A!

Who this mic benefits?

I’ve read a lot of reviews on the NT2A, and have seen it endorsed for all of the following:

  • Vocals. It’s bread and butter.
  • Upright bass
  • Spanish guitar
  • Ethnic drums
  • Flute
  • Breathier female jazz singers
  • Bells and chimes
  • Mandolin
  • Male vocals
  • You-tube vocals
  • Drum miking
  • Low brass
  • Trumpets
  • Trombones
  • Reeds
  • Horns
  • Percussion

What you will need?

Being that this is a studio bundle, the only thing I would recommend is to purchase a good and durable mic stand. Your typical On-stage stands won’t cut it here. You may want to consider investing in the ATLAS SOUND MS20E Heavy Duty Microphone Stand. For heavier mics this is a great option.

You will also need 48v phantom power via mixer or audio interface. Check out my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 review!

Find out about Bit depth vs. sample rate, and specifically how your interface and computer communicate with one another to create the sounds you hear!

Consensus/Conclusion

A really versatile mic that is at it’s best with vocals. It also does well with a wide variety of instruments, and has a lot of features not found in other mics. The 3 polar patterns, three position variable high-pass filter: Flat, 40 Hz or 80 Hz, and three position variable pad: 0dB, -5dB or -10dB make this a mic for the ages. The fact that you can control all of these features on the front of the mic is startling.

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • Both come with similar bundles containing the stuff you need to get started!
  • Both require 48v Phantom power via mixer or audio interface
  • Both are similar in color and appearance.
  • Both can be purchased with that sweet 10 year warranty through Rode’s website.
  • Both are pretty heavy and durable, and should be used in conjunction with an appropriate mic stand. There’s nothing worse than your mic busting or falling over because the stand wasn’t adequate enough. Trust me, I know from experience in having a Samson C01. A fantastic mic, though I dubbed it the barbell, and had plenty of problems using a standard On-stage brand stand with it.

Differences

  • Price. The NT1A is significantly less expensive than the NT2A.
  • Application. The NT1A is said to be better for instruments, while the NT2A is more geared towards vocals. Both are pretty versatile however.
  • Features. The NT2A has all of those great features mentioned above, conveniently placed on the front of the mic. The NT1A by contrast doesn’t have any.
  • Sound. The NT1A has been criticized heavily for being very sibilant in the high end. What does Sibilant mean? Conversely, the NT2A has an overall smooth and natural sound, and doesn’t get these same complaints.

Final Word

If you need a mic strictly for instruments, and would rather save some money, the NT1A is a good choice. It is really well regarded, but does have some flaws that had to be addressed.

If you want a mic that is extremely versatile, with a ton of added features, go with the NT2A. It has been hailed as quite a workhorse piece, is rock solid and durable to boot, and comes with that almost revolutionary 10 year warranty (purchased through Rode’s website).

SEE THE NT2A FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!


Don’t want to shell out the money for the NT2A? Looking for a better alternative as far as entry level mics are concerned?

Check out my # 1 Top recommendation in,

THE AUDIO TECHNICA AT2035 REVIEW!


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you came away with some great information, and have a better idea about the Rode NT1A vs. NT2A!

Which of the 3 (2035, NT1A, or NT2A) are you more likely to go with? Let me know!

If you have any other questions, leave them below or Contact me! I very much look forward to speaking with you..

All the best and God bless,

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Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!!

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