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Before we dive right into the Rode NT2 vs. NT2A, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
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What I will bring you in this review
I will outline the Rode NT2A, and then compare it to the NT2 towards the end 🙂
- Ratings/Best Price
- Video Review
- Who this mic benefits?
- What you will need?
- Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- Similarities & Differences
- Final Word
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
- 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)
- 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. What is XLR?
- Weight: 1.9 lbs.
- Included Accessories: Shock Mount, Pop Filter, 20′ Mic Cable, Dust Cover
- Manufacturer Part Number: NT2-A Package
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.
- Cardioid. This is your standard pattern, and only picks up sound from the front.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Harsh/Sibilant to some. What does Sibilant mean?
Check out the video review!
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
- Breathier female jazz singers
- Bells and chimes
- Male vocals
- You-tube vocals
- Drum miking
- Low brass
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!
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
- Both require 48v phantom power.
- Both mics really excel with instruments and vocals alike.
- The NT2A has a much lower noise floor, meaning that it does a better job of negating any outside sound that isn’t meant for the recording.
- The NT2A has omni-directional, cardioid, and figure 8 patterns, while the NT2 only has cardioid and omni-directional. The NT2A also has both -5 and -10dB pads, while the NT2 has a -10dB pad and a bass roll off of unspecified frequency.
- The capsule from the NT2A is manufactured in Rode’s Australian factory, while the NT2’s capsule is said to have originated in China.
- The Max SPL for the NT2A was roughly 130-135 dB, in contrast to the 147dB of the NT2A. This basically just means that the NT2A can handle louder sources without distortion.
- The capsule from the NT2A is said to be the same one from the Nuemann K67, which has become the most common and most copied condenser capsule in the world. What is a cardioid capsule?
- The NT2 looks a lot like the famous Nuemann U87, while the NT2A is more of an original Rode design.
Both of these are good mics, and the NT2A is a neutral piece that will not color the sound in any way. It’s still has a warm-ish character, but remains natural. It’s also extremely dynamic and quiet, which is arguably it’s greatest strength. Some have accused the NT2A of being a bit bright/harsh in the high end, which isn’t surprising considering this is common with Rode mics.
If you’re looking for an extremely versatile puppy that’s around $100 cheaper than the NT2A, and by many accounts better, I would go with the Audio Technica AT4040. The NT2A’s added cost may be for the extra polar patterns, which are admittedly a nice bonus. However, the AT4040 is just about the best mic for under $500. Interested in learning more about it?
CHECK OUT MY AUDIO TECHNICA AT4040 REVIEW!!
Looking for the best rap mic around this price range? The AKG C214 is your boy. Another stellar mic, I really haven’t seen a bad thing said about this puppy. The fact that it’s also extremely versatile is a nice bonus.
CHECK OUT MY AKG C214 CONDENSER MICROPHONE REVIEW!!
Finally, if you need a mic specifically for vocals, the Shure SM7B is the best in the business. It’s a dynamic mic, and does a phenomenal job of blocking out room noise. It’s been used by some of the biggest names in music over the past few decades, and remains a staple in go to microphone solutions. Learn more about it in my:
Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Rode NT2 vs. NT2A.
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!
Which of these tickles your pickle? What do you make of my recommendations? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..
All the best and God bless,