Greetings mate and Welcome aboard. Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…
Today be going over the AKG C214 condenser microphone, a very well-regarded mic 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
- Video Review
- Who this mic benefits?
- What you will need?
- Final Word
Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check eBay!
- 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, the C214 is likely your best bet!
It performs extremely well for rap vocals as well as R&B, and apparently, uses the same cardioid capsule as the AKG C414!
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.
All mics have a sweet spot, and this seems to be the C214’s.
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, a 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 -20dB 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).
- 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.
- 2 reviewers from Sweetwater Sound said it doesn’t quite have the bass or fullness that they were hoping for.
Credit to Podcastage!
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 an audio interface like the Scarlett 2i2 or Universal Audio Volt 2.
- 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. 😀
Try an isolation shield if you want something quick, easy, and effective.
Some good preamp options:
- GAP 73. A great option in conjunction with the 2i2.
- Warm Audio 12.
- Focusrite ISA one.
Some good interface options:
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
- Tascam UH-7000.
- Audient id14/id22.
- Steinberg UR22.
- RME Babyface.
- Apogee Duet.
- Universal Audio Volt 2.
Basically, you could go with an audio interface and no preamp, or go with both.
The 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,
Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!
Thank you for this review! As I was recently looking for which microphone to buy and I think I’m going to give the AKG C214 a go as you certainly think it works well and there seems to be a lot of people that have your similar opinion.
I actually didn’t know that it was sold on Amazon, even better!
I hope you use my website as a resource in the future as well! This is a great mic and is very highly regarded in numerous places. Glad you are giving it a go!
Stop back by anytime..
Hey, Good review of the AKG C214 condenser microphone.
Looks like a good value for money you get here, it would be nice to see a comparison with the mics that are a bit more high end. See what the differences are and where that price difference comes from. Is the price difference due to the brand maybe?
Would be nice to see the actual price on your review as well before getting linked to Amazon.
Overall good review, explained very well who it’s for. I personally play guitar.. Would you recommend this one for recording or something else? considering this is probably the highest price range I would buy from.
There is a specific reason that I don’t put amazon prices on my site. They fluctuate and change A LOT.. That being said, I don’t want to deceive people because if they see a price on my site, but it’s different on amazon then it just seems odd.
Thank you for stopping by! You make a good suggestion and something that I will have to do in my next article. I do love to do side by side reviews.. I have one for the MXL 770 and MXL V67g, as well as some headphone comparisons that you can find on my blog as well..
As far as why the price is a bit higher? I didn’t explain that too well (touched on it) so thanks for asking! It has to do with the DB switch that enables you to record far away, or up close! (the 156 DB sound pressure level). For this reason, it performs exceptionally well for both vocals and various instruments such as acoustic guitar, miking amps, over head drums, and one reviewer even said it was great for his saxophones!!
That, in addition to it’s clarity and crispness that reviewers are glowing over, may be the reason for it’s higher price. People were comparing it to their Audio Technica AT2020 and other similar lower end models and noted that those mics pale in comparison sound wise. It’s just a more quality recording overall. I also mentioned that some were saying how people would ask them what studio they recorded in. They thought it was that professional sounding!
Anyways, thanks for taking the time to read my article and comment.. Stop back by anytime!
Also, what is your budget? I would recommend this but I don’t know what price range you want to stay in. Also do you want to record electric or acoustic?
I don’t think you mentioned the price of this microphone did you? Anyway, I think if you really want to create the best sound possible, you have to spend a bit of cash. Like anything in life, you generally get what you pay for. Have you used this microphone before?
No I don’t personally have experience with this particular mic, but you’re right, if I was going to buy one, I would really consider this.. I’ve reviewed a ton of lower end models, and they are all real good options.. I think this mic would take someones sound to the next level. There were numerous reviewers who said they would get compliments from outsiders who thought they recorded in a professional studio.. That speaks volumes to me.
Anywho, thanks for stopping by! This mic on amazon currently is $349.50, with the package and extras around $399.00.. Well worth it in my opinion if a person is serious about their craft.
Any other questions let me know!
This does sound like the steal of the week for sure!
I have been looking for a good condenser mic for vocals and it looks like I may have found it here.
Have you used this mic on any recording projects and if so do you think it will work well for High female vocals?
Also, thanks for the review man, please keep them coming. 🙂
Yes Sir! It does great with high female vocals! The AKG C214 is an extremely versatile mic, handling many different applications.. As for actually using one: No I have not unfortunately.. I have however read enough reviews to know it’s a pretty big deal. 😛
Thanks for stopping by man! Hope you decide on this..
Great review of the AKG C214 condenser microphone.
I was looking for information about buying a microphone but with so many options out there in different price range I was really confused which one to buy. While the AKG C214 maybe out of my reach (for now) your post does give a lot of helpful information on what to look for when buying a microphone. I am going to be checking out other links as well that you’ve mentioned at the beginning of your website.
If there’s anything I can do to steer you in the right direction I would be more than glad to help!
Just let me know your budget, what you are looking to record, do you want XLR hookup or just USB?, etc. etc.
Hope to hear back!
Thanks for a great review. One question – of the preamps you recommended, Apogee and RME Babyface seem to have a USB output on them already. In this case, do you still need an interface?
I made a typo; both the RME Babyface and Apogee Duet are audio interfaces, so no worries! You will do just fine with either. They’re both very powerful. Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention. 🙂 Let me know how everything goes and if you have any other questions.
I’m an absolute beginner. And your statement “It has to do with the DB switch that enables you to record far away, or up close!” means nothing. Could you please explains when to use that -20db switch…. my first time, just got the gear and dont know what to do yet lol.. thank you
Sorry about that. The 20 dB switch basically should only be used when you’re recording very loud sounds up close like drums and loud guitar amps. It essentially tames them down a bit and minimizes that harshness and bite that you may get. It’s just an added bonus to the mic really. Let me know if you need anything else!
HI, Im looking for mic that can catch my grand piano sound nicely, can this AKG C214 mic be the one? so if I want this mic to be hooked up to my laptop for teaching purposes (live), what else do I need to get?
thanks for your help
Hey Daisy! Yeah C214 makes a great all around mic for many applications! You would just need an audio interface or mixer as the 214 needs 48v phantom power to operate. This would be for your grand piano. What kind of price range would you like to stay in for the interface?
That’s also an interesting dilemma. I’m assuming you’re teaching online classes and recording live? Sorry if my question seems dumb. XD