- 2/1/21. Article/link cleanup.
Yo yo friend, Welcome!
Before we get started with the AKG C214 vs. Bluebird comparison, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..
You’ve come to the right place!!
What I will bring you in this review
Today I will outline the Bluebird and then compare it to the AKG C214 near the end. 🙂
- 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!
Blue Microphones Bluebird
- Microphone type: Condenser
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Diaphragm Size: 0.98″ (25mm)
- Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
- Max SPL (Sound pressure level): 138dB. What is SPL?
- Output Impedance: 50 Ohms
- Signal to Noise Ratio: 87dB (A-weighted)
- Self Noise: 7dB (A-weighted)
- Color: Blue
- Connector: XLR. What is XLR?
- Weight: 1.06 lbs.
- Included Accessories: Shock Mount, Pop Filter, Wood Box
The large-diaphragm Bluebird provides a neutral response and crystal clear clarity of sound. Large diaphragm vs. Small diaphragm. It also happens to be very versatile, although people are saying you should probably steer clear of it for any type of voice over.
Also, don’t be afraid to get in its face; most people say you have to be right up on it to get the best sound.
- Flat frequency response from 100Hz to 2kHz.
- Great clarity.
- Low self-noise.
- Warm tone, and smooth treble range.
- Well built, with a high SPL (sound pressure level).
- Subtle and crisp mid-range.
- Very durable.
- Provided pop-filter not so great. The Stedman Pro screen and the Shure Popper Stopper are both good options. Personally, I use the Samson PS01 and have been since 2007. What an investment!
- Overall the high end is good, but it may become bright/sibilant at times. What does Sibilant mean?
- The shock mount is hard to keep in place.
Who this mic benefits?
- Acoustic guitar
- Mid-range male vocals and vocals in general. Make sure you have a nice preamp for this baby though. More on that in a bit. Preamp vs. Interface.
- Voice-over. It’s extremely accurate with smooth reproduction of the full range of voice characteristics.
- Sound effects/Foley. One mentioned that he wouldn’t use it out in the field, but for studio work it’s perfect.
- Electric guitar/guitar cabinets
- Lead vocals
- Drum overheads
- Kick Drums
- Bass Cabs
What you will need?
For this mic, it’s hard to come up with one foolproof solution to the dilemma of which interface/preamp to go with. Some that should undoubtedly be up near the top of your list are as follows:
- Grace Design M101
- FMR RNP
- DBX 376 mic preamp
- Focusrite 18i20.
- Universal Audio 710.
- Steinberg UR22 audio interface. What does an audio interface do?
- Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. This is the interface I have, and it’s been known to do well with the Bluebird. Some say the mic needs a bit more juice than what the 2i2 can provide, but some say it’s fine. Take this lad for example:
In a nutshell, you will need the following:
- 48v Phantom power. Check out my article on Bit depth vs. sample rate to get an idea of how your computer processes sound!
- XLR cable(s). The difference between a USB microphone and an XLR microphone.
Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
- The Bluebird has a bump in the 2khz to 10khz which provides some sheen for higher vocalists, but can also provide some “esss” problems for certain singers. A remedy for this is to point the microphone between the upper lip and under the nose or use a de-esser.
- For the Bluebird to reach its full potential, you should aim to sing pretty close to it. There’s a big difference between 2 inches and 6 inches (that’s what she said). So don’t be afraid to put it all up in your mouth. Lol. No seriously, get in close!
- The shock mount is durable but needs to be tightened a lot to stay in place.
- Some say the design and aesthetic take precedent over form and function.
- It’s tough to get the mic in and out of the shock mount. Adjusting the angle of the shock mount can also be tedious. It’s difficult to lock into place.
- Overall the mic is very sensitive and picks up a lot of sound and nuance to your voice, as well as movement.
- I would say try the 2i2 or UR22 out first and see how the mic sounds to you. If you’re not satisfied, then you could return the interface and go for a preamp with more juice. Entry-level interfaces suffice pretty well with most starter to mid-level condensers like the Bluebird. Condenser mic vs. Dynamic mic.
A mic that is very versatile and has a flat sound with great clarity. A different pop-filter is a must, and it may become a bit bright in the treble range. Otherwise a worthy addition to your mic locker.
Similarities & Differences
- Both are cardioid condenser microphones. What is a cardioid capsule?
- Both include a shock mount.
- Both have nice clarity and crispness, and do well with female vocals.
- The C214 is said to have better resolution, and sounds more pleasant. There’s just an added sense of clarity and detail. Every nuance can be heard with stunning accuracy.
- The C214 has a -20dB pad while the Bluebird does not. The C214 also has a low cut filter. The Bluebird does not have any on board features.
- The Max SPL of the Bluebird is 138dB while the C214’s is 136dB.
- The C214 has a bit more self noise than the Bluebird. 13dB compared to 7. You will be able to tell in the videos below.
- While the Bluebird is mostly neutral, the 214 has a touch of warmth to it, and is meant to accentuate your vocals.
- While both are relatively bright mics, the Bluebird has been accused of being a bit sibilant at times while the 214 is not.
COVER using C214
COVER using Bluebird
I would go with the C214. It’s just about the best investment in its price range, and gets really high marks pretty much everywhere you look. It’s also got some extra features that the Bluebird does not have, and in terms of sound is much more resolving and nuanced. With the -20dB switch applied close up, it can actually handle sound fields of up to 156db SPL. That’s pretty remarkable and not very common. I would also argue that the 214 is more versatile than the Bluebird, but the most important distinction is definitely the overall sound quality. Interested in learning more?
Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the AKG C214 vs. Bluebird.
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? Are you convinced that the C214 is the better investment?? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…
All the best and God bless,