Hi friend and Welcome!
Before we get into the specifics of the AKG Perception 420 condenser microphone, 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
Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!
AKG Perception 420
- Microphone Type: Condenser
- Mono/Stereo: Mono
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8. What is a cardioid capsule?
- Diaphragm Size: 1″ (25.4mm). Large Diaphragm vs. Small Diaphragm.
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Max SPL: 135dB (155dB w/Pad). What is SPL?
- Output Impedance: 200 Ohms
- Signal To Noise Ratio: 79dB (A-weighted)
- Self Noise: 15dB (A-weighted)
- Low Cut Filter: 300Hz (-12dB/octave)
- Pads: -20dB
- Color: Black
- Connector: XLR. What is XLR?
- Weight: 1.17 lbs.
- Manufacturer Part Number: 3101H00090
I was curious as to why this XLR mic cost a bit more than other similar options, and I found out it’s because it allows you to record 3 different polar patterns! What is the difference between a USB microphone and an XLR microphone?
Let me give you a rundown of each type of pattern:
- Cardioid – These are very common and great for recording vocals in the studio. They pick up sound from one direction (no, not the band, lol).
- Omni – These pick up sounds from just about every direction equally. They are less susceptible to plosives (the popping sound made by certain consonants in speech)
- Figure 8 – This type picks up sound from the front and back, and is good for recording two voices at the same time, or a vocalist and a guitarist.
So yeah, this mic, therefore, becomes incredibly versatile and useful for many different studio applications.
It’s pretty neutral overall but does have a rise from around 2kHz – 6kHz.
This makes it fantastic for recording vocals and instruments as it will give you some nice presence and sparkle without going overboard.
If you’re familiar with recording acoustic guitar, a lot of mics typically pick up a lot of unnecessary low-end information that we don’t need.
Whenever I EQ my own recordings, I have to go in and give the air regions around 5kHz+ a boost while cutting most everything below 100Hz or thereabouts.
With the P420, you’re not going to be having to tweak it quite as much as there’s already a boost in the frequency response.
Here is what it looks like:
Image Credit: Recording Hacks
As you can see, it’s pretty flat-ish with a gradual rise right where you need one.
- Three types of polar patterns for versatility.
- Excellent at recording vocals as well as instruments.
- Remarkable reproduction of the voice.
- Mostly neutral, with a little extra emphasis on the highs.
- The shock mount that comes with it is extremely solid.
- One reviewer compared it with the Neumann TLM 103 and couldn’t find that much of a difference!
- Very natural sounding.
- Ideal for recording grand piano, woodwind, and brass instruments as well as drums and percussion instruments.
- Rugged aluminum carrying case & shock mount.
Well, after scouring the internet and looking at this mic from many different perspectives, I could not find a glaring con that really stood out to me.
Check out this informative video review + sound test!!
Who does this microphone benefit?
- People who want to record instruments, as well as vocals.
- People who want a flat and neutral response from their recording: i.e. an honest reproduction of their voice.
- People who need versatility out of their mic. This one does it all!
- Drum overheads.
- Electric guitar amps.
- Can handle sound pressure levels of around 155 dB.
What you will need?
This mic requires:
- 48v Phantom power via a good audio interface. What does an audio interface do?
- XLR connectivity.
A couple of great options are the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and Universal Audio Volt 2.
I own the Volt 2 and previously owned the 1st generation 2i2.
I had to sell it because it wasn’t compatible with Windows 10 (I got a new laptop), but it’s a fantastic product and they’ve since come out with a 3rd gen model. Highly recommended!
You could also go with the Volt 2 which is what I am currently using in my studio.
It actually has a bit more gain than the 2i2 (55dB vs. 48) so if you need more, go with that instead.
The AKG Perception 420 is an extremely versatile mic with 3 polar patterns for added flexibility.
It can handle high sound pressure levels, places just the right amount of presence where you need it, and is heavy and robust enough to keep your mind at ease.
Well, that’s about it for today folks! I hope you’ve enjoyed my AKG Perception 420 condenser microphone review!!
Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know below or contact me!!
What do you think about Perception 420? Let me know as well! Until then…
All the best and God bless,