Home Microphone Comparisons Rode NT1 vs. NT1A – A Stark Contrast In Sound

Rode NT1 vs. NT1A – A Stark Contrast In Sound

by Stuart Charles Black
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Hi friend and Welcome aboard!!

Before we get into the Rode NT1 vs. NT1A 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 NT1 and compare/contrast it with the NT1A towards the end. 🙂

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Rode NT1

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check eBay!


  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 1″
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 132dB. What is SPL?
  • Self Noise: 4.5dB (A-weighted)
  • Color: Black, White
  • Connector: XLR. What is XLR?
  • Included Accessories: Shock Mount, Pop Screen


The Rode NT1 has a very neutral frequency response with a bit of added sparkle in the treble regions.

By and large, it will deliver your voice as it sounds in reality. There isn’t really much going on here in the way of boosted frequencies or artificial sound.


It’s a sensitive mic, with an accurate representation of the voice and only 4.5 dB of self-noise.

According to many, this is one of the world’s quietest microphones.


  • A balanced sound across the frequency spectrum
  • Crisp, flat, but still warm with a great mid-range.
  • Phenomenal Build quality with a perfect finish.
  • Built to last.
  • Low noise floor. This just means the ambient noise, room noise, etc. is minimal.
  • Not sibilant. What does Sibilant mean?
  • 10-year warranty from Rode.
  • Easy to EQ with. Responds well to Compression.


  • The provided pop filter is average. You may want to purchase a separate one. I recommend the Samson PS-01.

Video Review

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Who this mic benefits?

Endorsed for:

  • Vocals
  • Instruments
  • Miking amps
  • Acoustic Guitars
  • Podcasting/Voice-over
  • Mezzo-Soprano voices
  • Tenor male voices
  • Narration/Tutorials
  • Rap/Hip-Hop
  • Drum kits
  • Snare drums

What you will need?

The mic does require 48v phantom power from Your Audio interface, mixer, etc.

Some other components of your rig are as follows:

  • A mic stand.
  • A pop-filter like we talked about.
  • A shock-mount. The NT1 Kit comes with one and it’s by most accounts very solid.
  • Acoustic Sound Treatment never hurt anyone!

You may also want to invest in a preamp, as it’s said to improve sound tremendously while minimizing white noise. It’s not mandatory though.

Some good interface options:

Some good preamp options:

  • Grace Design M101.
  • DBX 286S. This bad boy bypasses the need for Acoustic Sound Treatment, as it will process the sound of your voice automatically according to how you adjust the various knobs and controls. Stuff like the onboard De-esser, gain, noise gate, etc. Truly priceless.

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

The specifications for the NT1 are eerily similar to that of a Neumann U87.

It also mimics the sound of a Neumann TLM 103. So yeah, amazing price to performance ratio.

The mic is very quiet. You’re not going to have to worry about ambient noise at all like you would with other mics.

The clarity of the mic is amazing. It’s got an extremely clean signal.

You may not need any post-production or EQ, given how great it sounds right out of the box.

Even though the pop filter is sub-par, I would recommend getting the kit just because the inclusion of the shock mount alone is worth the price of admission.

Unfortunately, Rode says that Amazon is not an authorized dealer.

This means that should you receive a faulty product or have any issues, the 10-year warranty and technical support will be null and void.

In order to take advantage of the warranty, you’ll have to purchase through a company like Sweetwater, American Musical, Guitar Center, or zZounds.

Fortunately, it’s very rare that you will get a lemon, but it’s something to keep in mind.


An extremely flat mic with a crisp response and a flat overall quality.

It’s extremely quiet, with a rugged build, and low-noise floor.

You may need some Acoustic Sound Treatment, but very easy to EQ and won’t need much.

Rode’s 10-year warranty is ideal, but you’ll have to purchase it through one of the above-mentioned retailers.

Similarities & Differences





The NT1 has a greater presence and body over the NT1A, while still remaining clear, articulate, transparent, and honest.

It has a fuller, beefier sound and comes across as more focused, tight, and cohesive.


The NT1A is brighter than the NT1 in the treble regions.


The NT1 is much more natural sounding than the NT1A.

The NT1 is a bit more subdued and much more even across the board.

This means you’ll be able to get a good take almost immediately and also won’t have to EQ nearly as much (if at all).

Sound signature.

The NT1 is even flatter than I thought.

It’s literally a straight line on the graph until around 4k, where it rises slightly and then rolls off at around 15k.

The NT1A’s graph is adventurous, to say the least.

There’s a rise between 100-200 Hz, followed by a mostly straight line until just before 2k.

From then on, it rises, dips, and rises a little before a peak just after 10k.

This would explain its bright character overall but also speaks to its uneven response.

I would say the NT1 is a much surer bet if you need a mic that’s going to be fairly predictable in how it records.


I can hear a lot more background and ambient noise going on with the NT1A.

The NT1 is scary quiet and places more emphasis on the actual sound of the instrument.

The NT1A sounds a bit distant.


The NT1 is a bit more expensive.

Frequency Response Comparison

Rode NT1A

Rode NT1A

Rode NT1

Rode NT1

Video Comparison

Final Word

I think it’s pretty easy to tell which mic is better. The NT1 outshines the NT1A in most respects.

It’s fuller sounding, with more body and a focused articulation that the NT1A very much lacks.

What convinced me was the noise; You could really hear the white noise of the background much clearer than with the NT1, and if the NT1 did have any, it was extremely minimal and almost unnoticeable.

I think the NT1 is the absolute best step up from a mic like the incredible MXL990.

Interested in reading some reviews of the NT1?


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Rode NT1 vs. NT1A.

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 NT1 is the better investment?? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





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