Rode NT5 vs. KM184 | EQ APPLIED?

Aloha friend and Welcome!!

Before we dive right into the Rode NT5 vs. KM184, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

I will outline the Neumann KM184 and then compare it to the Rode NT5 towards the end 🙂

  1. Ratings/Price
  2. Specifications
  3. Summary
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Who this mic benefits?
  8. What you will need?
  9. Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
  10. Consensus/Conclusion
  11. Similarities & Differences
  12. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Neumann KM184



  • Acoustical operating principle: Pressure/Pressure gradient transducer
  • Directional pattern: omnidirectional/cardioid/hypercardioid*
  • Frequency range: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1 kohm: 12/15/10 mV/Pa*
  • Rated impedance: 50 ohms
  • Rated load impedance: 1000 ohms
  • Equivalent SPL CCIR 468-3: 24/22/24 dB*
  • Equivalent SPL DIN/IEC 651: 13/13/15 dB-A*
  • S/N ratio CCIR 468-3: 77/72/70 dB*
  • S/N ratio DIN/IEC 651: 81/81/79 dB*
  • Maximum SPL for THD 0.5%: 140/138/142 dB*. What is SPL?
  • Maximum output voltage: 10 dBu
  • Dynamic range of the microphone amplifier DIN/IEC 651: 124/122/124 dB*
  • Supply voltage: 48 V ± 4 V
  • Current consumption: 2.3 mA
  • Matching connectors: XLR 3F
  • Weight: approx. 80 g
  • Diameter: 22 mm
  • Length: 107 mm


The Neumann KM184 is a small diaphragm condenser mic that shares the same capsule design as the KM84. Large diaphragm vs. Small diaphragm. Nearly everyone loved the fact that it records clear as day, but yet still retains a sense of warmth. It has a presence peak from around 7Hz – 15kHz, which contributes to its high-end shimmer and sparkle.


  • Honest sound.
  • Flat and smooth.
  • Has a tube warmth and fullness.
  • Detailed and clear.
  • Incredible sound reproduction.


  • Comes in a cardboard case (one person said it came in a wooden cigar box, however).

Video Review!

Who this mic benefits?

I’ve seen it endorsed for:

  • Percussion
  • Cymbals (It has a natural presence and shimmer).
  • Brass
  • Acoustic Guitar
  • Steelpan recordings
  • Choir
  • Hi-hats
  • Drum Overheads
  • Guitar Amps
  • Jazz Trio’s Grand Piano
  • Classical recordings
  • Piano
  • Symphony/Ensemble
  • Classical Guitar

Not as good for:

Some say it doesn’t do as well with a large orchestra or wind ensembles, as your main mic.

What you will need?

It requires 48v phantom power to operate. Most noted that you will want to definitely invest in a higher-end preamp for this baby. Preamp vs. Interface.

Some examples:

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

  • The KM184 is small and lightweight.
  • It has a warm sound, yet still remains very detailed.
  • Requires little to no EQ.
  • Good side to side rejection of extraneous noise.
  • Has a good SPL range (Sound pressure level).


Extremely warm sound but yet retains that sense of clarity, fullness, and detail. Incredible sound reproduction especially with acoustic guitars. The fact that it comes in a cardboard case feels like a slight and comes off as very cheap for such an expensive mic.

Similarities & Differences


  • Both are small-diaphragm condenser microphones.


  • The Rode NT5 is heavier than the KM184.
  • The sound of the NT5 is much darker than the KM184, and not as detailed in the treble range or otherwise.
  • The NT5 is fuller sounding, but again not as detailed and crisp.
  • The NT5 is not quite as versatile as the KM184.
  • The NT5 can actually handle a higher sound pressure level (143 vs. 138).
  • The KM184 has a bit more depth with instruments, namely flute, and piano. Not a big difference, but definitely noticeable.

If you care to hear some side-by-side recordings, check out this thread!!

Final Word

The most important thing to remember is that even though the KM184 sounds better out of the box, some EQ applied to the NT5 can make it sound arguably just as good, or at least similar. It’s a matter of: Do you want to tinker with the sound to get it just right? Go with the NT5, as it’s more affordable and still a phenomenal mic according to most.



find out more about the NT5 in my RODE NT5 vs. M5 COMPARISON!!

If you’re all about the best, then the KM184 fits the bill pretty nicely. It is very detailed and warm and gives you an incredibly honest sound reproduction. I would say it’s a bit more versatile than the NT5 and does better with instruments, but that’s nitpicking.



Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the Rode NT5 vs. Km184.

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? I would love to hear from you. Until next time…

All the best and God bless,





Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!


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