AKG C214 Vs Rode NT1

Microphones like the AKG C214 Vs Rode NT1 are perfect for you who want to record voice or singing. These microphones are very popular because they can make your voice more present and overall pretty neutral. Like most options, they don’t sound the same and have some noticeable differences. If you wonder which to go for, let’s see what they can offer here.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • How to Improve Microphone Sound
  • What are AKG C214 and Rode NT1
  • How are the Build Qualities of AKG C214 and Rode NT1
  • How is the Setup for AKG C214 and Rode NT1
  • How are the Specs of AKG C214 and Rode NT1
  • How are the Sound Characters of AKG C214 and Rode NT1
  • What else AKG C214 and Rode NT1 can offer
  • AKG C214 Vs Rode NT1

Improving Microphone’s Sound

A microphone is the start of your recording because it is what captures the sound. This equipment will affect how your voice or sound delivery. Sometimes we get a pretty accurate recording, and sometimes they are painful to listen to. In general, all microphones will be able to capture your sound, and there are some steps we can do to improve the recording. Here are some tips to achieve a better sound recording from your microphone that costs little or nothing.

  1. Turn anything that makes noise in the room off. Depending on your mics, some of them can be too sensitive and pick up the slightest noise in the room. In modern days most people have electronics that are always working, and they often make noise, such as the PC’s fan. If your room has this constant, low-frequency noise, it is wise to keep it away or turn it off.
  2. Microphones need a mount, and many options, such as broadcasting mic, often have a built-in table stand. But, this setup is not the most ideal, especially if you will put your hand or arm on the table. The vibration from the table and the noise from the keyboard or mouse may harm your recording. In this case, using a dedicated boom arm is preferable.
  3. Most microphones are cardioid, meaning the backside should reject incoming noise. If you have to keep a specific electronic that makes noise running during the recording, it is wise to place the microphone’s back against the sound. This setup will help dampen the noise and improve recording.
  4. If you have a condenser microphone, place it a bit further from the mouth. The general recommendation is usually 6 to 10 inches away from the unit because it can help your voice to sound more natural. On the other hand, dynamic mics don’t pick up much if you don’t speak closer to the mic.
 AKG C214Rode NT1
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Product Dimensions11.3 x 8.6 x 3.9 inches
15 x 5 x 11 inches
Shipping Weight1.76 pounds 15.5 ounces

About AKG C214 and Rode NT1

There are so many good microphones to start with, and you can always shop based on the budget. Good microphones are not cheap, but they don’t need to be expensive either. Sometimes the more affordable alternatives can sound even better depending on your preference. It is wise to look around at other people with the same purpose as you choose to shop quickly. While not always correct, we can get an overall image of what to look for and how much to invest.

For those using the microphone for recording vocals or singing, some of the best options to consider are AKG C214 and Rode NT1. We are sure many are familiar with these models because they are pretty famous. The best part of these microphones is the sound quality and price. While not remarkably cheap, they are very affordable for you who want to get an improved recording quality and those who will use the mic for something other than singing.

Many wonder whether the AKG C214 needs phantom power, and the answer is both AKG C214 and Rode NT1 are condenser microphones which means they require the 48V to work properly. You can supply it from an audio interface or mixer and other equipment with the feature. Some mistake the NT1 and NT1A as the same mic, but they are different modes, and many prefer the sound signature of the former. Overall we think these microphones are worth buying.

The main difference between AKG C214 and Rode NT1 is on the high-end. It depends on your voice, but we think the C214 can be harsh for some people. The two boost the high-frequency slightly, but it is more noticeable from the C214. Read also: AKG C214 Vs Shure SM7B here.

AKG C214 and Rode NT1 Build Quality

Microphones are not usually something we often carry, but the build quality is an important aspect that affects the whole experience. Both AKG C214 and Rode NT1 are made with an entire metal body and metal grille. They are straightforward because almost nothing on the unit may get in the way of their applications. The two also come with a simple kit. For example, NT1 provides the shock mount and a pop filter. It also gives you a pouch for storage.

On the other hand, the Rode C214 also provides a shock mount and a foam screen, but it comes in a hard case that is better for carrying purposes or storage. Overall we are pleased with the quality of the mic because they seem to last for very long with proper care. There is nothing on the NT1’s unit, but you can find one switch on each side of the AKG C214. The current price for these mics shows that NT1 is noticeably cheaper than C214.

AKG C214 and Rode NT1 Setup

Because AKG C214 and Rode NT1 are condenser microphones, you need to plug them into phantom power. We can use an audio interface with the 48V turned on for a simple setup with the computer. These mics usually won’t require much gain depending on the equipment because, with Scarlett 2i2, we can set the gain from 45 to 60% mark. The connector is XLR, and the NT1 kit has the cable in the box, so it is more convenient.

AKG C214 and Rode NT1 Specs

Next, AKG C214 and Rode NT1 are very similar in the specs. They have a cardioid polar pattern and frequency response from 20Hz to 20kHz. The C214’s sensitivity is around -34dB with an impedance of 200 ohms and a maximum SPL of 136 to 156dB. Its self-noise is at 13dBA and phantom power requirement of 12 to 52V. On the other hand, the NT1’s sensitivity is around -29db with an impedance of 100 ohms and a maximum SPL of 132db. The self-noise is 4dBA, and the phantom power requirement is 24 to 48V.

AKG C214 and Rode NT1 Sound Characters

Now let’s see the essential part of AKG C214 and Rode NT1: the sound character. Clarity and quality are impressive and will deliver your voice pretty faithful to the source. The general frequency response is flat, but C214 has more texture. This microphone sounds slightly sharper on our ears. The high frequency is more tailored toward the brightness of vocals and instruments like acoustic guitars. The low-end is decent, and we think most people will like it.

However, the high end is not up to everyone’s taste because it is boosted here. The NT1 also slightly elevated the treble, but it still sounds natural and rounded, especially for spoken voice, singing, and acoustic guitars. Our overall thought on the sound character is that the NT1 will make your voice pleasant and natural, but if you wish for some high-frequency boost, the C214 is a brighter and sharper microphone.

AKG C214 and Rode NT1 Performance 

The sharper and brighter quality also introduces some issues about sibilance and plosives. The windscreen helps reduce these issues when you speak closer to the mic, but it is still noticeable. The NT1 has a similar problem, but the basic setup provides a pop filter that allows the mic to be a bit further and reduces the unwanted sound from your voice. As for self-noise and off-axis rejection, they are excellent and suitable for many people.

AKG C214 and Rode NT1 Features

We also want to talk about the features in AKG C214 and Rode NT1, but as you may already know, only C214 offers additional features. This microphone provides a high-pass filter and a pad to adjust the microphone’s sound character. The features are handy to help improve the usability or when you want to tweak the setup. We find the parts working effectively, and the switch is on the side, so it doesn’t hinder the application but adjusting it takes time as we installed it on the shock mount.

AKG C214 Vs Rode NT1

Both AKG C214 and Rode NT1 are good microphones, depending on which you like better. The most noticeable difference in sound is that C214 is brighter, which means the high frequency is elevated to improve clarity. It makes the overall sound airy but somehow harsh, depending on your natural voice. While it is helpful for guitars, we think the top can be heavier than its body. On the other hand, NT1 is the flatter and more natural one. It is versatile and suitable for voice or instruments because the sound is more balanced.

- Sonic Character Of The C414 Xlii For Beautifully Detailed Recording Of Lead Vocals And Solo Instruments
- Outstanding Dynamic Range And Ultralow Noise For Close-Up Recording Of High-Output Sources Of Up To 156Db Spl
- Switchable 20Db Attenuator And Bass-Cut Filter For Close-Up Recording And Reduction Of Proximity Effect
- Integrated Suspension To Reduce Mechanical Noise And Vibration From Stage
- Large diaphragm 1-inch gold sputtered capsule
- Features a sound signature reminiscent of the famous microphones of old while at the same time exhibiting extremely low noise; Ultra-low noise, self-noise of only 4.5dB (A)
- The transducer is suspended inside the microphone using Rycote’s Lyre system, minimizing external vibrations at the capsule level
- Coated in a durable, military-grade ceramic layer to ensure an extremely hard wearing finish that is resistant to scratches or marks

Conclusion 

The decision is yours because we may have a different preference. We recommend Rode NT1 because it is the more versatile microphone for voice and instruments like guitar. It requires the same setup as C214 and is currently more affordable, so you can save some without scarifying the quality.

 

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