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Condenser Microphone

Comparison and Test
Studio Condenser Microphone

Discover all the condenser microphone tests for recording studios. Condenser microphones include condenser transistor microphones (with phantom power) and tube microphones. The most prestigious brands are Neumann, AKG, Blue Microphones, Rode, Brauner, Telefunken, Audio-Technica and Manley.

Please note: condenser microphones are the most used for recording vocals and acoustic instruments for studio recording, but they are also the most sensitive.

❤️ Discover our Condenser Microphone Tests 👇

Universal Audio SC-1 microphone test and review

Universal Audio SC-1

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Test and review on the Neumann TLM 107 microphone

Neumann TLM 107

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Test and review on the SE Electronics SE8 microphone

SE Electronics SE8

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Rode M3 microphone test and review

Rode M3

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SE Electronics T2 microphone test and review

SE Electronics T2

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Rode K2 microphone test and review

Rode K2

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Avantone CV-12 microphone test and review

Avantone CV-12

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MXL 990 microphone test and review

MXL990

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Sony C-80 microphone test and review

Sony C80

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Test and review of the SE Electronics sE2200a II microphone

SE Electronics sE2200a II

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Townsend Labs Sphere L22 microphone test and review

Townsend Labs Sphere L22

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MXL 770 microphone test and review

MXL 770

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AKG C3000 microphone test and review

AKG C3000

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Shure SM81 test and review

Shure SM81

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Test and review of the Lewitt LCT 440 PURE microphone

Lewitt LCT 440 PURE

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Telefunken TF-47 test and review

Telefunken TF-47

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test and review of the Neumann M149

Neumann M149

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test and review of the Warm Audio WA-47F

Warm Audio WA-47F

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test and review of the Neumann TLM49

Neumann TLM 49

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Neumann M147 test and review

Neumann M147

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Rode NTG3 test and review

Rode NTG3

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Microphone-AKG-p220

AKG P220

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Sony-C100

Sony C100

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T.Bone-SC-400

t.bone SC 400

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Neumann U47 FET

Neumann U47 FET

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Blue Microphones Snowball Review

Blue Microphones Snowball

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Telefunken U47 Test Review

Telefunken U47

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Sontronics STC-20 Pack Review and Test

Sontronics STC-20 Pack

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Lauten Audio Atlantis FC-387 Test Review

Lauten Audio Atlantis FC-387

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Presonus M7 Review

Presonus M7

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Austrian Audio OC18

Austrian Audio OC18

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Warm Audio WA-8000

Warm Audio WA-8000

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Superlux S502

Superlux S502

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Blue Bluebird SL

Blue Bluebird SL

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Rode NTG1 Test & Review

Rode NTG1

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Sennheiser MKH 416 P48 Test and review

Sennheiser MKH 416

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Manley Reference Cardioid Complete Test

Manley Reference Cardioid

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Slate Digital ML-1 Full Review

Slate Digital ML-1

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Warm Audio WA-47jr Full Review

Warm Audio WA-47jr

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Neumann TLM 193 Complete Test

Neumann TLM 193

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Neumann TLM67 Full Review

Neumann TLM 67

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Audio-Technica AT4033A Full Review

Audio-Technica AT4033A

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Warm Audio WA-87 Full Review

Warm Audio WA-87

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Blue Spark SL Full Test

Blue Spark SL

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AKG C314 Full Review

AKG C314

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AKG P420 Full Review

AKG P420

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Rode NT1000 Full Review

Rode NT1000

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Sennheiser MK4 Full Review

Sennheiser MK4

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Audio-Technica AT4040 Full Review

Audio-Technica AT4040

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Audio-Technica AT 2050 Full Review

Audio-Technica AT2050

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Audio-Technica AT 2035 Full Review

Audio-Technica AT2035

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Rode NT2-A Full Review

Rode NT2-A

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AKG C414 XLS Full Review

AKG C414 XLS

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Audio-Technica AT2020 Full Review

Audio-Technica AT2020

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Aston Origin Full Test

Aston Origin

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Neumann TLM 102 Review

Neumann TLM 102

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Aston Spirit Microphone Review

Aston Spirit

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blue baby bottle sl test

Blue Baby Bottle SL

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AKG C214 Review

AKG C214

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AKG C414 XLII Review

AKG C414 XLII

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Rode Procaster

Rode Procaster

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Rode NT1

Rode NT1

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Neumann Tlm 103 Complete Test

Neumann TLM 103

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Neumann U67

Neumann U67

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Rode Nt1a Full Test Scaled

Rode NT1-A

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Neumann Km184 Review

Neumann KM184

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Neumann U87 Ai Test

Neumann U87 Ai

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What is a Condenser Microphone? 🧐

The condenser microphone is also called a condenser microphone. They are much more fragile than dynamic microphones. However, they offer much more appreciated sound quality. Do you want to invest in this type of microphone? So, find out all the useful information about the condenser microphone.

The Working Principle of a Condenser Microphone 🛠

Unlike a dynamic microphone, the condenser microphone or electrostatic microphone does not involve a moving coil device. A thin, extremely light disc forms the diaphragm of the condenser microphone. It is cut either from Titanium metal, from an aluminum alloy, or from mylar. In other cases, we also notice the use of a polyester made conductive thanks to a specific treatment.

This membrane is floating and constitutes one of the plates of a capacitor. It is placed at a distance of 20 microns from the fixed rear frame. It is these two plates which form the entire armature of the capacitor. The air between the plates will act as a dielectric. The distance between the two frames is variable. It is the variations in pressure caused by the sound source which will cause this distance to vary. It will be translated into an electrical signal.

This type of microphone requires external power to function properly. A 48 volt phantom power supply will fulfill this role. An audio cable will then carry the current generated.

It is important to note that this does not interfere with the transmission and use of the audio signal. In fact, the power supply will polarize the capacitor plates using a direct voltage of 48 Volts to charge. The mobile diaphragm is then subjected to the action of an acoustic wave.

The distance between the plates will also vary. The capacitance of the capacitor will change unlike the charge of the capacitor which will remain constant. The guarantee of high sensitivity is the distance between the diaphragm and the fixed armature. It must be the minimum possible. For an exceptional result, the membrane must not only be light, but also as taut as possible.

The Main Characteristics of Condenser Microphones ✅

Condenser microphones have very high sensitivity. Indeed, the sensitivity is between 2 and 10 mV/Pa or a sensitivity level of -54 and 40 dB. Thanks to its design, it also has an excellent frequency response curve.

This type of microphone is delicate and very sensitive to humidity. Additionally, it requires a power supply (Phantom) to produce the capacitor bias voltage. It should also be noted that as a condenser or electrostatic microphone, a condenser microphone tends to attract dust.

One of the advantages of the micro is the fact that it can be made in very small dimensions. This is why the majority of lavalier microphones are condenser microphones. In addition, they are not very sensitive to shocks and external magnetic fields. Its polar characteristics represent one of its greatest advantages since they approach the ideal curves.

Using Condenser Microphones 👍

These microphones are used for sound recording requiring a specific room. This is why they are primarily intended for studio use. They can be used for voice capture, acoustic, string, wind and brass instruments. The sound quality that the mic produces is exceptional.

Not only is the sound so fine, but it also manages to render all the nuances of their tone. Indeed, this is particularly due to its high sensitivity and its flat and extended frequency response curve.

On the other hand, it is strongly recommended not to use it to record percussion instruments with one exception: cymbals. In this case, it can be used for a so-called Overhead socket. In addition, it is also not recommended to use it outdoors without protecting the membrane with an anti-wind device or a windshield.

The different Types of Condenser Microphones 🎤

Mainly, we can distinguish two types of condenser microphones on the market:

  • A condenser microphone, which requires the use of an external power supply;
  • An electret condenser microphone, which is a recent innovation.

The Externally Polarized Condenser Microphone:

We will speak of a classic condenser microphone, because to operate it will require 48 volt phantom power.

An Electret Condenser Microphone:

An electret is a dielectric material in which permanent polarization is achieved. Using an electret in a condenser microphone or condenser microphone allows the external bias source (phantom power) to be abandoned. For this, two configurations are possible:

  • Either the electret is deposited on the fixed electrode,
  • Either it is deposited on the metal membrane.

Commonly known as a wireless mic, its behavior is similar to that of the classic condenser microphone. Electret microphones, however, require continuous power to operate. And since they do not require external power, this technology is used for many applications.

We can cite, for example, lavalier microphones, or microphones for mobile telephony. It is also found in microphones combined with headphones attached to the end of a boom. This same technology is also applied to stage microphones attached to the head. In other words, this technology makes it possible to have small, very effective microphones.

The best electret condenser microphones are known for their exceptional quality ratio. They deliver stunning sound quality and are very frequently used for broadcasting. They are also used for recordings and sound reinforcement.

Thanks to its small membrane, the microphone barely picks up handling, background and mechanical noise. Note that in the majority of cases, this type of microphone has a cardioid or hyper-cardioid polar pattern.

It also has two additional advantages over other microphones: their lightness and their size. Indeed, they can be very small. In addition, its characteristics are particularly suitable for a wireless microphone, and miniature microphones of all kinds.

Misconceptions about Condenser Microphones 👏

  • Condenser microphones are much more fragile than dynamic microphones: ❌ not necessarily.

Currently, we can see several types of microphones specially designed for studio use. Just because a microphone is intended for the studio does not necessarily mean it is fragile. It all depends on the design and choice of building materials. Some good quality microphones (from the Neumann or Shure brand for example) are resistant to frequent and repetitive handling.

  • Condenser microphones always need phantom power: ✅ partially true.

When your microphone is not producing sound, it may need external power. However, there is something called the electret condenser microphone. This type of microphone uses either phantom power or a battery. It often acts as a wireless microphone.

  • Condenser microphones are very sensitive to feedback: ❌ not necessarily true.

It's all about choosing the right mic for the right application. For example, using a condenser microphone for remote recording will result in low frequency feedback. In this case, we will speak of a poor application of the microphone unless using a low pass/high pass.

  • Condenser microphones cannot handle high sound pressures: ❌ False

Condenser microphones can generally handle very high sound pressures. The real question that must be asked is the capacity of the preamp used.

  • Using a condenser microphone is much more expensive than using a dynamic microphone: ✅ sometimes true

It all depends on your goal. Certainly, dynamic microphones are less expensive. There are also some very efficient ones. But in the end, what about the quality of your production? You must always keep in mind that each microphone corresponds to a specific application.

Feedback on the use of Condenser Microphones 🤙

Microphones are part of our daily lives. The current market offers us several types of microphones, including the condenser microphone or static microphone. It is a versatile studio microphone that offers exceptional sound reproduction.

Condenser microphones offer very good audio quality. It is a professional microphone that can be equipped with several types of directivity. Some have a fixed cardioid polar pattern . For added versatility, other microphones incorporate a switchable option that can go from cardioid to bidirectional or even omnidirectional.

In general, the sound produced by a condenser microphone is very popular because of the proximity effect. It's a warm, natural sound. This is mainly due to its linear frequency response. To add a touch of originality, manufacturers add a small, well-designed bump in a specific location. The goal is to control the treble and obtain much warmer bass, for example.

Condenser microphones are compatible with almost all audio interfaces and mixing boards. They can be used as microsinging with the addition of a windshield, or an anti-pop filter. They are mainly used to protect the microphone and to control plosives. Engineers also use them for sound recording of various instruments such as an acoustic guitar, a piano, a clarinet, percussion, etc.

One of the popular features of condenser microphones is their high sensitivity. This is a result of the microphone design. If you can hear birds chirping during your recordings, so can the microphone. This is one of the reasons why it is mainly used in a room that has undergone acoustic treatment.

But this sensitivity can also highlight all the noises of the mouth and lips. All vibrations will be taken into account and will be captured by the microphone. To overcome this, you can use a pop filter, use a microphone stand or a microphone boom.

It is an essential recording equipment for studio recording. If you meet a sound engineer, ask them if they have a condenser microphone. The answer will definitely be a yes. If you go to a professional recording studio, they will also have a condenser microphone in their possession. All this to tell you that any self-respecting professional knows the value of the condenser microphone.

Our selection of Condenser Microphones ❤️

If you want to buy a condenser microphone, here is our unofficial selection of the best microphones on the market:

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