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AKG C214

Test & Review

Are you an electric guitar lover? Or just a budding singer? We know the ideal recording equipment for vocal recording. Do you want to buy a microphone to immortalize your compositions? For perfect studio recording, discover our review of the AKG C214, the best versatile microphone available at a reasonable price.

AKG C214 Review

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

Introducing the AKG C214 Microphone

Since the appearance of the legendary C414, numerous variations have appeared. The AKG C214 is one of them. This is an electrostatic transducer or condenser microphone with a large diaphragm . It offers only one type of directivity: cardioid directivity.

Offered at an affordable price, it constitutes an excellent alternative for a home studio . It's also a very good option for someone looking for sound quality without spending a fortune. The AKG C214 uses the same capsule as the C414. As it offers a single directivity, it offers a more attractive quality-price ratio.

 The C214 is essential recording equipment.
Picture from stillblissstudios.com

Technically, the large diaphragm of the C214 allows it to reproduce very detailed sound . It can also handle a wider dynamic range of 143 dB while accurately capturing transient details like a pro dynamic mic. It has an integrated capsule suspension which helps reduce mechanical noise and resonance. All this, to improve sound quality and microphone precision.

It is cut entirely from cast metal. The microphone body provides a high degree of immunity to RF interference when placed near a transmitter. Its durable matte grayish blue finish allows it to resist impacts and scratches. It also has a sturdy double mesh grille to protect the capsule. The AKG C214 has an incredibly low self-noise (13 dB) and a very high safety margin.

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The microphone can operate with phantom power sources. The source can vary from 12 V to 52 V. The AKG C214 is among the ideal recording equipment for obtaining perfect sound reproduction . Thanks to its characteristics, it can be used to record voice. It is also sublime for a broadcast application. It is also the ideal tool for transcribing the sound of cymbals and snare drums.

AKG C214 Microphone
Picture from yes-audio.fr

What accessories come with the microphone?

The manufacturer delivers the AKG C214 in a pretty carrying case. This helps secure the microphone, but it will also make it easier to transport.

What you will discover in the case:

  • The AKG C214 microphone
  • An elastic suspension for the microphone: H85
  • A foam windscreen: W214

If you have opted for a stereo set, the case will include:

  • Two AKG C214 microphones
  • Two microphone clips: SA60
  • Two elastic suspensions for the microphone: H85
AKG C214 and its accessories
Picture from yes-audio.fr

However, check out our best ribbon microphones . This guide offers you the best ribbon microphones to choose for your vocal recording studio. You can also discover in this article everything you need to know about ribbon microphones, how this microphone works, its technical characteristics, its proximity effect, as well as the selections of the best ribbon microphones.

The orders

The AKG C214 has two types of selectors:

  • A pre-attenuation selector
  • A bass reduction selector

Like the AKG C314 microphone, the pre-attenuation selector is located on the left side of the mic. It will help you raise the overload limit by 20 dB. You could then record close to your sound sources without experiencing distortion . With pre-attenuation, the mic output level will not exceed critical overload limits. Very loud sound sources can be recorded without overloading the microphone output.

AKG C214

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The bass reduction selector helps to reduce distortion . Indeed, activating the bass attenuation filter at 160 Hz helps eliminate unwanted rumble.

Examples include handling noise or ground vibrations. Activating the filter will then improve the quality of the sound produced. Using the filter also minimizes the proximity effect. This is an effect that is obtained when applied very close to sound sources.

A versatile microphone.
Picture from yes-audio.fr

The specificities of the C214

  • Sensitivity (open circuit voltage): 20 mV/Pa (-24 dBV ± 0.5 dB)
  • Electrical impedance: ≤ 200 ohms
  • Recommended load impedance: ≥1000 ohms
  • Noise level: 13 dB (A)
  • Signal-to-noise ratio for 1 Pa (A-weighted value): 81 dB
  • Maximum sound pressure level for 0.5% harmonic distortion: 136/156 dB SPL (0/-20 dB)
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  • Dynamic (A-weighted value): 123/143 dB (0/-20 dB)
  • Tolerated climatic conditions: Temperature: -10°C to +60°C Relative humidity: 95% (+20°C), 85% (+60°C)
  • Supply voltage: Phantom power, 12 – 52 V
  • Consumption: < 2 mA
  • External dimensions: 54 x 43 x 160 mm
  • Net weight: 290g
AKG C214 with its supports.
Picture from audiofanzine.com

The response curve of the AKG C214

The response curve is a graph representing the sensitivity of the microphone. It represents the character of the microphone, because each microphone, like the Beyerdynamic M160 for example, corresponds to a particular response curve. The diagram allows you to visualize the troughs and peaks according to the frequencies captured.

When we look at the response curve of the C214, we immediately notice the characteristic small dip of the C414 at 1.5 Hz. We also note the big bump of the B-XLS at the top of the spectrum around 12 to 13 kHz. The AKG C214 can be used on powerful sound sources once the pad is engaged. Its maximum sound pressure level can reach 156 dB SPL.

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The AKG C214 features a flat frequency response curve from 60 Hz to 1 kHz. This gives it a very precise and strong bottom end. Between 1 kHz and 2.5 kHz, it dips a few dB at 2 kHz. This allows it to avoid overpowering the treble. So it is among the best condenser microphone. This way, the sound of electric guitars will not be too shrill.

This variation in response is reflected by a rise in the curve between 2.5 and 5 kHz. It increases by a few dB at around 3.5 kHz, before falling again.

This is the guarantee of exceptional sound quality . Then, we note a constant increase in response between 5.5 kHz and 13 kHz. This will give character to the sound during vocal and instrumental recordings.

Dual microphone
Picture from reconroad.be

Applications of the AKG C214

The AKG C214 is among the best all-around microphones . It can be used on several types of instruments and for vocal recording. We can cite, among others, the following applications:

  • Vocal soloist
  • Backing vocalist and choir
  • Violin
  • Cello, double bass
  • Acoustic guitar/Electric guitar/Bass guitar
  • Transverse flute
  • Clarinet
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  • Saxophone
  • Pianos: grand or upright
  • Trumpet/Trombone/Horn
  • Bass Drum/Toms
Application: Noise reduction.
Picture from Youtube.com

Vocal soloist

For optimal results, the following conditions must be met:

  • The soloist should stand at a distance of 15 cm to 30 cm from the microphone
  • The bass reduction switch must be activated
  • We recommend the use of a pop filter, or even the W214 windscreen supplied with the microphone.
  • Finally, we recommend that you dedicate a separate track to it for better control of the voice
A condenser microphone.
Picture from ricardo.ch

By the way, you can also check out our complete review guide on the Blue Baby Bottle SL . It is a condenser microphone, the most recent microphone from Blue. Discover in this guide the complete presentation of this microphone, its sound characteristics, its technical characteristics, a verdict and opinion on this microphone.

As part of a choir or chorister

For large choirs, we recommend the use of a pair of microphones. For soprano, alto, tenor and bass registers, you can add a support microphone. By using an acoustically treated room, impeccable audio quality can be obtained.

For recording multiple voices, we recommend separate recording.

If you have one or two voices, you can use a single mic for two or three people.

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In all cases, we recommend placing the microphone in the middle of the choir in a semi-circle.

The AKG C214 for application on the violin

For an alto solo, place the microphone at a height of 1.8m to 2.5m in height and it should be aimed towards the sound holes.

In large string ensembles, use a pair of microphones in stereo. You can also combine the AKG C214 with fill-in microphones close to the microphones.

In viola, point the microphone at the sound holes at a height of 2.2 m to 3 m.

AKG C214 is a versatile microphone.
Picture from ricardo.ch

For application in double bass and cello

Place the microphone approximately 40 cm from one of the sound holes. You can record the double bass or cello among the entire instrumental ensemble. To do this, please reduce the distance between the microphone and the instrument. This way, other instruments will not interfere with the microphone. For the case of the cello, you can add an ambient microphone. For best results, the level of the proximity microphone should be lower (approximately 20 dB) than that of the surround microphone.

Microphone with stand
Picture from worthpoint.com

For the case of the dry guitar

Aim the microphone obliquely at the space between the earpiece and the handle at a distance of 50 cm to 1 m. To obtain very clear sound, we recommend the use of two microphones:

  • An AKG C214 oriented towards the hearing, placed at a distance of 30 cm to 60 cm
  • A small diaphragm mic: It should be oriented toward the space between the soundhole and the neck. The distance between the microphone and the instrument should be around 50 cm to 1 m.
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For application with a transverse flute

You can use two microphones for exceptional results:

  • A microphone aimed and placed above the mouth of the instrument (to avoid hissing noise)
  • Another microphone placed laterally towards the instrument

If you opt for sound recording with a single microphone:

  • Point the mic above the mouth of the instrument approximately 2 m
  • The microphone should be placed at a height of 2 m to 2.5 m above the ground
Packaging AKG C214
Picture from thomann.de

For recording a clarinet

Point the microphone toward the lowest clef. To reduce key noise, place the microphone at a slight angle to the instrument.

For recording tenor and soprano saxophones

We advise you to point the microphone towards the middle of the instrument and at a distance of 50 cm to 1 m.

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Another guide : Also discover our complete test on the AKG C414 XLII microphone . In this guide you will discover the presentation of this condenser microphone, the sound quality produced by this microphone, its technical characteristics, its areas of application, and opinions on this microphone.

For application on trumpet and trombone

For optimal results, you should place the microphone in front of the instrument approximately 30 cm. Make sure it is slightly off the axis of the roof. We also recommend selecting pre-attenuation on the microphone. To reduce hiss noise, you can use the wind filter supplied with the microphone.

AKG C214 and its accessories.
Picture from thomann.de

To record the sound of a piano

In the case of a grand piano, you can use one or two microphones. You will then need to direct the microphone(s) towards the midrange strings at a height of 1.5 m to 2 m.

To obtain a pop or rock sound, you must use two microphones placed approximately 20 cm to 40 cm above the strings. One of the microphones will be directed towards the midrange, and the other towards the bass approximately 15 cm from the dampers.

In the case of the upright piano, the location of the microphones is done in exactly the same way as that of the grand piano. Only the instrument cover must be open and the microphones pointed inward.

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To record an electric guitar or bass guitar

For electric guitar, we advise you to place the microphone at a distance of 8 to 15 cm from the speaker membrane. It should shift slightly from the center of the preamp. You also need to select bass reduction and pre-attenuation. To increase sound quality, provide an ambient microphone.

For the bass guitar, you must proceed in the same way as for the electric guitar. However, we recommend adding a direct signal to the mix using the bass amplifier's online output.

The AKG C214 microphone is made for recording sounds.
Picture inthemowd.com

For recording a drum set

For overhead sound recording, opt for two microphones above the drummer's head. You should place them at a distance of 80 cm to 120 cm. This technique allows for a very natural sound reproduction of the entire drum set.

For tom-toms and floor-toms, you can direct a microphone towards each tom. You can also point a microphone between two toms, towards the edge of the head. To minimize interference with other instruments, lower the treble above 10 kHz on the mixer.

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In the case of a bass drum, we recommend activating pre-attenuation, as the level provided can be extremely high. You can then place the microphone directly in the crate. To get a very clear and loud sound, place the microphone closest to the drumhead. But respect an angle of 45° between the microphone and the skin. For a sound with much more roundness, place the microphone closest to the resonance head. At the limit, you can put the mic up to 15 cm outside the skin opening.

Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,0 /5
4/5

Value for money

4,8 /5
4.8/5

Global mark

4,5 /5
4.5/5

Our opinion on the AKG C214

The C214 is a condenser microphone with a large diaphragm. Very directional, it will capture different types of sound sources perfectly. The AKG C214 is the perfect type of mic for your home studio. It also finds its place in large recording studios. It is its bandwidth, the sensitivity of the microphone, and its specific characteristics which give it its versatility.

AKG C214 Demo

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