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AKG P420

Test & Review

Today, I come back to one of the most coveted microphones from the AKG brand. I offer you a complete test of the essential AKG P420 condenser microphone. Apparently, it's a kind of professional studio microphone that delivers good vocal pickup. But what is it in reality? Let's discover together the characteristics and specificities of this wireless microphone with good value for money.

AKG P420 Full Review

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

A condenser microphone from AKG Acoustics

Like Neumann condenser microphones like the TLM 102 for example, the AKG P420 studio microphone is an entry-level condenser microphone. In fact, it is home studio recording equipment produced by AKG Acoustics, a brand recognized for its high-performance microphones. A sound manufacturing company under the supervision of a sound engineer, the company got its start in Austria.

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Currently, it works closely with the giant Samsung Electronics. This collaboration has notably made it possible to develop and condenser microphones In this sense, I fully expect the AKG P420 stereo microphone to be an external mic with high-quality, rigid capsules.

AKG P42, Home studio recording equipment.
Picture from worthpoint.com

The perfect mid-range from AKG

The P420 AKG lavalier microphone has broken away from the basic design of the brand's condenser microphones. Indeed, AKG Acoustics has imagined a new concept by wanting to offer more efficient recording equipment for studios.

Above all, the brand wants to offer you a new model of handheld microphone, with a large membrane and which adapts to all acoustic instruments. It wants to establish itself in the mid-range , without sacrificing the construction or manufacturing quality of its products.

Buying an AKG P420 microphone means enjoying a good quality directional, acoustic, cardioid and bidirectional microphone. In addition, this multi-polarization makes it suitable for musicians as well as beginners in studio recording.

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Moreover, by analyzing its price, its dynamic and omnidirectional description reveals a type of electrostatic microphone with many functionalities. Although a real sound professional may have some prejudices regarding the sound quality it provides.

In any case, this boom mic can pick up sounds and sound waves of all kinds and easily fits all budgets. You could still find other models of room microphone cheaper on the market. On this subject, please consult my comparisons on the Neumann, Rode NT1 stereo recording microphones .

The AKG P420 is a condenser microphone.
Picture from audiofanzine.com

AKG P420 Microphone Overview

In the search for studio equipment providing a correct response curve , you come across the AKG P420. Indeed, it is an ideal condenser microphone for capturing, condensing and mixing low and high frequency sounds.

The output level it offers responds well to the characteristics of condenser microphones . These are well suited for use with proximity effects in the studio . You get almost uniform treble or bass from all angles of static miking.

On the other hand, to amplify the dynamics, it is better to turn to micro dynamic models. A priori, a dynamic microphone is more suitable for recording and direct amplification on stage.

These versatile USB mic models are more adaptable to all sound environments and can better capture vibrations. They then transform them into an electrical signal with minimal background noise.

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In front of an AKG P420 microphone, I benefit from a signal-to-noise ratio of 79 dB . I also notice slight noise frequencies of 15 dB from a higher sound level. These attributes underline the presence of a high-level recorder, amplifier and transformer, associated with its voice coil.

Thus, the sound pressure diagram obtained with or without headphones is more or less free from handling noise. In the end, I benefit from an efficient converter to power dynamics using an intuitive and functional audio interface.

Also, the fact that it is an analog vocal microphone with a magnetic field once again underlines its fragile, but precise performance. In a gooseneck, the percussion is reduced at best once you have taken care to plug in its USB cable and connector.

AKG P420: a versatile condenser microphone
Picture from audiofanzine.com

AKG P420: a versatile condenser microphone

In order to lower its production costs, AKG Acoustics has decided to center the production of AKG P420 microphones in China. The brand used Chinese manufacturing processes to be able to compete with economical omnidirectional microphone models.

However, it still intends to offer a range of professional microphones essential in the recording studio .

To meet both the needs of the market and the requirements of singers, AKG designs part of its parts and the P420 circuit in Vienna. The rest of the micro-USB instead goes to Chinese manufacturing factories affiliated with the brand.

In short, the company is proud to offer you a radio microphone providing good frequency response and available at an affordable price.

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Podcast and acoustic guitar enthusiasts especially appreciate it for its versatile multi-pattern design. Indeed, the sensitivity of the mic is easily adjustable by pressing its sound wave switch.

Connected to an adapter and an external power source (phantom power), the latter instantly captures the bandwidth.

To record the voice properly, it then uses the electrical current provided by your phantom power. To do this, you need to use an attenuator and a mixer. It will need on average a power of 48 Volts obtained using your sound card.

Regarding switches, the AKG P420 studio microphone comes with a -20 dB pad model. You also benefit from a pop filter and a bass cut filter.

This connection makes it possible to reduce the perception of background noise in SPL with the preamp. Also, the presence of a high-pass filter eliminates high pressure levels to obtain a certain regularity of sound sources.

A multi-polarity microphone.
Picture from musicash.it

Focus on the manufacturing quality of the AKG P420 stand microphone

I also want to draw your attention to the build quality of the AKG P420 condenser microphone. At first glance, I like that it comes with a good shock mount that is easy to connect to a mic stand. Its metal chassis cannot go unnoticed by me.

In some cases, you can get an shock mount as well as a carrying case.

Then, the AKG P420 USB microphone displays exemplary manufacturing quality and incomparable durability. So you won't have to worry about its stability as a microphone for singing in the studio .

It has a solid, compact construction, certainly a little heavy, but highly appreciable for ensuring voice recording. It attaches easily to a tripod and offers a high level of sound source capture.

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And if I compare it with most mid-range microphones , it remains on a standard, less brilliant design. A priori, you benefit from a unique vintage ribbon lavalier microphone.

One last detail that I would like to clarify is a dual diaphragm microphone level . Indeed, a large magnet diaphragm offers a wider and more vibrant sound. Then another smaller diaphragm captures sound pressure better to give you a richer vocal mix.

The AKG P420, wireless lavalier microphone.
Picture from worthpoint.com

In addition, discover our complete guide to ribbon microphones for recording studios . This guide offers you the best professional ribbon microphones for your studio.

A multi-polarity microphone

Another feature I like about the AKG P420, it gives you multiple polarities in one electrostatic model. Indeed, this microphone features a directional, cardioid and bidirectional or figure-8 pattern design.

The cardioid polar pattern allows it to directly capture acoustic sounds in front of the microphones while suppressing side noise. You then obtain sounds with clearer impedance that are more appreciable when listening.

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As a directional or omnidirectional microphone, it can also capture sounds from all possible directions. However, it will be necessary to consider the maximum bandwidth capture range. In this sense, it works perfectly as a room mic capable of recording any sound in a studio room.

This electrostatic directivity meets the needs of singers, acoustic configurations and ambient sounds.

Finally, the bi-directional or figure-8 polar pattern allows you to select vibrations at the front and rear of the AKG mic. So you can both use it to record amplifier sounds and natural amp reverbs behind.

AKG P420 is made for mixing studio recording.
Picture from pro.harman.com

The overall performance of the AKG P420 microphone

The AKG P420 condenser microphone can capture sounds up to 155 dB. Therefore, it can pick up sounds 10-20d louder than most condenser mics . You benefit from sounds that are warmer, more transparent and above all richer in detail.

I recommend it equally well to artists of grand piano, acoustic guitars, drums and percussion. You can also use it to mix the recording of your musical techniques .

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Moreover, with a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, it perfectly covers the entire spectrum of acoustic instruments. However, the list does not include bass drums, double basses and violas.

Particularly suited to voice-over artists , the AKG P420 microphone goes far beyond expectations in the studio. Just like Neumann mics , it easily meets the needs of podcatsers, vloggers, radio hosts and gamers.

Ideal for sound recording
Picture from amazon.com

Technical characteristics of the AKG P420 microphone

  • Type: condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern: omnidirectional, cardioid, directional
  • Sensitivity: 28 mV/Pa
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Impedance: 200 ohms
  • Max SPL: 155 dB

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  • Signal/Noise Ratio: 79 dB
  • Attenuator: 0 dB, -20 dB
  • Switchable bass cut: 300 Hz
  • Dimensions: 165 x 54 mm
  • Weight: 530g
  • Black color
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 P420 microphone

The AKG P420 microphone is a professional analog microphone with good value for money. Directional, omnidirectional and cardioid, it fits with most acoustic instruments to record vocals. It can therefore easily capture all types of sounds during studio recording.  

AKG P420 Demo

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AKG P420

PRICE COMPARISON 👇

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