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Neumann KM184

Test & Review

The Neumann KM184 is a state-of-the-art condenser microphone. It is the successor to the legendary KM84. Discover our complete review of the Neumann KM184, the standard microphone in studios around the world.

Neumann Km184 Review

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

Description of the Neumann KM184

The Neumann KM184 is a condenser microphone with a cardioid capsule. It is a compact and versatile microphone , usable on stage, in the studio or for radio recordings. It can also be used for nearby recording of various instruments such as the piano, guitars (acoustic guitar or bass guitar), etc.

Neumann KM184
Picture from en-de.neumann.com

The KM184 model is the best classic studio microphone of very high quality. The sound produced is faithful to the original: an authentic sound . Very easy to use, the Neumann KM184 will be your ally in immortalizing your ingenuity.

KM184 is available in stereo pair form and has a unidirectional cardioid polar pattern. Also, it is the successor of KM84. On the other hand, the two microphones have a slight difference in frequency response.

And this difference brought a notable result in terms of the sound produced. Equipped with the same capsule as the KM 84, the KM184 increases slightly around a frequency of 9 kHz. This then gives a much fresher and livelier tone compared to that of its predecessor.

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In addition, it finds its place on stage to amplify a musical instrument. But it is also an essential recording equipment in the studio. When faced with a microphone like the Neumann KM184 or the Neumann TLM 193 microphone , you can only marvel at its efficiency and versatility.

In any case, it's an all-purpose microphone, where we apply all the right rules and placement adjustments. Additionally, it generates rich sound in close proximity.

Also, even if you are a beginner, or a professional musician, it will win you over. Moreover, it will never produce bad sound due to its perfectly controlled frequency response and off-axis phase. Its cardioid curve is also complete and well constructed.

KM184 packaging
Picture from soniccircus.com

Design of the Neumann KM184

The Neumann KM184, like the Neumann U87, a typical microphone of the German brand, has a diameter of 22 millimeters and a weight of 80 grams in total. In addition, its 10-centimeter stick shape ensures great ergonomics .

Its finish also remains impeccable, particularly in terms of the metal structure. The tripod mounts, on the other hand, lock in place very easily and look very professional. In addition, they provide a secure hold when using microphones.

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Furthermore, the KM184 microphone is available in two colors: nickel and matte black. It is also a very durable and compact microphone that incorporates a transformerless output circuit. It is offered as a Stereo Set, a set of two microphones, or as an Octo-Set, consisting of 8 microphones in total.

For each set, you have a very elegant wooden box, SG 21/17 mt clips and WNS 100 foam windshields.

KM184 easy to use.
Picture from sweetwater.com

Cardioid polar pattern

Thanks to its optimized design, the KM184 meets the demands of amateurs or professionals looking for a high-performance microphone on a fairly limited budget. Indeed, the Neumann KM184 microphone is equipped with a cardioid polar pattern.

Very versatile, it is designed for vocals, instrument recording and more. The KM184 captures every detail and its cardioid polar pattern lets it focus on what's important. It is the guarantor of your performance, because it will not pick up any background noise or feedback.

For optimal sound recording, be sure to position it directly in line with the sound source.

KM184 with its support.
Picture from musix.com

Small note : You can also discover our guide to the best USB microphones . This guide introduces you to the 8 best USB microphones, why you should choose a USB microphone, and the difference between a USB and XLR Microphone.

Acoustic characteristics of the Neumann KM184

The main characteristics of the KM184 remain faithful to those of its predecessor, the KM84. Equipped with recent electronic components and a very small capsule, the KM184 offers an exceptional sound experience .

In fact, the system used contributes to reducing the level of inherent noise. This, while allowing very high insensitivity to electromagnetic interference. The microphone has a pre-attenuation selector. Therefore, it can withstand sound pressure levels of up to 152 dB/Spl.

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That said, the KM184 pressure gradient transducers have a very linear frequency curve for on-axis (0) and lateral incidence. Therefore, when using it, you will not detect any coloring.

From 200 Hz, the curve drops slightly downwards. In the treble, the picture is reversed. Then, from 5 Hz, the curve rises slightly and peaks at 8 Hz before falling back to 0. In fact, this results from a slight modification of the openings of the rear microphone capsule.

Neumann KM184 has a good design.
Picture from soniccircus.com

The sound pressure level of the KM184 is 138 dB, a very good value and the distortion factor is only 0.5%. In all respects, Neumann remains a very good reference for competition . To capture different types of sound, the KM184 was able to prove its full performance.

Therefore, it is also a microphone suitable for voice-overs, for broadcasting, for podcasts and for singing with the application of a windshield. It is a professional microphone suitable for use by the general public, including beginners. In addition, it offers unbeatable value for money and extremely rare sound quality .

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When recording in a studio, the microphone helps capture sound with authentic audio quality. Moreover, its spectral density gives you real coloring and correction capabilities. But, for certain models and lower ranges, this manipulation will be much more hazardous.

Thanks to this spectral density, the KM184 offers very rich and authentic sound. For live use, the microphone exceeds all expectations. In this case, it provides excellent sound without having to fiddle with the EQ in all directions.

Ideal for studio recordings.
Picture from sweetwater.com

Electrical characteristics of the Neumann KM184

The KM184 uses a transformerless output circuit. This gives it excellent technical characteristics. Compared to its predecessor, the dynamic range of the KM184 is 24 dB greater. In fact, it owes this quality to the reduction of its own noise level and the increase in its sound pressure level.

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Furthermore, the output of the KM184 is symmetrical. After extensive testing, we can say that the microphone works perfectly even if the recorder input is unbalanced. As a small-diaphragm condenser microphone, the Neumann 184 naturally requires 48 volts (+/- 4 V) phantom power to operate.

Two identical resistors divide the power terminal. Then, half of the direct current passes through each audio conductor, while the other half goes back to the source via the shield cable.

This system is fully compatible, as there is no difference between the two audio drivers. This system is ideal for powering all types of microphones.

KM184 with support.
Picture from soniccircus.com

Technical specifications

  • Acoustic working principle Pressure transducer/ pressure
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Frequency response 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity at 1 kHz, load 1 kOhm 12/15/10 mV/Pa*
  • Nominal output impedance 50 Ohms
  • Recommended load impedance 1000 Ohms
  • Noise level reduced to the input, according to CCIR 468-3 24/22/24 dB SPL*
  • Noise level reduced to the input, according to DIN/IEC 651 13/13/15 dB SPL (A)*
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  • Signal/Noise ratio, according to CCIR 468-3 70/72/70 dB*
  • Signal/Noise ratio, according to DIN/IEC 651 81/81/79 dB*
  • Maximum SPL level, for THD = 0.5% 140/138/142 dB*
  • Maximum output level +10 dBu
  • Phantom power 48 V ± 4 V
  • Current consumed 3.2 mA
  • 3M XLR output connector
  • Weight approx. 80g
  • Diameter 22mm
  • Length 107mm
Neumann KM184 in studio.
Picture from en-de.neumann.com

Operation of the Neumann KM184

The Neumann KM184 is very easy to use. Its specific features make it the tool of choice for recording different acoustic instruments. Among these instruments, we can count the piano, percussion, drums, acoustic guitar, double bass, violin or harp.

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Thanks to its frequency response, it becomes the essential tool in every recording studio. It is also an excellent microphone for stereo recording. Due to its small size, the KM184 is one of the leading choices for television applications. It is also a very efficient radio microphone.

Pack Neumann KM184
Picture from woodbrass.com

The microphone also has a uniform, uncolored cardioid pattern. As a result, it will transmit sound with unrivaled and natural sound quality. Also, it has become the world stage and studio standard.

And this, even if it is not optimized for voice recording. In other words, the Neumann KM184 enjoys versatile qualities with complete conscience. In all situations and scenarios, the KM184 delivers first-class results .

KM184 is simple than others.
Picture from studiocare.com

Besides, you can also consult our guide to the AKG C214 microphone . This guide offers you a complete test of this condenser microphone, as well as reviews, demo and the special offer from AKG.

My verdict on the Neumann KM184

The Neumann KM184 is a condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern and paired small diaphragms. Very elegant, it is made from very resistant materials.

The sound produced is very rich with a very low level of background noise and almost non-existent coloration. In terms of sensitivity and frequency response, the results obtained are breathtaking. It's a very good ambient microphone.

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For acoustic guitar recording, the Neumann KM184 impresses with its exceptional transparency. The slight increase in treble and reduction in bass is the main cause. Thus, the KM184 offers a pleasantly good and fresh sound compared to its competition.

For recording drums, the KM184 is also very popular. Placed in the middle of the board, it actually produces a sustained and faithful sound. Its rendering is even better compared to that of its competitors.

KM184 in black.
Picture from Youtube.com

In short, in all situations, the Neumann KM184 proves that its sound is always at the cutting edge of technology . It remains a benchmark for its competitors, particularly in relation to the low noise level and high sound pressure.

In addition, the finish is very good and the price very attractive due to the quality offered. Due to its acoustic characteristics, it immediately produces “mix-ready” sound. Which can then constitute a very great advantage.

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Considering the skills of the KM184, I can confidently say that it is the most efficient all-round microphone. It also presents undeniable advantages, perceptible from the first listen.

Among the microphones in its range, its price defies all competition compared to its performance. In short, it is the essential tool for your home studio. It is ideal for sound recording with or without an amp. Also used to record voice, be sure to add a pop filter such as a windshield.

The rendering will then only be improved. True to its reputation, the KM184 produces a warm sound that is very pleasant to listen to . In addition, it carries its own sound signature like all Neumann microphones: clear, detailed and faithful. Besides, next to the sound produced, the price of the microphone seems totally laughable.

KM184
picture from amazon.com

Furthermore, the Neumann KM184 is a good condenser microphone for acoustic instruments. It also works better on groups of instruments than on solo instruments. It also gives a very appreciated result on a lead voice.

Solid, practical and universal, the KM184 is the best all-round studio microphone . This is the material that will complete your collection. And it will be your ally to record the magic.

Generally speaking, we find all the main qualities of a very good microphone in the Neumann KM184. Ranging from design to technical specifications, the KM184 stands out from its competitors on every level. Compact and robust , its small pencils will also satisfy even the most demanding.

Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4.7 /5
4.8/5

Value for money

4,6 /5
4.6/5

Global mark

4,8 /5
4.7/5

Our opinion on the Neumann KM184

In short, the Neumann KM184 is one of the most effective condenser microphones . It's a small stick-shaped microphone. Very discreet, it adapts to all situations.

Neumann KM184 demo

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