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Neumann M147

Test & Review

Are you a sound engineer working in a professional studio? Do you want to equip your studio with a high-end microphone? Why not opt ​​for the Neumann M147 studio microphone? It is a large diaphragm condenser microphone which is equipped with a K47 dual diaphragm capsule. This condenser microphone has a cardioid polar pattern, but also behaves like a supercardioid microphone. Discover through this test guide everything you need to know about this Neumann microphone.

Neumann M147 test and review

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

Are you looking for a high-end studio microphone ? Why not opt ​​for the Neumann M147? It is certainly not the most popular model of this German brand. But in terms of sound quality , it has no reason to be ashamed of its performance alongside the legendary U87 and U47. It even offers some more interesting assets than these two microphone stars. Want to know more about this large diaphragm condenser microphone? Here is the complete test of Neumann's M147.

Focus on the Neumann brand

Neumann is a brand whose reputation is well established. This German company was created in 1928 by Georg Neumann. Not to be confused with John Von Neumann, the famous Hungarian-American mathematician.

Neumann has specialized for over 90 years in the design of audio equipment such as monitoring speakers , headphones, microphones and microphone accessories.

The very first microphone created by Neumann was the CMV3 . But arguably its first big success was manufacturing the famous M7 capsule in 1936. Since then, Neumann has dominated the microphone market and become one of the most trusted microphone brands in the world. Today, almost every professional studio is equipped with at least one microphone with the Neumann badge.

As soon as we mention the Neumann brand, the microphone model that comes to mind first is the legendary Neumann U87 . It must be said that it is by far the microphone best known to the general public.

But be aware that Neumann has a well-stocked catalog. It notably offers several types of microphones, including condenser microphones , large diaphragm microphones , measurement microphones , stereo microphones and many others.

Neumann M147 condenser microphone
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Among the microphones in the large diaphragm category, we can cite the U87 Ai , the U74 FET , the TLM 107 , the M149 … and the M147. And it is the latter which is the subject of our test. Let's discover together its design quality , its sound quality and all its technical characteristics. After the test, we will give you our opinion on the Neumann M147.

Neumann M147 Microphone Overview

Neumann M147 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone just like the U47 FET model from the German brand Neumann . This type of microphone is equipped with a capacitor which transforms the charge received into an electrical signal and amplifies it to transmit it to the preamp or sound card.

Neumann's M147 benefits from the K47 double-membrane capsule . It is none other than the same device that equipped its two elders, namely the U47 and the M49.

In tube microphones , the tube acts as a transistor to convert impedance . But Neumann's M147 offers a hybrid of these two electronic components. Indeed, this model uses tube and transistor circuit . For information, know that this atypical design allowed the M149 to win the TEC Award in 1997.

When it comes to design quality, there's not much to complain about with the M147. Like all Neumann tube microphone models, this one benefits from an impeccable satin nickel finish .

The front of the microphone is decorated with the Neumann logo. There is also an inverted heart symbol below the grid to reference its cardioid polar pattern . The Neumann M147 measures 14.2 cm in length and 5.7 cm in diameter. It weighs 460g.



As usual, Neumann delivers its vintage microphones in a magnificent aluminum case. Not forgetting the accessories that come with the microphone: a cable, a universal power supply and a microphone stand.

It should be noted that tube condenser microphone N149 A power supply . Its output level of 20 mV/Pa falls perfectly within the usual standards.

The M147 and its cardioid directivity

The Neumann M147 displays a cardioid polar pattern just like the Rode NT1, the SE Electronics DynaCaster microphone or the Neumann U47 FET. This means that it was designed to pick up sounds in front of it . On the other hand, this type of microphone rejects sound sources coming from the rear.

Note that the M147 behaves like a supercardioid . In fact, it eliminates sounds on the sides. This is a particularity that it shares with the legendary U47. When using these microphones, remember to point the source with great precision. This way you will have a better result.

Areas of application for the Neumann M147

Like all vintage Neumann microphone models, the M147 is aimed at audio engineers working in a professional studio . However, that doesn't stop you from buying it to equip your home studio. However, to take full advantage of the sound performance of this microphone, consider treating the acoustics of your room .

Neumann M147 is a studio microphone that performs well when recording vocals. If you are looking for a microphone for vocals, this model is a safe bet.

Furthermore, the M147 can also be suitable for a wide variety of musical instruments. Among other things, you can count on this microphone to pick up an acoustic guitar , a bass drum , a snare drum and much more.

Neumann M147
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This microphone will also be useful when recording in stereo. You can use it in particular to implement the Mid-Side technique . To do this, you'll need another bi-directional microphone , that is, one that can pick up sounds coming from both the front and the back. Most ribbon microphones feature this type of polar pattern. This is particularly the case with the Beyerdynamic M130.

As for positioning the two microphones, all you need to do is point the M147 towards your source. As for the microphone in figure 8 , place it below the M147 so as to form an angle of 90°.

Note : Although the Neumann M147 is a versatile microphone, it is not the right model for capturing the ambiance of a room. In this context, opt instead for an omnidirectional microphone . This type of microphone will perceive sound in equal proportion from all sides.

You can also choose a microphone that has several switchable directivities . This type of microphone has the advantage of being suitable for a wide variety of uses. This is particularly the case with the Sony C100 which offers 3 directivities (cardioid, bidirectional and omnidirectional).

The Neumann M147 and its electrical characteristics

The Neumann M147 uses the same design as the M149. Indeed, to optimize the performance of these models, the German manufacturer has combined the lamp with modern circuits . Results of this innovation: no off-axis coloring or unwanted parasitic noise. Thanks to this lamp, the sound signal from the capsule is amplified by 10 dB .

With ordinary microphones on the market, as soon as you use a long cable, the audio signal tends to be altered. The M47 is an exception to this rule.

This is because no matter how long the cables you use, it will hardly affect the signal quality. This is made possible thanks in particular to the absence of a transformer in its output stage. Moreover, the manual describes that it is possible to use a 100 m cable without fear of signal degradation.



Another special feature of the Neumann M147: the temperature of the lamp gradually increases to guarantee its longevity.

Condenser microphones without a tube require phantom power to operate. On the other hand, if it is a tube condenser microphone, a dedicated power supply is required. This is why the M147 comes with an N149 A power supply . The latter can support voltages ranging from 90 to 250 V (50 or 60 Hz).

It also includes a detection loop. The role of this device is to prevent the power supply from turning on when the microphone is not plugged in.

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Zoom on the sound quality of the Neumann M147

Now let's talk about the sound quality of the Neumann M147, a decisive criterion when choosing a microphone.

The sound produced by this microphone is exceptional . Indeed, the addition of the tube gives it a unique sound that combines warmth and precision .

The Neumann M147 microphone has a fairly low level of background noise, notably 12 dB-A . This is undoubtedly linked to its hybrid impedance converter .

The maximum sound pressure level it can withstand is 114 dB . Although its SPL may seem low, this microphone can withstand higher acoustic pressures. In fact, the distortion gradually increases up to 5% THD (total harmonic distortion), or 134 dB .

Neumann M147 studio test
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The M147 has a smaller grille compared to the U47. And of course, this is not without consequences on its sound quality. In fact, this serves to protect its capsule against plosives and wind blasts.

Please note, however, that this small grille does not replace a windscreen. So consider investing in this device to reduce plosives, especially if you plan to use this microphone primarily for voice recording .

The Neumann M147 is sensitive to proximity effect . It must be said that this is really no surprise since it is a condenser microphone with cardioid polar pattern. And this is a feature that you can use in your favor.

For example, if your voice is a little thin, simply move closer to the mic to emphasize the bass . Conversely, if you want to make the low frequencies less present, move away from the mic a little to perfect your voice .

The frequency response of the Neumann M147 is between 20 Hz and 20 kHz , exactly like that of the Neumann TLM49 and the U87 Ai. Its response is linear in this range, but we can however notice a reduction in low frequencies of +2 dB at 4 kHz and -2 dB at 50 Hz . However, this slight drop in bass can be easily compensated for due to the mic's sensitivity to proximity effect.

Final note : To reduce vibration, consider using a good microphone suspension mount.



The technical characteristics of the Neumann M147

  • Mic Type: Pressure Gradient Condenser Microphone
  • Polar pattern: cardioid
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Output sensitivity: 20 mV/Pa
  • Nominal output impedance: 50 Ohms
  • Load impedance: 1000 Ohms
  • Maximum SPL: 114 Db (harmonic distortion = 0.5% ) and 134 dB (for <5% )
  • Maximum output voltage: 8 dBu
  • Amplifier dynamic range: 102 dB (harmonic distortion = 0.5% ) / 122 DB (for <5% )
  • Weight: 460g
  • Dimensions (diameter x length): 57 mm x 142 mm
Neumann M147 package
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Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,9 /5

Value for money

4,7 /5

Global mark

4,8 /5

Our opinion on the Neumann M147 microphone

With its typical vintage microphone design and satin nickel finish, the build quality of the Neumann M147 is impressive. If appearance were the only criterion for choosing a microphone, there would be no point in looking for other microphones. This model would be ideal.

Let's talk a little about its sound quality. If you're a fan of vintage sound, adding the M147 to your collection certainly won't displease you. It also has a warm sound very characteristic of tube microphones. Thanks to its flat frequency response, this model is able to reproduce low frequencies without distortion problems.

Between the quality of sound produced by cheap microphones and the M147, there is no comparison. This tube microphone from Neumann sets the bar very high. Which certainly justifies its price.

And what about its versatility? Tested for voiceover, singing (male and female voices) and acoustic instruments (guitar and piano), this mic does not disappoint. Like Neumann's U47 FET, the M147 can be suitable for a wide variety of applications.

Considering all the advantages that the Neumann M147 offers, particularly in terms of sound quality, I can only recommend it.

Neumann M147 demo

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