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Neumann M149

Test & Review

Do you want to acquire a very versatile microphone in your professional studio or your home studio? This is to ensure varied sound recording (voice recording or sound recording of different acoustic instruments). You can opt for the Neumann M149 tube condenser microphone. It is a large diaphragm condenser microphone. This model is very versatile, because it has 9 directivities. It is the best choice for you. This Neumann brand model is suitable for both acoustic instrument recording and voice recording. Discover through this article our test and opinion on this professional studio microphone.

test and review of the Neumann M149

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

If you are a fan of the Neumann brand, you will certainly like to add the M149 to your collection. This is a tube condenser microphone known for its versatility. But what about its sound quality? Is this microphone really exceptional on all types of sound sources ? To confirm this, what better way than to test the microphone. Here is the complete review of the Neumann M149 microphone.

Focus on the Neumann brand

Neumann is a company founded by Georg Neumann in 1928. This German brand specializes in the design of audio equipment . Among others, we can cite professional studio headphones , speakers and microphones.

This manufacturer owes much of its reputation to the quality of its high-end studio microphones . The most successful in this category is undoubtedly the Neumann U47. Elvis Presley, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin… all these legendary artists have already used this legendary microphone.

During its 90 years of expertise, this German brand has continued to bring innovations to the world of audio recording. Among the most notable, we can note the invention of the first phantom-powered microphone in 1966: the legendary KM84 . Another innovation from this renowned brand: the TLM170, the very first transformerless microphone on the market.

Neumann M149
Picture from Audiofanzine.com

Note that Neumann has a vast catalog of microphones classified into several categories. It notably offers microphones for singing, USB microphones , and condenser microphones which are available in small and large diaphragms.

In this article, we will focus on a condenser microphone with a large diaphragm tube : the Neumann M149. Let's review the strengths and weaknesses of this high-end studio microphone.

Neumann M149 Microphone Overview

Neumann M149 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone like its friend, the Neumann M147 . As its name suggests, this type of microphone has a condenser. The role of this is to transform the charge into an electrical signal. The latter will then be amplified and transmitted to the sound card or amplifier.

As this is a tube microphone , phantom power is not required to operate it. However, you will need the external power supply that comes with the mic.

Like the M147, the M149 is equipped with the same capsule that was in the famous original U47 as well as the M49. Its particularity: it is a double membrane capsule . To this device is added a lamp whose role is to convert the impedance. This model is also distinguished by its transformerless circuit .

Result: absence of coloring even if you use long cables. Moreover, according to the German manufacturer, you can use cables up to 300 m long without worrying about signal degradation.

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Neumann M149 benefits from the same design quality as the M147. Among other things, its finish is satin nickel. In addition, on the front side, we still find the Neumann trapezoid logo. However, there are some differences between these two models.

Indeed, on the front of the M147, we find an inverted heart to refer to its polar diagram. On the other hand, given that the M149 offers 9 directivities , this model displays other symbols linked to the polar diagrams of each directivity. For the 4 intermediate directivities, we only find points.

Another difference between the M147 and the M149 is in terms of weight. In fact, these two condenser microphones weigh 460 and 730 g respectively. So provide a sturdy enough foot to hang the M149 since it is not designed to be held by hand. Furthermore, with its 70 mm in diameter and 201 mm in length , the Neumann M149 is more imposing than the M147.

As for accessories, by purchasing the Neumann M147, you will be entitled to:

  • An N 149 A power supply to operate the microphone
  • An aluminum case to carry the microphone when traveling
  • An 8-pin mic cable to connect the mic to your device
  • An EA170 elastic suspension to effectively isolate handling noise
  • A storage pouch to prevent dust when you are not using the microphone
Testing the Neumann M149 in the studio
Picture from Kentamplinvocalacademy.com

Neumann M149: a tube microphone with 9 directivity

Neumann was the first large diaphragm microphone to offer a switchable polar pattern. We are of course talking about the legendary Neumann U47 FET , and original U47 with its two directivities to choose from: cardioid and omnidirectional.

With the Neumann M149, this brand impresses us once again. In fact, this model has 9 directivities:

  • Cardioid polar pattern : to capture sounds coming from the front of the microphone
  • Wide-angle cardioid polar pattern
  • Omnidirectional directivity : to capture sound sources in the room uniformly
  • Hypercardioid polar pattern : a variation of the cardioid polar pattern to accentuate the sensitivity of the microphone towards the rear
  • Bidirectional directionality : to capture sounds coming from the front and back of the microphone
  • And an intermediate option between each main directivity for even more precise sound recording

Placed on the front of the microphone, the slide switch allows you to easily switch from one directionality to another.

M149: a versatile microphone model

Obviously, the fact that the Neumann M149 has 9 directivities is not without consequences on the use of the M149. Indeed, its 9 directivities to choose from make this microphone a versatile model .

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Thanks to this ability to switch between these options at any time, this model can be suitable for both vocal recording and acoustic instrument recording . You can use it in particular to record your acoustic guitar, your piano, your violin, the overheard of your drums and many other acoustic instruments.

However, you must know how to choose the directivity to activate depending on the use of the microphone. For example, if you want to record the voices of two people located on either side of the microphone, simply opt for the directionality in figure 8 .

For choir voice recording, a lecture, or other applications that require capturing the ambience of the room, enable omnidirectional polarity .

If you want to record just one person's voice, all you have to do is activate the cardioid polar pattern and that's it.

As for stereo sound recording , again, be sure to choose your directionality wisely. For example, if you want to use the M149 as a side mic when recording with the Mid-Side technique, you must opt ​​for the figure 8 polar pattern . On the other hand, if you want to use it as a Mid microphone, you must choose the cardioid polar pattern .

Neumann M149 packaging
Picture from Audiofanzine.com

Samson Meteor microphone test guide . It is a USB microphone with cardioid (unidirectional) polar pattern. This guide gives you the complete overview of this microphone, its build quality and sound quality, its main advantages, its technical characteristics, as well as our opinion on the general quality of this microphone.

Neumann M149 and its 7-position high-pass filter

What makes the Neumann M149 different from other high-end models from this German brand is its low-cut filter .

Accessible from the rear of the microphone, this filter helps you optimize the results of your recordings . This allows you to attenuate low frequencies and let high frequencies pass through. The M149 offers you 7 levels of adjustments, including 20 Hz , 40 Hz , 80 Hz , 160 Hz and intermediate levels between each option.

Thanks to its high-pass filter, the M149 helps you low-frequency noise This could be, for example, noise from the wind or the air conditioning in your recording room.

This device also makes it easier for you to control audio when you place the microphone close to your electric guitar, for example.

Again, you can easily change the position of the filter since the switch is a sliding type.

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Zoom on the sound quality of the Neumann M149

The Neumann M149 boasts exceptional sound quality . It notably offers a warm sound . Which is not surprising since it is a tube microphone. Tested on an acoustic guitar, it provides a rich , full sound with plenty of detail.

Another particularity of the sound of the Neumann M149: it reproduces the sound very precisely. On vocals, it delivers incredible precision whether for a man's voice or a woman's voice. For optimal results, however, be sure not to forget to choose the cardioid polar pattern when recording vocals .

The M149 also stands out for its very low background noise level , thanks in particular to its lamp and its circuit which benefits from modern technology. In fact, Neumann uses a transformerless output circuit. Furthermore, the built-in amplifier provides a high signal.

This microphone is hyper sensitive to the proximity effect . A completely normal characteristic since it is a static microphone. Remember not to bring your source too close to the microphone if you do not want to accentuate the bass.

You must therefore provide a professional recording studio or a home studio that is sufficiently acoustically treated to use this microphone. Indeed, it is also sensitive to surrounding noise.

Neumann M149 Microphone
Picture from Dtmdriver.com

As for vibrations coming from the ground, you don't have to worry about them since the microphone comes with a spider suspension.

With its frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and maximum sound pressure level of 136 dB (K <5%) , the Neumann M149 has a good ability to reproduce sounds at different dynamic ranges.

The technical characteristics of the Neumann M149

  • Mic Type: Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone
  • Polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, wide cardioid, hypercadioid and an intermediate position between each main polar pattern
  • Frequency response: 20 Hz to 20 kHz
  • Output sensitivity: 20 mV/Pa
  • Nominal output impedance: 50 Ohms
  • Nominal load impedance: 1000 Ohms
  • Maximum SPL: 120 dB (harmonic distortion < 0.5% ) and 139 dB (for < 5% )
  • Maximum output voltage: 18 dBu
  • Amplifier dynamic range: 101 dB (harmonic distortion <0.5% ) / 121 dB for K <5% )
  • Power supply type: N 149 power supply
  • Weight: 730g
  • Dimensions (diameter x length): 70 mm x 201 mm
  • Included accessories: Aluminum case, 8-pin microphone cable, power supply , EA 170 elastic suspension, storage pouch
Neumann M149 package
Picture from Audiogate.mx
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Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,9 /5
4.9/5

Value for money

4,7 /5
4.7/5

Global mark

4,8 /5
4.8/5

Our opinion on the Neumann M149 microphone

Giving an opinion on the Neumann M149 without mentioning its 9 polar patterns and its 7-position high-pass filter is as if you have never tested the microphone.

So, let's talk about it a little. These two features make this microphone a very versatile model. In fact, you can do just about anything with this microphone. In particular, it is possible to do a voice-over, sing, record a podcast and a wide range of acoustic instruments.

Unique, warm and precise: these 3 words perfectly describe the sound produced by the Neumann M 149. If we compare the M149 with the TLM103, it has greater precision, particularly when recording male vocals and feminine.

The M149 microphone does not come alone: ​​it comes with accessories to power it as well as an elastic suspension. The latter is very practical for avoiding noise from the floor.

Brief summary of the advantages of the Neumann M149:

  • Good design quality
  • Warm and precise sound
  • Versatility

What can we criticize about the M149? Not much ! The price a little high perhaps. But know that we are talking about a model designed to equip a professional studio. What's more, its sound quality has nothing to envy of ordinary microphone models.

My verdict: I recommend the Neumann M149 if you want to equip your studio with a high-end microphone. You will not be disappointed with its sound quality, whatever source you put in front of it. This model has been designed to adapt to a wide range of applications. This is undoubtedly one of the best large diaphragm condenser microphones on the market.

Neumann M149 demo

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