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Rode NT1-A

Test & Review

Among the best cardioid condenser microphones is the Rode NT1-A. Classified as a professional microphone, it is highly recommended for home studio recordings. But what is it really worth? Discover our review of the Rode NT1-A to find out more about it before buying it.

Rode Nt1a Full Test Scaled

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

Everything you need to know about the Rode NT1-A microphone

Designed by the Australian brand Rode , the NT1-A is a condenser microphone with a large diaphragm. It has a cardioid type directivity. And it ranks among the best recording microphones in the world. Note that the directional system of a microphone can be:

  • Bidirectional
  • Omnidirectional
  • Or cardioid
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The cardioid polar pattern provides the microphone with pickup sensitivity with zero proximity effect. It's sort of an omnidirectional microphone with a very low sensitivity rate on the sides. And this technology is ideal for professional studio sound recording.

The Rode NT1-A is ideal for any recording.
Picture from youtube.com

Unparalleled sound clarity

It's a microphone with a slightly heavier diaphragm. Its capsule system is 1'' with internal suspension and a gold-plated movable membrane. In fact, these elements minimize vibrations and unpleasant sounds.

Additionally, with external polarization and fixed polar pattern, the microphone is classified as a professional mic with the best response curve.

Unique in its kind, the Rode NT1-A microphone has a very wide dynamic range. The SPL capacity of the latter is also high. Hence its great resistance to high acoustic pressure. And all this, in incomparable clarity.

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In short, it is a real treasure among the many varieties of microphones. Moreover, this microphone occupies an important place for people working in the field of recording .

Whether for recording vocals, acoustic instruments such as bass or electric guitar, percussion, etc. it will do the job very well. In addition, with a noise level of only 5dBA, it will guarantee you unparalleled silence.

The NT1-A has several potentials
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The different configurations of the Rode NT1-A

As mentioned above, it is a microphone with a cardioid polar pattern . Its bandwidth is between 20 Hz- 20 kHz with an output impedance of 100 Ohms. Its maximum sound pressure level is 137 dB with 1% harmonic distortion rate under 1 kΩ. Maximum output is 13.3 dBu.

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The Rode NT1-A has a sensitivity value of -31.9 dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (25.00 mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1 kHz. Since it's a condenser mic, it needs a +48 volt Phantom power supply. And it can be plugged in with a standard XLR output type connector.

In terms of sound quality, the characteristic to remember is the equivalent noise level (A weighting). He's from :

  • 5dBA
  • 326.00 g
  • 190.00mmH x 50.00mmW x 50.00mmD
The Rode NT1-A with several accessories.
Picture from shpock.com

Rode NT1-A accessories

Rode NT1-A microphone comes with the necessary equipment to get your home studio fully operational. You will actually have:

  • An XLR cable with a length of 6 meters
  • A pop filter or wind screen
  • A dust bag with drawstring
  • A studio quality pendant light
  • Dust protection

Rode Microphone: an internationally renowned Australian brand

Created in 1990 in Sydney, the head office of this Australian company is still there. But the brand is sold in more than 6,000 stores in around 117 countries. In fact, its reputation is on a global scale, and has been for decades.

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With an innovative spirit having a significant impact in its field, the company is not limited to microphone manufacturing. But it is expanding its activities into the manufacture of connection accessories and various audio software.

So, on its own, it can offer you a wide choice of audio equipment. Moreover, the company has won several awards at national and international levels for its quality equipment .

NT1-A is perfect in the studio.
Picture from youtube.com

However, to help you choose the microphone that suits you, also discover our selection of dynamic microphones . This guide suggests the best dynamic studio microphones.

 The NT1-A, an evolution of the NT1

Initially, the brand made a place for itself in the sector with the help of the NT1 . Marketed in 1995, the Rode NT1 quickly became a reference among other types of microphones. At the time, it was a great discovery that revolutionized the field of recording. And at that time, it was pure perfection.

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But known for its great thirst to develop its activities and its products, the Australian company has never stopped researching to have a unique and efficient product.

However, it was only after several years of testing and trials that the company released the NT1 replacement. Marketed under the name NT1-A , this great development in the microphone sector was born in 2003.

The NT1-A is efficient
Picture from audiomisr.com

What differentiates the NT1-A from the NT1

Apparently Rode Microphone made two big modifications to make the NT1-A so perfect.

Compared to Rode's NT1 , the design of the NT1-A allowed it to be 12dB lighter than its predecessor. As you see, this is an incredible number, because it allowed it to be quieter.

Apart from that, to have the sensitivity as possible as possible, they managed to considerably increase the sound pressure value of the microphone from 132 dB to 137 dB.

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This new technology has therefore created consumer loyalty. This has allowed the model to have the place of the best-selling microphone in the company, and this for 10 years now.

The Rode NT1-A microphone: one of the best on the market

Users claim that the Rode NT1-A microphone is by far the quietest of recording mics . The most incredible thing about this model is that almost all extraneous sounds are eliminated.

Sometimes you can hear hissing, affecting the sound quality with other microphones. But with the Rode NT1-A, we can say that it's more or less rubbish.

Rode NT1-A
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With a price of around 400 euros, the company has broken all logic and market standards. Besides, for an inherent noise of 5dB, the cost is almost nothing.

It has become an indispensable tool for recording with its wide frequency response ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. But in addition, this microphone offers several recording possibilities.

The way it handles loud or violent noises as well as quieter noises is simply astonishing. This way, each sound will be most faithfully recorded.

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With the Rode NT1-A, you will no longer have any problems recording anything: instruments, string or wind, vocals as well as various percussion instruments.

The concern of recorders is sometimes to cope with the change in sound quality once the sound pressure is high. However the Rode NT1-A has a capacity above all this, as it can receive sounds up to 137 dB without any distortion.

So, with this device, you will have less worry about capturing sounds coming from a bass amplifier or the snare drum. The saturation level in this condition is almost zero.

The Rode NT1-A with filter
Picture from shpock.com

The preferred model of professionals

Thanks to its power and the more or less warm sound it produces, professionals largely prefer to use it compared to other types of microphones.

Besides, most buyers are professionals in the field of voice recording or music. It's also an excellent choice for podcasters ( also check out the Rode Podcaster USB microphone ), and people making videos.

In terms of aesthetics, the design is rather futuristic and simple with solid and quality materials. In terms of color, it is a little more sober, which fits well in all types of atmospheres. A beauty combining elegance and solidity!

The Rode NT1-A with support
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Other equipment for optimized function

As in all areas, to have a little more performance and quality, it would be wise to purchase other equipment to optimize its use. Precisely, if you want to have superior sound quality, you need to have:

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  • An audio interface.
  • Logically, never take the microphone by hand. The best would be to have a microphone stand, a tripod and a microphone boom to ensure fixation. In addition, this will make it easier to adjust the height to better capture sounds.
  • An amplifier and preamplifier are also required for recording a dynamic instrument such as the acoustic guitar.
  • Studio headphones or a good speaker like a monitor should also not be neglected.
  • A sound card and a mixer with microphone input
  • A cable as well as a pin or connector adapter in case of difficulty connecting a microphone.
Studio recording equipment.
Picture from ccslightsound.com.au

Having this equipment is mandatory for professional studios in order to have a good result during mixing and recording. In addition, interfaces compatible with Laptop or desktop and iPad exist to have control over each connected microphone volume in the event of a proximity effect.

To complete everything, this equipment will also be useful, but obviously not obligatory. The choice is yours, but if your budget allows you to buy some, don't hesitate!

Usually, Rode also has these products which are all compatible with the NT1-A like:

  • The Rode stereo bar which is made to configure the stereo
  • Bonnette WS2 projection and wind protection
  • And a removable SM6 anti-pop screen and a suspension
A quality microphone
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The different qualities of NT1-A

To summarize its qualities, the microphone can therefore offer you a fairly warm sound . It benefits from a unique dynamic range with great resistance to acoustic pressure. It is also known for having this clean 5 dB silence property, which allowed it to take first place at Rode in terms of sales.

It is a device that can adapt to everyone, not to mention its somewhat symmetrical appearance; elegant and solid. For a high-performance mic at a very affordable price, competitors can't yet match the Rode NT1-A

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The disadvantages of the NT1 

Even though it is perfection, its sensitivity leaves a little to be desired at times. But if you have the necessary recording equipment like amp, preamp and software required to record vocals and acoustic instruments, its imperfections won't even be noticed.

Remember to mute the mic when needed, or simply turn off the recorder to avoid extraneous sound sources.

To connect a microphone , make sure to connect each pin correctly to respect polarization . Before each recording, remember to look at the output level and don't hesitate to make an adjustment if there are too many high frequencies or treble sounds .

Since compared to other capsules, the Rode NT1-A is more advanced, it captures each sound wave more easily. Ideally, make as little noise as possible when in front of a microphone like this.

To make a good recording
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Other microphone choice : Audio-Technica AT2020 USB. This is a complete test guide which contains the presentation of this microphone, its design, user guide, its configuration, its technical specifications, as well as reviews and a short video demo.

Verdict: a microphone with great performance

Rode NT1A microphone is a marvel for its price. Also, if you want to have a small recording studio or just want to do some sound recording for fun, I strongly advise you to use a Rode NT1-A microphone.

With the Rode NT1-A, there is no risk of poor quality recording due to background noise. Precisely, this type of versatile microphone will only capture the sound coming from in front of the microphone and reproduce it to perfection. As a safety precaution, the microphone sensitivity is low on the sides.

Its qualities far outweigh its faults which are apparently nothing at all. Moreover, the positive feedback from professionals and its first place in sales justify this.

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For some people, buying a microphone seems more difficult than it seems. However, the Rode NT1-A is a good choice because it can be used as a microphone for singing .

Once in front of the microphone, make sure not to touch the microphone stand so that the vibration does not affect the sound quality due to handling noise.

In short, the Rode NT1-A is made for beginners , fans of mixing , podcasting , sound reinforcement or professionals who want to have a good Studio microphone. It has an optimized frequency response, and is best suited for studio recording of vocals or one or more guitars.

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 RODE NT1-A

The Rode NT1-A studio microphone, the best in terms of quality on the market, is here to serve you. So, don't wait any longer!   

Rode NT1-A demo:

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