Two popular condenser mics on the market, AKG C214 and Audio-Technica AT4040, often cause people to get confused when choosing for the right microphone for their works. The two products are currently available in the same price range, with a very marginal price difference between them. Furthermore, they do share a lot of similar configurations and features. Needless to say, two different microphone models tend to have each own typical characteristics and distinctions, no matter how many similarities that they share with each other. These unique features are the factors to consider in choosing the right mic that can suit your needs and requirements best. So, what are the differences between AKG C214 and Audio-Technica AT4040?
Performance and Output Quality
Both AKG C214 and Audio-Technica AT4040 are condenser microphones. As the effect, like many other condenser microphones, the two tend to produce bright and crisp sounds. These are the characteristics that people love about condenser mics, especially the people who want to preserve the original tones, colors, and details of the sounds. If we delve a little bit further, AKG C214 and Audio-Technica AT4040 both have the same frequency response range, 20 Hz- 20 kHz. They are able to capture the same lows, mids, and highs. They also have quite similar levels of sensitivity and noise. They are quite sensitive to subtle sounds, but not excessively. They are also very quite; you can get a crystal-clear recording quality with either model. (Read also: AKG C214 Vs Rode NT1A Comparison)
|AKG C214||Audio-Technica AT4040|
|- Audio Frequency bandwidth 20 to 20000 Hz||- FREQUENCY RESPONSE: 20-20,000 Hz|
|- Sensitivity 20 mV/Pa||- Sensitivity -32 dB (25.1 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa|
|- Equivalent Noise Level 13 dB-A||- Equivalent Noise Level 12 dB SPL|
|- Signal to Noise 81 dB-A||- SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO 82 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa|
|- Electrical Impedance 200 Ohms||- IMPEDANCE: 100 ohms|
However, if we put the two mics into tests, we can indeed notice some distinctions in the audio reproduction. Between the two, AKG C214 seems to tame the high frequencies quite more significantly than Audio-Technica AT4040. This is good for suppressing aggressive spiky notes. However, this may also affect negatively in a sense that AKG C214 sounds kind of flat. For recording some instruments, as an example, you may want to keep the energetic frequency response at high-end. AKG C214 also suppresses the bass slightly more than Audio-Technica AT4040.
Another interesting thing is that the two mics come with similar yet different additional features. Each of them comes with switchable pre-attenuation pad and bass-cut filter. However, AKG C214 comes with a -20dB pre-attenuation pad and a 160 Hz bass-cut filter, while Audio-Technica AT4040 offers a -10dB pad and 80 Hz filter. With all the pre-attenuation pads switched on, both products have similar maximum SPL handling.
Additionally, AKG C214 boasts a superbly durable all-metal die-cast body with shock and scratch resistance. It has an integrated suspension for reducing physical noises and vibrations. Audio-Technica AT4040 is also well-known as a rugged heavy-duty mic, featuring a custom shock mount for superior isolation and nickel-plated internal components.
AKG C214 Vs AT4040
Both mics are excellent products, for sure. You can’t really go wrong with either mic. However, for vocals that are thin or reedy, you may prefer AKG C214, as it is capable of taming excessive treble voices. Audio-Technica AT4040 is the way for a more versatile mic that can be used for both vocals and instruments.