Are you preparing to get yourself a decent and reliable condenser microphone? AKG C214 and AKG C414 are especially popular choices for a condenser microphone. They are famous on the market, and have become the subjects of comparisons, discussions, and debates for a long time. Made by the same manufacturer, AKG C214 serves as a more affordable alternative version of AKG C414. Tell you what; the price gap is real. While C414 is priced around eight hundred bucks, C214 is available for just around three hundred dollars. So, what are the differences between AKG C214 and AKG C414?
One interesting fact is that while AKG C214 is modeled after AKG C414 XLII (the variant that is tailored for vocals), AKG C414 itself is modeled after the sonic character of the famous AKG C12 for astounding sound quality for lead vocals and solo instruments. AKG C214 offers a very good performance already, and is an excellent choice for budget users. However, AKG C414 brings huge upgrades in versatility and adjustability, and can even perform a lot better if you know how to handle it. (Please read also: AKG C414 Vs Neumann U87 Comparison)
Both mics come with the frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz, so they both can capture similar lower and higher frequencies. However, AKG C214 is indeed a stripped-down, basic alternative of AKG C414, as it lacks many advanced features of AKG C414. It comes with a cardioid polar pattern, which means that it picks up sounds the best from the front, quite attenuates the sides, and really attenuates the rear. It comes with a -20dB pre-attenuation pad, allowing you to perform close-up recording and making it possible to handle loud sounds. It also has a 160Hz bass cut filter for reducing the proximity effect.
|AKG C214||AKG C414|
|- Audio Frequency bandwidth 20 to 20000 Hz||- Audio Frequency bandwidth 20 to 20000 Hz|
|- Sensitivity 20 mV/Pa||- Sensitivity 23 mV/Pa|
|- Equivalent Noise Level 13 dB-A||- Equivalent Noise Level 6 dB-A|
|- Signal to Noise 81 dB-A||- Signal to Noise 88 dB-A|
|- Preattunation Pad -20 dB||- Preattunation Pad -6; -12; -18 dB|
|- Bass Cut Filter 160 Hz||- Bass Cut Filter 160; 80; 40 Hz|
|- Electrical Impedance 200 Ohms||- Electrical Impedance 200 Ohms|
|- Recommended Load Impedance 1000 Ohms||- Recommended Load Impedance|
On the other hand, AKG C414 boasts nine selectable polar patterns, consisting of omnidirectional, wide cardioid, cardioid, hyper cardioid, and figure-eight, with an intermediate in between every transition. As the effect, people really love it for the ultimate versatility and adjustability. You can always choose a polar pattern that suits the conditions, requirements, and purposes that you are facing. In addition, AKG C414 comes with three selectable pre-attenuation pads (-6dB, -12dB, -18dB) and three selectable bass cut filters (40Hz, 80Hz, 160Hz).
Some users have stated that AKG C414 quite noticeably sounds better than AKG C214 for delivering more clarity and details in the output. Most probably, this is because AKG C414 has a lower noise level and higher sensitivity. C414 has an equivalent noise level of only 6 dB-A and a sensitivity of 23 mV/Pa, while C214’s are 13 dB-A and 20 mV/Pa. The difference is indeed noticeable, but C214 is already a good-sounding mic, especially for the price. Do not forget that these mics require phantom power.
AKG C214 Vs C414
If you only work with the cardioid polar pattern, then you can simply pick AKG C214. It is simple to use and has decent features that you may really use. However, if you want a mic that can be very versatile, with exceptional performance in any setting, AKG C414 is worth the choice!