AKG C414 Vs Neumann U87 Comparison
If you have prepared quite some dollars to be spent for a premium quality microphone for professional purposes, then you make no mistake by considering to get either AKG C414 or Neumann U87. These are the studio-grade microphones that boast the top levels of performance. They each also offers multiple polar patterns that you can select for specific requirements and circumstances at hand. However, Neumann U87 is a typically pricey mic, while AKG C414 is certainly a more affordable and budget-friendlier one. Which is the mic that you should get?
In terms of output quality, AKG C414 and Neumann U87 can be quite similar to each other. For sure, they can provide you with an astonishing sonic reproduction. They both have a frequency response range of 20 Hz – 20 kHz so that they can capture the same low, mid, and high frequencies. They both can generate such a superb audio reproduction with very high tonal accuracy, excellent sound imaging, and full, solid sound levels. Nevertheless, AKG C414 boasts an extremely low equivalent noise level. The self-noise level is barely 6dB-A! For sure, AKG C414 can record sounds with astonishing clarity. On the other hand, however, Neumann U87 has also actually considered very quiet already, as it has a self-noise level that spans from 12 to 15 dB-A, depending on the selected polar pattern. Well, worth a note, Neumann U87 has slightly lower signal-to-noise levels than AKG C414. Both require 48V phantom power.
|AKG C414||Neumann U87|
|- Audio Frequency bandwidth 20 to 20000 Hz||- Frequency range 20 Hz ... 20 kHz|
|- Sensitivity 23 mV/Pa||- Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1 kohm 20/28/22 mV/Pa1)|
|- Equivalent Noise Level 6 dB-A||- Equivalent noise level, CCIR2) 26/23/25 dB1) - Equivalent noise level, A-weighted2) 15/12/14 dB-A1)|
|- Signal to Noise 88 dB-A||- Signal-to-noise ratio, CCIR2) (rel. 94 dB SPL) 68/71/69 dB1) - Signal-to-noise ratio, A-weighted2) (rel. 94 dB SPL) 79/82/80 dB1)|
|- Preattunation Pad -6; -12; -18 dB||- Maximum SPL for THD 0.5%3) 117 dB (cardioid) - Maximum SPL for THD 0.5% with preattenuation3) 127 dB|
|- Electrical Impedance 200 Ohms||- Rated impedance 200 ohms|
|- Recommended Load Impedance||- Rated load impedance,1 kohms|
Furthermore, AKG C414 comes with a three-level pre-attenuation pad that can be set for -6dB, -12dB, or -18dB, while Neumann U87 only has a switchable -10dB pad. As the effect, AKG C414 has a maximum SPL handling of 158dB, while Neumann U87 has a maximum SPL handling of only 127dB. As you can see, AKG C414 is actually more tolerable to high sound levels, and perhaps can be used more reliably for close-up recordings. To emphasize this feature, AKG C414 is furtherly armed with a three-level bass-cut filter as well, which you can set for 40Hz, 80Hz, or 160Hz. The bass-cut filter is a handy tool that you can utilize for eliminating low-frequency noise such as physical vibrations or wind and breath sounds.
Even though these microphones both boast multiple polar patterns, Neumann U87 only comes with three selectable choices: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-eight plus. At the contrast, AKG C414 has a total of nine selectable polar patterns, consisting of omnidirectional, wide cardioid, cardioid, hyper cardioid, and figure-eight, with an intermediate configuration in between every transition. Hence, you can have more versatility and flexibility from AKG C414.
In many ways, AKG C414 and Neumann U87 are largely equal. People tend to love Neumann U87 because it is a classical masterpiece that has such elegance, class, and prestige. However, AKG C414 is actually a very viable alternative that can deliver similar performance and output quality, coming even more feature-packed, and yet available at a much more affordable price. Therefore, for the fullest value out of your money, you should pick AKG C414.