Neumann’s models are generally accepted as high-quality microphones. In the following article, we will discuss the comparisons between Neumann TLM 102 vs 103, which are both among the more affordable models from the company. Neumann TLM 102 is available at a lower price point, and is praised for the natural audio character. On the other hand, Neumann TLM 103 is more expensive. It offers a lower self-noise level and top-end presence boost. See the details below to determine which mic is the best for you!
Neumann TLM 102 is available in two finish options, which are matte black and nickel. It has the red Neumann logo embossed on the front side. It does look professional, and it feels rugged and durable. Compared to the sibling, Neumann TLM 102 is smaller and lighter. The diameter is 52 mm, and the weight is only 210 grams. (Read also : Rode NTK Vs Neumann TLM 102 Comparison)
On the other hand, Neumann TLM 103 may look very similar at first – except for the size. This model is also available in two finish options, matte black and satin nickel, but it is bigger with a diameter of 60 mm. It is quite significantly heavier with a weight of 450 grams. The housing is also very rugged and durable.
When choosing between Neumann TLM 102 vs 103, note that they have different sound characteristics. Neumann TLM 102 has a more natural character which maintains the original qualities of the voice. In addition, it has a higher maximum sound pressure level (SPL) which is 144 dB. As the effect, this mic is great for loud and powerful singers. It is suitable for studio projects, broadcasters, and voiceover artists.
Neumann TLM 103 has a lower maximum SPL, which is 138 dB. So, it is not as good for taking care of loud, powerful singers.
|Rode VideoMic Pro||Rode VideoMic Go|
|- Directional pattern : Cardioid||- Directional pattern : Cardioid|
|- Frequency range : 20 Hz - 20 kHz||- Frequency range : 20 Hz - 20 kHz|
|- Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1 kΩ : 11 mV/Pa||- Sensitivity : 23 mV/Pa|
|- Rated impedance : 50 Ω||- Rated impedance : 50 Ω|
Sensitivity and Self-Noise
Neumann TLM 102 is a decent mic with good sensitivity and low self-noise. However, Neumann TLM 103 has even better sensitivity and lower self-noise. These qualities enable Neumann TLM 103 to capture more accurate audio details, and it can deliver better clarity.
Unlike Neumann TLM 102, Neumann TLM 103 has a presence boost on the top-end range between 6 – 15 kHz. As the effect, it tends to sound brighter. The presence boost can help the vocal to soar over the mix. It is especially very good for bass vocals and heavy male voices to increase the presence and audibility. It is also great for rap vocals.
However, Neumann TLM 103 is not recommended for bright voices, as the mic will make it sound too harsh. If you don’t want to get a bright-sounding mic, then this model is not for you.
Neumann TLM 102 Vs 103
Neumann TLM 102 and Neumann TLM 103 have different features and characters, and they are more suitable for different purposes. Neumann TLM 102 should be your choice if you prefer a more natural sound or if you need to avoid a bright-sounding mic. This model is great for loud, powerful singers due to the very high maximum SPL. On the other hand, Neumann TLM 103 is great for bass vocals, heavy male voices, and raps due to the presence boost. It has higher sensitivity and lower self-noise.