Are you confused in choosing between Neumann TLM 102 vs U87? In the article below, we will discuss the comparisons between these great mics. Neumann TLM 102 serves as an entry-level model for people who want to have a look at Neumann’s range of high-quality mics. It is much more affordable, yet the sound quality is great. On the other hand, Neumann U87 is much more expensive and is equipped with more features. Continue reading below to determine the best model for you!
Neumann TLM 102 is quite significantly lighter at 210 grams. It is also more compact, with a diameter of 52 mm and a length of 116 mm. Hence, Neumann TLM 102 can be a more portable mic that is easy to handle. It is available in two finishes, matte black and nickel. The bundle includes a stand mount which is quite useful and effective for eliminating mechanical noise. See also: Neumann TLM 102 vs 103.
On the other hand, Neumann U87 is quite bigger and heavier. It measures 56 mm wide, 200 mm long. The weight is approximately 500 grams. The finish is nickel. Depending on the set that you purchase, it may come with a wooden, cardboard, or aluminum box, along with optional suspensions.
|Neumann TLM 102||Neumann U87|
|- Directional pattern : Cardioid||- Polar Pattern : Cardioid, Omni, Figure-8|
|- Frequency range : 20 Hz - 20 kHz||- Frequency Response : 20Hz-20kHz|
|- Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1 kΩ : 11 mV/Pa||- Max SPL : 117dB (Cardioid) (127dB w/10dB Preattenuation)|
|- Rated impedance : 50 Ω||- Output Impedance : 200 ohms|
Neumann TLM 102 is a decent cardioid microphone. The polar pattern is cardioid, which means that it focuses on the sound from the front while rejecting the signals from the sides and rear. Neumann TLM 102 also boasts a very high maximum SPL, 144 dB, which enables the mic to handle very loud voices. It has a slight presence boost above 6 kHz.
On the other hand, Neumann U87 comes with more advanced features. It has a switchable polar pattern with three characteristics: cardioid, omni-directional, and figure-8. Hence, Neumann U87 is a more versatile mic that can adapt to different needs and conditions. In addition, it has a switchable 10 dB pre-attenuation pad which can increase the maximum SPL from 117 dB to 127 dB. It also has a switchable low-frequency roll-off which you can use to attenuate LF noise.
Neumann TLM 102 vs U87 have some different characteristics. In general, the sound of Neumann TLM 102 is more neutral despite the slight presence boost above 6 kHz. It makes the sound slightly brighter without a significant change to the overall color. It can help vocals to cut through the mix. Compared to Neumann U87, the sensitivity is lower. It is not very good in capturing fine audio details. Nevertheless, the self-noise level is low at 12 dB-A, which means that this mic has decent clarity.
On the other hand, Neumann U87 is much more sensitive. It can capture fine audio details very well, but it is also more prone to noise. It also tends to be brighter. The self-noise level is similar to Neumann TLM 102 when in the cardioid mode, and it is generally a quiet mic with good clarity as well.
Neumann TLM 102 Vs U87
If you don’t need multiple polar patterns and bass roll-off, Neumann TLM 102 is more recommended. It makes a good value, as it is much more affordable. The sound is more neutral, but the sensitivity is lower. In addition, the maximum SPL is higher. But if you need a versatile mic with multiple polar patterns, bass roll-off, and high sensitivity, Neumann U87 can be your choice.