Neumann U87 Vs TLM 103 Comparison

Are you wondering if you should go with Neumann U87 or Neumann TLM 103? Neumann has been among the most favorable brands when it comes to true high-quality mics. Neumann U87 is particularly famous. It has been loved by lots of users since a long time ago. The performance and versatility are just nearly flawless. You can use it for almost any recording purpose and situation, and Neumann U87 will get the job done. On the other hand, Neumann TLM 103 has been regarded as a slightly more affordable alternative. Many people consider the model similar to Neumann U87, except that the model comes at a lower price point. So, should you go with Neumann U87 or Neumann TLM 103?


Polar Pattern
If we put these two mics next to each other, we all will agree that they indeed look quite differently from each other. Neumann U87 is a rather slender and relatively long mic, whereas Neumann TLM 103 is short but thick to the sides. However, they weigh almost similarly. Neumann U87 is 500 grams whereas Neumann TLM 103 is 450 grams. You can hardly notice the weight difference. Both feature metallic construction that aims for maximum durability and longevity. Neumann U87 and Neumann TLM 103 are likely to keep up for years even with heavy-duty usage.

Technical Specs

Neumann U87Neumann TLM 103
- Frequency range : 20 Hz ... 20 kHz- Large-diaphragm cardioid microphone
- Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1 kohm : 20/28/22 mV/Pa1)- Transformerless circuitry
- Rated impedance : 200 ohms- Extremely low noise: 7 dB-A

However, Neumann U87 and Neumann TLM 103 do come with different polar patterns. Neumann TLM 103, much like most microphones for vocals and instruments, is cardioid. A cardioid polar pattern means that the mic captures sounds from the front side and rejects the left, right, and rear. On the other hand, Neumann U87 comes with three selectable polar patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-eight. For your information, the omnidirectional pattern picks up sounds equally from any direction, and the figure-eight pattern picks up sounds from the front and rear. Having multiple polar patterns ready means that you have the utmost versatility to handle any recording situation with ease. (Take a look : Neumann U47 Vs U87 Comparison)

Audio Quality
At first, Neumann U87 and Neumann TLM 103 can sound very similarly to each other. However, there are fundamental differences in the output characteristics. Neumann U87 comes with a transformer in the output circuitry, making it easy to connect to anything it is connected to. The design also adds a certain hair on the sound, which gives a unique life to the audio recording. Additionally, Neumann U87 has also been equipped with a low-cut filter and a pre-attenuation pad. These two features are very handy to take care of a multitude of inputs with different characteristics. On the other hand, Neumann TLM 103 does not have a transformer. As the effect, Neumann TLM 103 sounds cleaner and rather brighter than Neumann U87. The proximity effect that Neumann TLM 103 brings creates a huge bottom when used close to the audio source.

Neumann U87 Vs TLM 103

- 3 selectable directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-810dB attenuation switch127dB SPL handling 20Hz to 20kHz response Impedance rated at 200 ohms.
- Large diaphragm cardioid microphone. Extremely low noise: 7 dB-A. Straightforward handling for homerecording and professional studios.

Basically, both Neumann U87 and Neumann TLM 103 are excellent products. They have each own virtues. However, Neumann U87 is much more versatile due to the multiple polar patterns, which has each own proximity effect, and additional low-cut filter and pre-attenuation pad. Therefore, we recommend you to choose Neumann U87!

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