For a recording to be right up to the expectation and successful, it is extremely important to use the right kind of audio equipment; and a microphone is one such crucial studio contrivance that plays a vital role here. Those who are experienced in the production field would know how much back-breaking work it takes to cover up the dark spots when an average-quality microphone is used. That said, AKG is a name that comes right on top of most of the professional reviewers’ curated lists of the best studio microphones available today. And there’s a solid reason behind it. Before we get into the AKG C214 Review, let us first dive a bit into the brand.
What Is AKG C214?
For years together, AKG has been offering miking solutions to its customers all around the globe. Its C-series mics, which started with the legendary C12 and then the C414 followed by the others, have greatly influenced the audio industry with their supreme sound quality. C214 is the most affordable microphone in the C-series and has been in the market for about four decades now. This alone clearly speaks of the headphone’s capability which has helped it retain its position in the market even today.
What Is It Used for?
Whether you are a professional sound engineer, a vocalist, or just someone who likes to experiment with recording vocals or voice-overs as a hobby- AKG C214 vocals are sure to bring out commendable results with their exceptional sound capturing capability. While this mic really shines in the vocals department, it is no less in delivering high-quality sound in the instruments field as well. With a little boost in the sound, it works wonders with guitars, drums, or any other low or high-frequency instruments.
The headphone has been considered an industry-standard in every aspect, be it the sound quality or the build quality. This is why you may often see an AKG C214 comparison with other mics in various discussion forums.
You should know that even though the ‘AKG C214 vocals’ mic falls under the budget bracket of the AKG C-range, it isn’t really something to keep at the back seat or mistake for a beginner’s tool. It isn’t one, even though it is a great learning or practice tool for amateur professionals. C214 can be a great step up for those professionals or recordists who have been using inexpensive mics for quite some time now and need to transition to a better-performing one without having to spend too much.
Why Should You Consider It?
Following the legacy of C414, C214, a Large Diaphragm Condenser (LDC) mic is naturally powerful even though it is a much simpler version when compared with its predecessor. The mic features a cardioid polar pattern that has a lot of advantages when used. We will cover a brief AKG C214 comparison with C414 a little later to see what are the qualities that it has retained from the legendary C414, so you know what you are buying.
Meanwhile, engineered with a single large diaphragm and calibrated for multiple different applications, this model is definitely praise-worthy for being an all-rounder arsenal that every studio wants to have.
Who Should Use the AKG C214 Microphone?
This microphone is for anyone whose budget does not allow them to reach up to what C414 is at but wants the AKG C414 level of sound quality. That said-
- It is a perfect addition to your studio accessories if you are just getting started with a home-based studio and are not ready to start with a high-end microphone.
- You can use AKG C214 for vocals of any form, whether you are a singer or a voice-over artist. In fact, you may consider this one as a premium vocal mic within a reasonable budget.
- If you are a guitarist or a pianist then this mic can make your instrument sound incredibly nice and pleasing with its amazing sound regulation features.
- As mentioned earlier, that AKG C214 vocals can sound clear and powerful- this makes this tool a great one for YouTubers or those who are into some serious podcasting projects.
- AKG C214 vocals are a great way to fulfill your gaming needs. If you are into competitive gaming, you will definitely need a good microphone for an in-game conversation. This microphone is a great tool to improve your communication with your teammates as it can pick up your voice with utmost clarity and accuracy. The best part is the single directional pickup pattern ensures that it picks up the sound from the source in front of it while keeping the sound from the rest of the directions away.
In the next section, we are going to do an expansive AKG C214 review covering a variety of aspects like its technical specifications, design, features, advantages, and disadvantages. Later, we are also going to provide you with brief AKG C214 comparisons with a few other products for your clear understanding of this mic and its position in the market.
AKG C214 Review: a Comprehensive Look Into the Microphone- How Good Is AKG C214 for Vocals and Instruments, Pros and Cons, and AKG C214 Comparison
C214 is a versatile microphone that, although following the legacy of AKG’s very first mics, succeeds in meeting the expectations and needs of a modern-day professional or consumer. It comes with various cutting edge features that make it suitable for multiple different applications whether you use AKG C214 for vocals, woodwinds, piano, percussion, etc., gaming, or other things. No wonder why it has received numerous favorable AKG C214 reviews from users across various corners of the world.
AKGG C214 Review: Technical Specifications
|Type of Microphone||Large Diaphragm Condenser mic|
|Pick up pattern||Cardioid|
|Frequency response||20 Hz to 20,000 kHz|
|Size of the diaphragms||1 inch|
|Maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL)||136 dB (pad switched at 0)156 dB (with pad switch on- 20 dB)|
|Load Impedance||1000 Ohm|
|Signal-to-noise ratio||81 dB|
|Bass Cut Filter||Bass roll-off at 160 Hz – 6 dB/ Octave|
|Preattenuation pad||-20 dB|
|Connector type||Balanced XLR with 3 pin male contact|
What Can You Expect in the Box?
The box includes:
- AKG C214
- One H 85 shock mount for the mic
- Hard-bodied metal storage case for portability and storage
- W 214 foam windscreen
- Warranty document
You can get the user manual on the AKG official website.
AKG C214 Review: Design and Build
Designed and engineered in Austria, C214 not only exhibits the high quality that AKG is known for but also the performance that can take you by surprise. Basically, this microphone has been built to perform from the inside out. The mic is compact and rectangular that wastes no space at all. This enables it to position anywhere needed making it open to easy application for any type of audio source.
C214 has an all-metal casing that offers solid protection to the mic. It prevents the microphone from dents or damages due to accidental falls or any kind of abuse that it may undergo in a studio or stage environment. Additionally, the body of the mic has been given a scratch-resistant matte finish that will ensure that your mic retains its look and doesn’t show aging even after years of use.
AKG has done a great job reinforcing the upper half of the C214 with two sturdy layers of metal mesh grille. If you notice, the inner grille is made with slightly thinner mesh while the outer layer has a thicker mesh layer. This not only prevents the microphone from getting damaged but also keeps the capsule safe inside. The lower half of the mic is a solid metal body that holds and supports the mic and other internal components.
One of the good things about this kind of sturdy metallic enclosure is that it intercepts the radio frequency (RF) waves and prevents them from entering into the mic which may otherwise interfere with the mic’s sound and performance. This makes this device pretty easy to operate in the presence of other electronic gadgets that transmit signals via RF technology.
The silverish band between the mesh grille and the solid body enhances the look of the mic and makes it look gorgeous on stage. The overall visuals are also aesthetically pleasing and have a nice shape that can go with any type of personality or even improve the look of your studio.
The microphone isn’t very lightweight, and honestly, the mics that have a light body often have a stability issue. Weighing around 280 grams, this mic is ideal to be used on different platforms, and you do not have to worry about it falling off occasionally.
On the technical side, the AKG C214 is engineered with a 1-inch large diaphragm that uses AKG patented edge terminated backplate technology that is responsible for the mic’s incredible sound that matches that of its legendary predecessor C414. The capsule is integrated with a metallic suspension that works as a support and helps in reducing the mechanical noise created when the microphone is in use. It also contributes to higher acoustic precision.
The mic has pretty simple controls. There are two sliding buttons on each side of the AKG C214 for vocals. One side has the bass filter and the other has the switchable attenuation pad. The buttons are pretty straight forward that can be turned on and off without any struggle.
If you turn the mic upside down, you will find the XLR connector that is gold-plated for a better connection. The gold plating allows it to have a full range signal without any loss or interruption which contributes to the overall quality of the sound performance.
Shock Mount and the Storage Case
Just like the mic, the company has also ensured that the shock mount and storage case is equally sturdy and built with tough metal. Their rugged build helps protect the mic and makes it easy to pack and hit the road. The shock mount does a great job in holding the mic in place and diluting the sound caused due to the floor vibrations or handling before it can reach the mic.
So, if you are looking for an exceptionally durable microphone that can work for several years withstanding all kinds of handling then C214 is something that you can absolutely trust. It is further backed by numerous good AKG C214 reviews from different users which can help you understand the quality of construction better. So, how does the mic really sound?
AKG C214 Review: Sound Quality, Features, and Performance
Inheriting the sound character of its legendary sibling C414, C214 is a powerful tool that sets it apart from the rest of the mics of a similar kind available in the market. It is engineered with the same quality large capsule as that of its predecessor with the only difference being this one is tuned for the cardioid polar pattern. This means that it has a dynamic sound signature but with a single polar pattern.
Now, when it comes to the quality of sound, there are three main elements that contribute to determining what this mic sounds like other than the diaphragm- the polar pattern, the bass-cut filter, and the switchable attenuation pad.
The sound sensitivity of the microphone is on the front part owing to the cardioid polar pattern which is why accurate placement of the mic is very important to get maximum benefit. The mic doesn’t capture the sound from the sources other than what is in front of it which enables it to focus better and produce a clearer sound.
The large-diaphragm capsule also means that the microphone has a greater ability to capture a wide range of frequencies with exceptional precision making the audio sound bigger, upfront, and gorgeous. With a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, the mic has solid control over the entire frequency spectrum and can pick up both the upper and the lower end with good accuracy.
Switching on the bass-cut filter helps reduce the extra low-frequency rumblings like air sound, mike handling noises, etc. from 160 Hz onwards which can otherwise have a negative impact on the recording. It also ensures a better or rather, a gentle response by reducing the proximity effect when the microphone is placed in front of the audio sources with less than 6 inches gap making it a perfect solution if you want AKG C214 for vocals. Additionally, this feature enables the mic to capture the instruments that are closer to the floor in a better way by eliminating the vibration or resonances arising from the floor.
Sound Sensitivity and Attenuation
AKG C214 vocals a high-level sound sensitivity of 136 dB that can be a huge advantage and a little bit of drawback in some places too. While it can pick up a very tiny sound with superlative clarity great for voicing, the sound coming from loud sources can be way too overwhelming if not for the pre-attenuation pad. Turning the attenuation pad “on” increases the headroom of the mic by an additional 20 dB (up to 156 dB) making room for the loud sound to adjust and smoothen out. This makes the mic more welcoming to different types of instruments like guitar amps, drum kits, overhead drums, piano, cello, and many more. The attenuation pad acts as a preventive measure for the microphone’s pre-amp or other electronic devices from getting overloaded.
C214 has a very low self-noise of just 13 dB which is much lower than a lot of other similar condenser mics from competing brands. This further contributes to achieving a better sonic presentation. Needless to say, many sound enthusiasts have given great AKG C214 reviews on the sonic capability of the mic alone.
Now that you have detailed information on what this microphone is like and what it does, let’s quickly run down the pros and cons of the product to help you make the right decision.
AKG C214 Review: Price
AKG C214 coming at $249.00 is actually a sigh of relief to a lot of people especially with the condenser microphone market being swarmed with mics of this level and performance costing close to $500 or more. C214, therefore, makes it pretty convenient for budget-conscious people. The pricing is also great for the new entrants in the industry who are not willing to invest a bigger amount initially but need a professional grade sonic capability.
AKG C214 Review: Pros and Cons
It is often pretty easy to weigh the qualities of the microphone with its downsides through the pros and cons chart. Therefore, here’s a list of the advantages and disadvantages of the C214 mic:
- Antique style aesthetics.
- Compact build for easy placement and portability.
- Rugged construction-both externally and internally.
- Extremely easy to set up and even easier to set up.
- Large-sized highly receptive diaphragm for dynamic sound.
- Excellent transient response.
- Low internal noise.
- Exceptional ability to handle high-level sound thanks to its high sound pressure level rating.
- 20 dB headroom is available through the switchable attenuation pad.
- High pass or the bass-cut filter removes unwanted rumblings.
- Uncompromising sound with prominent vocal presence.
- Ideal for various low and high-frequency instruments.
- Extremely well-performing shock mount.
- A foam windscreen is helpful in removing the plosives.
- Comes with a hard-bodied protective case.
- Reasonable pricing for its features and performance.
- A great choice for both experienced professionals and beginners.
- The right positioning of the mic near the audio is crucial for optimum results.
- Some AKG C214 reviews indicated that the treble is slightly enhanced which can make the voice sound a little harsh.
- Accurate shock mounting is very important otherwise the vibrations and resonance may be captured by the mic.
- The mic doesn’t capture the bass guitar sound very well due to that rolling off of the low-frequency response. Other than that it performs well with other instruments.
- Slight sound coloration.
AKG C214 Comparison With a Few Other Microphones
While AKG C214 is a great option worthy of consideration, you may want to know how other microphones compare with their attributes and performance. Here are a few AKG C214 comparisons with others:
C214 Comparison With C414
You might be curious to know more about the C414 since C214 carries the genes of its predecessor. Although C214 inherits the legendary sound and is backed by the AKG C-series quality, it is important for you to know that both the microphones have different attributes and have huge differences between their price tags.
C414 is a much more advanced version of its younger sibling with 9 different polar patterns, multiple levels of attenuation, and bass cut settings for progressive recording. This mic is more of a studio instrument than just a microphone. Not to mention the dual-diaphragm system which leads the way for various types of applications with supreme accuracy. C212, on the other hand, is a simplified version for a more focussed use but in no way, this makes the microphone less in quality. Owing to the premium feature C414 has a heavy price tag of $1155.00 which is sure not something for everyone but the top-notch studios. Click here for a complete C414 review.
C214 Comparison With AKG P420
AKG’s P420 is a wonderfully powerful mic at a surprisingly reasonable price tag of $179.00. A part of the P-series, P420 comes as a complete package for anyone who is looking for a great mic from a reputed brand without having to break the bank.
With three different polar patterns, this microphone is pretty versatile in nature. Along with a 20 dB headroom with attenuation pad, and the bass roll-off setting at 30 Hz, this P420 can be used for both vocals as well as instruments. Now, you might be wondering, why go for C214 then if you are getting a mic with more features and a lesser price? Check out NFC vs Bluetooth audio from here.
Well, the biggest difference between both the microphones is the ‘sound’. While C214 presents a neutralized sound signature with little to no boosts as such, P420 has a fairly decent boost of about 2 to 4 dB from upper mid to higher frequency (from 2000 Hz to 12,000 Hz). This makes the sound a little discordant towards the upper mids and higher. The rest of it is however pretty much flattened. So, while this microphone offers a lot for its price, it certainly doesn’t have that fine-tuning in the sound like C214.
C214 Comparison With Rode NT1
Rode NT1 is a revolutionary mic from RODE which comes about $100 less than C214. This microphone also features a 1-inch large-diaphragm capsule with gold sputtered on it and a fixed cardioid polar pattern. But what’s fascinating about this mic is that other than competitive pricing, it also has a super low self-noise of just 4.5 dB which is nothing close to C214’s 13 dB. Additionally, NT1 has an extremely flat frequency response with little roll-off between 20 and 30 Hz which hardly makes any difference. This makes this mic one of the most natural-sounding mic that you can probably ever get.
While C214 is one of the best sounding microphones in the market today, NT1 stands as a super tough contender to 214 in terms of the sound although it doesn’t have the high pass filter and the attenuation pad for the sound adjustments. If you really like a pure, unboosted sound with absolutely no coloration, then this mic is a great alternative. If you are in the market for a decent pair of earbuds, learn what to look for in earbuds from here.
How to Set Up AKG C214 for Vocals?
Well, it is pretty easy to set up a C214 microphone. Neither does it need expert hands nor extensive technical knowledge to set up this mic. You just need to follow the instructions given in the user manual or you can also watch this short youtube video tutorial on how you can get started and test the mic.
The Bottom Line
Good quality recording demands a high-performing microphone that often carries a premium price tag that may not fit into everyone’s wallet. C214 brings to you a complete high-fidelity miking solution within an acceptable price bracket to suit a wide range of customers.
Overall, the sound of the microphone is flat or neutral which means more realistic. This offers a clean vocal presence with all the nuances captured with precision even when it is accompanied by other instruments in the background. While a few AKG C214 reviews indicated that this microphone produces a slightly thinner sound when it comes to the female vocals because of the low-end configuration it has, it still manages to achieve a pretty decent sound. This boosts up the users’ confidence while recording. You might want to know how do water resistant headphones work from here.
Additionally, the cardioid pickup pattern gives more weight to the sound source in front of it which again proves the capability of AKG C214 for vocals and instruments alike. That said, the loud volume capacity, bass adjustment feature along low self-noise make it a “must-have” product for both professional and home-based studios and for a wide array of applications.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
You can use this microphone for outdoor recording, but, as mentioned in the article the mic has high sound sensitivity which can capture from any sound source in front of it pretty easily. So if the surrounding is noisy then it may affect the quality of your recording.
You can use C214 for live performances, but they are more appropriate for recording projects. If you use C214 near electronics that have high SPL, like the guitar amps, etc. then you will definitely experience feedback on this microphone. The attenuation pad does a decent job in reducing a great deal of feedback by balancing the loud sound, but this mic is best for studio recording rather than live stage performances.
Yes, C214 is an analog microphone that needs to be connected with a preamp, recorder, or mixer using an XLR to 3.5 mm adapter cable. This clearly means that your mic will need phantom power in order to function.