Aside from being known for their high-quality microphones with exceptional performance and durability, AKG is also lauded for offering many professional-grade microphones at competitive prices. Among their wide array of microphones, offerings are the Perception series (P-series), which has turned a lot of heads around as soon as they were released. This particular range packs a combination of native Austrian design and Chinese production which is the main reason behind their affordable cost. Before we get into the AKG P220 Review, let us know more about the AKG P-series.
Soon as the P-series was released, these mics became a huge success in the industry for their exceptional performance and versatility. AKG condenser mic P220 is one of the P-series mics that falls within the budget bracket but despite the price, it is one of the mics that you wouldn’t want to miss out on, thanks to the AKG quality that it inherits. It is true that a good quality mic with high-fidelity sound performance is expensive. However, the P220 has the capability of downing a lot of mics of its kind from competing brands and performs 3 times better than many expensive mics in the market today.
What Are AKG Microphones P220? What Are They Used for?
So what type of mic is P220? Well, these are professional condenser mics engineered with a single large diaphragm that has a cardioid polar pattern. This makes the AKG microphones P220 worthy of not just vocals, but many other applications like instrumental performances, live gigs, and even voiceovers. Although the mic is more suited for vocals than talk shows.
Now, for those who are looking for their very first mic, LDC or large diaphragm condenser microphones are a type of mics that have a diaphragm that is 1 inch big. These mics are great all-rounders that can be used for capturing the vocals perfectly and is also a popular choice for drum overheads or acoustic guitars. They have both refined bass response and cleans and extended upper ranges with mids being extremely pleasant and clean.
SDC or small diaphragm condenser mics, on the other hand, have less than half-inch diaphragm or capsule. These mics pick up the sound pretty swiftly, and they are particularly designed for accurate sound representation of various acoustical instruments and are great for close-miking techniques. These mics are also known to give a tighter low-frequency response. Speaking of the frequency response, you might also want to check the AKG c214 frequency response.
Who Is AKG Condenser Mic P220 Meant for?
From amateur to professional recordists, AKG microphones P220 can be used by anyone.
However, specifically speaking-
If you are just starting with production or a recording project business and need a mic to gain some experience before investing in a more high-end mic, then this one is a great starter for you.
For professionals who have a home studio and want a low-budget mic with good performance, then AKG microphones P220 is an ideal option. The mic is compact and comes in a portable hard case which makes it convenient for those who need to travel a lot for their recording projects.
You can also use this mic for in-game chatting. The microphone’s low unidirectional pickup pattern enables it to pick up your voice clearly while ignoring the surrounding sound. This allows clear communication between you and your teammates.
Those who are planning to get P220 and are looking for a detailed review to understand if this is going to be a good choice for you, then you are at the right place. In this article, we are going to break down this product into different segments like design, sound, performance, etc., and do a comprehensive review for you. We will give you a quick insight on how you can set up the mic properly to get the most out of it. Let’s move on to the next section for more details. Check out our AKG K371 review from here.
AKG P220 Microphone Review: Design and Build, Significant Features, Pricing, the Strengths and Drawbacks of the Product
AKG microphones P220 is not only one of the best microphones AKG has to offer but is also one of the best of its kind in the market in terms of both performance and quality. The various positive AKG P220 microphone reviews from the users and experts explain a lot about this microphone’s solid position in the market. We will get to the detail of it but before that, here’s a rundown on the technical details of this mic:
Technical Specs at a Glance: AKG P220 Review
|Type of Microphone||Condenser|
|Polar pattern||Cardioid pattern|
|Frequency response||20 Hz to 20,000 kHz|
|Size of the diaphragm||Large-diaphragm of 1-inch size|
|Maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL)||135 dB / 155 dB using attenuation pad|
|Load Impedance||>=1000 Ohm|
|Bass Cut Filter||Bass roll-off at 300 Hz|
|Signal-to-noise ratio||78 dB-A|
|Self-noise level||16 dB-A|
|Preattenuation pad||-20 dB|
|Connector type||Balanced XLR with 3 pin male contact|
What Can You Expect in the Box?
The box includes:
- AKG condenser mic P220
- Spider shock mount with 5.8 inches and 3.8 inches thread microphone adapter
- Sturdy hard case to store the mic and carry
- Extra shock mount replacement elastic bands.
AKG P220 Review: Design and Build
One of the best things about AKG is that it is always consistent about the build quality of its microphones irrespective of how high-end or budget-friendly it is. This means that AKG condenser mic P220 gets the same robust all-metal casing as all the other P-series models making it one of the best in the industry when it comes to build quality. The microphone has a solid capability of withstanding any type of hard handling in-studio or daily wear and tear.
Also, because of the sturdy metal build, the AKG microphones P220 weigh around 530 gms. This is a decent weight that is not too heavy yet adds good stability to the mic, preventing it from tipping off. The hard metallic shell holds the capsules and the other components safely inside.
Going through the look- the mic has clean and sleek visuals despite the solid hard-wearing construction, but there is an elegance in its simplicity. The matte black finished lower half is well amalgamated with the platinum-colored strong metal mesh on the upper half. Right between the mesh framework and the solid metallic body, you will find a band or a slick space that houses the control buttons like the high pass filter and the pre-attenuation pad.
The mic is accompanied by a spider shock mount which is as sturdy as the AKG condenser mic P220 itself and works perfectly holding the mic in place. The shock mount has a built-in adapter that enables it to be mounted easily on any type of microphone stand making it more convenient to use. It is extremely useful in offering extra protection to the mic in case the microphone accidentally falls off and also dissolves the vibration sound before it reaches the mic. The lock system in the mount clasps the mic firmly to keep it in place.
AKG has offered a really nice case that has a robust build and sophisticated design for storing the mic or carrying it to different places. This acts as a protective case which in return offers an extended life to the mic and its accessories.
This overall super-strong excellent build makes AKG microphones P220 suitable for use not only in the home-based studios but also for live or stage use or to carry it wherever you want to. It has also earned the mic a lot of favorable AKG P220 microphone reviews and ratings across the world.
AKG P220 Review: Controls
With a minimalistic design, the company has ensured that the controls or the function keys of the AKG condenser mic P220 are simple and easy to use and don’t require any complex process to set it up. You can easily get started with it or adjust it as per your preference in a couple of minutes even if this is your first time handling this type of mic.
Like we mentioned earlier, there are just two control keys or selectors- one is the high pass filter, also known as the bass-cut filter; the other one is the switchable pre-attenuation pad.
Turning the bass-cut filter “On” enables the mic to eliminate the unnecessary low frequency sounds coming from the wind, surrounding noisy environment, low rumbling air conditioning, close miking, or the handling sounds. This increases the quality of the recording and sound. The bass roll-off takes place from 300 Hz and downwards.
Switching on the attenuation pad helps in controlling the audio signals from dynamic sources that have extremely loud sound. This stepping down of the signal helps in balancing out the audio, so the recording sounds pleasant. Other than that it also prevents overloading of the smaller electronics used in the recording process. The mic is engineered in a way that there is a headroom of about -20 dB which allows it to record sound efficiently from loud audio sources.
Both these functionalities have great AKG P220 reviews from the users which should give you confidence about the microphone’s sound capturing ability and the adjustments.
AKG P220 Microphone Review: AKG Microphones P220 Sound Performance
AKG microphones P220 is an all-rounder when it comes to performance and acoustic quality. It is often hard to find mics that are dedicated to both vocal recording and instruments; you either find microphones that are more inclined towards voice recordings especially songs or there are dedicated mics for capturing instruments accurately. But it isn’t the same with AKG condenser mic P220. Designed for versatile use, this microphone can handle both vocals and the instruments alike.
With a full frequency response of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, the microphone has the ability to capture sound from every frequency level- low range sounds, mid-range, and treble. Therefore, from bass-driven instruments like kick drums, bass trombone, tuba, etc. to high-ranging vocal tones, cymbal, or acoustic guitar, it can take it all.
The lows are pretty in-depth and adequate and sound life-like even though there is a slight lack of clarity. The midrange is pretty balanced and clean and most of the AKG P220 microphone reviews indicate the same. In fact, the mic is a little too sensitive to the vocals so if you place the mic too close to the mouth, the bass can be a bit over-emphasized. This is why accurate placement of this microphone is extremely important, but it makes this device quite studio-worthy. The upper-frequency response is also accurate without any distortion, so it captures the high vocal notes or instruments very well.
Sound Pressure Levels (SPL)
AKG microphones P220 have excellent sound pressure levels (SPL) of 135 dB which can be extended to 155 dB accommodating sound from a wide range of dynamic instruments and loud sources. Its signal-to-noise ratio of 78 dB-A picks up less noise from the surroundings making this mic feasible for stage use or live gigs.
Other than the musical approach, AKG microphones P220 is useful in many other applications like video gaming, voice-overs in documentaries, or children’s online books, podcast streaming, and more. On one hand, while the mic has a solid ability to pick up powerful and loud sounds, it is quite efficient in picking up the soft voices and tones in a crisp and clear manner.
The overall sound representation is close to nature, with an excellent performance that is backed by numerous appreciative AKG P220 microphone reviews. People like this mic because there is depth in the acoustics, the mids are clean and good and the highs are crisp with an air boost that makes it sound very natural.
One important thing that you should note is that this mic is pretty sensitive to Occlusive (the k, p, t, b, d, t sounds) that are caused due to the air pops. So make sure that you have a pop filter placed between the source and the microphone to cover these sound pops.
AKG P220 Review: AKG Microphones P220 Set Up
All of AKG’s products are designed keeping in mind different types of users which is why they do not have any complicated process to set up the AKG condenser mic P220. Now, since condenser microphones are very sensitive to sound, it is important that they are set appropriately for best results.
The very first thing that you should remember is that, keep the mic at least six inches away from the audio source be it for vocals or the instruments. You need to fix the shock mount to the microphone stand firmly with the help of the adapter provided. Then place the microphone on the shock mount. Remember that AKG condenser mic P220 has a cardioid polar pattern which means that the mic’s sound sensitivity is at the front side. So you need to place the mic with its front facing the audio source.
P220 runs on the phantom power which means that its capsule or the transducer is designed for 48 V phantom power; that source is either a mixing console, audio interface, or a microphone preamp that can be connected externally. So connect one end of the XLR to the bottom of the mic that is dedicated to this cable and the other end to the audio source. Remember that you need to turn on the phantom power of the audio interface when you start recording. It can then be connected to the computer using the USB cord in case you are recording using the computer.
Depending on the audio source or your surroundings, you can turn the control keys on the mic on to get the best possible outcome. The user or owner’s manual has detailed information on how you can connect the mic and get started.
AKG P220 Review: Price and Availability
The AKG microphones P220 will cost you $135.00 currently. It is quite an attractive price for what this microphone brings to the table. Also, since the mic is extremely popular, you will get this in most of the e-commerce websites that sell microphones like Amazon.com, Sweetwater.com, or even on AKG’s official website.
Strengths and Weaknesses of AKG Condenser Mic P220
No matter how many reviews you go through, the list of strengths and downsides makes it much easier to decide or judge whether this product is going to meet your expectations or not. So here’s the list of pros and cons of AKG condenser mic P220:
- High quality, long lasting build.
- Great voice pick up.
- Perfectly suitable for multifaceted applications like vocals and instruments.
- Broad frequency response offers detailed sound throughout the entire frequency spectrum.
- The mid range is flat but really nice.
- The robust all-metal build makes it damage resistant and offers extended longevity.
- Can be used on different platforms like onstage, in-studio, gaming or even recording on computer.
- East to handle controls.
- Great option for both beginners and experienced studio owners.
- Comes bundled with a lot of accessories that are useful in handling AKG condenser mic P220.
- Impressive SPL limit.
- Bass cut filter and pre attenuation pad is of huge advantage.
- Expanded sound sensitivity offers great pick up.
- Excellent brand credibility.
- Great value for money.
- This mic is only limited to cardioid polar patterns which means you need to carefully analyse what are your needs and then go for this. While this type of pick up pattern has a lot of benefits, they have their own disadvantages a well.
- Not ideal for group vocals because of the polar pattern.
- Highly sensitive- tends to pick up the littlest sound pretty clearly which means you need to treat the room properly and handle it carefully while recording.
- Couple of AKG P220 reviews indicated that the highs are a bit too harsh.
- Picks up a good amount of plosives.
- Needs an accurate placement for best results.
Now that you know everything about this mic, here’s a little bit of general insight on some of the troubleshooting methods of AKG condenser mic P220 that you can keep handy.
What Are Some Common Techniques You Can Use to Troubleshoot Your AKG P220 Microphones?
Microphones like every electronic device can have functioning issues that may or may not be major. Now it isn’t always necessary that this happens due to wrong handling, but inappropriate handling or maintenance is sure one of the reasons why you may face issues like too much feedback, no sound, distortion of the sound, or very quiet recording. Well, here are a few handy things you can do for yourself before taking it to the next level and seeing if the problems are resolved.
One of the most basic things that you need to do is to keep your microphone clean and dust-free. A good portion of the mic has a mesh framework that holds the capsule which is critical to a mic. It is highly prone to dust because of the open construction which is why it is very important that you clean the mic with a soft brush after every use and store it inside that microphone case rather than leaving it open. A lot of issues usually arise due to dust accumulation in the capsule which then results in weird unexpected feedback or noise.
Troubleshooting No Sound Issue
One common issue that many of you are probably aware of and experienced at some point is ‘no sound’ coming out of the mic. There could be several reasons for that and here’s what you can do-
- Make sure that the phantom power supply is on. Connect to the power outlet or use make sure the batteries are inserted. You should also check if the cable is fine otherwise you may need to change the cable.
- Switch on the power of the amplifier. Oftentimes people forget to turn on the power of the microphone mixer or the amplifier because of which the mic is quiet.
- Set the volume control, the mixer or the master fader to the the level you prefer, possibly to a higher level to see if the mic is working fine.
- Check if the cable connectors are fitted properly. Any loose connection may lead to the microphone not working. Secure them tightly.
- If all of the above is in place then see if there is any damage in the cable – you may need to change the cable if it is worn out or damaged.
Reasons for Distortion in the Audio
While using the AKG microphones P220 during recording or during the live shows, you may experience distortion in the audio. This happens due to two main reasons-
- When the volume level or the gain control of the mixer is set to the upper limits. You may resolve this by reducing the gain control to a moderate level.
- It also happens if the microphone is too close to the audio source. You may notice a screeching noise or a distortion if you keep a mic too close to an instrument. This can be resolved by placing P220 at least 6 inches away from the source or even a little further if needed. Turn on the pre-attenuation pad to help control the level of sound.
Try These to Reduce Feedbacks
- Ensure that that phantom power is on.
- Turn the main mix levels and the channel volume level to zero.
- You also have to check that the compression of the mixing console is turned off.
- Check for the USB button to the main mix. You need to switch it on only when you need to hear the recording.
Some Best Microphone Brands in the Market Today
If you go shopping for a microphone, you will find a legion of brands offering different types of mics for both professional or personal project use. However, there are only a few of them that lead the industry with their exceptional quality offerings that you can rely on without a second thought. Shure, Sennheiser, Audio-Technica, Neumann, Electro-Voice are some of the most popular ones in the market.
One of the most popular brands for miking solutions, Shure is known for its high-quality dynamic microphones that you are sure to find in any musical show or on the stage across the globe. The microphones offered by this brand find their use anywhere from high-fidelity ones in the President’s office, government offices to lower-scale recordings. Their microphones feature excellent quality, innovative technology, incredible sound quality, and reliable construction that can stay for years. Shure SM7B and SM57 are a couple of their finest offerings from the brand.
Yet another audio equipment giant is Sennheiser, which is known for its innumerable contributions to the industry with a wide range of products including professional microphones. This company is known for offering various innovative designs and technology that offer stylish looks and high-level performance. There are different kinds of mics suitable for different applications like Rf condenser shotgun microphone, dynamic mics, and more. Some of its legendary mics are MD 441 U, MKH 416, MD 421 to name a few. Sennheiser has mics under different budgets to suit various needs of the customers right from high-end studio recording to stage shows and even smaller school projects.
If you are looking for a high-end studio microphone, then Neumann offers some of the most amazing ones that stand out in the crowd for their premium build, and performance. Most of the top-tier studios, film industry, or production houses will have at least a couple of the products from this brand. You will not find any sound engineer or microphone expert go without recommending a mic from this brand. Some of the best and oldest offerings from the brand are TLM 102 (a popular budget-friendly condenser mic option), or, U 87 a multifunctional mic that has been in existence since 1967 and still going strong.
You might have heard this name in the headphones sector a multitude of times. Although popular in this category, Audio-Technica has a lot of studio-grade and professional-grade microphones to offer that are extremely reliable considering the brand’s position in the market. In fact, the microphones from this brand are accepted as industry standard globally for their incredible accuracy. Some of the best ones from its wide range of products are AT2020, AT 897, AT4040, and more.
Moving on, AKG condenser mic P220 is a good performing microphone that can be a great addition to your studio if you are looking for a not-so-hi-fi miking solution that can offer precision and quality to your recording. Popular for its hard-wearing nature, this microphone can survive for a long time while delivering great sound balanced with usability and price. The cardioid polar pattern has its own benefits and when used correctly can give you the desired results. That is why it is extremely important to position the mic accurately in front of the sound source to get the most out of it. In our opinion, this microphone is a great buy, and you should go for it if this meets your recording needs. You might also find yourself interested in our AKG K240 studio headphones review.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): AKG P220 Review
Yes, AKG condenser mic P220 is great for live shows or on-stage performances be it for vocals or instruments. You can position the mic properly for the best results.
This may not be a great option for handheld use so singers who do live shows may need to look for other options if they need a good mic that can be held in hand. However, the mic works best when placed on a stand so as long as you are using it that way, it is good to go.
Yes, this microphone can be used for PC recording. You can connect it to the PC using the USB cord.