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If you are a professional musician or a studio owner, then you know that the AKG C414 XLII microphone is one of the most popular microphones around. It was designed for use in live performances and studios, recording sound from instruments and vocals with clarity and accuracy. This article will discuss what makes this microphone so great, as well as some possible downsides to consider before making your purchase.
Our AKG C414 XLII Review
Do you want to sound like a professional?
The AKG C414 XLII is the perfect microphone for you. It’s got everything from great sound quality, three attenuation levels, and even an overload warning with an audio peak hold LED.
Plus it comes with three different switchable bass-cut filters for reducing stage vibration, wind noise, and the proximity effect. For houses of worship that want professional-sounding recordings without breaking the bank on expensive equipment, this is your mic!
If you’re looking for a new microphone that will help you sound better than ever before then look no further than the AKG C414 XLII Vocal Condenser Microphone!
What Is the AKG C414 XLII Condenser Microphone?
AKG is one of the biggest names in the audio world, and the C414 XLII microphone has been used by some of the biggest recording artists of all time. The company made the C12 in the 1950s, which had a capsule made out of brass and quickly became a best-selling microphone. In the 1970s, AKG kept the same brass capsule from the C12 and made the first C414, which started with a version they called the C414 EB. This microphone’s high-end clarity and its ability to cycle through polar patterns by simply clicking on a button at the front of the microphone made it an instant favorite among musicians.
Since then, the C414 has gone through numerous versions and improvements. One of the things that makes the current version a little different is its compact yet somewhat box-shaped design. It has a gorgeous gold grille that makes it stand out in the studio, but it is more than just a good-looking microphone. The base is super solid and heavy, even though you can dent or bend the grille itself if you aren’t careful. Still, the second generation CK12 nylon capsule is embedded inside of the C414, and this is what gives it such a great sound.
Something else you’ll notice about the microphone is that below the gold grill, located on the front panel, is a switch that lets you choose from among nine pickup patterns. This includes five primary polar patterns and four hybrid patterns in between each of these five. The LED light strip/switch underneath lets you see which pattern you’ve selected. The LED strip can also detect peak overloads and clipping, and it switches from green to red if any distortion from clipping occurs. This, in turn, allows you to adjust the levels as needed.
Of course, it’s the excellent sound quality that makes the C414 so unique. With its high-end clarity and sound character, it provides a sound that is very detailed and polished, making it a great option for both vocals and instruments alike.
Top Benefits of the AKG C414 XLII Condenser Microphone
The AKG C414 XLII microphone does some amazing things once it’s set up and ready to go. The ability to switch between the different polar patterns makes it an incredibly useful microphone, and because of its many features, it is perfect for both vocalists and instrumentalists. You get a total of nine attenuation levels, which means there is a perfect setting for every application, as well as an overload warning with an audio-peak hold LED that detects the shortest audio peaks. To top it all off, there are three bass-cut filters that reduce wind noise, the proximity effect, and also stage vibration.
When researching this microphone, you’ll notice that there are two versions: the XLII and the XLS. The differences between the two are subtle, but essentially the XLII was made for vocals and the XLS was made for instruments. That being said, the differences are minute and, therefore, both the XLII and the XLS are great for both vocals and instruments. If you’re interested in some of the statistics for this amazing microphone, here are some to consider:
- Sensitivity: 23 mV/Pa
- Signal to noise: 88 dB-A
- Audio frequency bandwidth: 20-20000 Hz
- Electric impedance: 200 Ohms
- Recommended load impedance: 2200 Ohms
In addition, the C414 XLII is also the perfect size at 11.3” x 9.6” x 5.5”. A perfect size and the perfect look, and the five primary polar patterns on the C414 are:
- Omnidirectional, which is great when you want to capture moving sounds such as the sound of a room.
- Cardioid, which is the standard for recording vocals and most instruments.
- Wide cardioid, which is normally used for capturing wider sounds in a specific direction, including live bands and choirs.
- Hypercardioid, which gives you isolation and tight sound sources. It also blocks out noises from the side.
- Figure 8, which is used in stereo recording. It is especially useful when using two vocalists or for M/S recording.
The C414 microphone is indeed a very versatile microphone, in part because of its ability to switch between different polar patterns. It accommodates a wide variety of recording scenarios and its many features are the reason why this microphone is found in nearly every major recording studio in the country. Even better, there is a lock mode to use with its polar pattern selector, which is super convenient because it allows you to prevent any accidental switches. It’s easy to use as well – simply press down one of the arrows on the selector for one to two seconds and you’re all set.
AKG C414 XLII Microphone Review: Pros and Cons
The C414 is one of the audio industry’s most popular microphones for many reasons. In fact, a whopping 94% of Amazon reviewers gave this microphone either four or five stars, and it has a 4.7-star overall rating. Here are a few of the pros and cons associated with this microphone:
- Three different attenuation levels for close-up recording and high output sources of up to 158 dB SPL
- Multi-patterned polar pattern with a total of nine different settings
- Great for both vocalists and instrumentalists
- Comes with an overload warning to detest the shortest audio peaks
- Three different bass-cut filters to reduce wind noise and more
- Some complain there is too much midrange sound
- Some claim the front capsule was defective and didn’t record any sound
- “A clean, crisp, clear microphone.”
- “It is very versatile and affordable.”
- “The best upgrade decision I’ve made in 10 years.”
- “It was expensive but I have no regrets.”
- “A wonderful sound for the price.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In case you’re wondering about some of the most common questions that customers have, they include the following:
Q: Is the XLR 48v phantom power?
A: You should be fine with this because all you need is phantom power with a range that is between 9 volts and 52 volts.
Q: Is this microphone good for voiceovers?
A: Yes, it is. With the C414 microphone, the sound is warm and accurate and best of all, it is neither too bright nor too crisp.
Q: Can the microphone work with a laptop that has a 3.1 USB port?
A: Yes, but you would need either an interface or another type of device to power the microphone and provide the USB connection that you’ll need.
Q: What does the C414 microphone come with?
A: It comes with a shock mount and a carrying case.
Q: Can you use this microphone upside down on the mic stand?
A: Yes, you can.
Conclusion Of Our AKG C414 XLII Review
If you’re currently looking to upgrade from a budget microphone to one that is higher in quality and has a much better sound, the C414 should definitely be considered. We appreciate your taking the time to learn all about this unique microphone, and the one thing you should remember when researching it is that it can be found in nearly every recording studio in existence. That’s how good it is. This is a fantastic all-around microphone that is great for vocals but does a great job with instruments as well. It is one microphone you won’t regret purchasing.