Updated on September 3rd, 2019
Condenser microphones offer better sensitivity and, in general, have better frequency response. That’s why so many professionals prefer to record with them. These mics also have a more natural sound and a higher output level.
They are a bit more fragile and have a more complicated structure than their dynamic counterparts. However, if you will be recording in a controlled environment with acoustic treatment on the walls and don’t want to sound like any other radio or podcast host, a condenser mic is the way to go.
Let’s see what the AKG Pro Audio C214 has to offer.
AKG Pro Audio C214
The C214 is a large-diaphragm model with a combination of classic and modern design features. It is a well-built mic with a sturdy body and a metal mesh grill. AKG sells it in a protective box, packaged with all the essential accessories for quality recording.
The C214 from AKG Pro Audio is a member of the popular C series, AKG’s flagship line of condenser microphones. It is among the mid-range models, together with the C314. The C414 XLS and XLII models top the large-diaphragm section.
Since it was introduced back in 2008, the C214 has been among the favorite condenser mics of both musicians and podcast hosts. There haven’t been any significant updates or changes to this model throughout the years. It still remains as ubiquitous as it was when it came out.
Who is this product for?
The C214 by AKG Audio Pro is suitable for a wide range of recording purposes. You can use it to capture voice for a podcast or record music. It also performs well for recording voiceovers for cartoons and dubs for movies.
However, podcast hosts and musicians recording mostly acoustic guitars and other nonelectric instruments might find this microphone the most useful. In case you’re miking up electric guitar amps and intend to record loud and aggressive music, you might be better off with a quality dynamic microphone.
Since it is not the most affordable condenser microphone around, the AKG Pro Audio C214 is probably geared more towards intermediate and advanced users than beginners. On the other hand, it is easy to use and control, and inexperienced musicians and podcast hosts eager to start with a high-quality mic might get a lot of mileage out of this bad boy.
The C214, like the majority of C series condenser microphones, is sold in a luxurious protective case. You can use it to store the microphone when you’re not using it. Also, you can use it for transportation, as it is made of sturdy metal and has soft foam padding surrounding the mix and the accessories.
The box contains one microphone, an H85 shock mount, and the windscreen. Basic documentation is also included. The shock mount is pretty rugged and well-built and it comes with the life-saving 5/8” to 3/8” microphone stand adaptor.
Overview of features
As the majority of mics out there, the C214 has the standard cardioid polar pattern. This means it picks up most of its signal from the front. It is good at blocking signal from the sides while it does pick up a certain amount from behind.
The frequency response is 20 Hz to 20 kHz, being right up there with the big boys. The sensitivity of this mic is 20mV/Pa, while the signal to noise is 81 dB-A.
The onboard hi-pass filter is set at 160 Hz and you’ll find the switch on the side of the mic. It cuts 6 dB per octave. On the opposite side, there’s a switch for the -20 dB pad.
At 13 dB, the self-noise level is pretty low for a condenser microphone with onboard electronics. The impedance is 200 Ohm while the maximum SPL ranges from 136 dB to 156 dB.
How to get the most out of it
To get the most out of your AKG Pro Audio C214 while recording, you should pair it with a quality audio interface. Nowadays, even the affordable units can record in professional audio CD quality (16-bit depth, 44.1 kHz resolution) and have dedicated microphone channels.
The best thing about them is that they all have onboard microphone preamps with phantom power units intended to power up condenser microphones. Have in mind that you don’t need to spend a fortune and that there are affordable audio interfaces that can deliver 24-bit depth and 96 kHz or even 192 kHz resolution.
Let’s look into the strengths and weaknesses of the C214:
- Excellent frequency response
- Low self-noise
- Simple to use
- Plug and play device
Minor issues with plosives without the windscreen
If you’re looking for a big diaphragm condenser mic but want something more affordable, you might be interested in the Audio-Technica AT2035. This affordable mic has a cardioid polar pattern, low self-noise, a quality pop filter, 20 Hz-20 kHz frequency response, and 148-158 dB. maximum SPL.
In case you’re on a tight budget, the Marantz Professional MPM-1000 might be a good choice. This low-cost microphone has a frequency response of 20 Hz to 20 kHz, cardioid polar pattern, standard XLR out, and is bundled with all the key accessories.
Recording with condenser microphones is a slightly different experience than with the dynamic variety. They do need more attention and a controlled recording environment, but they sound more natural and have an excellent frequency response. If you’re looking for a high-quality condenser microphone, the AKG Pro Audio C214 is a model worth considering.