Angela Garner is the owner of AudioTrove. She has extensive knowledge of professional audio engineering and studio equipment due to her vast experience in producing.
AKG C414 XLII
Pro Audio Vocal Condenser Microphone, Multipattern
AudioTrove® Rating for the AKG C414
4.7/5 Stars From 358 Buyers
I spent 5.3 hours reading reviews from customers who purchased the AAKG C414 XLII large-diaphragm microphone. Here is a summary of their feedback & what they had to say:
13 Reasons To Buy The AKG C414
- Best one in its price range. Quality at its best with leading-edge technology for these all-time classic well respected studio microphones. All users said that their experience using this microphone allowed them to have high end, studio-quality recording.
- Flexible, adjustable. Most users find the pre-attenuation pad widens the usefulness of the AKG C414 XLII large-diaphragm microphone as it allows you to select between 4 pre-attenuation settings. They noticed the C414 microphone gives a number of options on switchable patterns and they enjoyed experimenting with different setups.
- Awesome vocal microphone. Users were in awe as the AKG microphone exceeded their expectations. Both in singing and speaking, as C414 XLII handles loud and quiet segments without distortion providing detailed recording quality. Fantastic with rap vocals and modern pop recording too. It seems perfectly capable of handling the most demanding music recording tasks.
- Versatile. Vocals, instruments, and even group vocals suit the AKG microphone with a broad dynamic range able to handle most live-sound applications. All users praised the ability of the AKG C414 XLII as the perfect setting for their musical instruments. A user tagged the C414 as the best fit for his acoustic guitar.
- Clear, crisp, and bright. A lot of reviewers mentioned that the AKG C414 produced sound with clarity and detail that is amazing. This microphone has a sonic character that boosts the highs above 3 kHz a bit, resulting in a brighter sound and slight presence boost.
- Excellent for professional studios and audio engineers. Working in an ever-demanding recording studio needs to have a good variety of mics with astounding sound quality. Users find this microphone to have a similar frequency response to stage-vocal condensers, accentuating sounds, making the sounds much more true and natural.
- Great for group and live performances and stage microphones. C141 XLII was marked by a user as a great stereo pair for a general ensemble and also perfect for distant miking applications to achieve a classic music recording sound. Its bass-cut filters excellently removed ambient noise as per reviews.
- Perfect for home studios. Some reviewers said that they did not even have to be in a soundproof area to enjoy the professional sound that they were looking for.
- Easy editing. All users have been enjoying easy edits and mix with C414 XLII. The clear and crisp sound that this microphone provided for them made any post-recording processes simpler and easier.
- Podcast ready. Rich vocal sound from this microphone made users excited to start up their podcasts. Their reviews revealed that this microphone produced rich and warm vocal sounds, excellent for their field.
- Low self-noise. One user finds that cheaper microphones have a self-noise that comes up when you give it more gain. Users find C414 XLII to have a very low self-noise making it possible to increase mic gain without the self-noise.
- Fantastic for musical instruments. Reviewers note that they were able to record their musical instruments using C414 XLII and produced outstanding quality. Users said that this microphone can be perfectly used for strings, percussions, and wind instruments.
- Built to last. C141 XLII can accompany you for years. Some users have been using this microphone for five years and more and have been continually enjoying it.
4 Reasons NOT To Buy
- Reviewers recommend that buyers should pair this microphone with a pop filter or a mic isolation shield.
- A user observed that this microphone records low and mid frequencies better than high frequencies but can be fixed with EQ.
- Some users find this microphone “too bright” for their liking.
- One user shared that this is not meant for a louder band, like rock, funk and blues band.
AKG C414 Product Research Summary
AKG C414 XLII is arguably one of the most popular, well-known all-time classic microphones from AKG and a great predecessor of the AKG C12. This is the ideal microphone for studio recording, broadcast facilities, broadcast stations, and stage performances. This has been a famous microphone for decades, released around the same time as 16-track recording came about.
Engineers at Abbey Road Recording Studios such as The Beatles’ engineer Geoff Emerick used the AKG C414 exclusively as a favourite microphone for Paul McCartney’s bass guitar tracks.
Astoundingly, it offers nine selectable polar patterns which allows the user to choose and experiment with patterns that suit sound the user needs, thus, providing a comprehensive range for flexibility and versatility for a variety of instruments.
It also has a wide frequency range that delivers crystal clear, crisp, and neutral sound for that studio quality recording, while providing a classic sound. Perfect for any acoustic instrument, and great for drum ambience miking
Accuracy in tones and clarity brought about by the wide frequency range and nine polar patterns makes this microphone delectable for both music and voice artists worldwide.
In addition, it has a very low self-noise at 6dB-A and has a large diaphragm capsule capable of increasing presence and spatial reproduction.
Ambient noise will not be a problem with this microphone as it has three switchable different bass-cut filters that reduce wind noise, stage vibration or proximity effect making this perfect for live performances.
The AKG C414 XLII also has three attenuation levels suitable for close-up recording.
AKG C414 XLII is built with scratch resistant, full metal body and metal mesh, which makes it durable even for on-the-road and stage use. It also boasts a peak hold LED for accurate indication of overload peaks allowing users to keep note of their levels.
The package includes H85 shock mount and PF80 pop filter which minimises unnecessary noise.
The quality that the AKG C414 XLII offers at this price range, definitely amazed users from all over the world. This tip-top microphone can last decades especially if handled with extreme care.
- Brand: AKG
- Audio frequency bandwidth: 20 – 20000 Hz
- Equivalent noise level: 6 dB-A
- Sensitivity: 23 mV/Pa
- Signal to Noise: 88 dB-A
- Preattenuation Pad: -6; -12; -18 dB
- Bass cut filter160; 80; 40 Hz
- Electrical impedance: 200 Ohms
- Recommended load impedance: 2200 Ohms
- Polar Patterns: Multipattern (Cardioid, Figure of eight, Hyper-cardioid, Omni-directional, and Wide Cardioid)
- A Peak Hold LED displays even shortest overload peaks.
- Three attenuation levels (-6/-12/-18dB) for close-up recording or high-output sources
- Length: 38 mm
- Width: 50 mm
- Height: 160 mm
- Net Weight: 300 g
- Voltage: 44 to 52 V
- Current: 4.5 mA
- Pro Studio: Yes
- Vocals: Yes
- Piano / Strings: Yes
- Horns / Woodwinds: Yes
- Type Balanced: XLR
- Gender: Male
- Contacts: 3-pin XLR
- Finish: dark gray/silver
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What’s different between xls and xlii?
A: The frequency response of the microphone is the difference. The C414 XLII has a 6k hz boost that is ideal for vocal recording, while the C414 XLS is flat and optimal for multipurpose or instrumental recording.
Q: Is an audio interface needed for it to work?
A: In order for this mic to function, I believe it needs phantom power of 48+ V. It won’t fit like a plug-and-play dynamic microphone. Yes, normally interfaces need 48+V (phantom power) to function. To function, I believe this mic needs phantom power of 48+ V. It won’t fit like a plug-and-play dynamic microphone.
Q: Is this microphone appropriate for capturing rap and R&B lyrics? Is the sound vivid and airy or mellow and warm?
A: This mic has a very natural tone. It provides excellent value for the money. It has a natural warmth to it as well as a very flat response.
Q: For voice recordings, what pattern configuration do you use?
A: It is entirely dependent on the artist and the genre of music. For up-close singing, use super-cardioid or cardioid, and if capturing a chorus, use a broader pattern like figure 8, cardioid, or even omnidirectional. There are a lot of factors to consider in order to arrive at a single answer.
Q: What USB audio interfaces, with decent drivers and quality, will fit well with this microphone?
A: Focusrite’s Scarlett preamps are excellent, and Apogee’s interfaces are all flawless. Arturia’s latest interface (AudioFuse), which was only released a few months ago, maybe a viable alternative.
Q: I’m from Australia; can it work (power, cables, etc.) outside of the US? or are they identical?
A: It would undoubtedly perform! I’m from South Africa, where the voltage system is entirely different. Not the wall, but the power supply (or desk) provides the 48V. Per nation uses the same 48v phantom. You could buy it in the United States and plug it right into your Australian desk or power supply! Have fun.
Q: What C414 is better adapted to mic drums (toms)?
A: C414’s are ideal for toms. As long as the cymbals are to the sides or behind the mic, that is. I’ve used this mic on vocals, electric instruments, guitar amplifiers, overheads, kick, snare, and toms, among other things. With 414’s, I’ve had the best and fattest Tom sounds I’ve ever seen.
Q: Is it common to hear a high-pitched, buzz-like sound while the recording volume is at its highest? Where I hit the mic has an impact on the sound.
A: It’s not natural, but if you have some input from your monitoring device, it could trigger the buzzing effect, or your pre-amp could cause the same issue if it’s turned up too loudly.
Q: This is something I’m considering purchasing for my home voiceover studio. Which USB-compatible audio interface would you recommend?
A: This is compatible with any audio controller. Look for focusrites. Since I record on an iPad, I’m currently using a Presonus Itwo. Sounds like a pro.
Q: Is this microphone suitable for pop or acoustic vocals?
A: Yeah, it’s a big diaphragm condenser mic that’s great for voices and instruments.
Q: Is there a lot of background noise picked up by this? Is soundproofing needed for voiceovers?
A: It all depends on how much gain you push through it. It does a good job of filtering out background noise from behind.
Famous artists, producers, musicians, records that used this microphone:
- Freddie Mercury
- Luther Vandross
- David Bowie
- Paul McCartney
- Chris Martin from Coldplay
- Van Halen
Video Reviews of the AKG C414 XLII
Is the AKG C414 worth it?
AKG C414 XLII is arguably one of the most popular brand and a great predecessor of the AKG C12. This is the ideal microphone for studio recording, broadcasts, and stage performances.