Neumann U87 AI Review
Switchable Studio Microphone - Nickel Color
AudioTrove® Rating for the Neumann U87 Ai
4.2/5 Stars From 58 Buyers
13 Reasons To Buy
- Gold Standard in Quality. All reviews of this classic Neumann U87 Ai definitely felt the top-notch, Germany-engineered, high standard quality on its build and performance. Users find this microphone as a worthy investment, and a MUST HAVE in every studio.
- Fits ALL Voices. From low-pitched deep R&B vocals to high-pitched soul vocals, to fast-paced rap to lead pop vocals, this microphone matches any type of vocals perfectly! All users find this microphone incredible and versatile.
- Studio Favorite. Since Neumann U87 Ai stunningly suits all types of voice, all reviewers believe that this microphone is what every studio needs. Users claimed that they found out why Neumann U87 Ai is trusted in many serious studios.
- Voice Actor Ready. Any voice actor will be head over heels with Neumann U87 Ai. Reviews claim that this microphone is excellent for narrations such as spoken poetry and voice acting.
- Tonally neutral. Unlike other microphones, Neumann U87 Ai provides a natural and authentic sound that is unhyped and clean. Users reported that this microphone brings out the full character of their voices.
- Clear, detailed sound. Reviews revealed that this microphone can get even the littlest details of sound. One user was amazed that his singers, both male and female, can hear themselves with crisp clarity that tracking was easier.
- Exquisite for Instruments. Neumann U87 Ai may not only be a recording rock star for vocals but also for instruments. Most users find this microphone to produce professional sounds for acoustic guitars and piano.
- Vocal Standard Mic. All reviews expressed that the Neumann U87 Ai sets high standards for all microphones out there. Users claimed that this is a benchmark microphone for all studios.
- Multifaceted, all-around. It can be tagged as the best mic for vocals, but it can do more. Most users find this microphone to be applicable for closed-up recordings and even for an orchestra ensemble.
- Easy breezy mixing. Users find this microphone as not overly sensitive kind and that it gives them cleaner records, fewer hot spots, less mouth noise. Users were amazed at how little time they have to put into cleaning noise and EQing with Neumann U87 Ai.
- Confidence booster. All reviews from singers using Neumann U87 Ai claimed that they felt even more confident with their vocals because this microphone captured the unique qualities of their voices. One user recommended this microphone to be paired with Great River MP-500NV for “smooth buttery softness” vocals.
- Hands down, best investment. Neumann U87 Ai prides itself on its quality that users vouch for this microphone. All reviewers said that this is unquestionably a must-buy microphone.
- Companion for years. With the quality of this microphone, users know that it will last throughout the years. One user even said that the Neumann U87 Ai can be passed down to the next generation.
5 Reasons NOT To Buy
- Users enjoyed how Neumann U87 Ai produces professional-quality sound but they claim that this microphone is not for beginners.
- Reviewers said that this microphone needs to be used in a decently quiet recording environment.
- One user recommended that buyers should have a high-quality preamp and high-quality ADC for this microphone.
- Users claim that buyers who need more patterns in their microphone might not appreciate this microphone as it offers three directional patterns.
- Users find the price point a bit off-putting but claimed that you get what you pay for.
Neumann U87 Ai Product Research Summary
Neumann microphones have been a staple in every professional studio worldwide. Tagged as “true legend”, Neumann U87 has been loved in the music industry by renowned artists and broadcasters since 1967. With U87 Ai, the legacy lives on.
The U 87 Ai is the pinnacle of condenser microphones with a massive diaphragm. This is what a studio microphone looks like, with its tapered body and classic headgrille shape. The same can be said about its sound: The U 87 Ai is the gold standard against which all microphones are judged.
Similar to its predecessor, U87 Ai produces a warm, clear, detailed sound. This powerhouse microphone can be used for a wide range of purposes thanks to its three polar patterns (Omni, cardioid, and figure-8), plus a switchable high pass filter and 10dB pre-attenuation pad. It is distortion-free and accurately reproduces vocals, perhaps more so than any other studio microphone, which explains its enduring success. U87 Ai also boasts an extremely low self noise. The U87 AI has a one-of-a-kind FET circuit with a short signal path and a transformer balanced output, guaranteeing optimal signal integrity and high common mode rejection.
It’s track record undoubtedly adds to the reason why singers, broadcasters, and music engineers must take a look at this microphone. It’s generally handbuilt by German experts, making sure of the quality for every U87 Ai that lasts for decades.
- Brand: Neumann
- Audio frequency bandwidth: 20 - 20000 Hz
- Acoustical operating principle: Pressure gradient transducer
- Polar Patterns: Omnidirectional, cardioid, figure-8.
- Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1 kohm 20/28/22 mV/Pa ± 1 dB (Omni/cardioid/8)
- Equivalent noise level, CCIR 1 26/23/25 dB (Omni/cardioid/8)
- Equivalent noise level, A-weighted 2 15/12/14 dB-A (Omni/cardioid/8)
- Maximum SPL for THD 0.5% 3 117 dB (cardioid)
- Maximum SPL for THD 0.5% with preattenuation 4 127 dB
- Signal-to-noise ratio, CCIR (re. 94 dB SPL) 5 68/71/69 dB (Omni/cardioid/8)
- Signal-to-noise ratio, A-weighted (re. 94 dB SPL) 6 79/82/80 dB (Omni/cardioid/8)
- Matching connector XLR 3 F
U87 Frequency Response
Balanced frequency response
- Weight: 500 g
- Diameter: 56 mm
- Length: 200 mm
- Maximum output voltage -6 dBu
- Supply voltage (P48, IEC 61938) 48 V ± 4 V
- Current consumption (P48, IEC 61938) 0.8 mA
- Broadcasting, Musical Instruments, Recording
- Rated Impedance 200 ohms
- Rated load impedance 1 kohms
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does the U87 need phantom power?
Yes, Phantom power is used to power this microphone. It does not depend on a separate power source.
U87 vs U87 AI What is the difference?
The main difference is in the internal electronics, the amp in the mic. One vintage Neumann U87 will sound different than the next. The ai mics are basicly the Neumanns made after 1986. They are supposedly a little safer to operate as they have a lower impedance supply lead for the capsule polarizing voltages. They are about 10db louder and Neumann literature states that the signal noise ratio is improved by around 3db.
What exactly is the difference between an u87 ai and a set z?
Shock mount, cable, and windscreen are included in Set Z.
Famous artists/producers/musicians/records that used this microphone:
- Guns N Roses
- Justin Timberlake
- Barbara Streisand
- Bono of U2
- Travis Scott
- Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys