Looking for an ideal microphone for your home studio? It is always important to see if it will be able to meet your needs, especially if you are on a tight budget. And when it comes to home recording, having a quality, yet affordable condenser microphone is absolutely essential. In today’s “AKG C214 review”, I will go through the various aspects of this microphone, and explain to you why it is a great choice!
The C214 from AKG, is a large diaphragm condenser microphone that is designed to be a cost-effective alternative to its higher end counterpart, which is the AKG C414. It is ideal for any recording situation, whether be it in the studio or even on stage.
Engineered with versatility in mind, the AKG C214 is great for recording various sound sources ranging from lead vocals, to acoustic guitar and can even be used to mic-up a bass speaker cabinet.
In order to keep the sound capturing quality of the AKG C214 faithful to its higher-end C414, it also features a unique one-inch capsule, that is mounted on an integrated suspension, in order to reduce mechanical noise (similar design to the C414).
Let us now look at the AKG C214’s main specifications.
- Audio frequency bandwidth of 20Hz to 20,000Hz
- Polar pattern (Cardioid)
- All-metal, die-cast body with scratch-resistant finish
- Integrated suspension of the capsule
- Switch-able -20dB attenuator
- Bass-cut filter from 160Hz
Now, we shall look a little deeper into the various features of the C214, and see how it benefits you!
What is amazing about the C214, is that it is basically a more affordable version of the world-renowned C414. And if you are familiar with the C414, then you would know that it is pretty much an industry standard in the recording world, and have been used in thousands of hit records, and also in leading broadcast facilities all over the world.
Not to mention that the C414 is also known for its versatility, and have been used on stage by artists of every musical genre.
The C214 condenser microphone also features the same 1-inch dual capsule as the famous C414, but in a single- diaphragm, cardioid only design. What you get as a result of this feature, is an amazing recording quality, that is very close to the sonic characteristics of the legendary AKG C414 XLII (which is well-known for producing a clear, crisp recording for vocals and also other lead instruments).
The main component that is responsible for the AKG C214’s outstanding sound quality, is its large-diaphragm. It allows the C214 to have an incredible dynamic range of 143dB, capable of capturing uncompressed, organic-sounding transients.
The C214 will also be able to deliver a rich and full sounding recording, thanks to its edge-terminated capsule, that will highlight every detail of any voice or instruments.
Due to the sensitive nature of condenser microphones, close-miking techniques are often a problem. However, you don’t have to worry, as the C214 comes with a switchable 20dB attenuation pad, allowing it to be used in sound fields of up to 156dB SPL. Simply, what this means is that you can now record loud sound sources such as drum overheads, electric guitar amplifiers or even high-output wind instruments.
You will also find the low-cut filter of 160Hz, to be very beneficial. This feature will help to reduce proximity effect, which is basically the increase in the presence of low-end frequencies as a result of close proximity of the sound source to the microphone. Normally, you would not want this unnecessary boost of the low end, and that is where the low-cut filter comes into play.
Rugged and durable construction
You can safely say that the AKG C214 is literally built like a tank. It features an integrated capsule suspension, that is not just designed to reduce mechanical noise and resonances, but to also improve its overall frequency response as a result. A double mesh, all-metal grille protects the capsule and at the same time, provides immunity to high radio frequency interferences, without affecting its acoustical performance.
As for the other parts of the microphone, it is protected with a satin finish, scratch-resistant, dent-resistant (including the metal grille as well), rugged metal housing. The XLR connector on the C214 is also gold-plated, which ensures that it will last through many years of repeated use. The rugged and durable construction of the AKG C214 will definitely give you a piece of mind when travelling.
Here’s a great video on the sound quality of the AKG C214!
We should now look at the summary of pros and cons of the C214.
Pros and Cons
- Great sound for an affordable price
- Rugged and roadworthy construction
- Useful functions (20dB attenuator and low-end filter)
- Versatile recording applications (vocals, guitar amps)
- Protection against RF interferences
- Complete carrying case included, with windscreen and shock-mount
- Unable to switch to other polar patterns such as “omni” or “hyper cardioid”
I have had personal experience using all types of AKG microphones for live and also studio use. I can definitely vouch for its rugged construction and superb sound quality. But of course, with regards to what sounds good and what doesn’t, it can be very subjective.
However, do keep in mind that the AKG C214 condenser microphone, just like all other microphones, will shine if used in an ideal position. All you need, is some trial and error, and the C214 will not fail you.
I have used the higher end version, which is the C414, and absolutely love it. Especially when it comes to recording drum overheads and grand pianos, this microphone shines with the proper miking techniques. After I found out about the C214, with its superb build quality and sonic response that is meant to emulate the C414, I don’t see why any serious home recordist wouldn’t want to add it into their collection. Furthermore, it comes with a carrying case, windscreen and shock-mount, all in an affordable price!
Thanks for reading this review, and do leave comments or questions below!