Coming from a reputable brand and packed with features that ensure noteworthy sound performance and versatility, this large-diaphragm condenser microphone offers plenty of benefits that you can hardly get from another model in this price range.
The high-end features and relatively affordable price are the ones that place this mic among the most appreciated products in this line. First and foremost, a microphone is about sound performance, and here is where the AKG C214 excels.
To enable you to record vocals as well as solo instruments and do so in high sound quality, the microphone features a large diaphragm as well as a complex system that is designed to ensure mechanical noise reduction. Moreover, the low-cut filter and -20dB attenuation pad featured further help shape the sonic clarity, warmth, and definition delivered.
These very specs render the unit suitable for a variety of applications, and you can use it to record vocals and instruments, including pianos, horns, and drums. The fact that this mic ensures such versatility and performs admirably when employed for all these different applications while keeping the price tag in the affordable range makes this option worthy of consideration.
Although this microphone model has been appreciated by many of those who tried it, it might not meet the preferences of all users. Thus, the item might do a better job when employed for recording lows and mids than high pitches.
However, even if you’re not completely satisfied with the way it performs on the high end, you can always fix it with a little mastering; therefore, if this issue arises, there are various options to free your final recording version of it. Other than that, it is also recommended to know more about your tonal range before buying any mic, and this case makes no exception.
Main features explained
Large-diaphragm design and sound performance
The most critical part of a microphone as far as the sound delivered is concerned is the diaphragm used. The size of a diaphragm, its rigidity, and the enclosure used around it contribute to the way it moves with the sound pressure waves hitting it. Microphones have small or large diaphragms, and each of these sizes comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
The AKG C214 features a large diaphragm, which makes it possible for the microphone to capture the depth of low-frequency sounds. Such diaphragms deliver what users often call a “big” pleasant sound, especially when used for vocals. A large diaphragm is usually used when such big sounds or certain amounts of coloration are required.
This renders this condenser microphone suitable for vocals and instruments as well. You can thus employ it for guitars, big brass instruments, guitar amps, pianos, and drums, but more on the applications this unit is designed for a bit later.
The large diaphragm is paired with a -20dB attenuation pad and a low-cut filter. All this might not mean much if you’re completely new to microphones, but once you gain a bit of experience, you will understand the importance of such additions.
They make it possible for you to use the microphone in high sound fields and when you need to capture loud sound sources, including the instruments mentioned above. What’s more, thanks to the integrated capsule suspension, the unit will make sure that mechanical noises and resonance are reduced.
By reducing such unwanted noise, the sonic accuracy ensured renders the mic ideal for all those of you interested in getting professional-grade results while on a budget. It is one of the reasons why this product has been a top choice among professionals and amateurs alike.
Cardioid polar pattern and applications
Before talking about design, applications, and things like durability, it is important to mention that this microphone comes with a cardioid polar pattern, which means that it will hear best what is in the front of it and will reject sounds coming from the rear and sides.
This makes the product ideal for multi-miking situations and for any application that does not require a significant amount of room ambiance. The flexibility and versatility of this unit are the reasons why both professionals and amateurs have used it for different applications.
This type of polar pattern is quite popular thanks to its capacity to cut down on ambient noise and feedback. Many applications require such performance, hence the popularity of cardioid polar patterns. The AKG C214 can thus be used for both live and studio performances.
Keep in mind that cardioid microphones will have an increased bass response when it is close to the sound source you want to capture. However, this is actually one of the benefits many users like about it. Even though this is subjective, this enhanced bass response is something that proves to be of help in certain applications.
What’s also worth mentioning is that this model has a 20Hz-20kHz frequency response and an impressive dynamic range of up to 156 dB. The switchable 20dB attenuation pad mentioned above will thus make it possible for you to record loud sources of up to 156dB SPL, which significantly extends the possibilities offered by this condenser microphone.
It is not a microphone that you can use only to capture vocals but also loud sounds coming from various instruments and even guitar amps. Given that you can employ the same unit to capture the human voice as well as instruments and pay less than $500 for all that, it is no wonder why this unit has been such a hit among musicians and sound engineers of different skills and levels.
Design and durability
The first thing you’ll notice about a microphone and pretty much any other product you want to buy is the way it looks and, in terms of design, this unit does not disappoint. The product boasts a vintage design that has proved to be another advantage that made it so popular.
A microphone is about sound performance, above all, yet it is nice to see that the manufacturer didn’t stop there and also paid great attention to the way this product looks. It is not surprising, though, if you think of its applications. Thanks to the specs mentioned above, the mic can be used for studio and live sessions as well.
When performing on stage, you might want the instruments and audio gear you use to add nice visuals. Rest assured that this model will help you achieve that. Still, the way the AKG C214 was built is not only about sound performance and aesthetics. Everything about it screams quality.
This product was made to withstand extensive use and keep up with on-the-road musicians. The diecast all-metal chassis will make sure that little accidents that are impossible to avoid during live sessions won’t be a problem, and that replacing it anytime soon should not be part of your concerns.
To enhance the durability ensured, the manufacturer added a scratch-resistant finish, which means that the mic should keep its stylish looks for a long time even if you’re not extremely careful with it, or your performances get a bit aggressive or energetic.
The large diaphragm is covered by a dent-resistant double-mesh grille, a feature that not only enhances the nice visuals of this unit but also provides high-RF immunity. This will further improve the sound performance this mic is capable of.
Pricing and accessories
The similarities between the C214 and C414 from AKG are many since the former was designed as a cost-effective alternative to the latter. This takes us to one of the advantages of this large-diaphragm, namely its price. It might be hard to believe that for less than $500, you can actually enjoy professional-grade results whether you use the mic for studio or live sessions.
Not to mention that during sale events, you can get even a lower price and thus enrich your audio gear with a high-quality condenser microphone without spending a fortune. Considering its capacities and the many possibilities it offers, you can thus use one single mic to cater to a variety of musical needs. You can employ it to capture vocals or instruments and get satisfying results every time you do so.
Plus, besides the microphone, the pack includes an H85 universal shock mount and a metal carrying case so that you can protect the item during transportation or when not in use. The owner’s manual and the quick start guides you need to get started are available on the manufacturer’s official website and make the entire operation easy.
Since the microphone is easy to use, set up, and control, it makes a great option for beginners as well. What’s also worth mentioning is that the microphone features a gold-plated XLR output, which means that you will need 48v phantom power to use this unit.
The microphone weighs only 0.61 pounds and measures 11.3 x 8.6 x 3.9 inches, which means it is lightweight and won’t require too much space when you’re on the road or the microphone is not in use.