Image default
Microphones Reviews

Experimenting with Neumann TLM-103 and U87 Ai Microphones

Neumann microphones are microphones in legends. Used to mic more instruments and voices in the media you’ve consumed than you could possibly imagine – but they’re not exactly accessible to the indie creator. That lack of accessibility doesn’t stop one from wondering… just how do they hold up for content creation use? What if I wanted to use these prestigious mics for voiceover and hosting my videos? Would they impress me?

Specifically, I got to test out the Neumann TLM-103 (~$1300) and the Neumann U87 Ai (~$3000).

The answer is… complicated.

On one hand, I wasn’t impressed at all. I’ve had the privilege of using a wide variety of microphones across many price ranges by this point in my career, and the out-of-box sound wasn’t particularly impressive/noteworthy on first listen. It just… sounded like me.

But on the other hand, that’s very much the point. These microphones are designed to capture authentic sounds in their purest/most pleasing form. And they do. The “boring” feeling I get from them is the selling point.

Through comparisons and further listening, I noticed plenty of instances where subtle sounds or characteristics of my voice were picked up in a very “transparent” way that wouldn’t be noticeable on other microphones. I also noticed not needing to work as hard to “sound like me” with these mics, which was nice.

The U87 Ai definitely rolled off high end and low end sounds a lot more pleasantly, while the TLM-103 sounded a lot more “present” out of the box.

Yes, I know there’s other Neumann mics that might be a bit more appropriate for voiceover use, but these are what I had the opportunity to play with. 

While I mostly think these microphones would be wasted purely being used for content creation, if you want to pick one up and support my work, here’s some affiliate links.

Related posts

YouTube Upload Quality Investigation: Does Source Codec Matter?

EposVox

Sony ZV-1: HD USB Streaming Tested!

EposVox

Genki ShadowCast Review: $4.3 million raised for THIS?!

EposVox