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Review: RØDE NT1-A studio condenser microphone

Feb. 2, 2017

Zanderjaz

Modified: 06/19/19

RØDE NT1-A studio condenser microphone product breakdown

Author’s Rating:

Consumer Rating: 4.6 / 5 Stars

Price: $229.00

Recommended?: Yes

Specifications:

  • Requires 24V or 48V phantom power
  • 3-Pin XLR output connection
  • Large 1” capsule with gold plated diaphragm
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Self noise of only 5dB
  • True condenser

Key Features

  • 10 year extended warranty when you register your microphone at the website
  • Warranted for one year from date of purchase
  • 20Hz – 20kHz frequency range
  • Wide dynamic range
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Ultra low noise, transformerless surface mount circuitry

Preferred Usage

  • Solo vocal recording
  • Solo instrument recording

Pros:

  • 10 year warranty
  • Professional, crisp, clear sound quality
  • Professional, sleek design with nickel plated body
  • Lightweight at about 4 pounds
  • Includes RØDE SM6 shock mount with integrated popshield, 20′ high quality XLR cable, microphone dust cover, and NT1-A Studio Secrets DVD

Cons:

  • Does not come with microphone stand
  • Requires phantom powered sound interface
rode nt1-a anniversary bundle

The RØDE NT1-A anniversary bundle includes most of what you need to get started recording.

Full review: RØDE NT1-A studio condenser microphone

The RØDE NT1-A has become a staple in independent small home studios all over the world because of its clarity, wide dynamic range, and ultra low self noise of only 5 decibels. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly microphone with top of the line recording quality, look no place else other than the RØDE NT1-A because this microphone will record some of the best vocals in the $200-300 price range.

The RØDE NT1-A condenser microphone has not decreased in price over the past decade and that is for good reason: the microphone stands up to the test of time, lasts for years with good care, and continues to be one of the most popular microphones in home and professional studios alike. Like all condenser microphones, the NT1-A does require either 24V or 48V phantom power, but the noise output from this microphone is so low that it’s barely noticeable when recorded in a well padded recording environment. You can achieve crystal clear vocals with the RØDE NT1-A, but the wide dynamic range, mid range frequency response, and the up front polarity pattern allow producers to record acoustic guitar and other instruments with ease. Believe me, recording acoustic guitar on the RØDE NT1-A Sounds amazing with proper equalization and mixing techniques!

rode nt1-a microphone side view

Clear and quiet — looks great too!

Is the RØDE NT1-A the best budget condenser microphone for small home studios?

To put it simply, yes, the NT1-A is the quietest and crispiest sounding budget-friendly condenser microphone on the market and it has been for years! Run the RØDE NT1-A directly to your phantom powered interface or run it through a sweet tube pre-amp and achieve some of the warmest, clearest vocals you have ever recorded with a microphone that costs less than $250.

rode nt1-a polar pattern

RØDE NT1-A polar pattern.

There are no complaints from me, no cons, no negatives, nothing, about the RØDE NT1-A microphone. I know, it sounds like I’m selling something, but I recorded over 100 songs with this microphone and it always worked perfectly and never degraded in quality over the years of use. It’s a great microphone for recording vocals and instruments while directly in front of the microphone, however, it won’t pick up as much volume if you’re recording sounds into the microphone at different angles. There is a small golden dot on the front of the RØDE NT1-A and this is to help guide your microphone placement. You always want to input your sound directly into the front of the gold plated diaphragm to achieve the best recording results.

rode nt1-a frequency response

RØDE NT1-A frequency response range.

The RØDE NT1-A is an incredible microphone for recording vocalists and live instruments.

rode nt1-a front view

RØDE NT1-A front view.

Running the NT1-A microphone through a tube pre-amp and adding equalization and reverb effects to the recorded vocals can achieve amazing results. I seriously recommend using either a reflection shield, recording booth, noise canceling wall padding foam, bass traps, or a combination of all of these items to achieve the best recording results with the NT1-A microphone! Also, keeping your headphone volume to a minimum comfortable listening level (not extremely loud) while recording will also help to achieve crystal clear recordings without much external sound pollution in the recording.

If you’re in the market for a new microphone, you should definitely consider the RØDE NT1-A condenser package. The anniversary NT1-A package comes with the microphone and storage sleeve, 20 feet XLR cable, shock mount, and pop filter in one. If you take good care of the microphone and put it back inside the storage sleeve after using it, the NT1-A will last you for years and years to come.

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