James... 02/25/2012

AKG C 214 : James...'s user review

« A budget mic? »

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Capsule: One Inch Large Diaphragm Condenser
Sensitivity: 20 mV/Pa (-34 dBV)
Frequency Range: 20 to 20,000 Hz
Equivalent noise level: 13 dB-A (IEC 60268-4)
Polar Pattern: Cardioid
Max. SPL: 136 / 156 dB SPL (0 / 20 dB Pad)
Dynamic range: 123 / 143 dB-A (0 / 20 dB Pad)
Low Cut Filter: 160 Hz, 6 dB/Octave, switchable
Attenuation Pad: 20 dB, switchable
Phantom Power: 12 to 52 V (IEC 61938)
Patents: AT 395.225, DE 4.103.784, JP 2.815.488
Dimensions: 160 x 55 mm (6.3 x 2.2 in.)
Net / Shipping Weight: 280 / 1450 g (0.62 / 3.22 lbs)
Included Accessories: H 85 Shock Mount, W 214 Windscreen, Metal Carrying Case


I still remember buying my first 214. I believe it was my second AKG mic I ever bought, and at this time this was a pretty big purchase. Pretty funny considering these days I consider this to be a budget mic for people who can't afford a 414. Let me say up front I have since owned, used, and destroyed a few 414s. And i'm sure a lot of you reading this review want to know is the 214 sounds as good. To be honest, I don't think it's a fair comparison to begin with. But if you want the truth, I think they are scary close. Some people claim the 214 is in fact better, and i don't really agree or disagree with that. They are simply different. The 414 in any high pressure situation will beat the 214 senseless. But for some reason I tend to use my old 214 more? I think the 214 has a bit more of a natural sound overall, which in my opinion makes it a better vocal mic, unless of course you are dealing with the voice of Zeus or something.

For instruments, the 214 works alright. I have used it for piano overhead and in rare instances as a drum overhead. It does well for those applications. For anything guitar I much prefer the 414. Sorry to burst some guy's bubble. But realistically, I think this mic is a seriously nice value. Anyone starting a home studio should probably get this mic as one of their first purchases. It's that good.

As far as reliability, I can tell you I still have my original 214 I bought years ago, and it works fine. I've probably dropped it a few times and spilled a few things on it. For what it's worth I dropped a 414 a couple years back and it fell apart basically. Not working anymore. Go figure? The 214 gets my recommendation.