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Neumann U87ai Microphone w/ Peluso Shockmount  From Neumann

One of the most well known (and used) microphones in the world, the U87 always delivers outstanding results on virtually any studio application.  Does your studio have one?

Neumann USA

$3,199.95

Retail:  $4,298.00

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What We Think

Chances are, you’ve probably heard of this microphone. If you haven’t, you surely have unknowingly heard its sonic character laced within an astounding majority of your favorite hits.

 

After nearly 50 years of production, the Neumann U87 has been engineered to perfection. The latest and arguably greatest model, the Neumann U87 Ai, is elegant in both craftsmanship and sonic delivery. Offering a much lower noise floor than previous models and far superior durability, the U87 Ai is at the top of its class by a long stretch; having won the Sound on Sound Microphone of the Year award multiple times already. 

 

Now, normally we’d be tempted to name-drop some famous artists who have used this microphone and made a hit record. In this case, the list of artists who HAVEN’T used this microphone might actually be a lot shorter. When we tell you this microphone is an industry standard used on nearly every hit record, we mean it. We also mean it when we say, “if your studio’s mic locker isn’t replete with at least one Neumann U87, this microphone is a definite must-have for serious professionals.”

 

Long story short, the U87 is the benchmark that just about every other microphone is compared against.  For some specific applications, you might find that another mic works better-- that’s all well and good.  But if you’re looking for a time-tested workhorse mic that will deliver professional results every single time, no matter the application, the Neumann U87 is the rare “swiss army knife” that countless producers turn to time and time again. 

87-Style Female Vocal Mic Shootout: Neumann U87Ai vs Warm Audio WA87 vs Peluso P87, Quick n' Dirty

In this video we present an 87-style microphone shootout on female vocals using the Warm Audio WA87, the Neumann U87Ai, and the Peluso P87. Can you tell which one's which? If you are interested in hearing the results and/or getting ahold of the audio files from this shootout, give us a shout, we'd love to hear from you!

Manufacturer's Description from Neumann

The Neumann U 87 Ai - voted as THE best microphone 

 

The readers of the SOUND ON SOUND magazine have voted: U 87 Ai - the BEST MICROPHONE, announced during the Winter NAMM show 2012 in Anaheim, California. 

 

The SOS award went to products, that "have made our lives in the studio all the more enjoyable". It is a further evidence for the reputation of the U 87 Ai as the world famous, professional standard studio condenser microphone. Until today the U 87 sets the mark in the microphone industry by which all others are measured. 

 

The U 87 presents a wide range of features and versatility that make it to one of the most desirable mics available. Our users are recognising the microphone immediately by its distinctive design. Well-known for its warm and well balanced characteristics - your perfect choice as vocal microphone for all types of music and speech. The usage as main microphone for orchestra recordings or as spot mic for single instruments make it the most general-purpose microphone - in studios, for broadcasting, film and television. 

 

The U 87* is equipped with a large dual-diaphragm capsule with three directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid and figure-8. These are selectable with a switch below the headgrille. 

 

A 10 dB attenuation switch is located on the rear. It enables the microphone to handle sound pressure levels up to 127 dB without distortion. 

 

Furthermore, the low frequency response can be reduced to compensate for proximity effect.

 

Applications

 

The U 87 Ai condenser microphone is a large diaphragm microphone with three polar patterns and a unique frequency and transient response characteristic. 

 

Users recognize the microphone immediately by its distinctive design. It is a good choice for most general purpose applications in studios, for broadcasting, film and television. 

 

The U 87 Ai is used as a main microphone for orchestra recordings, as a spot mic for single instruments, and extensively as a vocal microphone for all types of music and speech.

 

Acoustic features

 

The U 87 Ai is addressed from the front, marked with the Neumann logo. The frequency response of the cardioid and figure-8 directional characteristics are very flat for frontal sound incidence, even in the upper frequency range. The microphone can be used very close to a sound source without the sound becoming unnaturally harsh. By means of a high-pass filter interferences through subsonic and low frequencies are reduced remarkably.

 

Polar patterns

 

The dual-diaphragm capsule is elastically mounted and protected by a large headgrille. A switch below the headgrille selects the three directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid and figure-8. A window above this switch shows the symbol of the selected characteristic.

 

Electrical features

 

The letter A in the name indicates a more recent generation, as compared to the U 87 i microphones that were built from 1967 to 1986. Modifications apply to the electronic components of the microphone only; the capsule remained unchanged. 

 

The present-day circuitry increases the operational headroom of the U 87 Ai by supplying the bias voltages for the capsule through a reduced resistance. The result is a higher sensitivity of 10 dB for identical sound pressure levels, and an improved S/N ratio of 3 dB.

 

Filter and attenuation

 

A switch located at the rear attenuates the sensitivity by 10 dB. When this switch is activated, the microphone accepts sound pressure levels up to 127 dB (equivalent to a sound pressure of 45 Pa) without distortion. 

 

An additional switch at the rear allows to change the microphone's cutoff frequency. This reduces low frequency interference directly at the input of the microphone amplifier. 

 

This setting also compensates for the unavoidable bass boost that occurs with all pressure gradient transducers when they are used at close distance (proximity effect). 

 

The cardioid characteristic maintains a smooth frequency response at a distance of 30 to 40 cm, the figure-8 characteristic even at a distance of 15 to 20 cm.

Neumann USA

About Manufacturer

Specializing in some of the finest microphones in the world, Neumann has develpoed a top name in the industry for consistency, reliability, and sonic excellence. With microphones suited for the entire range of studio recording (and more recently live application), Neumann microphones are often a first choice for uncompromised acoustic reproduction.

Specifications

Acoustical operating principle

Pressure gradient transducer

Directional pattern

Omnidirectional, cardioid, figure-8 plus

Frequency range

20 Hz ... 20 kHz

Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1 kohm

20/28/22 mV/Pa1)

Rated impedance

200 ohms

Rated load impedance

1 kohms

Equivalent noise level, CCIR2)

26/23/25 dB1)

Equivalent noise level, A-weighted2)

15/12/14 dB-A1)

Signal-to-noise ratio, CCIR2) (rel. 94 dB SPL)

68/71/69 dB1)

Signal-to-noise ratio, A-weighted2) (rel. 94 dB SPL)

79/82/80 dB1)

Maximum SPL for THD 0.5%3)

117 dB (cardioid)

Maximum SPL for THD 0.5% with preattenuation3)

127 dB

Maximum output voltage

390 mV

Dynamic range of the microphone amplifier (A-weighted)

105 dB

Supply voltage (P48, IEC 61938)

48 V ± 4 V

Current consumption (P48, IEC 61938)

0.8 mA

Matching connectors

XLR3F

Weight

500 g

Diameter

56 mm

Length

200 mm

Sound Clips