Neumann TLM 102 Review: Is it worth it?
How often do you get to test an awesome condenser microphone like the Neumann TLM 102?
This is what I was up to recently when looking for a new condenser microphone to buy.
I needed to get a new microphone for my home studio and I was curious about the Neumann TLM 102 condenser microphone
So I decided to get it and test it out
Truth is the reviews out there about this microphone are actually crap and not in depth enough
Which is why I decided to do this review and tell you about the pros and cons on this microphone, the audio performance when used in vocal and instrument recording, the build quality and design and how you can easily get this mic online at the cheapest cost.
What’s in the box?
When you get this microphone, here is what comes in the box
- Obviously you get a microphone
- You get a shock mount which is sturdy and prevents external vibrations
- You get a standard mic adapter
- You get documentations and specifications for the microphone
The Build Quality / Design
This microphone feels and looks like a piece of art to me
It’s well designed and looks really pleasing to the eye
As far as the construction goes it does have an all metal body and a black metal grille which is what you will expect from most condenser microphones
It does have a decent amount of weight to it
When compared in size to the Neewer NW 800 (which you can see a detailed review about here), the Neumann TLM 102 is very small
As you turn and move around the mic, you will notice that there are no features on there.
On the bottom of the mic, there is the XLR port which helps connect the power cable to the microphone
The capsule, with its edge‑terminated diaphragm, makes use of more cost‑effective manufacturing methods than Neumann’s high‑end mics, but it has to be said that I couldn’t detect any compromises in the microphone’s performance.
Another cost‑cutting measure is the lack of pad and filter switches, which makes it very much a ‘no‑frills’ design — but again, this doesn’t impinge on the sound quality.
- Type: Condenser
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 50 ohms
- Maximum SPL: 144 dB
- Power Requirements: 48V phantom power
The microphone really does sound incredibly smooth and rich, especially when used on vocals.
It also sounds great when used to mic up an amplifier, or even when being used to mic up an acoustic instrument such as an acoustic guitar.
We’ve included demonstration videos of both a male and female singer using the microphone, so that you can get a good indication as to how it sounds on both voices.
The TLM102 also did a workmanlike job when I used it on acoustic guitar, and while it might not have conveyed quite as much body depth as some of the mics I normally use for this purpose, it managed to deliver a bright and lively sound that was also smooth (some mics tend to make the string attack sound too gritty).
Where you’re recording an acoustic guitar to sit in with a pop mix, this mic does the job well and with ease. For solo work you may have to experiment with the position a bit more to balance the highs and lows, but again, this isn’t a problem.
When further tests were carried out using hand held percussion instruments, it was found out that this microphone performed exceptionally.
- It has an amazing build quality
- It has a smooth and full low end
- It has an insane amount of high frequency and presence without sounding harsh or out of tune
- The price tag on this bad boy is extreme
- For this price tag is has no protective casing that comes with it
If you are someone just starting out with audio recording or a youtuber, then this microphone is not for you.
But if you are serious and want to add a solid microphone weapon to your arsenal then buy all means go for this microphone
It is ideal for recording vocals, instruments, voice over work and even for recording gamers and podcasts