Audio pros rely on AKG C-series microphones–so should you

AKG Mic and Guitar
(Image credit: Harman)


AKG’s C-series condenser microphones have built a solid reputation having been used in some of the world's leading broadcast facilities, recording studios, and stage productions. After decades, they remain an integral part of every audio professional’s toolkit. But while these microphones are the professional’s choice for virtually every studio application, the design of the C-series has evolved to fit anyone’s budget. So, musicians and home studio owners can now take advantage of the same great recording quality and features that the pros use.

One huge plus for the home- or small-studio recordists is the remarkable versatility that all of AKG’s C-series microphones offer. For example, we hear all the time about stand-out sound quality that the C414 offers for lead vocals and solo instruments, but you also use this mic for so many other situations with great results. The advanced dual-diaphragm capsule designs of the C414 XLII and XLS offer a 1” (25.4) diaphragm size and nine selectable polar patterns including Cardioid, Figure of eight, Hypercardioid, Omnidirectional, and Wide Cardioid so you can easily reconfigure it to capture all the character of acoustic pianos, strings, horns, and woodwinds. And, with selectable high-pass filtering at 40hz, 80hz, and 160hz, and attenuation levels of -6dB, -12dB, and -18dB you can get the exact placement you need, even with sources as hot as 158db SPL. If you are looking for value, think about how many microphones the C414 XLII and XLS can replace.

Designed for accurate reproduction and transparency, the AKG C414 XLS features the same capsule as found in the popular C414 B-ULS. It is ideal for capturing a sound source with very little coloring, like acoustic guitars, drums, stringed instruments. So choose the XLS whenever you want a truly accurate recording.

The C414 XLII brings a lot of AKG history with it, as it features the same capsule design as the company’s legendary AKG C12. A similar 3kHz presence boost makes it an excellent choice for capturing vocals and solo instruments. But really, we’re talking about nuance. Both C414 models are great all-around mics and deliver high-quality reproduction for an incredible range of sources from snare drums to opera singers.

AKG C-414 Package

AKG C-414 Package (Image credit: Harman)


A recent innovation to the C-series, AKG’s engineers have used their extensive experience with back-electret capsules to develop the AKG C314. Its more affordable design is similar to the dual-diaphragm capsule of the C414 but powered with a less costly back–electret capsule configuration. The C314 offers four of the most useful polar patterns, including Cardioid, Hypercardioid, Figure of eight, and Omnidirectional. It also offers a high-pass filtering option at 100Hz and a -20dB pad. Amazingly, the innovative C314 design can achieve much of the same performance as the legendary C414s at a friendlier price.

The most affordable microphone of the series, the C214 with its familiar and rugged flat body design, can handle the same high input levels and offers the same sonic signature as the classic C414 models. While it operates in a fixed Cardioid polar pattern, it is still an extremely versatile and powerful microphone at most every critical position in the studio, including vocals, acoustic guitar, and other acoustic instruments. The C214 features a single-position high-pass filter at 160Hz, as well as a single pad option at –20dB.

C-series microphones are available singly or as factory-matched pairs. The pairing is done from thousands of individual microphones by a sophisticated computer-aided matching method. The result of having the precise frequency correlation and virtually identical sensitivity of a matched pair is nothing short of stunning, three-dimensional recordings.

AKG C-414 Pair

AKG C-414 Matched Pair (Image credit: Harman)


Something else every studio and musician should consider is quality. There is no value in a great mic that doesn’t hold up. With a reputation that reaches back 50 years, the quality of AKG’s C-series microphones has been proven and has not faltered. 

With their history of precise and innovative engineering, AKG delivers both value and a sound that is pure, intricate, and free of distraction. That is why the C-series microphones have remained the choice of demanding professionals for decades and should be in your microphone locker too.

Find out more about AKG’s versatile C-series microphones at

MusicRadar Team

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