What is it?
Lewitt LCT 140 Air is a new pencil-style cardioid condenser mic available as either individual or matched stereo pairs.
The stereo bundle includes the two mics, a pair of bespoke clips and two small foam windshields. There’s also a nicely conceived double compartment-lined carry case that’s big enough to incorporate the mics with clips attached.
Ideally a matched pair should help deliver reliable stereo recordings, so to create closely matched pairs, Lewitt uses full frequency analysis. Assuming you have a couple of identical mic preamps, you should be good to go.
On the side of the mic are three switches. Two of these are pretty standard fare, and you get a -12dB level pad and an 80Hz low cut filter. The third option is responsible for the AIR aspect of the mic name and engages a bell-shaped high frequency boost. This is an interesting addition and there may well be situations where it could come in handy.
The mic finish is great and the black colour scheme coupled with Lewitt’s green and white labelling matches other mics in their range. At 66g each, the mics are pretty light and even when you factor in the mic clips, they won’t tax your mic stand.
The included foam windshields are pretty skinny, which doesn’t impede crossed configurations. That said, they don’t cope very well with extremely windy atmospheric conditions.
Performance and verdict
LCT 140 AIR has good sensitivity (14.6 mV/Pa) and although the self noise of 20dB-A isn’t class-leading, it’s not atypical for a small capsule design.
The cardioid pattern is also pretty standard and the shift from on to off-axis is reasonably smooth with decent rear rejection. Get in close and there’s an obvious proximity, although this can be reduced a bit with the low-cut filter. For close speech or vocals you’ll definitely want a decent pop shield.
In its ‘flat’ setting the mic sounds pretty natural and a quick look at the frequency plot reveals just a slight lift in the upper mids. This works very well for all manner of acoustic instruments.
Switching in the AIR boost adds a really pleasant lift, and although ‘air’ would typically be primarily higher frequencies, it’s clear this is adding a presence lift from the high mids upwards. Either way, it’s smooth and it doesn’t sound artificial and if it’s needed and you’re able to make that judgement then why not add this at source.
So, any gripes? It would have been great if they’d included a stereo bar, as this is a vital tool for a number of common stereo configurations. What’s more, stereo configurations are somewhat limited by the cardioid-only pickup pattern. Nevertheless, overall the LCT 140 AIR is a solid performer and the stereo bundle both well conceived and executed.
MusicRadar verdict: Want an affordable cardioid-only stereo pair? This is a great choice, and the on-body features make it a flexible one as well.
The web says
"These new small-diaphragm condenser mics offer outstanding professional sound quality at budget prices. Perfect for all types of acoustic-instrument recording, especially acoustic guitar."
MusicTech (opens in new tab)
Produce Like A Pro
- CAPSULE: 17mm diaphragm
- SENSITIVITY: 14.6mV/Pa
- EQUIVALENT NOISE: 20dB-A
- MAX SPL FOR 0.5% THD: 135dB
- SPL DYNAMIC RANGE: 115dB-A
- PHANTOM PWR: 48V +/- 4V ATTENUATION PAD: -12dB
- LOW CUT FILTER: 80Hz (12dB/octave)
- DIMENSIONS: 140 x 24mm, 66g
- CONTACT: Lewitt (opens in new tab)