They say that you will never find a professional microphone under $500. In order to prove everyone wrong, Rode decided to create the perfect microphone for a home recording studio at half the price. Even more, the mic comes with a lot of physical features that will definitely worth your money.
If you plan to make a solid investment in your home recording studio microphone, Rode NT1-A is probably the first mic you should take into consideration. This large diaphragm condenser microphone with cardioid polar pattern has the same quality and performance of mics found at prices over $1,000 but you can actually buy it for $229. But before going into further details, let’s talk about the physical aspects of this exquisite microphone.
What’s in The Box
Rode NT1-A comes with a fancy box that includes the instructions manual, a sticker, the instructional DVD, the 10 year warranty certificate, quality insurance checklist, the actual microphone along with a protector pouch (to store the mic in), a 3 pin high-quality XLR mic cable (that features a belt rope), a shock mount and a pop filter (the last two are attached to each other, creating a sturdy mounting system). The pop filter can be easily adjusted. Although all these items are amazing for a $200 mic, it would have been great to find a hard-case in the box. These condenser mics are really sensitive and if you do manage to drop one on the floor you could end up with a dead microphone.
Although we really loved the performances of this mic, it doesn’t seem to stand out in terms of build quality. The casing seems rather cheap, and you will find other mics in the same price range with better build quality. The microphone has no switches, so you can’t activate a high-pass filter which is actually helpful if you are recording drums or other similar instruments.
Rode NT1-A features a large 25mm capsule with gold plated diaphragm and a cardioid polar pattern. According to sound engineers, this microphone has the technology and electronics that makes it one of the quietest studio microphones in the world. Although NT1-A can be used for home recording, it’s so quite (self noise level of only 5dBA) that that you can actually use it to record far away noises (like special effects) or guitars, while getting almost no noise from it. We have tested the microphone on vocals, guitars and drums and it recorded everything flawless and impeccable. As advertised, the mic was really quite and versatile, capturing warm and pristine sounds (if it’s used with a proper preamp). On the negative side, it turned out that it can be too sensitive to plosives, so you may need to position the pop filter at a higher distance from it in order to capture clean vocals.
Rode NT1-A can be bought from most online stores for a price around $250 ($230 on Amazon.com)
Even if this microphone has some negative aspects like poor body quality, sensitiveness to plosives or no hard-case box, we can easily skip them since the main reason for buying this mic is the audio recording quality. Either for vocal recordings or instrument recordings, this microphone is the perfect solution for any home recording studio, and the price will make it even more attractive.
If you do buy this condenser microphone, remember to register it at the Rode website in order to obtain the 10 year warranty on it. If you want to get the full-options package, you should look into its big brother, the Rode NT2a – a condenser mic that packs all the specs of a premium studio microphone.
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