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Neumann U87Ai Large-Diaphragm Microphone

Still going strong after half a century, the Neumann U87Ai is a studio staple on vocals and just about everything else. Includes case, shock mount and cable. (302) Read 4 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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The Neumann U87 has reigned as one of the most beloved and frequently employed large-diaphragm condenser microphones for more than 45 years now. It's more popular and widely used today than ever before, which is really the greatest possible testament that can given to a piece of analog audio technology. There are simply some designs that can't be beaten!

A Unbeatable Large-Diaphragm Mic

The Neumann U87Ai is equipped with a large pressure-gradient transducer with a dual double membrane capsule. Operationally, it features 3 switchable directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-8. These are toggled with the switch located below the head grille.

The omnidirectional pattern on the U87 is often used for situations in which you want an even 360 degrees of recording within a given space. In omni mode, the U87 is a no-brainer for getting super-transparent room tone with exceptional transient response. It's a particularly awesome setting for large acoustic ensemble settings. U87s are often used as the central conductor's-eye-view microphone in orchestral recordings.

The cardioid setting picks up sound in a heart-shaped pattern, facing forward. This is probably the most common setting for the U87, given its longstanding fame as the end-all-be-all vocal microphone. However, you can also use this setting to excellent effect with acoustic guitars and in front of some guitar or keyboard amplifiers. The frequency response on the cardioid pattern maintains a super-smooth frequency response at a distance of 10 to 15 inches.

The figure-8 configuration on the U87 picks up sound from either side of the capsule, but avoids becoming overdriven by powerful sounds up front. It is perfect when you need to get a clear but less direct sound from acoustic instruments like drums or upright bass. Its frequency response remains consistent even at a distance of 6 to 8 inches. Two U87 microphones in figure-8 mode make a killer Blumlein stereo pair for recording acoustic piano, room ensembles, and just about anything else you can imagine.

Further Adjustments to Make it Perfect

The Neumann U87 also features a 10 dB attenuation switch, located on the rear, that allows the microphone to continue working under sound pressure levels up to 127 dB without the slightest amount of distortion. The low frequency response can also be reduced, which gives you more flexibility when compensating for the low-frequency spikes that occur in all pressure gradient transducers, as a result of "proximity effect" on vocals or instruments in the studio.

Features:

- Variable large-diaphragm microphone
- Pressure-gradient transducer with double membrane capsule
- 3 direction patterns: omni, cardioid, figure-8
- Low frequency roll-off switch
- 10 dB pre-attenuation switch
- Case, shock mount, windscreen, and cable included with this package

This venerable large-diaphragm condenser is a classic for a reason! You'll turn to it time and time again for voiceover, vocals, acoustic instruments and amps.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Neumann products.
- 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/Pa*
- Rated impedance: 200 ohms
- Rated load impedance: 1000 ohms
- Equivalent SPL CCIR 468-3: 26/23/25 dB*
- Equivalent SPL DIN/IEC 651: 15/12/14 dB-A*
- S/N ratio CCIR 468-3: 68/71/69 dB*
- S/N ratio DIN/IEC 651: 79/82/80 dB*
- Maximum SPL for THD 0.5%: 117 dB (cardioid)
- Maximum SPL for THD 0.5% with preattenuation: 127 dB
- Maximum output voltage: 390 mV
- Dynamic range of the microphone amplifier cardioid DIN/IEC 651: 105 dB
- Supply voltage: 48 V - 4 V
- Current consumption: 0.8 mA
- Matching connectors: XLR3F
- Weight: 500 g
- Diameter: 56 mm
- Length: 200 mm

* Omnidirectional/cardioid/figure-8
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Black
Shipping Weight: 6 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 6 in
Nickel
Shipping Weight: 6 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 6 in
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 860-434-9190

Product Description

Over 50,000 U87 users can't be wrong -- this microphone is the professional standard and sets the mark by which all others are measured. The U87 celebrated its 40th birthday in 2007 and is still going strong.

The U87 is probably the best-known and most widely used Neumann studio microphone. It is equipped with a large dual-diaphragm capsule with 3 directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-8. These are selectable with a switch below the headgrille. A 10 dB attenuation switch, located on the rear, 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.

Features:

- Variable large-diaphragm microphone
- Pressure-gradient transducer with double membrane capsule
- The studio microphone classic
- 3 directional characteristics: omni, cardioid, figure-8
- Switchable low frequency roll-off
- Switchable 10 dB pre-attenuation
- Ideal as main and as support microphone in the most differing recording situations

Applications
The U 87 Ai condenser microphone is a large-diaphragm microphone with 3 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
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
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 you 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.
Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (302 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
Neumann U87Ai Microphone Customer Review
Sound: it's decent on everything you put in front of it. Feature: great multipattern mic with high pass and attenuator. Quality: very good quality in the way it's built. Value: very expensive compared to other mics which sound as good on voice such as a good AKG,RODE,AUDIO TECHNICA. Overall: kinda (very) overpriced
19 of 33 people (57.58%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Ok well so I have a nice voice nothing that great, this mic made me sound just perfect. the only mic that ever did, so, its perf"
Sound: Best recording mic in the world Feature: Crystle clear Ease of Use: Well no mic is really that hard to use Quality: Very high quality Value: I would say two thousand would sell more but what can I say Manufacturer Support: The company treats their customers fine like someone who just bought a four thousand dollar mic The Wow Factor: Oh my my it will turn any artist on Overall: For ever if you own own one
Style of Music: alternative/ punk/blues/ folk
5 of 10 people (50%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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