Neumann TLM 103 Studio Microphone

- Acoustical Operating Principle: Pressure gradient transducer
- Directional Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency range: 20 Hz-20 kHz
- Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1 kohm: 21 mV/Pa
- Rated impedance: 50 ohms
- Rated load impedance: 1000 ohms
- Equivalent SPL CCIR 468-3: 17.5 dB
- Equivalent SPL DIN/IEC 651: 7 dB-A
- S/N ratio CCIR 468-3: 76.5 dB
- S/N ratio DIN/IEC 651: 87 dB
- Maximum SPL for THD 0.5%: 138 dB
- Maximum output voltage: 13 dBu
- Dyn. range of the mic. amplifier DIN/IEC 651: 131 dB
- Supply voltage: 48 V +/- 4 V
- Current consumption: 3 mA
- Matching connector: XLR 3F
- Weight: approx. 500 g
- Diameter: 60 mm
- Length: 132 mm
Dimensions and Weight in Packaging
Shipping Weight: 2.75 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 4 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 008431
Shipping Weight: 2.75 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 5 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 008430
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 860-434-9190

Neumann TLM 103 Studio Microphone

The TLM 103 is the ideal large-diaphragm microphone for all professional and semi-professional applications requiring the utmost in sound quality on a limited budget. By utilizing the tried and true transformerless circuit found in numerous Neumann microphones, the TLM 103 features yet unattained low self-noise and the highest sound pressure level transmission. The capsule, derived from that used in the U 87, has a cardioid pattern, is acoustically well-balanced and provides extraordinary attenuation of signals from the rear. An SG 103 swivel mount and a wooden jeweler's box are included


- Large-diaphragm cardioid microphone
- Pressure gradient transducer with one-diaphragm capsule
- Transformerless circuitry
- Extremely low noise: 7 dB-A
- Straightforward handling for home recording and professional studios
- High-quality professional equipment for limited budgets
- Wooden box and SG 103 swivel mount included

Must-Have Mic for Many Applications

Due to the universal cardioid pattern, straightforward handling, extremely low self-noise level, and finally, the price, the TLM 103 is predestined for all demanding applications from home recording to professional broadcasting and commercial recording studios.

Cardioid Polar Pattern

The TLM 103 is equipped with a large diaphragm capsule with cardioid pattern. By focusing on this pattern used in most recording situations the attenuation of unwanted rear sound has been optimized. Off-axis sounds are rendered naturally while isolation is increased. This also leads to a high feedback suppression when the microphone is used in live situations or where loudspeaker playback is a factor.

K 103 Capsule Based on the K 87 Capsule

The TLM 103 is addressed from the front, marked with the red Neumann logo on the microphone body. The K 103 large diaphragm capsule is based on the K 87, well known from the U 67 / U 87 microphones. The capsule has a flat frequency response up to about 5 kHz, and above that, a wide flat 4 dB presence boost. The large wire mesh headgrille protects the capsule from plosive sounds and effectively prevents pop noises. These characteristics are achieved without resorting to corrective resonance effects. Therefore, the microphone maintains an excellent impulse response and reproduces the finest details of music and speech without coloration.

Extremely Low Noise

With just 7 dB-A / 17.5 dB CCIR the self-noise level of the TLM 103 is so reduced that even the smallest signals are reproduced basically noise-free. As it is capable of handling sound pressure levels up to 138 dB without distortion, the TLM 103 provides a dynamic range of 131 dB, according to DIN/IEC 651. The letters TLM stand for "transformerless microphone." With TLM technology the usual output transformer is replaced by an electronic circuit. As with traditional transformers, it ensures good common mode rejection, and prevents RF interference that may influence the balanced audio signal.

Sensitive to Low Bass Signals

The entire internal construction is elastically mounted to attenuate any structure borne noise that could interfere with the TLM 103's operation. Furthermore the capsule is set on an elastic mount. The frequency range reaches below 20 Hz; thus, even very low bass signals are reproduced without coloration. Due to this low frequency extension, the TLM 103 is more sensitive to structure borne interference and wind noise. For such cases, the WS 87 windscreen is available as an accessory. For close vocal use, the PS 10 or PS 20 pop screens are recommended.
(115 ratings)
Submitted September 19, 2011 by a customer from
"Lives up to the reputation!"
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This is going to be my primary VO microphone for many years to come. If I should decide to upgrade further, I have no doubt that I can get the majority of my money back out of it.
I have several other microphones that I've been working with for voiceover and podcast work, an RE20, MXL990 and a Rode NT1-A. It's like someone saying, "my brand is just as good as Neumann". They aren't, nor should the other mics be considered in the same class, and now I know why first hand. Since I can't afford the $3,000 mics, this "low end" mic was the next step in the evolution of mic purchases. Right after hooking it up and placing the headphones on, I could tell there was a huge difference right away. I've heard some reviewers say that this mic is very sensitive. My impression was that it was sensitive but extremely quiet. I didn't get all the background noise that I expected to hear. It was extremely clean and pleasant. Reproduction was incredible. This is a mic that you should target if its in your budget.
Plug and play. No other features present and not really needed.
Ease of Use
Again, plug and play.
You just know that this is a mic set apart from the others, from the wood case to the weight of the mic compared to others. It exudes quality by look and feel, even before you start using it.
For a home studio, don't bother wasting your time with anything else. If you want a true recording instrument, this is it!
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