Neumann TLM 103 Studio Microphone

A go-to large-diaphragm condenser with a fixed-cardioid capsule based on the famed Neumann U87, the TLM 103 delivers detailed sound with extremely low noise.
It's not just for vocals -- the versatile Neumann TLM 103 studio microphone will let your voiceovers, guitars, and other acoustic instruments shine with "that Neumann sound" which draws audio professionals to the brand time and time again. The affordable TLM 103 is a large-diaphragm cardioid microphone featuring a transformerless circuit, low noise, high sound pressure level (SPL) handling, and a capsule based on the company's classic, significantly more expensive U87 capsule. This large-diaphragm condenser mic will do the job for a range of applications, from home recording to professional broadcasting and commercial recording studio use.

Cardioid: An Excellent Choice for Most Recording Situations

The TLM 103 boasts a large-diaphragm capsule with a universal cardioid pattern that draws in sound at the front of the microphone and rejects sound from the rear. When capturing vocals, recording instruments like the acoustic guitar, doing interviews, and so forth, a cardioid mic is often the way to go. With this Neumann microphone, off-axis sounds are rendered naturally while isolation is increased.

Looks and Sounds Like a Neumann

Its K 103 large-diaphragm capsule, based on the K 87 from the company's U 67 and U 87 microphones, has a flat frequency response up to about 4 kHz, and above that, a wide 4 dB presence boost. So that you know it's a Neumann, the TLM 103 is addressed from the front and is marked with the read more red Neumann logo on the body of the microphone.

The microphone keeps plosives, pops, and other unwanted noises in check, thanks to its large wire mesh headgrille, which protects the capsule. You can use a pop filter with the TLM 103 if you want, but you may not really need it unless you are exceptionally spitty when you sing or speak.

To further prevent noise from interfering with the mic's performance, the TLM 103's entire internal construction is elastically mounted. What's more, the capsule is set on an elastic mount. Since its frequency range actually reaches below 20 Hz, the lowest of low bass signals are reproduced without coloration. It's because of this low frequency extension that the TLM 103 is more sensitive to structure-borne interference and wind noise.

TLM for Transformerless Microphone

This mic features a very low self-noise level (7 dB-A / 17.5 dB CCIR), making it possible for even the smallest signals to be reproduced basically noise-free. Able to handle SPL up to 138 dB without distortion, the TLM 103 boasts a dynamic range of 131 dB, according to DIN/IEC 651.

There's a reason why the microphone is called a TLM -- its name is short for "transformerless microphone." Transformerless means that the microphone's usual output transformer is replaced by an electronic circuit. Neumann notes that as with traditional transformers, TLM technology ensures good common mode rejection and prevents RF interference that may influence the balanced audio signal.

All in all, the TLM 103 offers highly detailed, accurate sound and superior impulse response, allowing it to reproduce your music and vocals without any noticeable coloration.

Features:

- Large-diaphragm cardioid microphone ideal for capturing vocals (especially male vocals!), speech, and acoustic instruments
- Pressure gradient transducer with single-diaphragm capsule
- Elastically mounted to prevent additional noise
- Transformerless circuitry for a clean, balanced audio signal
- Extremely low noise of 7 dB-A for nearly noise-free operation
- Frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and max SPL of 138 dB
- Large wire mesh headgrille protects capsule from pops and plosives
- An affordable, capable mic for home recording and professional studios alike
- Includes swivel mount and a wooden jeweler's box
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.p65Warnings.ca.gov.
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- 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
Black
Shipping Weight: 2.75 lbs
Shipping Dimensions: 10 x 5 x 4 in
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 008431
Nickel
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

Features:

- 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 suite224.net
"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.
Sound
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.
Features
Plug and play. No other features present and not really needed.
Ease of Use
Again, plug and play.
Quality
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.
Value
For a home studio, don't bother wasting your time with anything else. If you want a true recording instrument, this is it!
Musical Background:
Voiceover artist
Musical Style:
Voice
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