Both AKG and Rode are well-known mic brands that people often turn to when they’re looking for microphones for rap vocals or acoustic guitars.
You might be tossing up between the AKG C214 and Rode NT1A – two of their most well-loved condenser microphones. To determine which one will best suit your needs, keep reading as we pit them against each other in an in-depth comparison.
AKG C214 Vs Rode NT1A At A Glance
Both of these condenser microphones share some similarities, but there are a few differences between the two that can help you determine which one is perfect for you.
Quick View: AKG C214
The C214 by AKG is a condenser mic that uses a cardioid polar pattern. With a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz and an electrical impedance of 200 ohms, it has a switchable -20dB pad and a low-cut filter. It’s a great mic for on-stage performances and close-up recordings.
The mic comes with an H85 shock mount and a metal carry case. It weighs just a little over 3 pounds and comes with a one-year warranty.
This mic does exceptionally well for rap vocals. With a slightly warm sound, it helps your audio come out clean and bright but not harsh. This makes it especially great for people who might not speak very clearly or tend to mumble.
The C214 is very durable and is noticeably a step up from cheaper mics.
Quick View: Rode NT1A
This is a small diaphragm condenser mic by Rode with an electrical impedance of 200 ohms as well and a frequency range of 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The diaphragm is 1” and has an XLR connector. It uses a cardioid, omni figure 8 polar pattern and has an adjustable PAD at 0dB, -5dB, or -10dB.
With a warranty of up to 10 years, this mic is well covered and long-lasting.
This Rode mic has a nice warm sound, but some say it is harsh and tinny. However, it records very cleanly and can be used for vocals, instruments, and amps. It also comes with a pop filter.
How They Compare
Build and Design
The AKG C214 features an all-metal build and design that is durable enough to travel with. With a black frame and a brown grill, it’s stylish and still practical. In addition, it has a scratch-resistant finish and a double mesh grill head to protect the capsule securely. This also helps ensure great acoustic sound.
Weighing just over three pounds and measuring 11.3 x 8.6 x 3.9 inches, it is quite a bit smaller than the Rode NT1A. It also comes with a carry case, shock mount, and windscreen. Compact and lightweight, it truly is an excellent travel mic.
The Rode NT1A has a much sleeker design and comes in black and nickel. With an all-metal grill head, the capsule is well protected while the mic remains ruggedly stylish. It’s built in a cylindrical shape and is slimmer and taller than the AKG C214.
Much heavier than the AKG C214, the Rode NT1A weighs around six pounds and measures 15.5 x 5 x 11.2 inches. As it is much heavier and bulkier, it does not come with a carry case. However, it does come with a dust cover, shock mount, and pop filter.
The AKG C214 is admired for its amazing diaphragm sound. It can handle up to 143 dB and still offer a smooth frequency. The built-in 1” diaphragm vibrates freely in order to create and record wide, detailed sound.
The integrated capsule suspension in the AKG C214 is perfect for lowering resonances and mechanical noise. This ensures that it creates a clear, crisp sound. The double mesh grill-head provides high frequency immunity and keeps the interior capsule fully protected.
If you want to record a solo instrument or reduce mechanical noise, the AKG C214 is a good mic to choose thanks to the cardioid polar pattern.
The Rode NT1A is also a diaphragm mic, but it is better suited for modern studios as it has a better frequency and transient response. In addition, the mic itself produces less than 5dB of mechanical noise, making it a very quiet mic to use.
Although the Rode NT1A has the same frequency range levels as the AKG C214, it has a much higher sensitivity and can easily pick up on softer sounds.
Both mics come with extra accessories.
Sound quality is one of the most vital aspects in a recording microphone. AKG Acoustics understands this. As an Austrian company, they focus on designing high-quality audio equipment and the C214 is no exception.
With a fixed cardioid polar pattern, the AKG C214 lessens any noise that comes from behind the mic. The sound quality is phenomenal and this mic works for anything. Because of its large diaphragm, it can offer clean vocals and high detailed audio.
Rode is an Australian company that has clients all over the world. With amazing sound quality, the NT1A definitely meets and exceeds expectations.
The Rode NT1A is extremely versatile. It comes equipped with three polar patterns that are easy to switch between: cardioid, omni, and figure 8.
Additionally, this mic comes with three high-pass filter options: flat, 40 Hz, and 80 Hz. It’s also possible to switch between three PAD settings: 0 dB, -5dB, and -10 dB.
Other Similarities and Differences
Starting off with the similarities, these two mics both have a cardioid pattern. While the Rode NT1A has two other options, the AKG C214 is limited to just the one. They are also both condenser microphones.
The two mics have similarly high SPL levels, meaning they can handle loud sounds well. The AKG C214 has a max of 136 dB while the Rode NT1A has a max of 137 dB.
AKG and Rode offer different accessories with each mic. While the AKG C214 comes with a carry case, windscreen, and shock mount, the Rode NT1A comes with a pop filter, shock mount, and XLR cable.
A significant difference between the two microphones is their build. They are both durable, but they have very different aesthetics. The AKG C214 is broader and more square-shaped, while the Rode NT1A is round and slim.
Which Mic Wins?
It’s hard to decide which mic wins over the other. While similar, they each have slightly different features that make them great for varying uses. As a result, there may not be a straightforward answer depending on your preferences and needs.
The AKG C214 is a good choice for close-up recording, but can also be used in on-stage performances. It limits background noise and has a dynamic vocal range. In addition, it’s versatile and durable, making it an excellent travel mic even if it isn’t your choice for studio recordings.
The Rode NT1A, on the other hand, offers incredible flexibility and audio characterization. It has a very low noise output and is great for any modern home studio.
When it comes to warranties, the Rode NT1A wins. With a warranty that lasts up to ten years, your mic is well protected. AKG offers a one year warranty which is still better than nothing. It’s even included in your purchase. For the NT1A, you must purchase the warranty separately.
Which Mic Should You Choose?
While both mics are great options, there are some situations where the AKG C214 is better and some situations where the Rode NT1A is better.
Choose the AKG C214 if you are looking for a vocalist mic. It does exceptionally well for rap vocals, R&B, and regular singers. It can do instruments as well, but it is truly a vocal mic.
The Rode NT1A is a good mic for just about anything. It can handle acoustic guitar, singing vocals, piano, drums, and amps. If you’re looking to start creating a good set up, the NT1A is a more affordable choice to start with, but won’t limit your abilities.