Rode M5 vs. Samson C02

rode m5 or samson c02

The right condenser microphone will make a world of difference in your performances, your recordings, with your podcasts, or while recording your acoustic guitar. When you’re choosing between the Rode M5 and the Samson C02 live vocal mic, though, you have a tough choice ahead of you. Ultimately, there’s a reason why these two great mics are considered some of the best on the market.

Rode M5 vs. Samson C02 Condenser Microphones

Both the Rode M5 and the Samson C02 are small condenser mics and can capture a wide range of sound. However, when it comes to making your pick, you’ll need to choose which mic is the best for your specific needs.

The Rode M5

The M5 is one of the best small diaphragm condensers. If you’ve ever seen an NT5, it’s very similar to that, although it has some new features and improvements that make it unique. Specifically, you can rely on this mic for wide frequency response while having low noise and a low price point.

The Samson C02

The C02 is a pencil microphone just like the Rode M5, meaning that it has a small, cylindrical design that most people use for recording. You don’t only have to rely on this mic for recordings, though. This mic is multi-functional with its sturdy build, solid plating, and low price point to keep record clean sound for your studio projects without breaking the bank.

Audio Quality

The M5 includes 2 mics, so you may worry that your mics will sound off at some point. Not to worry, though, since they work within 1dB of each other. They are consistent and sound about the same. If you use them interchangeably, they shouldn’t have any problems.

The sound on the M5 is perfect for quieter instruments or large groups of people. You can use this mic to record vocals without a problem, and it works well with other low frequencies as well, including your drum kit and different loud sounds.

With the C02, you can get an overall pretty decent performance when you’re using it. It generally picks up a wide range of sounds, from your voice to various instruments. It works best, though, with instruments or voices without too much of a natural low end, making it a good option for percussion or acoustic guitars.

Because of the way the C02 picks up more self-noise, this is the type of mic that really needs you to be right in front of it. You’ll notice more issues if you’re a little far away, like if you have a large group recording.


Let’s take a look at the M5 first. These mics come in a matched pair, so you will get two. You’ll notice that they’re long and slim, with a metal body and ceramic coating. Now, this design is meant to give better sound quality while improving durability, so you don’t have to worry about carrying these little mics with you. Of course, this design is also to make it easier to utilize your acoustic instruments, thanks to the small diaphragm that will capture the sound in greater detail.

The design of the C02 is quite similar to the M5. It’s long and cylindrical, with a cardioid pattern that’s meant to only pick up the sound in front of it. You will need a pop filter with this mic to make sure that it picks up sound properly, but it has a lot of natural depth, thanks to the design.


When you purchase your M5 mics, you’ll also get 2 RM5 stand mounts with them. These mounts are made to secure your mic to any microphone stand that you already have. In terms of construction, they feel sturdy enough, and can definitely support your condenser mic.

As you look at the Samson C02, you should notice the mounting clips included in your purchase. These clips will hold your mic in a rubber sleeve, which, admittedly, isn’t necessarily the best option. This is because there will be vibration noises, although you might prefer this option to your usual types of more rigid clips.

Best Used For

The Rode M5 works by picking up sound from the front, reducing any background noise. This makes it the perfect option for recording acoustical instruments even when you’re on stage, and there’s a lot of noise to block out.

The Samson C02 also works well to block out any ambient noise, meaning that this is a great option if you’re seeking to record in an untreated room. That’s why these mics are often used as overhead mics since they block out other noise.

Essentially, you can use these two microphones for the same tasks. Because they’re both pencil condenser mics, you don’t need to worry too much about any ambient noise leaking in, although you may find that one blocks noise a little better than the other for your specific needs.


Both are good mics, but they each have their own specific set of drawbacks that may be problematic for you.

The M5 sounds just like a more expensive microphone, but the actual microphone capsule is not replaceable. You might have some trouble if it breaks. You also don’t have a high-pass switch, nor does the actual mic come with any storage or transport box.

In terms of the C02, the frequency response might be a little restrictive for you if you’re using this mic with something like drums. This doesn’t mean that it’s a bad mic, just that it might work better depending on which instrument you use it with. Of course, you may not like the rubber mounts either – this is something you should keep in mind when buying. 

Final Verdict

Both condenser microphones will give you good sound quality while minimizing low-frequency noise. Whether you need to capture ambient sound, live sound, or use it in a music production or home studio, these microphones are surprisingly good for their price points and will be a pleasure to use for even a recording engineer.