Neumann is known for producing professional quality audio technology gadgets. They have built their years of achievement and growth on an unwavering commitment to excellence. Never compromising on quality ensures that the consumers receive a commodity of unrivaled audio efficiency, dependability, and long-term value, making it an asset that is bound to typically last many decades for all kinds of audio professionals.
Though Neumann microphones are fairly expensive, experts understand how these remain well worth the investment. Various artists, ranging from Kurt Cobain all the way to Drake have used these microphones.
That should give you an idea about how popular these microphones are at the highest level. When you look at all their features and specifications, you will see why that is the case. They are products worth investing in.
Neumann TLM 103 Review
One of the more affordable yet famous Neumann microphones out there available in the market is the TLM 103. It is known to have developed different technological performance benchmarks.
This is also by far the quietest of the microphones available in the market, producing self-noise of just 7 dB-A. Excluding the requirement of pre-attenuation, this microprocessor can accommodate noise intensity ranges close to 138 dB. It uses a transformerless output point, which reduces transmission failures and guarantees a much more rapid sound that also has a strong and reliable bass response, albeit at increased pulse levels.
It was intended specifically for production studios and broadcasting usage. However, prominent studios quickly adopted it as a much more contemporary-sounding substitute due to its excellent efficiency.
Neumann U87 Review
This U87 microphone produced by Neumann has been ruling the sound industry for more than 50 years due to its irresistible features and offer of durability, longevity, and reliability. This is perhaps the most well-known and widely utilized studio microphone available in the market.
Its sleek exterior style is matched by its seamless and polished tone. It is built in accordance with the industry standards of vocals and audio. Moreover, it is capable of adapting to a broad variety of implementations, thanks to three polar patterns as well as pad and low-cut options.
Like that of its predecessors, it has the identical capsule of a dual-diaphragm condenser. As a consequence of buying this, you will have a studio microphone with unrivaled precision. It is a supreme vocal microphone, and both engineers and singers respectively admire it.
In fact, it is perhaps the top pick for speech applications, thanks to its natural tone and distinct midrange appearance.
Pros and Cons
Key Features – Neumann TLM 103 vs. U87
Let’s take a look features and specification for both TLM 103 and U87
|Features||Neumann TLM 103||Neumann U87|
|Switches||None available||10 dB pad switch|
|Colors available||Matte black and satin nickel||Black and nickel|
|Frequency response||20 Hertz to 20 K Hertz||20 Hertz to 20 K Hertz|
|Max SPL||138 decibels||117 decibels|
|Polar patterns||Cardioid||Cardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional|
|Weight||2.7 pounds||5.4 pounds|
|Dimensions||10.1 x 4.8 x 3.9 inches||11.1 x 11.1 x 6 inches|
|Power source||Phantom Power||Corded Electric|
|CCIR, Signal to noise ratio||76.5 dB for cardioid||68 dB for omnidirectional, 69 dB for figure-8, and 71 dB for cardioid|
|A-weighted signal to noise ratio||87 dB for cardioid||79 dB for omnidirectional, 80 dB for figure-8, and 82 dB for cardioid|
|Maximum Voltage Output||13 dBu||-6 dBu|
|Length||132 mm||200 mm|
|Diameter||60 mm||56 mm|
|Principle for acoustical operating||Transducer of pressure gradient||Transducer of pressure gradient|
|Impedance rated||50 ohms||200 ohms|
|Impedance of the rated load||1 KOhms||1 KOhms|
|Voltage supply||48 volts with plus and minus of 4 volts||48 volts with plus and minus of 4 volts|
Builds and Designs
Neumann TLM 103
Neumann TLM 103 microphone has a sturdy build and is known for its durability and reliability. Available in black and nickel color, it has a swivel mount included and its short size makes it convenient and easy to use. Its metallic exterior gives it an aesthetic yet professional look, making it one of the best options at this price point. It’s a simple plug-and-use kind of device with no hassle of switches.
This one also has an all-metallic exterior, making it look professional and cool at the same time. However, its parts are a bit fragile.
Though it still offers durability and reliability due to quality components used in its manufacturing, you still have to handle it with great care. It offers a choice between the three kinds of polar patterns it comes with. Apart from that, it also comes with a roll-off switch for low frequency.
Neumann TLM 103
The presence increase of the TLM 103 is sustained until about 16 K Hertz. As a consequence of this, its average sound output is a bit higher leveled than the U87 microphone.
This might be a downfall for it and make it a little less appropriate for certain applications, but the presence enhancement makes it up for it, which is essential for voice-overs and allows the cut-through of voice without the inclusion of much effort.
Overall, the sound quality is perfectly acceptable and more than average. It is good for a home-based studio and professional usage.
Its low-frequency reaction can be divided into two types: with bass roll-off or without it.
With the absence of bass-roll, and at low frequency and cardioid mode, Neumann U87 will sound pretty much similar to Neumann TLM 103. This one is more likely attributable to the bass buildup caused by close distance impact due to its normal response of low frequency at omnidirectional mode.
Anyway, users appreciate the sound quality this set provides and use it for the purpose of voice-overs, but you can use it for other purposes too, as you may deem well.
What Is Included in the Box for TLM 103 & U87?
Neumann TLM 103
This product comes equipped with a Neumann TLM 103 condenser microphone secured in a beautiful wooden box accompanied by a user’s manual. Again, there are many more accessories that you can choose to add on, which include three types of shock mount, a double mount, two microphone cables, two-floor stands, one table stand, two pop screens, and a windscreen, etc.
However, you also have the option to choose from pre-made boxes inclusive of certain necessary accessories and labeled as the mono set, the studio set, and the stereo set, whichever caters to your needs and requirements in the best way possible.
This product is equipped with a Neumann U87 condenser microphone and its manual. There are also several accessories that you can choose to add on, which include but are not limited to two types of shock mount, two types of microphone cables, two-floor stands, a double mount, a table stand pop screen, stand mount, and windscreen, etc.
This one, however, only offers two pre-made boxes inclusive of certain accessories which are labeled as studio set and stereo set, both catering to different needs and requirements and you can choose whichever you feel works best for you.
Final Verdict – Neumann TLM 103 vs. U87
Both the microphones are best in their own ways and have certain similarities and dissimilarities too. When used in a cardioid mode, both of the mics show a low-frequency response similar to each other. Both operate on phantom power of 44 to 52 volts, and their frequency response ranges between 20 Hertz and 20 K Hertz.
However, they are quite different from each other too. Their differences include but are not limited to their height difference; TLM is comparatively shorter than U87. Regarding their maximum SPL difference, TLM is manufactured with a higher SPL, making it ideal to use for louder sources. When it comes to the price, TLM is comparatively cheaper than the U87. Last but not the least, their polar pattern difference: TLM exhibits just one polar pattern, i.e., cardioid, while the U87 has three polar patterns, namely cardioid, Figure-8, and omnidirectional.
For those looking for a good condenser microphone with less investment, we definitely suggest Neumann TLM 103. Meanwhile, for those who are seeking something professional for voice-overs, U87 is the perfect pick for you.
Both have equally amazing features to offer at an equally understandable price. Also, both of these products are among the most highly rated ones in this category. All this shows just how much they are capable of.
Now, we conclude this article with the main point that there are not many differences between both the products. Each is perfect in its own way and for the purpose intended to use it for. For professional mic use where you require something small and handy, Neumann TLM 103 will go all the way with its small size, portability, durability, and reliability.
However, if you are looking for a microphone for the purpose of voice-overs, this U87 will be the one that will stand by all your requirements. Hence, it will be the perfect fit for you, but as we stated above, it is a bit fragile, so you must be careful and handle it with immense care.
Moreover, when ordering these microphones, there are plenty of options of accessories for you to add on. Choose the ones that suit you and have your whole set delivered. To choose among these products is your prerogative, and the first factor to affect that choice, according to its usage, is the pricing factor.
We hope you find this article informative and as helpful as we intended to make it!