Our Neumann U87 Review
Any musician who is looking to record in a studio needs to make sure that they invest in high quality and versatile microphones that can meet their needs.
This can be tricky, as some microphones may shine on stage and in live performances, but simply not have the power and control needed for great performances in the studio.
Turning to Neumann is a good idea, as they have been an industry leader for decades.
Their iconic Neumann U87 is designed to not only be gorgeous but also to offer a smooth and refined sound that all musicians long for when recording. It’s versatile and powerful, making it an obvious choice for use in a home or professional recording studio.
What Is the Neumann U87?
First introduced in 1967, the Neumann U87 has been used in countless recording studios around the world, shaping the sound and perfecting the tone of many musicians.
It quickly became the gold standard that other microphones are measured against, making it the most powerful and reliable studio microphone currently available on the market.
It features a traditional design that is timeless in its appearance and has gone unchanged for decades. In fact, the Neumann U87 follows in the footsteps of the legendary U67, featuring the same capsule design.
Additionally, the head amplifier is based on the design of the U67, but the U87 features balanced output and a minimal signal path to really cut down on distortion and result in clear and impressive signal integrity and sound.
Who Is this Microphone Designed for?
This microphone shines when it is used for studio recording. Due to the higher price tag, it is more commonly used by professionals and more advanced musicians than beginners or intermediate musicians, but anyone lucky enough to record with the Neumann U87 will find that their sound is clear and bright and that the recording is incredible.
It is not a stage microphone and is designed to be used in home or professional studios.
The Neumann U87 features an incredibly versatile sound that is classic and easily recognizable. What this means for musicians is that their recordings are not only going to be very high quality but will be easily distinguished from other musicians.
When using the Neumann U87, musicians can rest easy knowing that they will produce the best sound possible from their instruments and their vocals.
It’s really common for musicians who invest in a studio microphone to have some components shipped when they purchase it and to have to buy others separately, and the Neumann U87 is no exception.
Musicians can expect to receive not only a shock mount but also a box, which means that they can rest easy knowing that the microphone won’t be damaged when in storage or in transit to a new studio for recording.
Primary Features of the U87
There’s a lot to love about the Neumann U87, and one of the most obvious features that sets it apart from similar options on the market is that it has three switchable polar patterns. Users can choose from figure-8, cardioid, and omnidirectional polar patterns, making this an incredibly versatile microphone.
- Offers three selectable directional patterns
- Impedance rated at 200 ohms
- 20Hz to 20kHz response
- Ability to switch low-frequency roll-off
- Perfect for use as a main and supporting microphone
- Classic studio construction and design
- Pressure-gradient transducer
- Double-membrane capsule
Unlike some microphones that only excel at recording certain instruments or vocals, the Neumann U87 can easily handle anything thrown at it. This makes it perfect for recording vocals, guitar, brass, congas, strings, piano, and more. It’s a great studio microphone that is exceptionally versatile.
Additionally, the Neumann U87 can easily accept sound pressure levels all the way up to 127 dB without any distortion. This is perfect for multiple types of recording.
Alternatives to the Neumann U87
The Neumann U87 is obviously one of the top studio microphones in the world, but that doesn’t mean that it is right for everyone.
Musicians who want to enjoy the quality of Neumann, but can’t afford the high price tag of the U87 will want to consider the TLM 107. This is a gorgeous studio microphone that features a flat frequency response up to 8 kHz. Additionally, it offers a slight boost to help improve vocals when recording, as well as pad setting and switchable three-mode highpass.
The Electro-Voice RE27N/D is a great budget option for users who need a reliable cardioid microphone but are looking for something that is a little more flexible in its use. It features an internal wind filter to cut down on pops and static, as well as two low frequencies and three switchable filters. Thanks to the lower price tag, it’s much more affordable, making it a great option for beginning musicians.
Conclusion – Should You Consider this Microphone?
Any musician looking to set up a studio will have heard about the Neumann U87 and will likely want to consider it as an option for their setup.
The problem that some musicians will run into with the U87 is that it is higher in price than other options. This is because Neumann pays incredible attention to every detail of their equipment and ensures that all microphones undergo strict quality control, resulting in some of the best microphones on the market today.
Another reason why musicians may not want to consider the Neumann U87 is if they are looking for a microphone for live performances.
The Neumann U87 is designed specifically to be used in a studio and won’t shine as much when on stage. It can, in a pinch, be used for live performances, but is really best suited for studio work.
Because it’s great for vocals, as well as instruments, the U87 is perfect for recording singer/songwriters, as well as full bands.
Some churches who have skilled praise bands and who are looking to allow their band to record and release music will want to consider this microphone as it is the best on the market, but others will find that it is simply too much to spend for a studio microphone.