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Neumann U 87 Ai Large-Diaphragm Multipattern Condenser Microphone

Neumann U 87 Ai Specs

Primary Applications Studio Recording, Broadcast
Form Factor Large Diaphragm Mic / Stand/Boom Mount
Intended Sound Sources Vocals, Speech/Voice Over, Instrument
Sound Field Mono
Operating Principle Pressure Gradient
Capsule Condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional
Pattern Selection Switched (Adjustable on Mic)
Orientation Side Address
Circuitry Solid-State (FET)
Pad -10 dB
High-Pass Filter Yes
Tone Adjustment None
Gain Adjustment None
Indicators None
On-Board Controls High-Pass Filter, Pad, Polar Pattern
Windscreen None
Frequency Range 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Maximum SPL Cardioid: 117 dB SPL (1 kHz, .5% THD)
Cardioid: 127 dB SPL (1 kHz, .5% THD, with Pad)
Impedance 200 Ohms
Load Impedance 1000 Ohms
Sensitivity Omnidirectional: 20 mV/Pa at 1 kHz into 1 Kilohms
Cardioid: 28 mV/Pa at 1 kHz into 1 Kilohms
Figure-8: 22 mV/Pa at 1 kHz into 1 Kilohms
Output Level -6 dBu (Max)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio Omnidirectional: 79 dB A-Weighted
Cardioid: 82 dB A-Weighted
Figure-8: 80 dB A-Weighted
Omnidirectional: 68 dB CCIR
Cardioid: 71 dB CCIR
Figure-8: 69 dB CCIR
Equivalent Noise Level Omnidirectional: 15 dB A-Weighted
Cardioid: 12 dB A-Weighted
Figure-8: 14 dB A-Weighted
Omnidirectional: 26 dB CCIR
Cardioid: 23 dB CCIR
Figure-8: 25 dB CCIR
Output Connectors (Analog) 1 x XLR 3-Pin Male (on Mic)
Headphone Connector None
Bus Power None
Operating Voltage 48 V ± 4 V (Phantom Power)
Operating Current Consumption 0.8 mA
Color Nickel
Mounting Shockmount (Included)
Included Case Hard Case
Included Filters None
Dimensions ø: 2.2 x L: 7.9″ / ø: 5.6 x L: 20.1 cm
Weight 1.1 lb / 500 g
Packaging Info
Package Weight 5.495 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 11.55 x 11.5 x 6.75″
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The ultimate studio standard all over the world. For 50 years!

  • The most widely used studio microphone for 50 years
  • Balanced frequency response in three polar patterns
  • Very low self-noice
  • Classic Sound

The Gold Standard

The Neumann U 87 Ai may be the best-known and most frequently used studio microphone the world over. Its smooth and refined sound is as iconic as its elegant exterior design. The U 87 Ai is the standard microphone for speech and vocals. Three polar patterns plus pad and low-cut options make it adaptable to a wide range of applications.

Omnipresent and Special

The Neumann U 87 Ai is a true legend. Introduced in 1967, it has shaped the sound of countless hit records for the past 50 years. And when those hits were announced on the radio, many a DJ sat before a U 87 Ai.

The U 87 Ai is the epitome of a large-diaphragm condenser microphone. Its tapered body and iconic design have become part of the collective consciousness—this is what a studio microphone looks like. The same is true of its sound; the U 87 Ai represents studio quality and has become the gold standard by which other microphones are measured.

What sets the U 87 Ai apart is its special combination of linearity and character. Although its on-axis frequency response is remarkably flat, it does exert certain charisma, making the U 87 Ai both versatile and instantly recognizable.

Classic Neumann Engineering

Technically speaking, the U 87 Ai is a traditional design whose timeless formula has remained unchanged for decades. The U 87 Ai uses the same dual-diaphragm condenser capsule design as its predecessor, the no less legendary U 67 of the early 1960s. Its head amplifier, too, is based on the same design principles as its tube-driven predecessor, but the U 87 Ai realizes them by means of an FET circuit with a minimal signal path and a transformer-balanced output, ensuring maximum signal integrity and high common mode rejection.

Versatile Applications

The result is a studio microphone of unmatched clarity. Its natural sound and midrange presence make the U 87 Ai the ultimate vocal microphone, praised by singers and engineers alike as well as the prime choice for speech applications, such as voice-over, dubbing, and audio books. Due to its balanced response in each of its three directional patterns, the U 87 Ai is also a versatile microphone for anything from acoustic guitar to drums overheads. Due to its solid bass response and excellent midrange detail, it is often seen in front of bass and guitar cabinets. For classical recordings, the U 87 Ai is frequently used as a spot mic for soloists, e.g. cello. A stereo pair of U 87 Ai mics is the preferred choice of many engineers for recording piano in virtually any genre from pop and jazz to classical music.

Features at a Glance

  • The world’s most famous studio microphone
  • Classic sound, instantly recognizable and versatile
  • Balanced frequency response
  • Elastically suspended dual-diaphragm capsule
  • Omni, cardioid, and figure-8 polar patterns
  • Switchable low-cut filter and -10 dB pad
  • Low self-noise
  • XLR 3-pin output
  • 48V phantom powered
  • Includes color-matched shockmount and wooden box


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