5000$ microphones.. sounds like a bit much

seen something on tv… these recording mics… how come they have cross wires holding them up? Looked it up and recall seeing thsee… neumann mics… how come they cost an arm and a leg?


Normal mics aren’t too bad… they capture the sound pretty good… it’s not like cameras that can’t see well in the dark… so why are these guys charging so much for them?

Normal mics sound fine when your blaring them over shitty speakers with high distortion in a room with bad acoustics and high enough background noise that nobody notices. It’s not good enough when your in a $1,000,000, completely soundproofed studio recording a audio master which people are going to listen to in the quiet of their own homes with high end equipment.

It’s pretty amazing the difference between a ‘typical’ mic (maybe a Shure SM58) and something more high-end. In a studio situation particularly, the mic makes a huge difference; if you used a more pricy condenser mic, for example, you’d be surprised at how much better you’d sound recorded.

That said, Neumanns are pretty pricy, and a person could get by quite well with mics that cost much less than that. To some degree you pay for the name with those, but when it comes down to it, every mic sounds different, and if folks like the sound of one mic enough, they’ll be willing to pay big bucks for it (or rather, the studio is willing to pay the big bucks in order to have it as an option for their clients).

Those aren’t wires, but elastic cords. It’s called a suspension mount, and it’s to prevent vibrations from being transmitted from the floor through the mic stand and into the mic.

Basicaly a shock absorber.

The one Dr Dre uses (Sony C-800G) is about ~$7,000 dollars. I’m sure they get even higher.

They cost an arm and a leg because:

1: They are large diaphragm condenser microphones with class A electronics.
2: They are made in Germany which means high priced labor.
3: Most of the great vocal recordings utilized these mics and as you know, vocals are very hard to capture. Theses mics have a stellar reputation to say the least.
4: These mics do not reproduce accurately but are flattering in ways we can barely understand.

P.S. some vintage Neumann mics run even more than 5000 dollars and I have seen some as high as 15,000 dollars or more.

The difference between a $5K mike and a $30 mike is noticeable. I’ve just listened to a documentary I did, and the stuff I recorded on my $30 mike sounds a lot worse than the stuff I recorded on a $250 mike – worse enough that I’m going to re-voice the whole thing.


The difference between your $30 mic and a $250 mic may well be larger than the difference between the $250 mic and a $5k mic.