Here is my review of the black-colored, high-end RØDE NT1 analog electret condenser studio microphone, together with its matching shockmount and pop filter, not to be confused with the similarly named NT-USB or NT1A from the same Australian manufacturer. This article review will include a test recording of the side-addressed NT1 compared with the end-addressed RØDE Broadcaster I reviewed recently. I’ve also included a sneak preview of the new RØDE AI-1 interface (preamp and A-to-D converter) from RØDE, which I’ll review soon.
The NT1 certainly lives up to its reputation of being extremely well built and sounding smooth. The below test recordings were made at the 48 kHz audio-for video standard at about -12dB and later leveled to -16 LUFS. Both were made in the same non-treated room, and both are uploaded as uncompressed WAV. No equalization is applied. I recommend listening with WiFi unless you have an unmetered data connection with your mobile service.
RØDE NT1 recording
RØDE Broadcaster recording
Both recordings were made via the new AI-1 RØDE preamp/A-to-D (analog-to-digital) converter which I’ll be reviewing soon.
Both microphones are:
- Electret condenser
- 1” capsule
- Require phantom power (24 or 48 volts)
- Cardioid (heart shaped) pickup pattern.
- 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response, although they are bit equalized a bit differently, as you’ll see in the next section.
Differences and conclusions
Frequency response of the RØDE NT1, above, nearly completely flat
Frequency response of the RØDE Broadcaster, above, more pre-tailored for the human voice
While the RØDE NT1 is side-addressed, the RØDE Broadcaster is end-addressed like most dynamic microphones.
The RØDE Broadcaster has two features not included in the RØDE NT1: a low cut/high pass filter to combat rumble from air conditioners, etc. and a tally light (covered in more detail in my RØDE Broadcaster review).
The RØDE NT1 is marketed for both musical instruments and the human voice, while the RØDE Broadcaster is marketed for “broadcasting”, i.e. radio and TV, together with their modern derivatives.
The NT1 has a published sensitivity of -29.0dB, while the Broadcaster is listed as -34.0dB. That is a relatively small difference. Both are much less gain hungry than most dynamic microphones and therefore can be used with preamps that don’t offer so much gain as most dynamic microphones demand.
The RØDE NT1 microphone is available two different ways (so far):
- RØDE NT1 with the shockmount and pop filter (±US$269, Amazon — B&H)
- RØDE NT1 bundled with the shockmount, pop filter and the new AI-1 RØDE preamp/A-to-D (analog-to-digital) interface (US$349, B&H)
From an visual esthetic perspective, I believe that each one of these two microphones fit their targeted market: The NT1 looks like a cool studio microphone for musicians, while the Broadcaster looks like it belongs in highest-level radio and TV (and their modern derivatives). That doesn’t mean that each one can’t be used in the other environment. At this price level, all microphones are good, and there are many subjective opinions, just as there are with our taste in music and talk radio. Both RØDE microphones offer a 10-year warranty after registration.
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