Review: RØDE NT1 studio microphone, shockmount and pop filter

The RØDE NT1 studio microphone is a high-end electret condenser model which uses phantom power. I recorded a shootout with the RØDE Broadcaster.

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.

Similarities

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, AmazonB&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)

For comparison, the RØDE Broadcast microphone (reviewed here) is ±US$419 (AmazonB&H) and the RØDE official WS2 windscreen is ±US$20 (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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Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is a bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting both end-users and manufacturers through his Florida company. Via TecnoTur, Tépper has been giving video tech seminars in several South Florida’s universities and training centers, and in a half dozen Latin American countries, in their native language. Tépper has been a frequent radio/TV guest on several South Florida, Guatemalan, and Venezuelan radio and TV stations. As a certified ATA (American Translators Association) translator, Tépper has translated and localized dozens of advertisements, catalogs, software, and technical manuals for the Spanish and Latin American markets. He has also written many contracted white papers for tech manufacturers. Over the past 18 years, Tépper’s articles have been published or quoted in more than a dozen magazines, newspapers, and electronic media in Latin America. Since 2008, Allan Tépper’s articles have been published frequently –in English– in ProVideo Coalition magazine, and since 2014, he is is the director of CapicúaFM.com. His website is AllanTépper.com.

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John Spooner
John Spooner

Wow. For the low cost it sounds great. I’d consider it. Also, is it just me, but Rode NT1 = Rodent-one? No – just me?