Review: AKG C5, Live Vocal Condenser Microphone

AKG COndenser560

Can this condenser vocal microphone help your voice cut through the mix?

Item: AKG C5, Live Vocal Condenser Microphone

Price: $179 US, £120 UK

Mic Rating: micrating_4.5

At A Glance: AKG’s C5 is a professional condenser vocal microphone designed for use on stage. It features an attachable presence boost adapter to offer the choice of two sound flavours, depending on the sound you are after for your voice. It has a tight cardioid polar pattern to minimise feedback problems and AKG say it has been optimized for use with in-ear monitor systems. It has a tough zinc-alloy die-cast housing and a rugged grille construction to give you years of trouble-free use.

High Notes: The C5 has a detailed sound that helps pick up the nuances of your vocal tone. Its integrated shock absorber system is effective at eliminating unwanted handling noises and it has good rejection of plosive sounds. With the presence boost adaptor in place, the microphone has a noticeably forward sound that helps you to cut through the mix. There is enough low-end, however to keep the overall tone sounding full and the hyped high frequency response is subtle enough not to cause too many problems with sibilance. The microphone comes with a stand adaptor and carry pouch, and there is also a wireless version available.

Off Pitch: Its tight pickup pattern is good for reducing feedback; however it means that singers must be careful to stay fairly close to the mic to ensure a consistent level.

VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: Like most condenser microphones you will need to ensure that your mixing desk or vocal effects unit can provide a phantom power feed to the microphone, other-wise it will not work. With top quality live condenser microphones from manufactures such as Neumann, Shure and Sennheiser costing substantially more, the C5 is an impressive mic that in many ways represents a good bargain if you are looking for a quality live condenser microphone. On the other hand, as good as the C5 is, it is not quite as good as microphones costing twice the price – although it’s not as far off as you might expect.

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