Review: AKG’s Perception 420 Mic

Can this multi-purpose microphone produce great results on vocals? -asks Chris Kennedy

Item: AKG Perception 420 Studio Condenser Microphone

Price: US $249, UK £159

Mic Scale:

At a Glance: The AKG Perception 420 is a multi-pattern large-diaphragm condenser microphone that is intended for studio use on a wide range of sound sources. As well as recording vocals, AKG say that the Perception 420 delivers a warm transparent sound that is ideal for recording grand piano, woodwind and brass instruments as well as drums and percussion instruments. It has three selectable polar patterns – cardioid, omnidirectional or figure-of-eight – and comes with a shock mount and aluminium carrying case.

High Notes: The Perception 420 combines high sensitivity recording with a 155 dB maximum SPL, meaning you are unlikely to find a source too loud or too quiet for it in normal situations. It has a switchable bass cut filter and, with its range of polar patterns, the Perception 420 is capable of good results on most instruments and singers that you will want to record. It requires phantom power to operate and, when combined with a good quality preamp, the 420 produces impressively detailed recordings for a relatively low cost microphone.

Off Pitch: As the Perception 420 produces a fairly neutral and clean sound, singers wanting a mic that will enhance the sound of their vocal recordings or add character should look elsewhere.

A VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The 420 is a very versatile mic at a great price. It will suit singers who only have the budget for one mic and want to record a multitude of instruments, however if you only plan to record vocals there are probably better choices of microphone for the money (or you could save some money and try out AKG’s Perception 220). It faces competition from similar microphones such as the SE Electronics Z3300A or Sontronics STC-2X, however taking into account the performance to price ratio, if you are looking for a versatile studio mic the Perception 420 is hard to beat.

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  • Sam Baker


    I have several of these and use them for live sound applications. They are very clean and the selectable patters make them very versatile. I have used them for vocals, drums, horns, woodwinds and string bass.

    They also work well in an “old time” setting where one mic with several performers clustered around it provides all the sound reinforcement required..

  • md khalequzzaman rony

    really amazing headphone.i am enjoying this very much.Sound quality is making me so funny.Just you also buy from