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Neumann U87 AI Microphone Review


Georg Neumann GmbH — known popularly as Neumann — is a German company that was founded in 1928. In the decades since it’s achieved almost legendary status as one of the premier microphone manufacturers in the world. Neumann’s microphones are known for their rich sound, incredible detail, and fantastic depth, but they also come with a caveat— the price. 

In Neumann’s case, you pay for quality. The vintage Neumann U67 Tube Condenser Microphone, now out of print, is also known as the most expensive microphone in the world. It’s particularly prized for its unique, vintage sound, and secondhand versions can cost upwards of USD$ 10,000.

The original Neumann U87 mic was released in 1967 and was meant to be a successor to the famous U67. Thanks to its distinct sound signature, it’s considered by many to be the best condenser microphone of the 60s. For many professionals, the Neumann U87 microphones have the honor of being the world’s favorite large diaphragm condenser microphone. Its latest version, the U87 AI, was released in 1986 and is an essential element in studios all around the world.

About the Neumann U87AI Microphone

Neumann U87 AI Microphone

Directional Pattern

Omnidirectional, cardioid, figure-8

Frequency Range

20 Hz … 20 kHz

Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1 kohm

20/28/22 mV/Pa ± 1 dB (Omni/cardioid/8)

Rated Impedance

200 ohms

Rated load impedance

1 kohms

When it comes to a studio standard, there’s no mic more suited for the name than the Neuman U87. Neumann is an industry leader in terms of sound quality and depth, and manufacturers all over the world have attempted to replicate its famed condenser mics. The U87 microphone’s smooth and refined sound makes it an asset for any studio, and its sound has shaped recordings for the past half-century.

The U87 AI has three directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid, and figure-of-eight, which allow it to be used in a variety of recording settings. While the Neumann U87 microphones are known as vocal mics, they also serve as excellent spot microphones for individual instruments. Its balanced audio response in each of its polar patterns allows it to record anything from an acoustic guitar to a full orchestra with excellent detail and depth.

The U87 line has seen very few changes over the years, which just serves as a testament to how well its design has stood the test of time. Engineered as a front-address mic, it can be used to record close to the sound source without sounding unnatural. Its sensitivity to any sound allows it to construct a sound that’s as close to real and lifelike as you can get, but home studio users will need to ensure that their recording area is “clean” of any unnecessary noises.

Benefits of the Neumann U87 AI Microphone

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The Neumann U87 is a popular choice for sound engineers and recording artists all over the world thanks to a variety of factors. As a studio microphone, it’s versatile without being too gimmicky, and offers a consistent sound no matter which polar pattern you’ve selected. While its price may be off-putting to some, it’s absolutely worth the investment. Many audiophiles believe that if you were to only buy one microphone your entire life, it should be the Neumann U87 AI.

Classic Neumann Sound

Having been in use for 50 years and counting, the U87 line is known as the classic microphone line. Unlike recent offerings on the market, the U87 AI goes back to the roots of audio recording, offering a round sound with a low end that’s very smooth and present. It has classic, warm sound pressure levels that flatter practically any sound source, offering character while preserving realism. Plus, its versatility is such that the same unit can be used for anything from hard-hitting vocals to a full orchestra.

A Worldwide Standard

The Neumann U87 AI is undoubtedly one of, if not the, most famous microphones in the history of professional recording. It’s now known as the company’s flagship microphone, and its base design has been used to record legendary tracks from the 60s to the present. It’s continued to thrive because of its reliability and durability. Neumann offers quality, and when you purchase this mic you can be confident that you’re getting the same level of dependability that sound producers have relied on for decades.

Pros and Cons of the Neumann U87 AI Microphone

✔ Ideal for recording vocals
✔ Premium and robust
✔ Warm and clear audio
✔ Balanced frequency response
✔Great for recording electric guitar amplifiers
✖️ Expensive

What People Are Saying

While its price can be a bit of a high ask, customers know that when they’re buying a Neumann they’re paying for quality. These microphones are hand-crafted in Germany by skilled technicians, and users all around the world can rest assured that these units can capture audio with confidence. The U87 AI provides recordings with warmth, clarity, and richness, making it the industry favorite for a reason.

“We have a pair of these at the recording conservatory of austin where I teach. It’s a great mic for the students as it sounds good on almost everything. Just a really great sounding condenser mic. Piano, overheads, vocals, acoustic guitar. Super solid, and the top end eq’s really well. Also great off axis response so if you are tracking live, the bleed sounds great. It’s a 5 star mic, and a standard for a reason.”

Reviewer – Matt From Sweetwater

Where to Buy the Neumann U87 AI Microphone

Almost anyone who’s worked with sound and audio engineering will tell you that you don’t need an expensive mic to make a quality track. However, when it comes to finding the mic to provide consistent, flattering, quality sound, the Neumann U87 AI has definitely got all bases covered. Serious producers and recording artists will tell you the same thing over and over again— this one’s a keeper. Find the best deals for the Neumann U87 AI Microphone here.

The Best Mic for Recording

Neumann U87 AI

The Neumann U87 AI is an exceptional choice for capturing pristine vocal recordings. Its superior build quality and durability make it a premium and robust microphone that can withstand rigorous studio use.

The U87 AI delivers warm and crystal-clear audio, ensuring that every nuance of the vocalist’s performance is faithfully reproduced. With its balanced frequency response, this microphone offers a well-rounded and accurate sound representation across the entire audio spectrum.

Additionally, it excels in recording electric guitar amplifiers, making it a versatile tool for any recording engineer or musician. Overall, the Neumann U87 AI embodies excellence in capturing vocals and instruments with exceptional clarity and fidelity.

Sound Quality


While it's certainly one of the pricier units on the market, serious artists and producers who are looking for a clear, consistent sound will love the Neumann U87 AI. It's the industry standard for a reason, and will shine in any studio set up. Period.

Total Rating

Naomi Feller

Originally from the East Coast, Naomi started singing as young as 3 years old. In her early teens Naomi made some embarrassing YouTube videos before settling on a love for Podcast editing. When she's not pouring over endless amounts of audio, she lends her expertise to us here at Shout4Music with her crystal clear and finely tuned microphone reviews.

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