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For a company that was founded in 2011, Warm Audio has made great leaps to become an industry favorite. Within a few short years, the company has gained a large and faithful fanbase thanks to affordable prices for quality products. Known for creating modern reproductions of classic studio favorites, Warm Audio allows a wider audience to own versions of their favorite mics that would have otherwise been out of budget.
This principle is clearly evident in the Warm Audio WA87, a large diaphragm condenser microphone meant to pay tribute to the beloved Neumann U87. According to Warm Audio U87 has one of the most recognizable sounds in modern recording history, and rather than try to create a carbon copy of newer versions the company has chosen to follow the early circuit designs that made the U87 so popular.
The goal behind producing the WA 87 was to reproduce the warm, classic tone of the original Neumann U87 and bring it to a new generation of recording artists and sound engineers for an affordable price. Some users feel the new design and technology behind the Neumann U87 AI has made the sound harsher or more brittle, and the Warm Audio 87 is meant to cater to those who prefer the classic sound. You’ll find out whether they succeeded or not in this Warm Audio WA87 review below.
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Cardioid, Figure-of-eight, Omnidirectional
.5% THD @ 125DB (without pad), 132DB.
150 ohms, 24k gold plated, 3 Pin XLR
High Pass Filter
Since the Neumann U87 is one of the most popular and widely-used large diaphragm condenser microphones ever manufactured, any mic that purports to take after it is going to need to hold up to some serious scrutiny. Original U87s are highly prized on the secondhand market, and usual prices for U87s with the original capsule range around five figures. As most fans of Warm Audio will tell you, the WA-87 brings that same warmth and depth of tone into your studio for a fraction of the price.
Warm Audio mics are known for manufacturing at affordable price points without compromising quality. The WA-87 in particular is a versatile microphone with three polar patterns and a Warm Audio brand capsule that took years of research and development to perfect. The WA-87 capsule features a diaphragm made from new old stock Japanese mylar and using premium quality components. The result is a mic that sounds a few dB warmer than the original U87, but with enough of the beloved tone to please most users.
Like the U87 from which it takes its inspiration, the Warm Audio WA-87 is known for its versatility. Its three polar patterns and high-pass filter allow it to shine in a variety of recording situations, and can capture anything from solo vocals to a full orchestra. Although the WA-87 may not be a true carbon copy of the U87, on its own it’s a top quality mic that any studio would be lucky to have.
Every Warm Audio mic is designed and manufactured for maximum value at minimum cost. The WA-87 in particular features premium components, including Fairchild FETs, tantalum, polystyrene, and WIMA film capacitors. It also has a CineMag USA output transformer, and uses a Warm Audio WA-87-B-50V custom capsule that was designed after the classic K87 dual diaphragm capsule that can be found in early U87 microphones.
Any microphone fan will tell you that capturing the original tone of the vintage U87 might be next to impossible— after all, even the Neumann U87 AI can’t do it perfectly. Thanks to a complex combination of several different factors, the U87 frequency response was something truly special. But the Warm Audio WA-87 is as close as you can get to that hallowed sound for a small fraction of the price, and would do any sound engineer proud. It has a tone that’s bright without being overbearing, and a detailed sound that puts all other mics in its price range to shame.
The Warm Audio WA-87 was designed to be a studio workhorse, and it performs that job fantastically. Its three polar patterns— cardioid, figure-of-eight, and omnidirectional— allow it to be used in a variety of recording situations. Features like its high-pass filter and pad mean that it can record a range of sounds that most mics might struggle with. It works well with vocals, string instruments, acoustic guitars, and even percussion, making it a great addition to any studio setup.
Warm Audio mics are all about putting a modern twist to nostalgia, and the WA-87 is no different. While it certainly fulfills its role in paying homage to the classic U87, the WA-87 updates certain features for a modern ear. Its tone retains that vintage warmth that made the U87 so beloved, but adds a little bit of brightness and smoothness that makes it more palatable for a modern audience. It also has a rich mid-range frequency, resulting in a fuller sound than you might find with its competitors.
The WA-87 was designed for the studio, and that’s where it truly shines. With a warmth and clarity that has it miles ahead of any other mic in its price range, the WA-87 performs exceptionally with vocals and instruments. Its warm, vintage tone flatters most voices, and the range of features allows it to shine in any number of recording situations. Whether this is your first studio mic or your tenth, it definitely won’t disappoint.
Warm Audio has invested in its design and manufacturing, and it definitely shows in the WA-87. From the carefully engineered parts to the solid casing and packaging, the WA-87 would impress anyone from an amateur to the most experienced sound engineer. It makes a classic sound affordable and is a fantastic addition to any studio, professional or not.
While it’s not exactly a perfect, carbon copy of the Neumann U87, the WA-87 is a fantastic mic on its own, and delivers just what users ask for at a low, low price. The WA-87’s warmth and versatility make it a favorite for any studio, and it’s a reliable microphone that shines no matter what the situation. Find the best deals for the Warm Audio WA-87 Microphone here.