Neumann TLM 102 Studio Condenser Microphone with Standmount
While it is by no means cheap, the TLM102 is one of Neumann's most affordable condenser microphones, with its significantly smaller size and stripped-down features.
But don't let its compact size stop you from considering this top rated mic, because it carries over the brand's renowned sound and build quality at a more accessible price point.
Despite its relatively small size, the Neumann TLM 102 is a large-diaphragm condenser mic with transformerless capacitor, giving it the same clarity and quiet operation as more expensive mics.
It also features a cost-effective edge-terminated diaphragm that increases the max SPL without compromising sound quality. It is stripped down to just basic functionality, having a single Cardioid pattern with no attenuation pads or filter-switches. And while versatility is reduced, the straightforward operation makes it very easy to setup and use, described by some experts as the ideal no-frills grab-and-go mic for vocal recording.
- Type: Condenser
- Polar Pattern: Cardioid
- Frequency Response: 20 to 20,000 Hz
- Impedance: 50 ohms
- Maximum SPL: 144 dB
- Power Requirements: 48V phantom power
Many reviewers reported that the mic exceeded their expectations, complementing both sound quality and the mic's rigid build quality. Experienced users note that it is the best entry way into the world of premium high-end microphones, and that it enlightened them to see the clear difference between affordable and premium studio mics. Some even go as far as saying that the TLM102 is simply the best compact vocal microphone for home studios and professional studios alike.
In his review for Sound On Sound, Paul White said, "The new TLM102 embodies everything we've come to expect from a large-diaphragm Neumann studio mic — except the price!"
There are a few people that expected some more features, especially when considering that there are cheaper Chinese made mics, but most of them agree that the quality of the sound alone is well worth the investment.
With its big name brand backing and high ratings, the Neumann TLM102 is an easy recommendation, check it out if budget permits.
We were recommending the TLM102 for recording studio vocals until November 2017 and the only reason it came off the recommended list is because there are now more highly rated options in the $500 to $1000 price range which you can read about in our guide to The Best Studio Mics For Vocals.
Another Meta Review by Alexander Briones
Neumann has a reputation of producing premium quality industry standard recording mics, but they can be pricey and may not be accessible to some hobbyists. Still many professionals and experts highly recommend investing in their mics, one of which is this very mic, the Neumann TLM 102, thanks to its high rating and positive recommendations. The most notable feature of this mic is its incredibly clear sound, and even though it is being marketed for vocal use, its transparent operation makes it work really well with acoustic instruments.
First thing you'll notice about this mic is how tiny and light it is (0.57 lbs), especially for its price! But setting it up and putting it to use have convinced many that this more expensive mic is well worth the investment. Frequency response is standard at 20Hz-20kHz, but Neumann adds a slight boost above the 6kHz which results in a really crisp, clear and cutting sound that work exceptionally well with acoustic guitars. It also has a surprisingly high tolerance for loudness, with max SPL at 144 dB that's viable for guitar amps, wind instruments and more.