Rode Nt1 vs Nt1a

 In your recording journey, you may have encountered the rode nt1 and the nt1a. From time to time rode has become one of the best brands in the recording industries and especially for the entry-level mics.

The Nt1 and the Nt1a are two differently designed mic, but the mesh grilles are provided on both of them which is similar.

The Nt1 is a specially designed mid-ranged mic that comes with a smooth range of frequency and a warm tone to the music.

While the Nt1a has its magic on the dynamic range and comes with some built-in features that can only be found in high-end mics.

Here is the side by side comparison between the rode nt1 and the rode nt1a which can help you decide which one would be better for you.

Rode NT1KIT Cardioid Condenser MicrophoneRode NT1-A Anniversary Vocal Cardioid Condenser Microphone 
Polar patternCardioidCardioid
Frequency range20 Hz to 20 kHz20 Hz to 20 kHz
Maximum SPL132 dB SPL137 dB SPL
Impedance100 Ohms100 Ohms
Sensitivity-29 dB-31.9dB
Dimensions Length – 187mm / Diameter – 50mmLength – 190mm / Diameter – 50mm
Net Weight395g326 g
Acoustic PrinciplePressure GradientPressure Gradient
ActiveJFET impedance converter with bipolarJFET impedance converter with bipolar
Electronicsoutput bufferoutput buffer
Equivalent Noise4.5 dBA SPL (as per IEC651)5dBA
Maximum Output8.0mV (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1 kOhms load)13.7mV (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1 kOhms load)
Sensitivity-29 dB re 1V/Pa (35mV @ 94dB SPL) +/- 2dB @ 1kHz-32 dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (25 mV@ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
Power24V phantom power24V phantom power
Requirements48V phantom power48V phantom power
Output3 Pin XLR3 Pin XLR
ConnectionBalanced output between pin 2 (+), Pin 3 (-) and Pin 1 (ground)Balanced output between Pin 2 (+), Pin 3 (-), Pin 1 (ground)

Now let us discuss the features of the microphones in detail 

If you ever encountered Rode products then you should know that Rode is known for its built quality. Both of them come with a solid full metal body. Both of them come with 10 years of warranty.

In hand will make you feel that the NT1-A is 18% lighter which won’t be a deal-breaking feature for a microphone. 

Features  

Talking about the features, both the mics come with a popular pickup pattern that picks the sound from a single direction which varies with differences with frequency.

The Rode NT1-A comes with an SM6 shock cable with a detachable pop filter and a 6m  XLR cable.

 While the Rode NT1 comes with the shock mount and an inbuilt pop filter. But it does not come with an XLR cable and you have to buy one externally.

Sound

Both the microphone have a noticeable sound quality difference which can be a deal-breaker feature between these two. 

In the case of NT1, the mic produces a balanced neutral sound for which it gives a straight line on the graph until about 4k, while it rises steadily and then flattens around 15k.

Whereas the NT1-A rises between 100-200Hz and flattens around 2k and falls sharp around 10k. For that reason, you will be able to feel some vibrancy in the NT1-A.

The NT1 comes with a normal vintage tone while the NT1-A comes with a dynamic and airy tone. The signals in the NT1 are amazingly clear but to get a better experience you need better vocals post-production. 

Similarities 

Now, let’s talk about the similarities between the Rode NT1 and the NT1-A. As both of them belong to the same series hence they have a lot of similarities between them. 

  1. First and foremost let’s talk about the self-noise, due to its metal coating there is very low self-noise that is being produced from both of them. 
  2. Both of the devices come with a cardioid pattern.
  3. They are both considered as large-diaphragm condenser microphones.
  4. Both of them come with similar power consumption.
  5. You get a 10-year warranty with both of them.
  6. Both of them come with a golden 1- inch diaphragm.
  7. Both of them come with a frequency range of 20Hz-20Hz.

Differences

  1. The NT1 is a little more expensive than the NT1-A, which can be a deal-breaking reason for a lot of buyers.
  2. The NT1 comes with a vintage look which can be appealing to a lot of buyers compared to the NT1-A.
  3. Now in case of functionality, the NT1-A has a much bigger treble than the NT1.
  4. Now talking about the background noise, the NT1-A captures a tiny bit of background noise than the NT1.
  5. The NT1 comes with a balanced and neutral sound which produces a warmer tone to the vocals while the sound of the VT1-A is dynamic and airy.
  6. Lastly, think about your pocket after all that’s what matters the most. But I would say that both of them are good at this price. If you are a beginner then both of them will be a good choice for you at this price and which have the features and compatibility of the high-end mics also in the market.

Pros  & Cons

NT1

Pros

  • The sound is well balanced and neutral.
  • Has an excellent mid-range sound with a warm tone.
  • Metal coated and have a stylish look to it.
  • Very low self-noise.
  • Comes with a background noise cancellation feature.
  • Can be compressed easily.

Cons

  • The pop-up filter is not that good you may have to purchase a new one separately.

NT1-A

Pros

  • Comes with an amazing built quality.
  • Comes with a metallic shock mount.
  • Has good noise cancellation technology.
  • Has a vibrant sound to it.
  • Capable of handling high SPL.

Cons

  • Not so natural sound.
  • The cable is not compatible; with it, you might wanna get a new one separately.
  • No PAD available.

FAQs on Rode NT1 and NT1-A

Q. Based on reviews alone. Why spend 144 more for this mic, over something like the XML 770? Is the quality that much better?

Yes, it’s definitely worth spending 144 more for this mic, this is so much better.

Q.   Is this a large-diaphragm microphone? 

Yes, this is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone.

Q. Which of these mics are better for male vocals?

The NT1 will be a better choice in that case as it works well in the treble region.

 Q. Which one is better with recording louder sources? 

Due maximum SPL of 137dB the NT1-A will be better for recording louder sources.

Verdict

The thing that always comes into an appreciation is the quality that you get out of these two at these price ranges. Both of them will be a perfect companion for your small project or your home studio.

Personal preference plays a very important role while choosing a gadget but you can keep faith in them as they are gonna be with you for a long period of time.

It is important for you to know that the NT1 was released 14 years before the NT1-A. With its incredible low self-noise, the NT1 stands out to be the quietest ic at this price point.

Where on the other hand the NT1-A saves you some extra time in adding the sound effects as it comes in as an all in one package. The choice completely depends on your need.

Some artists like to create their own tweaks defining their own sound in their own way where some like to keep a vintage touch to their music from the very beginning.

So go for the one that best suits your requirements as a studio artist and let the world know the music you are holding on to yourself.

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