The Neumann U 87 Ai Multi-Pattern Microphone is THE iconic large-diaphragm condenser studio microphone. Easily the Swiss-Army Knife of condenser microphones, the U 87's legendary look and performance have earned it a reputation that will sell studio time for whoever owns one. Versatility with reliable sonic performance, style, and confidence - all hallmarks which make the U 87 the legendary microphone which it is.
The U 87 was really one of the first large diaphragm, solid-state condenser microphone to offer such a wide range of features and reliable sound quality and versatility to make it still to this day one of the most coveted microphones available. The distinctive design of the U 87 Ai (a continuation of concept beginning with the U 67 family, and then the original U 87i) make it immediately recognizable by even the most novice of musicians. As a result, listing a pair of Neumann U 87 microphones on your studio's website will sell more studio time than perhaps any other microphone. Well-known for its warm and well balanced characteristics - your perfect choice as vocal microphone for all types of music and speech. The usage as main microphone for orchestra recordings or as spot mic for single instruments make it the most general-purpose microphone - in studios, for broadcasting, film and television. The U 87 is equipped with a large dual-diaphragm capsule with three directional patterns: omnidirectional, cardioid and figure-8. These are selectable with a switch below the headgrill. A 10 dB attenuation switch is located on the rear. It enables the microphone to handle sound pressure levels up to 127 dB without distortion. Furthermore, the low frequency response can be reduced to compensate for proximity effect.
The U 87 Ai is addressed from the front, marked with the Neumann logo. The frequency response of the cardioid and figure-8 directional characteristics are very flat for frontal sound incidence, even in the upper frequency range. The microphone can be used very close to a sound source without the sound becoming unnaturally harsh. By means of a high-pass filter, interferences through subsonic and low frequencies are reduced remarkably.
The dual-diaphragm capsule is elastically mounted and protected by a large headgrill. A switch below the headgrill selects the three directional patterns: Omnidirectional, Cardioid and Figure-8. A window above this switch shows the symbol of the selected characteristic.
The letter A in the name indicates a more recent generation, as compared to the U 87 i microphones that were built from 1967 to 1986. Modifications apply to the electronic components of the microphone only; the capsule remained unchanged. The present-day circuitry increases the operational headroom of the U 87 Ai by supplying the bias voltages for the capsule through a reduced resistance. The result is a higher sensitivity of 10 dB for identical sound pressure levels, and an improved S/N ratio of 3 dB.
Filter and attenuation
A switch located at the rear attenuates the sensitivity by 10 dB. When this switch is activated, the microphone accepts sound pressure levels up to 127 dB (equivalent to a sound pressure of 45 Pa) without distortion. An additional switch at the rear allows to change the microphone's cutoff frequency. This reduces low frequency interference directly at the input of the microphone amplifier. This setting also compensates for the unavoidable bass boost that occurs with all pressure gradient transducers when they are used at close distance (proximity effect). The cardioid characteristic maintains a smooth frequency response at a distance of 30 to 40 cm, the figure-8 characteristic even at a distance of 15 to 20 cm.
Neumann U 87 Ai Multi-Pattern Microphone Features
- Variable large diaphragm microphone
- Pressure-gradient transducer with double membrane capsule
- The studio microphone classic
- Three directional characteristics: omni, cardioid, figure-8
- Switchable low frequency roll-off
- Switchable 10 dB pre-attenuation
- Ideal as main and as support microphone in the most differing recording situations
Neumann U 87 Ai Multi-Pattern Microphone Specifications
- Acoustical operating principle: Pressure gradient transducer
- Directional pattern: Omnidirectional, cardioid, figure-8 plus
- Frequency range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
- Sensitivity at 1 kHz into 1k Ohm: 20/28/22 mV/Pa1)
- Rated impedance: 200 Ohms
- Rated load impedance: 1k Ohms
- Equivalent noise level, CCIR2): 26/23/25 dB1)
- Equivalent noise level, A-weighted2): 15/12/14 dB-A1)
- Signal-to-noise ratio, CCIR2) (rel. 94 dB SPL): 68/71/69 dB1)
- Signal-to-noise ratio, A-weighted2) (rel. 94 dB SPL): 79/82/80 dB1)
- Maximum SPL for THD 0.5%3): 117 dB (cardioid)
- Maximum SPL for THD 0.5% with preattenuation3): 127 dB
- Maximum output voltage: 390 mV
- Supply voltage (P48, IEC 61938): 48 V ± 4 V
- Current consumption (P48, IEC 61938): 0.8 mA
- Matching connectors: XLR3F
- Weight: 500 g / 1.1 lbs
- Diameter: 56 mm / 2.20 inches
- Length: 200 mm / 7.874 inches
Neumann U 87 Ai Multi-Pattern Microphone Includes
- U 87 Ai Microphone
- Wooden Box
- 2-Year Warranty
Neumann does not provide a mount with this basic U 87 Ai SKU - just the wooden box. However Front End Audio can provide a suitable suspension mount, pop screen, and premium microphone cable with this microphone as an added bundle. Contact us for details. Please see the Neumann U 87 Ai Set Z for a complete microphone set including the Neumann EA 87 (mt) suspension mount.
Also available are the Neumann U 87 Ai Stereo Microphone Sets which also include a pair of EA 87 (mt) mounts together with the microphones in one handsome and durable case.
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Excellence in Vocal RecordingJul 20th 2017
If one wants to set the bar high so that no one else can compete when it comes to capturing a wide range of anyone's vocals then the U87 is the way to go. Nothing comes close to it's warmth IMO. It is a beast. Highly recommended to anyone looking to compete on a professional level. You will simply love it!
It's a standard for a reasonMay 9th 2011
I predominantly use this microphone for voice overs (because of the small bump it gets in the 4.5K range; really helps to stand out in the mix). That said, this is a strong microphone for use in several applications. One of the big things that I really prefer about this mic is the low internal noise (IMHO, it's the main improvement with the AI), which can give you a great sound provided that you're in a good recording environment (on the flip side, it's going to show the flaws of the recorded source a lot more as well; if there's a downside to the U87, it's that the mic is uber-sensitive).
Classic for a reasonMay 4th 2011
My "go-to" mic on vocals. It's big and present and smooth. Pair this with a good pre and a good performer and it really is fantastic.