AKG C414 XLS vs XLII
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Choosing a microphone can be challenging. There are so many different mics on the market to choose from, and they all have different features. It can be hard to narrow it down to just one.

The AKG C414 XLS and XLII are two excellent condenser microphones with a lot in common and a few differences. Both of these mics offer a lot of great features for recording vocals, instruments, and more, but which one should you pick? Let’s compare both the AKG C414 XLS vs. XLII to help narrow your decision.

Features

Features of AKG C414 XLS

The AKG C414 XLS condenser microphones are some of the most popular and well-known microphones on the market. They offer a wide range of options for users, including various settings and features that can help you capture sound quality and performance unmatched by other microphones.

Some of the key features of these microphones include:

  • Voice management: The C414 XLS allows you to manage your microphone’s voice communications easily. This means that you can easily create or change your microphone’s settings without having to lose your voice or lose your audio. This is a huge advantage for busy professionals who need to communicate with their co-workers without feeling lost in the mix.
  • XLR connector: The XLR connector allows you to connect the C414 XLS to an amplifier or recorder easily. This gives you the ability to capture high-quality sound even when there’s just one person in your studio or office listening to your recordings.
  • Frequency response: The frequency response of the C414 XLS lets you choose how specific frequencies are captured. This means that you can capture any audio, regardless of its source material.
  • Gain control: The gain control on the C414 XLS allows you to adjust the dB level (the amount of amplification) that your recordings receive. This is essential for those who want to create loud but not distorted recordings.

Features of AKG C414 XLII

The AKG C414 XLII condenser microphones have various features that can help you produce the best audio quality. These microphones feature a cardioid polaroid configuration, which helps to isolate sound sources evenly.

Additionally, the microphone has a noise cancellation system that helps to reduce background noise. The C414 XLII also features an anti-alias filter, which helps to improve the quality of your audio.

Lastly, the condenser microphone is designed with an XLR jack and an RCA jack for connection.

Design

Design of AKG C 414 XLS

The C 414 XLS has a rugged design that can withstand the rigors of travel and field recording while still delivering the highest quality sound. It has a rugged metal construction, shock-resistant capsule, and a highly durable suspension.

Design of AKG C 414 XLII

The C 414 XLII features a newly-designed capsule and headgrille with a refreshed appearance. The capsule includes a platinum-vaporized membrane, which provides the microphone with an extended high-frequency response range.

The new design of the headgrille allows for optimal sound reproduction by combining a perforated, acoustic metal grille within a self-noise-attenuating silicone rubber outer shell.

Portability

Portability of AKG C414 XLS

The AKG C414 XLS is an incredibly portable microphone. Weighing in at 1.4 pounds, the AKG C414 XLS is a lightweight microphone that can be easily transported to several different recording situations.

It also has a low profile and a small stand mount, which means you won’t need to purchase any additional parts if you want to use it on the go.

The built-in shock mounts will help eliminate unwanted noise from vibrations and physical contact with the mic, like during transportation or when it’s being used handheld.

Portability of AKG C414 XLII

One of the advantages of the AKG C414 XLII is its portability. The microphone is relatively lightweight and compact, making it easy to set up and tear down without breaking a sweat.

It’s also easy to use as well as transport, as it can be mounted on a mic stand, suspended from above, or put on a podium without any additional mounting hardware required.

This makes it perfect for location recording where you may not have access to traditional studio setup equipment or acoustics.

Pricing and Budget

Pricing and Budget of AKG C414 XLS

The AKG C414 XLS microphone is an excellent microphone for those looking to invest in high-quality equipment and have a generous budget.

The cost of the AKG C414 XLS microphone will depend on where you purchase it from and how many microphones you buy. It ranges anywhere from $895-1400 USD.

When looking at the microphone’s price, some potential buyers may feel as though it’s too expensive. However, when you break down the cost of this microphone, it comes out to about $5 per day.

If you were to use this microphone for 20 days a month, your cost per day would be about $2.50. That’s not bad at all for such a high-quality and versatile piece of equipment that you’ll use daily, plus be able to resell later once you’re no longer using it.

Pricing and Budget of AKG C414 XLII

The AKG C414 XLII is one of the most expensive studio microphones in the world. However, a microphone isn’t everything you need to sound. It’s best for a recording. You’ll also need a mic preamp, an A/D converter, and other accessories to complete your setup.

That said, if you’re looking for a versatile microphone that will work well in any environment, the AKG C414 XLII condenser microphone is well worth its price tag.

The nine polar patterns will allow you to record sources with unparalleled clarity and detail. And with unmatched accuracy and construction, this is truly one of the best microphones on the market today.

Sound Quality

Sound Quality of AKG C414 XLS

This microphone is designed to sound best with acoustic instruments. Its frequency response is tailored for strings, brass, woodwinds, and vocals. AKG’s C414 XLS capsule has a relatively flat frequency response that allows the mic to capture the authentic sound of the instrument.

Sound Quality of AKG C414 XLII

The sound of the C414 XLII is what you would expect from a professional microphone. The sound quality is crystal clear, without any distortion, and has a wide frequency response range.

It brings out the nuances of vocals, strings, brass instruments, woodwinds, pianos, drums, or any other instrument you record with it.

Connectivity

Connectivity of AKG C414 XLS

The C414 has two inputs, one for the microphone and an external source like a guitar or keyboard. Connecting it to your computer is easy; the mic connects via USB, and the output is XLR.

Connectivity of AKG C414 XLII

The C414 XLII can be easily switched to one of its nine polar patterns via the integrated switch on the microphone’s body.

Press the button and turn to change from omnidirectional, bidirectional, cardioid, omnidirectional with 10 dB pad, cardioid with 10 dB pad, figure-8, stereo mic for X/Y recording, or “figure-8” for ORTF stereo recording.

Space Considerations

Space Considerations of AKG C414 XLS

The AKG C414 XLS is a large microphone with a 25mm capsule. If you are considering the C414 XLS for your recording needs, you should consider any space limitations. This microphone can be sensitive to nearby reflections, so it may not be the best option if space is limited.

Space Considerations of AKG C414 XLII

The C414 XLII has a new, more robust design. This condenser microphone is built with a thicker housing that requires more storage space, but the sound quality is worth the extra room.

The C414 XLII also includes new switches to reduce noise interference often found in live performance settings.

Pros and Cons

Pros of AKG C414 XLS

  • The AKG C414 is versatile and can be used for a wide range of recording situations.
  • It has a large diaphragm and a cardioid polar pattern, making it perfect for vocals and acoustic instruments.
  • The AKG is also quite affordable.
  • It is durable and well-built so that it will last.
  • The capsule is designed so that the microphone picks up sound in such a way that it emphasizes the crucial frequencies in the instrument you’re trying to reproduce.
  • You can attach the microphone onto a standard mic clip or use it with a shock mount to avoid vibrations through your s soundcard and into your recorder (or mixer).

Cons of AKG C414 XLS

  • Is not compatible with iOS devices

  • Expensive

Pros of AKG C414 XLII

  • The XLII is a new and improved version of the C414.
  • It’s one of the most popular microphones for recording, broadcast, and live performance.
  • Nine high-end polar patterns allow you to choose from 90% cardioid, 80% figure-eight, 70% omnidirectional, 50% super-cardioid, 40% subcardioid, 30% bidirectional or 20% figure-eight.
  • It has a low self-noise of 13 dB SPL and a 124 dB SPL/20 Hz – 20 kHz dynamic range.
  • This microphone is also known as one of the best mics for vocals.
  • It’s designed with AKG’s proprietary large headgrille design to provide high sound pressure level capability with an aluminum body that dissipates heat easily.

Cons of AKG C414 XLII

  • It isn’t the best for recording delicate instruments like strings or acoustic guitars.
  • It can’t handle distortion. If you’re in a loud environment with lots of background noise, the C414 XLII may not be the best option for recording your voice or instruments.

AKG C414 XLS vs. XLII: How Do They Differ?

The main difference between the AKG C414 XLS vs. XLII is the physical design of the microphone. The AKG C414 XLS is a large-diaphragm condenser mic, whereas the XLII is a medium-diaphragm condenser mic.

The XLII does not have an On/Off switch, which could be something to think about if you plan on using your microphone in live settings, especially for spoken word or acoustic performances.

Both microphones are excellent for recording vocals, but they are ideal for different purposes. The XLII can produce a warmer sound with less sibilance than the C414 XLS because of its medium diaphragm.

The XLII has a wider frequency response range than the C414 XLS because it’s designed for vocals and voiceovers.

Weighing in at just 10 ounces, the XLII is smaller and lighter than the C414 XLS, which weighs 12 ounces and is larger.

Lastly, both mics come with AT8417 capsules. However, they will need to be swapped out depending on your needs (XLII has 3 capsule options available).

Conclusion

The AKG C414 is a microphone made for recording vocals, instruments, and more. It has a switchable 20dB attenuation pad, is dynamic-free (meaning it won’t cause distortion), and comes with a shock mount. The XLII has many of the same features as the XLS but costs more.