Microphones often have their own signature applications. The Rode NT1-A is synonymous with great vocal recordings, while the Shure SM57 is known for capturing the raw, up-front sound from a guitar cab. Every now and then, however, you get a microphone that does it all – and pretty darn well at that.
The Shure SM7B is considered a modern classic. Known for its handy design, it’s a popular vocal and guitar microphone, but does just as well up against an acoustic piano, a drum kit, a brass section – the list goes on. The fact that it’s affordable only adds to the charm. Similarly, Neumann’s U87 dynamic mic has a reputation for a broad yet crystal-clear sound which has cemented it as a firm favourite among professionals worldwide.
Then there’s the Aston Stealth. This revolutionary microphone has been designed to seamlessly switch between popular voices, and comes with a selection of innovative features that make it a truly formidable new entry to the field. Let’s see how the specs compare to the classics…
The SM7B is a modern musician’s staple. As mentioned above, it’s earned a reputation as a sturdy vocal microphone (great for rock and metal musicians), as well as an excellent instrument mic. We use a couple of them in the Andertons TV studio!
Its wide range frequency response and smooth sound also makes it a popular mic for speech – it’s often used for numerous broadcast applications. Its built-in bracket and pop-filter, as well as its presence boost feature, make it one of the most useful mics on the market – and who can argue at such a sensible price point?
- Classic cardioid polar pattern
- Flat, wide-range frequency response
- Bass rolloff and mid-range emphasis (presence boost) controls
- Internal shock isolation & highly effective pop
- Rugged construction and excellent cartridge protection for outstanding reliability
Neumann U87 AI
The U87 is generally considered microphone royalty. Highly regarded among musicians, producers and engineers alike, it has a reputation for detailed, dynamic sound that slots seamlessly into any mix. The fact that it’s still a studio mainstay 50 years after its introduction speaks volumes.
Its versatility and fine-tuned sound have not only earned it a great reputation; the U87 is an award-winner. Three polar patterns plus pad and low cut controls ensure that it still holds its own even against cutting-edge competition. Being the most widely used studio mic across half a century, it comes with a premium price tag – but many argue that it’s worth every last penny. Gold standard!
- Large diaphragm design
- Three polar patterns: omni, cardioid, figure-8
- Balanced frequency response and classic smooth sound
- Switchable low cut and pad control
- Very low self-noise
- The world’s most famous studio microphone!
Never ones to shy away from innovation, Aston have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the Stealth is a force to be reckoned with in the microphone world. With a slick yet rugged cardioid design, it too is designed for everything from vocals to acoustic piano – in whatever environment you need.
Its real party trick, however, is its selection of voices. The Stealth boasts 4 switchable voices that allow you to hone in on the exact sound you’re after:
- Male vocals
- Female vocals
Make no mistake: this is 4 microphones in one. It doesn’t end there either – a built-in Class-A mic pre offers a hefty gain lift when used with phantom power, meaning no need for external signal boosting. This adds a level of tonal richness seldom found in a mic at this price point. Built-in shock absorption completes the picture – a truly innovative piece of kit for a stunning price.
- Cardioid Studio and Live mic
- 4 switchable voices for ultimate versatility
- Broadcast quality sound in any context
- Built-in Class A mic pre for a gain lift
- Automatic phantom power detection for passive or active systems (world first!)
- Unique Sorbothane internal shock mount system