Rode NT1-A or Rode NT2-A? For new podcasters, this is the million-dollar question (not literally, thank goodness). If you’re reading this right now, you’re probably looking for an expert review of the Rode NT1A vs NT2A – something to confirm you’re planning to purchase the correct product. You’ve come to the right place!
My name is Adam K and I work for Tomorrowland’s radio station, One World Radio, which is available in the UK and Europe. For my own recording and broadcasting purposes, I use the Rode NT2-A daily, and have used this microphone for many years. I’ve also worked with a great deal of other studio tech as part of my work for the BBC; in short, you can trust my equipment expertise.
I’m here today to explain why you’re definitely going to want the Rode NT2-A microphone, not the NT1-A microphone, as a podcaster! Both are well-suited for their own purposes, but the Rode NT2-A is the better podcast mic. And if you’re an independent podcaster who wants to deliver the best possible product, you need to invest in equipment that will give you an edge over the competition.
Let’s dive into why the Rode NT2-A is such a stellar podcasting mic, and how exactly it compares to the Rode NT1-A.
Rode NT1-A vs NT2-A: Features, Pros, and Cons
The Rode NT1-A is a studio condenser mic that offers a warm yet clear sound, extended dynamic range, and high sound pressure level (SPL) capability. It’s certainly a high-quality microphone, but while it will work for podcasting, it’s not the optimal tool for this purpose.
Yes, the NT1-A has great musical capacity due its high SPL ability, and is especially suitable for percussion-heavy audio. However, unless you’re recording a podcast about drum-heavy rock music (which, to be fair, you might be!), the Rode NT1-A doesn’t provide any superior benefits to its more advanced counterpart.
The Rode NT2-A microphone, on the other hand, is a multi-pattern, large-diaphragm condenser microphone. It produces a similarly rich sound to the NT1-A, while being much more versatile in terms of what you can record with greater sensitivity. Also, sound quality aside – bear with me for a second! – the Rode NT2-A is simply a more interesting, professional-looking microphone to have as part of your setup.
Think carefully about this before you make a decision: you might be filming your studio as part of an additional feature to your podcast, or you might just want to feel professional. Either way, you’re going to want a microphone that looks and sounds top-notch. If (like me, and like most other recording pros) you want your work to be high-quality and reflect your brand or personal style, the Rode NT2-A is the mic for you.
Overall, compared to the NT1-A, the Rode NT2-A is:
- Better for pure vocal recording
- Better for extraneous noise reduction
- More versatile overall
- More expensive – but remember, with podcast mics, you get what you pay for!
Rode NT1-A vs NT2-A: Which Is Better for Podcasting?
Without a doubt, the Rode NT2-A mic is the better microphone for podcasting. Just to elaborate a little more on why: when voice tracking, laying down a riff or podcasting, the Rode NT2-A implements three different polar patterns. These help you record sound from different directions – patterns known as cardioid, omnidirectional and figure 8.
The main thing to know about these features is that they make it incredibly seamless to record by yourself, with a guest, or even with multiple guests on a single mic. The isolation using cardioid is excellent, cutting out ambient noise and feedback, and you’ll also get ultra-low self-noise (this is true of any Rode microphone, but especially of the NT2-A).
With its extensive frequency response ranging from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, the NT2-A allows you to record vocals, instruments, and atmospheres with impressive clarity and sonic detail. It can also absorb more sound pressure without distorting the quality, with high pass filters and up to 10 dB of padding. Again: you just can’t get much better when it comes to podcasting.
Additional Considerations for the Rode NT2-A
In terms of other technical details, the Rode NT2-A comes with a Rode Shock Mount 6 and pop shield, dust cover, and cable. Besides all this, upon opening the box, it’s immediately clear that the NT2-A is a microphone with style and panache: it’s sleek and light, weighing just 860 grams and with a silky satin casework.
Regarding additional accessories, I could suggest a dozen great mic stands for different purposes… but let’s save that for another list in the future. For now, all you need to do is choose a mic stand that works practically and aesthetically for your studio space and price point – though I will add that the less you touch the microphone, the better it works! Get that mic stand set up; lock it in; leave it there.
Finally, for travelling podcasters, you might consider a more robust, dynamic mic. Its relative delicacy is by no means the fault of the NT2-A – like all large-diaphragm condenser mics, the Rode NT2 series are sensitive creatures. That said, for anyone recording in a static location, the Rode NT2-A is the mic for you.
By now, you may have noticed that Rode NT2-A spells out “Rodent T2A” – but trust me that it’s a much more welcome presence in your studio than an actual rodent! Furthermore, it’s easy to care for, rarely bites, and will bond quickly with its owner… and in all seriousness, when it comes to podcasting functionality, the NT2-A is absolutely first-rat(e).
- Large 1” gold sputtered capsule
- On-body control of polar pattern, HPF and PAD
- Three position variable polar pattern – Omni, Cardioid or Figure 8
- Three position variable High-Pass Filter – Flat, 40Hz or 80Hz
- Three position PAD – 0dB, -5dB or -10dB
- Ultra low noise, transformerless surface mount circuitry
- Wide dynamic range
- Internal capsule shock mounting
- Full 10 year warranty
Acoustic Principle: Pressure, Pressure gradient
Directional Pattern: Three position variable – Omni, Cardioid or Figure 8
Frequency Range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Output Impedance: 200Ω
Sensitivity: -36 dB re 1 Volt/Pascal (16 mV @ 94 dB SPL) +/- 2 dB @ 1kHz
Equivalent Noise: 7dBA SPL (per IEC651)
Maximum Output: +16dBu (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load)
Dynamic Range: 140 dB (per IEC651, IEC268-15)
Maximum SPL: 147dB SPL (@ 1kHz, 1% THD into 1KΩ load) (157dB with PAD at maximum)
Signal/Noise: 87 dB SPL (A – weighted per IEC651)
Power Requirement: P48 (48V) phantom supply
Net Weight: 860gm