AKG C214 vs. AKG C414 – Which is better (2021)

The C series by AKG is one of the best in the category of reference multipattern condenser units. These mics are among the most versatile and considered to be one of the top products in the audio industry. The AKG C214 and C414 are two top-of-the-line products in this series. They both look and feel pretty similar but there are some significant differences as well.

If you are looking for a mic that comes with a large-diaphragm, you need to go for the C214. Whereas for multipattern performance, the C414 is better.

Sound Quality

AKG C214

The C214 features a large-diaphragm, therefore, it is going to be extremely sensitive towards high-frequency sounds. If you are looking for a good quality unit to record your lead vocals and solo instruments, this mic is the right option for you.

The mic comes with an outstanding dynamic range. You also won’t have to deal with any additional noise even if you choose close-up recording with sound sources and a max sound pressure level of up to 156 dB.

AKG has designed this microphone to have a reduced proximity effect due to the 20dB attenuator along with a bass-cut filter. All the components are tightly screwed together so you won’t have to deal with any component noise either. All-in-all, if you are going for this microphone, you can settle in for top-of-the-line sound quality.

AKG C414

On the other hand, the AKG C414 allows you to easily switch between different polar patterns. This feature is incredibly useful as you can record from different types of sound sources without compromise on the overall sound quality. This is precisely why most people choose AKG C414 over any other mic for recording purposes.

The sounds reproduced by this mic have a tremendous amount of sound character and are extremely clear. This microphone is designed to handle bass and treble at different frequencies.

If you frequently work with detailed and high textured instruments, the C414 is the right choice for you. No matter what instrument you are using, this mic will work well for you and similar is the story when you are recording vocals.

But make sure you don’t create any booming proximity effect. And for that, you need to place your mic at a bit of a distance from the sound source. Additionally, you will have to consider coloration so you can choose between three different attention levels or the bass-cut filter.

Build Quality

AKG C214

You won’t miss on quality materials when you are using AKG. The brand uses high-quality materials in the construction of its products and similar is the case with this microphone. There is a large-diaphragm present in this microphone. It means the mic will be highly sensitive to a variety of frequencies.

This microphone also features integrated suspension. And with the help of this, the mic significantly reduces any component noise. Therefore, the recording output will be extremely clear and free from any background noise.

AKG has also used high-quality and tough double mesh grill to keep the interiors immune from any high impacts. The mic also features a shock mount that is spider-like in construction and your purchase also comes in a metal carrying case to keep it safe.

You can conveniently use this microphone for a variety of stage and studio applications. It has an all-metal die-cast construction with a scratch-resistant finish. Durability is at its best for audio equipment with AKG C214.

AKG C414

The C414 looks and feels very similar to C214 and the series carries on these features from its predecessors. The mic has a box-shaped construction that is very compact.

AKG has stuck to the basics when it comes to the overall design and outlook of this mic. You will see a classic gold grill that will look pretty flashy if you use it in a studio or on-stage environment. Therefore, if you are looking to create an impression on the audience or your collaborators this is the right piece of equipment.

The bottom end or base of this microphone is pretty sturdy but that is not the case when we talk about its grill. It’s quite delicate and you can end up bending it or scratching it pretty easily. The grill might be a good choice for display but it is not durable. The grill on the C214 mic is far better than this one here.

A dented grill can significantly scar the overall look of your mic. However, under this grill, the mic comes with a CK12 Generation 2 nylon capsule. This capsule plays a significant role in producing the sound quality that this mic is famous for.

AKG has started using elastic mounting that goes around the capsule for handling vibration as well as any impact. This capsule is critical to the overall performance of this mic and you need to handle it with care. Your C414 might survive a couple of drops but you can’t consider it to be invincible.

Controls

AKG C214

There are not many controls available on this microphone as it is your basic cardioid unit. Therefore, using it is not going to be an issue for you.

However, it comes with an outstanding dynamic range as well as ultralow noise. It means this mic can handle close-up recordings quite well. It also comes with a 20 dB attenuator and a bass filter that does a fine job in reducing any proximity effect.

This microphone also comes with an integrated suspension. It can reduce any kind of mechanical noise or any component vibration either within the unit or from the stage.

The base of the mic is pretty sturdy to keep the mic in place even during heavy use. Apart from that, there are not many controls present on this microphone. However, the ones available are good enough for you to work with and reproduce exceptional noise.

AKG C414

This microphone, however, comes with some onboard controls and you will be thrilled to work with them. Under that shimmering gold grille on the front, you can access a selectable switch.

This switch allows you to choose from 9 different polar patterns. You can pick five out of them directly from the stitches. The rest of the four are used in combination. Therefore, when it comes to polar patterns this mic provides you with plenty of options.

Right under this selectable switch, there is an LED light. This light allows you to see which pattern or combination have you selected. It gives a bit of more precise control on the operation of your mic.

Apart from that, this LED light also detects the peak and clipping overloads. When this happens the LED light will switch to red color from green even if there is a faint distortion that occurs due to clipping.

The microphone provides you with an opportunity to fix your levels. If you are using a very loud instrument such as your drums or blaring guitar this feature will come in handy.

On the hind side of the mic, there are a couple of switches with their LEDs. The left side has the pre-attenuation pad that enables you to choose between four different settings from -18 dB, -12 dB, as well as -6 dB, and 0 dB.

This feature makes the C414 even more useful with different sound sources and you can choose different settings based on the loudness of the sound source.

And on the right side, the C414 features a low cutting filter. It also allows you to toggle between different settings ranging from 160Hz, 80Hz, as well as 40Hz, and 0Hz for eliminating any unnecessary low end in your output or signals. This feature will also come in handy if you are looking to handle promiscuity effects due to a booming sound source.

Other Things to Consider

Price

AKG C214

When you have a close look at the features this microphone has to offer, you will see it comes at a pretty decent price as well. Considering its robust construction, this unit is going to last for a long time and it will certainly deliver a lot of value for your hard-earned money.

The mic has a robust construction with a bit of flashy design. The internal components that AKG has used in it are all of high quality. The controls the company has installed on this mic are all very sturdy and operate pretty smoothly as well. So, they are not going to fail on you no matter how you use them.

You can use this cardioid mic to record your vocals and solar instruments. You just need to get the best out of it by proper placement and usage of the filters that are available on this mic. It will provide you with an exceptional quality sound for a long time to come.

AKG C414

There are nine different polar patterns and you can use the microphone for a variety of recording purposes. This is one of the best features of this mic and you won’t have to compromise on the recording quality.

You can conveniently work with vocals as well as recording instruments of a different variety. It comes with a sturdy base and would be better to use it with a stand.

However, it doesn’t come with robust construction. The grill on this mic can be dented easily and can damage the overall looks of your mic.

The grille has more bling on it so it will certainly add to the looks but not in terms of durability. But the mic makes immense for this disadvantage and adds more polar patterns for you to work with.

Size

AKG C214

The C214 weighs around 1.75 pounds and its dimensions are 11.3-inch x 8.6-inch x 3.9-inch. It means it is not only a durable microphone but a massive one too. You cannot use it as your handheld device. It is designed to be used with the stand mount and for that reason probably the weight is not going to pinch you a lot.

You can even afford a bigger unit if you want to go with one if you’re not going to use it without a stand. It is going to be in your favor because you can conveniently access the controls as they won’t be too tightly packed with one another. You would be able to make the adjustments precisely and of course when you need them.

AKG C414

When we talk about the C414 it weighs just over half a pound and its dimensions are 11.3-inch x 3.9-inch x 5.5-inch. It means this mic weighs far less than the C214 and you can conveniently use it as your handheld device.

But it comes with a mount design and you need to use it with your stand. The biggest cut in the weight comes due to the less sturdy materials used in the construction of this mic as compared to the C214.

The controls are easy to access because this mic is slightly bigger than the C214. you won’t have any troubles accessing the controls and easily make adjustments to them.

Pros & Cons

AKG C214

Pros

  • This microphone is a durable unit.
  • It comes with an outstanding dynamic range
  • Handles high output sound sources pretty well.
  • A 20dB attenuator is present on this mic with a bass-cut filter as well.
  • All-metal die-cast construction.

Cons

  • Only a single polar pattern is available.
  • A bit heavy.

AKG C414

Pros

  • Features 9 different polar patterns.
  • Three different attenuation levels for better close-up recording. 
  • Three different bass-cut filters.
  • LED light indication for overload warnings.

Cons

  • Fragile grille.
  • Slightly expensive.

Conclusion

The C214 is a top choice for anyone who is looking to record vocals and solo instruments with excellent sound quality. It also comes with very durable construction.

But if you are looking for plenty of versatility, you need to go for C414 as the top choice. You will have 9 different polar patterns to choose from. And it can reproduce sound from different sources at top-notch quality.

About Shawn Shepherd

Hi, I'm the owner of the Hifi Guide and have been an audio lover enthusiast for over 16 years. I have a Bachelor's degree in Sound Engineering and I work on producing content for the Hifi Guide in my spare time. My love for audio stemmed from my Dad who was an audio technician, and now I share my knowledge here on this website!

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