Updated on Jan 04, 2021
If you want one of the best AKG microphones on the market, then you've come to the right place. If ever there was a set of microphones that were perfect for the low-budget beginner, looking to build their own recording studio, ready to record both vocals and instruments, then I believe that would be in the form of AKG's Project Studio line.
Built with versatility in mind, this condenser microphone comes packed with any extras you'll need to get started with recording audio, whether it be for a studio, Youtube/Twitch, or even performing live.
The P220 model is the most successful within the Project Studio line, and it's easy to see why. However, for some, the $149.00 price tag of the P220 may still be a deal breaker, and if that's the case, keep on reading (or skip below) to learn about the alternatives we find to be comparable with this mic.
If $149.00 is within or below your set budget, however, then we'll also talk about the higher-end alternatives.
The first thing that drew me to the AKG P220 Mic was the versatility. I've used a number of condenser microphones that were fine for vocals but would struggle to pick up audio from an acoustic guitar. The wide frequency response & high sensitivity allows the instruments you're recording to shine through without clipping. Beyond that, the strong & rugged design of the microphone makes on-stage application feasible.
I personally don't like to bring condenser microphones to a gig, but I understand for some it's not always an option when you're between buying an acoustic/electric vs. just a microphone to get the job done. If you can relate to that, then this mic might be right for you.
You will likely be impressed with the sound accuracy when using this microphone for live performance. When we did a practice run without any equalization, we were stunned at how clear the audio came through. I had to use headphones to make sure I wasn't just hearing my own guitar.
This condenser also comes with a built-in bass-cut filter (High-Pass). This is a pretty cool feature that I've played around with a bunch, and it's not super common to see as a built-in feature. If you aren't sure of what this is used for, the basic synopsis is that it'll cut-off the low frequencies at a certain point, and only let in the highs. Think of it like High (can) Pass filter.
Beyond musical applications, the AKG P220 can make a difference in many other audio recording settings. I've seen people use it for voice over work on YouTube, gaming & streaming on Twitch, and even voice over work for children's books on Amazon. This microphone works great for softer noise, so when dealing with speech, it delivers a clean & almost crispy result.
For a $149.00 microphone, I found it to be pretty well-rounded, and it makes for the perfect beginner's microphone, whether in-studio, on-stage or for streaming.
All of that being said, it's still a $149.00 microphone, and so with that, there's bound to be some caveats.
As with most lower-end condenser microphones, you may find it to be a bit airy & hissy. These are the extra high-end frequencies pushing through your microphone, that without some equalization, could potentially ruin your audio. However, with any studio-made microphone, you're going to need to learn about EQ. Every application is different, and the settings you'll need is going to vary based on that. If you're singing into the microphone, you'll need a different set of equalization compared to when playing the guitar into it.
This brings me to my next point, which is that you will need a preamp. Not just for what I've said above, but as with most studio microphones, you'll need the Phantom Power to get the microphone to work. If you don't know what that is, we recommend you read What Is Phantom Power?
For some, the AKG P220 Project Studio Condenser mic is still outside of their price range. If that's the case, they actually kept you in mind! While not as popular, AKG also designed the P120 Project Studio Microphone. The P120 may not perform as well, but it coomes at an impressive price tag of $99.00! We tested this one out as well, and it's still a fine choice for the beginner, and if you can't spend above $100.00, I wouldn't recommend anything else.
If purchasing a preamp is the deal breaker for you, then you may need to look into recording with dynamic microphones for now. While it's not always the best choice, dynamic microphones often require less equalization, and come in at a better price. We would recommend looking into the Shure SM58, which also has a level of versatility for on-stage capabilities, and recording in the studio. Checkout our review here.
If the P220 is a bit below your budget, and you're looking for a little more quality, you might want to look at the Rode NT1. This was my very first condenser microphone, and while I'd still classify it as a beginners mic, it can make itself useful in any studio. Checkout our review here.
For $149.00, there is a lot to love about the AKG P220 Project Studio Condenser Microphone. The versatility is one of my favorite aspects, and for those who play guitar & sing, you'll definitely find an appreciation for it.
While it definitely has it's faults, the P220 comes in at an unbeatable price point, offering a fair cost/value ratio that's not always easy to find. AKG did an awesome job with this mic, and if you're still on the fence about it, you may want to look into our comparable alternatives above. But if this is the price you're looking for, we would definitely recommend it.
Posted on Sep 13, 2020
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