Rode NT5 Reviews4.4/5.0 based on 18 customer reviews
Really stunning sound quality for the money. You have to spend several times the price of these mics to get a small diaphragm condenser that performs even a little bit better.
I bought these mics to "hold me over" until I could afford some of the more expensive small diaphragm condensers, and was absolutely amazed at how good they sound! I find myself using the NT5s more than I would have ever imagined, and loving the results. When I need a bright and detailed signal, these mics perform exceptionally well. Given the price, you owe it to yourself to give these a shot. Iím sure that you will be every bit as pleased with the results.
October 1, 2011Music Background:
Recording and live sound engineer
big bang for the buckI purchased this mic on recommendation from my sweetwater rep - Matt because the mic I wanted (Studio Projects) was not available. With much trepidation I purchased a matched pair. OK so now all I have to say is that these mics are way more awesome than the studio projects. Big warm sound - no thinness in the upper frequencies when gain is pushed. I love these on Cellos, Clarinets, Bassoons, and Acoustic Bass. (love my english syntac.. I know ya do) Try for yourself. I own 4 now
Ben Balser, ACT
from New Orleans, Louisiana
February 17, 2008Music Background:
Media Producer, Consultant, Trainer, Author, Composer
Killer Sound For A Killer PriceI do broadcast and video production projects. There are often times when we record local bands and there's no feed from the mixing board, or there are orchestra (big band to quartet and the like) instruments that aren't mic'ed. Using the NT5 to get great quality live sound is simply amazing. I thought we'd have to go with a much more expensive rig than this, but nope, these little puppies are amazing. I also use them individually in the studio for music work, and they are very pleasing to the ear. I love them!
from Virginia Beach, VA USA
December 22, 2007Music Background:
Great ValueThese microphones take my acoustic guitar recording to a new level. Wonderful overall mic. Nice presence.
from Pismo Beach, CA
November 12, 2007Music Background:
Musician first, everything else second.
Great in front of a Martin, but it don't stop there.A big thumbs up on the sound quality of these two little gems. Wonderful in front of an acoustic guitar, under a snare drum, or over a drum set. I love this company (RODE). I also own the K2, an original NT-1, and a NT-2A. Don't think I don't have anything else to compare these mics to. I've heard a vintage pair of KM84's, and these compare well with the big boys. If you can't get your tracks to sound good with these, then the microphone is not the problem.
from Calgary, AB, Canada
September 18, 2007Music Background:
Student, Recording Engineer, Musician, Live Sound Engineer
A Stunning Pair Of WorkhorsesI primarily do location recording with a wide variety of groups, and I can easily say that these are some of my favorite mics to use.
I've used them on drum overheads, close-miking trombone and trumpet, and main stereo pairs for choral work, big band jazz, concert bands, brass quintet, and baroque ensembles. They've helped me out significantly, even in the worst rooms imaginable (think high school gym). At the same time, they've also stressed my need for accurate placement as well.
These give you plently of bang for buck, and that's important for a student like myself. I'm looking into either getting more of these, or trying out some of Rode's other offerings.
Currently running them into a Presonus Firepod then into Cubase 4 on a laptop based mobile recording system.
from Orange County, CA
May 20, 2007Music Background:
Rode NT5I use these for live stereo field-recording and in the studio to mic my Martin D-28. Simply put,they sound incredible. I also have two Neumann KM184's and I feel that the Rode NT5's are just about as nice for ALOT less money! Very detailed and smooth sounding, and IMO better than anyone else's comparibly priced 1/2" condensers.
from Sunnyvale, CA
November 21, 2012Music Background:
Easy to use, sounds good!I was very impressed with these low-cost microphones. I used them to record an in-home piano recital where I wasn't able to place the microphones optimally (I didn't want guests to bump into mic stands). So I used a pair of NT5s, bought specifically for this purpose, mounted about 5 inches apart at the tail of the piano, pointing to the front.
Because we had the top of the piano on the "short stick" (it's a big Bosendorfer piano in a little living room), there was some problems picking up the bass but I think that was more because of the effects of the top than a fault of the microphones.
I'd like to try one of these mics in conjunction with a large diaphragm bi-directional condenser in a mid-side arragement (using the NT5 as the "mid"). I think that would work very well.
from Charlevoix MI
October 27, 2007Music Background:
Buy them befor they get more expensive!I bought these mics for choral recording as well as instrument recording and I'm very glad I did. These are a great value! I used them on a live choral tour I recorded. They pick up everything. I mean details like crazy. The director had a pair of headphones on which were hooked up to my recording console while practicing and he told the choir he could hear the singers breath! These mics pick up very well in front of them and don't pick up noise behind them. I also like them for guitar and especially mandolin. The only thing I wish was different is how they tend to exaggerate high frequencies a bit. Otherwise no complaints. I love the fact that they aren't made in China.
from Missoula, MT
April 12, 2007Music Background:
Very good micsThese mics sound awesome with my acoustic guitar. Granted, I have a rad DigiMax Pre-Amp, but I think these mics give me great sounds. With a good Pre-Amp, these mics sound awesome. I haven't tried them on overheads yet. Fingerpicking and strumming sound excellent.
December 13, 2006Music Background:
worth every penny!What a great set of mic's. I just finished a choir recording, and I have never enter into that world, so to speak... but it came off crystal clear for me. The vocals were right up front! These mic's are great for drum over heads as well and I also use them for acoustic guitar.
I don't know what I would do without them now.
February 23, 2009Music Background:
Student, Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Musician
HOT pair of micsThese are a great pair of mics for the price. In my studio we mainly use them to mic the Hi-hat and the ride, or as overheads. To be honest I was very suprised you could get sound like this out of mics for this price. Only issue I can see with them is you may want to back them off a bit because the signal comes in very HOT! Close miced to the ride and the hi-hat they would clip even with the gain set at 0, if only they had a built in pad.
from Monterey, CA USA
December 17, 2008Music Background:
Musician, Amateur Engineer
Honest ReviewThese mics are extremely versatile, but, depending on what sound you're going for, they may not be the mics for you. I've used these on acoustic guitar, overheads, and I tried one once on a female vocalist. The mics excelled when it came to the overheads, and when I say excelled, I really do mean they were stunning. However, I wasn't pleased with the results on the guitar or vocals. That isn't to say that they didn't accurately replicate the recording, I just wanted to go with something a little bit darker. My advice, if you want some air and a lot of high-end crisp, go with these babies. If, however, you're looking for a darker sound, but still want to retain your clarity I'd go with a pair of mk-012's or something similar.
October 8, 2008Music Background:
Overhead EasyJust aim and press record. I am trying to mater the 3 mic drum technique and these make it easy. The sound is crystal clear and very accurate.I run them direct into my API 3124+pre along with a bass drum mic and its all I need. The HiHat shimmers and the snare punches. The cymbals are perfect. Love em....
from Collinsville, IL
January 11, 2008Music Background:
Better than average sound, average quality.Based on other reviews I decided to pick up a pair of these guys because of the quality vs. price ratio. Overall, I'm pretty pleased. Here's the pros vs. cons.
- My pair didn't come in the nifty padded case shown here, but in a hard plastic case with a padded top. A shortcut by Rode to save some $$ ? (Note: I didn't purchase my pair from Sweetwater.)
- The matte nickel finish scratches pretty easily, especially when taking them in and out of the hard plastic case.
- These mics can get a little noisy when cranked up.
- Cosmetics aside, I set these babies up in a spaced pair on my Taylor 315 and was quite pleased with the sound. The high end is not tinny, but smooth and detailed. The mids and lows are solid and present.
- No part of the frequency range seems unnatural. Just the sound of the guitar like you hear it in the room.
Overall, these mics provide detailed, relatively uncolored sound for a small diaphragm condenser, but I wish I had the cushy padded case shown in the photo instead of the molded plastic one. Anyone know where I can find one?
from Sanata clarita, CA, USA
February 19, 2012Music Background:
overly brightI had an nt5, and was not happy with it. This mic is overly bright and 'clinical' sounding...maybe to the point of some harshness. It is well made, and will last, but at this price point there are many other choices to consider. I was very unahppy with the sound and have since sold it. I don't regret selling it at all.
from Rexburg, ID USA
December 1, 2005
Dang!I use these primarily as piano mics, and their range and fullness is simply amazing for small diaphragm condensers, in both studio and live applications. Very quiet, the polar pattern is good and tight, and the sound is round and transparent. You can't beat the price/quality ratio of these.
June 1, 2005
NT5 Mic shootoutRecently got to put these mics up against others in their price category, MXL 603 and the Studio Projects C4. Overall, I'd say these mics are by far the most full sounding of the bunch. They definitely have capture the full range on things like acoustic guitar. Compared to the MXL 603, the NT5 have a much more detailed bottom, and a much richer sound from about 900-3k (the MXL seems scooped in comp). Against the SP 604, the NT5 have a fuller everything. And the NT5's transients don't seem as fast, meaning you can compress them easier (the SP mics are just too icepicky). In reality, the NT5s are the best sounding (to my ears) of the bunch. By far the fullest and least colored of the bunch. There are better for $$$$, but for $400, these are a steal. Just one guys opinion....
from Merced, CA
January 1, 2004
Live overhead applicationI used the NT5 pair as durm overheads at a concert I was working. They sounded great! I was really pleased to find that although I had inadvertenly routed the overhead signal to the drum monitor speaker, I had no hint of feedback. A testimony to the NT5's tight cardioid pattern. I later listed to the recording of the sterio feed from the board, and couldn't believe how great the durms sounded with little EQ.
The NT5 is one of Rode's newest offerings, as well as a new player in the small condenser mic market. Small condenser mics like this are very useful in the studio and on stage for working with all sorts of acoustic instruments and percussion.
As with the entire Rode line these mics are extremely affordable. When you buy the NT5's you don't just get a microphone, you in fact get a pair of microphones in a nice case that exudes roadworthiness. The included windscreens are also a nice touch.
I had a couple of chances to use the NT5's to mic up acoustic guitar. I discovered that they have a very even sound, with a presence peak in the high mids. They also had little emphasis of the low mids and bass frequencies which is typical for this type of mic. Even though they didn't hype the bass, they did seem to efficiently pick up frequencies way down into subsonics, as such I would suggest having a highpass filter on hand whenever us ing these mics.
I was able to get great sounds out of both of the Takamine acoustic guitars that were used. Both had very different sounds to them, one was rather boomy, the other was pretty midrange heavy. Quite a bit of adjustment had to be made to capture the boomy guitar without making it sound that way. On the midrange heavy guitar, being able to get in close, and capture some really low end stuff helped it gain some body and meat in the recording.
Against The Competition
When put up against mics that cost considerably more than the NT5's they fair very well. A distinguished ear could pick out a number of reasons that other small confessors cost more. But with that in mind, most musicians/engineers on a budget will find this to be an excellent choice. Any studio would find them a welcomed addition to their collection.