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Neumann M 149 Tube Variable Dual-diaphragm Microphone Reviews

5.0 stars based on 11 customer reviews
Questions about the Neumann M 149 Tube Variable Dual-diaphragm Microphone?

Questions about the Neumann M 149 Tube Variable Dual-diaphragm Microphone?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Kenny Bergle

    What can I say? Possibly the 'best' mic on the planet! Sounds GREAT on anything, REALLY! I own a pair and they are worth every penny. The M149 made me a better engineer instantly as it erased a ton of microphone-related issues and eliminated the need for audio band-aids right and left! You will NEVER be sorry you bought an M149, except possibly that you didn't buy a pair! REALLY!

  • Jeffrey Green

    The M149 is the must-have studio microphone for the serious recording engineer or studio. One listen to this mic and you'll hear a unique, smooth, warm, refined quality that is not present in any other microphone.

  • from Chicago, IL December 28, 2015Music Background:
    Mixing/Recording Engineer

    Hall of Fame Mic

    This mic is awesome. I have only used it on vocals. On vocals it knocks them out of the park! You can track vocals on these and hardly need to do any EQ after. I recently tracked on this mic and loved the chain I was able to use this M149 to a BAE 1084 and a EL Distressor (Compressor). Boy did the final product sound incredible. Plain and simple with this mic you get what you pay for!

  • from McInnis November 12, 2015

    My desert island mic

    This mic is absolutely killer! I've used it on about everything from drum rooms, vocals, claps, gang vox, and ukulele! It brings huge, warm, crisp sounds. It's worth every penny.

  • from June 12, 2015


    All I can say is if GOD needed a microphone to talk to us or sing, this would be it

  • from Dallas, Texas March 12, 2014Music Background:
    Audio Engineer/Music Producer/Singer-Songwriter/Muse

    Excellent mic from Neumann!

    This is my go-to mic for just about everything. Capture every little nuance of vocal performances. I even use a pair as ambient mic'ing above the drum kit for stellar results.

  • from January 11, 2014Music Background:
    recording studio owner



  • from Northeast August 13, 2011Music Background:
    Engineer and Producer

    I just bought mine from Sweetwater

    I have a Neumann U87, AKG C12, and many other high-end microphones. They are all great, but this is by far the best. It is the most detailed vocal microphone I have ever heard. It is Neumann's flagship tube vocal microphone for a reason. It is magical. The highs are natural and warm. It is very present. I have never heard a microphone that can keep up with the clarity, warmth, and presence of the M149. The cheaper M147 will not do... If I had to rate Neumann's current high-end vocal mics the M147 would be a distant fourth, Solution D a distant third, U87 second, and M149 a no brainer number one! I left out the M150 because it is not a vocal mic. It is used for choirs, orchestral recordings, and etc...

  • from USA November 27, 2009Music Background:
    Guitarist / composer, Producer, Engineer

    Aspirational jewel

    I am fortunate to have access to the best possible equipment in studios with excellent tracking rooms. and I also sometimes have to modify microphones for recording purposes .I have a M149 which I have no desire at all to modify as it is an amazing microphone. For many potential M149 users it might be cool to compare my studio production experience with the M149 and the U87ai, which is very deservedly popular. The U87 has a phase shift happening in the highs and high mids, which you may like or not. It depends on what you want to hear in a given project . The M149 is free of that. It is very silky and smooth , but very revealing of transients. The stock U87ai has also a trademark boxy, but very appealingly so, sound, that sounds great in many instances, but sometimes you may not want that specific sound, great as it is . It also has a bit of a harsh top end for some acoustic instrument applications. Nevertheless it is not thin and brittle like so many cheap imitation mics are and it has the mid range which, the imitators I have heard do not have. That is a Neumann "thing" the amazingly organic mids. The M149 has that unique midrange as well, but not so "in your face" like the U87ai. It differs mostly in that it is much more balanced , refined and polished sounding than the U87ai, to my ears. It takes eq marvelously ,like a ribbon, and the polar patterns are phenomenal. If you pair it with a transformer equipped tube pre you get a giant sound. The best of both worlds, for rock vocals for example or electric guitars that sound like a skyscraper...It all depends on the pre-amp as the M149 is enormously versatile....
    So, to my mind, it has no immediately obvious "character" like the U87ai, but it is is not bland or neutral either... far from it. The analogy would be for me: U87=James Dean or Brando, Immediately in your face with presence and attitude. The M149= Sean Connery as 007..subtle. refined, polished, deadly effective when provoked and can kill in many unexpected ways with the 9 polar patterns....And oh yes..understandably costly , but her majesty knows he can do all by himself the job of 1000 of her other secret service men ..with elegance and cool..and all the female vocalists love him... to death!

  • from Fort Collins, Colorado January 7, 2008Music Background:
    Pro Musician and hobbyist engineer

    Neumann M 149 - a gift from heaven!

    After doing some tracking at Anthony Walker Studios here in Fort Collins, Colorado recently; I'm extremely impressed with the Neumann M 149.

    We used it on my vocals and tears almost came to my eyes. Was that me singing my songs sounding like Frank Sinatra had come back to life and got tuned onto new music? This mic is something else on vocals. EQ?...no need to. I've used dozens of good mics but nothing comes close to this thing - for my voice anyways. The engineer tells me I'm not a unique case. Vocalists ranging from soft ballad singers to rock shreaders love it.

    It took a bit of time for me to learn that I didn't have to do anything special to get a good sound from the 149. The condensers I normally use have what's called a "proximity effect" which means the tone changes as you get closer or further away from the mic. Not the 149. It sounded the same (tone-wise) at 3 inches or 12 inches. Cool!

    So I could close my eyes and sing without having to worry about my head moving around - something I enjoy doing (it also has a wide sweet spot from side to side).

    Also, I often use the PE to boost low frequencies to some of my notes...but that was already present when I hit the low notes...and more importantly, not there when I hit high notes...no need to move my head in and out to control tone. Wow! Now, I can use the distance element to select how much room ambience I want in my sound - a single variable is a lot easier to control for my simple mind.

    List price: $5,700...Sweetwater price: $4,500...start saving for one!

    I'm definitely going to do my important vocals with the M 149 at Walker's studio in the future. Most of his gear is also from Sweetwater.


    Francesco - The Jazz Whistler

  • from Japan/harvey illinois June 26, 2007Music Background:
    Pro Rapper,Producer,Engineer,and always Student

    M-149 is The best mic in the World for my vocals

    my first neumann mic and i went straight for the gusto and i am am as happy as a kid if you got the money Get 2 if you aint got much save up for one until you get the money buy a MXL v69 mogami edition for my voice they stand toe toe REALLY THEY DO!!!! (dont stunt i have 14 mics now all from many price ranges all great)
    also before you buy this mic ensure that your chain of comand is great mic pre,
    converters acoustics you know what the deal is the get and v69 mogami then save up for this very very impressive mic

  • from Brisbane, Australia July 6, 2010Music Background:
    Mixing Engineer. Acoostic Zoo Recording Studio.

    Neumann M 149 Tube Yup it's good by Josef Horhay, Mixing Engineer.

    Yup, It's very good mic and I use it mainly for Vocals. The detail I hear in this mic phenomenal. And I would like to say that it's a very fussy how you place the mic. Think of it like manual focus, where the user needs to take care when placing it. A few inch off, and it could sound wrong. However, when placed correctly (with the correct pollar pattern, u have 9) then it's sheer awesomeness x 2.

    A very heavy investment on a mic, but if you're serious about recording with the very best gear, Neumann M 149 Tube will not disappoint.

    In the long run, it will pay for itself, if not you at least you have a piece of gear that is destined to be another modern classic.

  • from Lagrange Oh January 1, 2004

    A step in the right direction?

    Neumanns successor to the old classic M49. The Neumann M149 is destined to be a classic. It`s a big mic making a U87 look very undernourished in comparison. With 9 different patterns including Omni, Cardioid, Wide-angle cardioid, Hyercardioid, Figure-8 you will be hard pressed to find something a M149 pattern can`t be used for. With a Pressure Gradient Transducer ( K 49 Capsule ) and 20 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response there won`t be many thing this thing won`t handle. The mic looks like an old M 49 but is a bit taller. The mic has a different head grill ("inlet basket,"). In the past the original had three layers of metal acoustical mesh used as a heavy-duty pop filter, the M149`s mic's head grill has fewer layers and is said to be more transparent and more neutral sounding. Two switches allow various adjustments. The first enables the selection of nine different pickup patterns (omnidirectional, wide cardioid, cardioid, hypercardioid, figure of eight, with an additional intermediate pattern between each). The second switch is a seven-stage high-pass filter switch with cutoff frequencies that can be selected between 20 Hz and 160 Hz. Since this mic implores the tlm circuitry, Neumann states that a pad is not needed. On vocals the mic is very transparent and rich in character. I do have to say that it can sometimes become a little strident if pushed too hard. It`s definitely a step up from a U87 for most applications. But i prefer the U87 on electric guitars and rock vocals. Generally i prefer small diaphragm mic on acoustic guitar but the richness of this mic won me over. It might sound to big in a dense mix so a km-184 might be a better alternative. I would not hesitate to try a pair in a classical setting; it should give the 414s, B&Ks and Schoeps a run for their money. If I had to purchase just one pair of microphones for all-around studio use, it might very well be a pair of M 149s.

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