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June 2017 Giveaway

Rode NT5 - Matched Pair Reviews

4.5 stars based on 27 customer reviews
Questions about the Rode NT5 - Matched Pair?

Questions about the Rode NT5 - Matched Pair?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • David Klausner

    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.

  • Nick Schenkel

    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.

  • from Oregon April 10, 2017Music Background:
    semi pro musician/engineer

    Sweet stereo pair

    I am so impressed with these little microphones. So far I've recorded only acoustic guitar in an XY pattern in a small project studio. The guitar sounds so natural, that I barely need to do any corrective EQ at all. This is the best price on a matched pair of pro grade condenser microphones by far. I've been looking for more than a year seriously and these totally fir the bill. Great sound, low noise, great price and the small size makes them really easy to position.

  • from January 24, 2017

    amazing sound

    Love the sound of the matched pair. What a difference between just using two mics and these. No hole in the tone, just rich and true sound. Love them!!!

  • from St. Paul's Catholic Church, Jacksonville Beach, FL December 19, 2016Music Background:
    guitar and vocals

    Rode NT5

    Second pair for our choir. Great mix and true acoustic sound for the background instruments and voices. Excellent recommendations from the Sweetwater staff.

  • from Hampton, VA March 30, 2015

    Excellent for High School Choir

    I run the sound system for our High School Choir. We host a choir competition every year for 30+ Choirs, ranging from jazz to acapella to show choirs, with a whole day devoted to show choirs. This year, I wanted to improve the sound quality, particularly for the show choir. Show choir is particularly difficult, as you have a lot of movement, with varying abilities. After looking for general advice on line, I found the consensus was to use two condenser mics, 8' on center, above the heads of the performers., pointed to so I sought out advice from a Sweetwater engineer. He recommended a matched pair of the Rode NT5's. I placed them on extra tall stands to get them over the front row of performers.

    This past weekend was our competition. Friday, during the concert, jazz, and acapella competition, one of the judges asked what mics we were using, because of how good the sound was. Then on Saturday during the show choirs asked the same thing. In addition, the videographer gets a feed from our sound board, and he said that the sound was the best he has had in a long time.

    I am very satisfied with these microphones, and would highly recommend them.

  • from CO November 27, 2014Music Background:

    Excellent Quality Microphones

    The matched pair of Rode NT5's is AWESOME!!! So much so, that they picked up my crackling fire in my fireplace, and some "creaking" in my log home...a great distance from where I play my harp...But, to top THIS off, they picked up the sound of my "spinner" ring around my wedding band!! Had to remove the ring while recording...unbelievable!!! I bought the matched pair so I could mic my harp in the upper and lower registers...after several different placements, I think I found where they will not only pick up some ambient sound but articulation as well. You never know how you sound until you hear yourself on a recording! And, with additional experimenting with placement and audio software I am sure these 2 mics will be all that I need, be it recording myself for a learning tool, or making a demo later on this winter. Thanks for the great recommendation! Now I just have to be sure I don't need a fire in the fireplace when I want to record!

  • from United States June 4, 2014Music Background:

    Great Value for Field Recording

    These are simply a steal at their current price. I bought them to do field recordings of ambiance and various sounds for effects. Some people say the high end is a little harsh on these, but I honestly couldn't tell. When I put my headphones on to listen to what these recorded through my Zoom H6 (96khz/24bit) I looked around confused a couple times because I didn't expect a certain sound around me. I had to take my headphones on and off several times just to establish what was recorded was different than the sound going on out. Granted I am not a hardcore audiophile but I didn't expect these to sound nearly as good as they do.
    Highly recommended to anyone looking to do field recording on a budget.

  • from Christiansburg, VA January 6, 2014Music Background:
    Live Sound Engineer

    Best Bag for the Buck!

    Best Bag for your buck on Small Condenser(s). Works great for both micing Drums Overheads and micing Choirs.

  • from Ohio July 7, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, Musician, Student

    My most used pair of microphones!

    I've had these mics for a year and a half now, and I'm a big fan. I use them all over the place, from drum overheads, strings, acoustic guitars, room mics, auxiliary percussion and grand pianos. I even use them in a handheld ORTF rig into a Zoom H4N to collect background sound for short films and sound libraries. I've traveled with them, pushed them in extreme climates from the desert to the Malaysian monsoon season, and recorded very high SPL's. They've never complained or sounded any different. They sound awesome for the price range, and are arguably some of the most robust small diaphragm condensers around too. I'll probably be back for another pair in the near future!

  • from Spokane October 1, 2011Music Background:
    Recording and live sound engineer

    big bang for the buck

    I 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

  • from New Orleans, Louisiana February 17, 2008Music Background:
    Media Producer, Consultant, Trainer, Author, Composer

    Killer Sound For A Killer Price

    I 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:
    recording engineer

    Great Value

    These 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 Workhorses

    I 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:
    Musician/ Producer

    Rode NT5

    I 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 San Jose, CA January 6, 2016Music Background:
    Guitar, Piano, Recording

    Big Bang for your buck!

    I love my matched pair. I have used them on acoustic guitars, resonators, and a B3/"Leslie", and they sound great with minimal EQ. I found the highs to be a little bit harsh on the acoustic guitar (flat EQ), but moving the mic a bit & a splash of EQ always seems to do the trick. I am considering investing in the additional "omni" pattern capsules that Rhode sells. That might save me from buying a pair of KLMs :)

  • 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:
    Recording engineer

    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:
    Musician/Songwriter/Recording Engineer

    Very good mics

    These 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.

  • from Canada December 13, 2006Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/Musician

    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.

  • from Chico February 23, 2009Music Background:
    Student, Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Musician

    HOT pair of mics

    These 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 Review

    These 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.

  • from Bahamas October 8, 2008Music Background:

    Overhead Easy

    Just 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:
    Musician, hobbyist.

    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 bright

    I 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


    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 shootout

    Recently 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 application

    I 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.


  • Shawn Parr

    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.

    Added Value!
    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 condensers 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.

Questions about the Rode NT5 - Matched Pair?

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