Neumann TLM 103 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Nickel

Large-diaphragm Cardioid Microphone in Wooden Jeweler's Box with 20Hz-20kHz Frequency Range
Neumann TLM 103 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Nickel image 1
Neumann TLM 103 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Nickel image 1
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Neumann TLM 103 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone - Nickel
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Make pristine recordings with this low-noise mic!

The Neumann TLM 103 large-diaphragm cardioid condenser mic boasts a capsule drawn from the U 87 and transformerless circuitry - not to mention classic Neumann sound! The TLM 103 is a great mic for any pro or project studio use and, due to its minimal self-noise, it's been used for classical recordings with a wide dynamic range, sampling (especially for very low amplitude sources), and Foley work. This mic is also robust enough for the live stage, as Jack White has employed the TLM 103 to mic amps in live situations.

Cardioid pattern to limit bleed

The cardioid TLM 103 utilizes a tried-and-true transformerless circuit found in high-end Neumann microphones to achieve its otherwise unattainable low self-noise and the highest sound pressure level transmission possible. By focusing on this pattern - used in most recording situations - the attenuation of unwanted rear sound has been optimized. Off-axis sounds are rendered naturally while isolation is increased. This also leads to a high feedback suppression when the microphone is used in live situations or where loudspeaker playback is a factor. And at this price, there's no reason not to have a pair!

Classic design for transparent sound

The TLM 103 is addressed from the front, marked with the red Neumann logo on the microphone body. The K 103 large diaphragm capsule is based on the K 87, well known from the U 67 / U 87 microphones.The capsule has a flat frequency response up to about 5kHz, and above that, a wide flat 4dB presence boost. The large wire mesh headgrille protects the capsule from plosive sounds and effectively prevents pop noises. These characteristics are achieved without resorting to corrective resonance effects. Therefore, the TLM 103 maintains an excellent impulse response and reproduces the details of music and speech without coloration. With the incredibly low self-noise level of the TLM 103 even the smallest signals are reproduced basically noise-free. As it is capable of handling sound pressure levels up to 138dB without distortion, the TLM 103 provides a dynamic range of 131dB (A-weighted).

Neumann's "TLM" technology

The letters TLM stand for "transformerless microphone". With TLM technology the usual output transformer is replaced by an electronic circuit. As with traditional transformers, it ensures good common mode rejection and prevents RF interference that may influence the balanced audio signal.

Neumann TLM 103 Features:
  • Nickel finish
  • Large-diaphragm cardioid condenser microphone
  • Pressure gradient transducer with one-diaphragm capsule
  • Transformerless circuitry
  • Extremely low noise
  • Includes swivel mount
  • Minimal self-noise
  • Frequency range: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Rated impedance: 50 ohms
  • Rated load impedance: 1 kohms
  • Maximum SPL for 0.5% THD: 138dB
  • Wooden box and stand mount included
  • Requires +48V phantom power
Get classic Neumann sound onstage or in the studio with the TLM 103!

Additional Media

Product Manual
Studio Microphone Buying Guide
Want to hear this mic in action? Listen to high quality samples in our vocal mic shootout!

Tech Specs

Microphone Type Condenser
Polar Pattern Cardioid
Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz
Max SPL 138dB
Output Impedance 50 ohms
Signal to Noise Ratio 87dB (A weighted)
Self Noise 7dB (A weighted)
Color Satin Nickel
Connector XLR
Weight 1 lb.
Included Accessories Stand Mount, Wood Box
Manufacturer Part Number 008430

Customer Reviews

Based on 33 reviews
Write your review

My last mic (maybe)

I do audio books and some other VO work from my home studio and have been using at AT 2035, which was the best I could afford at the time. Saw the TLM 103 on sale and had the money so I said "why not"? Good decision. Crisp, clear, good bottom end. If you have a studio adequately prepped (acoustic panels, etc.) it's a great choice. I do have to tweak it a little with EQ, but not much - say 2 or 3 db in select areas. It's worth the full price and then some.
Music background: Retired musician, currently a VO talent

The Truth

This mic IS THE TRUTH. I own a studio in Clifton NJ. I heard great reviews on the mic and I couldn't be any happier. I run it with a Focusrite Saffire Pro 40 mic pre and its clarity could almost bring a tear to your eye, well worth the money.
Music background: Recording Engineer, Producer

Best Kept Secret!

I've owned my TLM for seven years and have used it on hundreds of acoustic guitar and vocal sessions. I also rely on David Royer’s unparalleled Mojave Audio MA-200, AKG and Rode mics. I must say that I love Neumann, in particular the TLM-103. I find it fascinating how lower-priced gear can alter someone’s objectivity. I advocate rejoicing at the luxury of this price and then let your ears be the judge. If it were four grand, everyone would be enthralled and impressed because it’s a Neumann. It’s amazing how the price can play with your head, yet this mic is not what I consider inexpensive simply because it’s under a grand. It’s a great mic. I’m proud to own one and am grateful that I got mine for less than a thousand. I feel proficient knowing that I’ve done so and try to place my efforts into talent and capturing the moment more than unnecessarily depleting my savings. I’m not George Martin producing Paul McCartney, but I sure have gotten some sweet recordings using the TLM and nobody knew the distinction until now. Go for it!
Music background: Singer/Songwriter/Producer

amazing mic

beyonce and justin timberlake use this. granted they have probably the best mic chain ever (neve pres, la-2a compression) but u can start with the same mic and created ur own awesome mic chain. just buy the mic.
Music background: recording engineer

Big step up from the TLM 102

I tested 3 mics at my local music store on 2 different pre-amps. The UA 710 Twinfinity preamp and the UA LA610 MkII preamp. I am a home hobbyist and have a medium voice for a male so I wasn't going really high or really low in frequency.Started with the TLM102. Honestly, I thought it sounded great. I was very happy with it.Then tried the AKG C414. A little fuller sound maybe but pretty equivalent to the 102. If I had to choose between them, the AKG is more versatile.I wasn't going to really go for the TLM 103 due to the higher price, but it was there so why not try it? OH.MY.GOSH! It was a whole other league. I felt like I just stepped into the pro mics. The other mics were accurate but this was PRESENT. I mean it made me sound better than I do but didn't seem like it was coloring my voice either.

Sweetwater Advice

Kenny Bergle

One of the best mics on the planet for the price! AND it's a Neumann! Super clean and super great on any musical instrument. Voices sound good on it, singing and voiceover. Many v.o. talents across the country swear by the TLM 103 and there's good reason - it sounds rich and full and compelling yet is relatively accurate and transparent as well!

Stuart Niven

The TLM 103 is nothing short of amazing and for the price, such an affordable way to get into the pro league. Once you have had the Neumann experience you will understand why these microphones are such an industry standard and sought after by many. From the moment that you open the elegant wooden Neumann box to the moment you put the TLM 103 to bed after a session, you'll notice that you have been smiling from ear to ear!
See also: Condenser Mics, Neumann, Neumann Condenser Microphones