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Microphone Month

Neumann TLM 49 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone Reviews

4.5 stars based on 29 customer reviews
Questions about the Neumann TLM 49 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone?

Questions about the Neumann TLM 49 Large-diaphragm Condenser Microphone?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Kenny Bergle

    Possibly the best value in any Neumann mic! The TLM49 shines with beautiful
    clarity. Really a perfect choice for almost any vocal, it sounds big and "Neumann" on both male and female voices. My first choice for voiceover too, really the best mic on the planet for the price!

  • Thomas Leahy

    I've used the TLM49 on multi-plantium vocalists and gotten uncompromising results. It's hard to believe this mic is transformerless, because of its amazing depth and warmth. Paired with a great tube- or transformer-based preamp, this Neumann mic delivers record-ready results that I'd confidently compare to microphones that cost twice as much or more.

  • from South Carolina June 11, 2015Music Background:
    Sales Rep., Sound Engineer, Musician

    Neumann TLM 49

    This was my first Neumann mic, but will certainly not be my last. What a diverse tool from anything to in front of a kick drum to capturing the lightest touches of a vocal. I highly recommend trying one of these, for a number of applications.

  • from Burbank, Ca. November 30, 2014Music Background:
    Recording Engineer/ Chew Bear Productions

    Didn't have to second guess!

    As an engineer, I'm constantly working in and out of the studio, so when we set up to do live or semi-live performances, you never know what the room acoustics will be. Sometimes I can filter and cancel out certain second and third order harmonics, however with the TLM 49 I don't even have to worry about the conditions. This is one of the few mikes that actually seems to adapt itself to whatever environment your recording in. I would definitely recommend making the investment, I have two of them for an awesome stereo set up in the field!

  • from September 6, 2013Music Background:
    Owner Recording Studio


    everything you say in front of this microphone, will be recorded with fidelity and warmth, and the price is quite achievable, thoroughly recommended

  • from India October 24, 2012Music Background:
    Music composer/arranger/producer

    Great mic for vocals and piano

    Just recorded some wind inst and sitar with tlm 49 through UAD 4-710 twinfinty mic per and it did a great job...it really good on vocals specially male vocals....

  • from kamuela HI January 31, 2012Music Background:
    professional musician

    VOCAL mic with an attitude...

    Signal chain: TLM 49 > mogami gold XLR > apogee duet 2 > PRO Tools 10 > Ozone 5 mastering suite.

    This mic shines on vocals with a kind of an attitude. It is not for the faint of heart or singers with a fragile EGO. The TLM 49 morphs itself into the artists voice. It's like having all the various tonal colors at your desire. Put a grinding singer in front and it will bring out the edge characteristics. Put a soft melodic vocalist in front and this mic will become transparent.

    Overdub vocals 20 times? No problem, no frequency build up, 100% sonic blending. Throw it in front of an acoustic guitar and with EQ you will be blown away at the possibilities. You need to use this mic on a variety of sources to really appreciate it's capabilities.

    If you are considering buying this mic, you won't be disappointed. For the money, you will be getting a staple, go to vocal mic for any singing style or genre of music. Sound is very "finished" and will cut through any mix with no EQ.

  • from Portland, me August 27, 2011Music Background:
    Musician and Music Teacher

    Excellent mic!!!

    For the price this thing is a 5.0. Professional quality all the way. My girlfriend has a soft sultry type of voice and this mic is perfect choice for her. Its warm and takes eq very well. The key to using this mic is understanding the Proximity effect. At 3" its wooly and thick. At 12" its thin. At 4-8" its just perfect. No this is not a m49 by any means. But it does work well with a singer that would sound good on a m49! I have also gotten some killer tracks on stand up bass with this microphone.

  • from Astoria, New York June 13, 2011Music Background:

    I finally found the sound of those golden years!

    My recent search for a vocal microphone around $1500 pointed to this one and I started talking to Kevin in Sweetwater. I also read lot of good reviews about Mojave MA 200 and was very much interested to test that one too. Kevin gave me a good deal and I could keep both mic for a week and return the one (or none) I didn't like.

    This does not have any wooden box, comes in a normal paper board retail packing. I used vintech X73i as the preamp, used good quality cables and Apogee and digi rack 003 converters and sang few lines. I have a thin n soft voice, and with this preamp+mic combo finally I could say to myself that I was looking to get this sound for so long. I'm from India and always like our vintage sound of 60s and 70s...This mic has that particular warmth I was looking for. My thin voice sounded warm, fat, smooth and clean over the entire frequency range without even using any EQ on the preamp. The vocal placed itself nicely in the mix without the need of much processing, just a bit of reverb and delay sent to sweeten it.

    when I did side by side comparison with MA 200, (which is definitely an excellent mic for the price), I found it has got that digital brittleness as far as my voice is concerned. Even a general listener (my friend) considered the TLM 49 sound smoother and more round compared to Ma 200. I like the mid range of TLM 49. After a casual take, I was sitting back and listening to my recording and I was feeling sooo happy that finally Ive settled for a preamp+mic combo that now I can use in my future records. Ma 200 sounded very good though on a female vocal (recitation and speech) and wasn;t harsh at all, its just that my voice sounded best in TLM 49. I wanted to keep both mics, but MA 200 is going back due to its little lack in smoothness compared to TLM 49.

  • from Shoreline, WA USA August 2, 2009Music Background:


    Just heard these for the first time as overheads on a drum kit. We were running them through a couple Neve 1081 pres and they sounded incredible! Almost don't even need to close mic the kit... The toms and snare all sounded very punchy and clear and the cymbals weren't too washy or over powering. I would have expected a higher price for these.

  • from jl25600@yahoo.com June 24, 2009Music Background:

    clear as can be!!!!!!!

    i just recieved my tlm49 its running into my universal audio 610 im blown away on how this thing sounds!! if u have the money id say buy it i have a bluebird mic and a audio technica 4033 mic as well but this neummy is great!!!!!!!!!!!

  • from Dayton, Ohio September 30, 2008Music Background:
    Live sound/recording engineer.

    Works well with drums????

    I had this mic in a live room making adjustments to some other mics and placed the 49 on the ground about 5-6 feet away from the kick. It was sitting on a few cables to it was pointed very slightly upward. I had that track unmuted and had the drummer play the kit for a sound check. This accident changed my whole view of this mics versatility. That mic picked up the kit better than all of the the the other mics. I was blown away by everything I picked up, mainly the kick and toms. Give this a try with your 49 and it will not just be your vocal mic anymore.

  • from U.S, July 19, 2008Music Background:

    I Love The TLM49

    It's amazing to me,how someone can put down the TLM49. I'm confused by the last reviewer who thinks the TLM49 is all hype and lokks. It's a great sounding mic on vocals. I own a U87 as well and I prefer the TLM 49 on vocals because of the tailored response on the low end. Neumann has tailored the sound by gradually lowering the output from 1 khz down to 20hz (below zero db). This makes the TLM49 shine on vocals without having to roll-off bass which can muddy up most vocals. I use both TLM49's and U87's through An Avalon VT-737 and the sound is pristine. Sometimes I wonder if some of the jealous competitors of Neumann (like RODE etc.) write these negative reviews.....

  • from San Francisco, CA May 28, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    I've had... the time of my life, and I owe it all to you

    several years ago after months of toiling about whether to invest in one really nice mic and having a bevy of low-end ones, I decided on the TLM 49 and haven't looked back since. On its own through the 002's onboard pre's and a/d (neither of which impress me) it sounds realistic, rich and full. But when you pair this beautiful piece of microphonery through a nice preamp, it shines (I'm running through a UA Solo 610). Almost too responsive, it picks up everything; I recorded a guitarist/vocalist with a backup vocalist and harmonica off mic and with just the one mic it sounds like you're in the room with the singer. I agree, those who complain about the sound either have a bad signal chain, no understanding of mic placement, or possibly a defective mic.

  • from Italy March 15, 2008Music Background:
    Classical Piano Degree, Home studio recording.

    According to me, a great mic

    I don't have such a big experience about microphones, but when I changed by a 60$ Samson C01 to the TLM (auto-present for my graduation) I noticed an astonishing change in my tracks. I use a Yamaha 01V as preamp, and with this mic the voice sounds always loud, clear and at the top of the mix. If you want to make an investment for many years, this is definitely the right choice.

  • from Los Angeles, CA USA July 6, 2007Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    I love this microphone

    I've been a recording professional for about 10 years. My mic locker includes a Shure SM7B, AKG C414, AKG SolidTube, and a few other cheapies (SM57, SM58, SM86, AKG Perception 200). I've also had extensive experience recording with a vintage Neumann U87. That said, I recently purchased the TLM 49 after reading it's many glowing reviews. For the first session, I was a bit skeptical, but was immediately convinced that this microphone is phenomenal. Since then, I've recorded 30 other vocalists with the TLM 49. All of them sound amazing. For those who say the mic sounds brittle, I think they have a bunk mic or a bad signal path.

  • from Boston,Massachusetts May 24, 2007Music Background:
    Recording Engineer


    I can tell you that the Neumann TLM 49 is one of the best vocal mics that I've tried. It's got a beautiful balance of highs,mids and just the right amount of bottom end. Neumann has created a microphone which is voiced perfectly for singers. Vocals sound up front without the boxiness and harshness found in other mics. The TLM 49 also sounds nice on acoustic guitar !!! This is a super microphone, get one !

  • from LOS ANGELES September 21, 2006Music Background:


    I've been through a selection of mics at my home studio and at major studios. This mic by far is in a class of its own with vocals. Pure, clean, upfront in the mix. It will make your vocalist stand back and say wow.

  • from Chicago, USA June 18, 2006Music Background:
    Sound Engineer, Mixer

    This micrphone has become my new favorite.

    It didn't take very long for this mic to become my absolute favorite, and I've only had it for a week. It has such a sweet detailed sound, and sounds fantastic on a variety of sources. If you're considering a new studio condenser mic this is THE ONE!

  • from New Jersey June 17, 2006Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Mic collector

    A modern classic in the making.

    I am truly blown away by this microphone, and I own serveral modern Neumann mics and also a vintage Telefunken 251 (currently worth more than my car). The TLM 49 shines on just about everything I have tried it on. Full, warm, bottom end with glimmering highs. During A/B tests through my Neve board with the Telefunken and the TLM 49 using all Mogami cabling throughout the signal path, listeners in my studio chose the TLM 49 after I added a little EQ to make them tonally the same. The winner was clearly the TLM for vocals. I cannot praise Neumann enough for this mic. I truly believe this is a modern classic in the making.

  • from New York June 17, 2006Music Background:
    Producer, Studio Owner


    This has to be the most awaited mic from Neumann in years. Rich, smooth, and sweet, it sounds like everything I dreamed of when I was hoping for years that Neumann would release a mic like this. The K47 Capsule in a transformerless design. Wow!!!!! You must own this mic. No doubt about it. By the way it also looks gorgeous, and if you own a studio like me, customers will love it.

  • from Chicago December 19, 2008Music Background:
    Recording Eng 28+ years Play Guitar, drums, bass and Piano

    Really A Fantastic Mic!

    Been recording over 28 years and been through a KSM, NTK, K2, Mojave MA-200, Peluso 2247 short body and finally arrived at the TLM49. I have to say that this mic is suberb on most vox. Also excels on acoustic guitar from above. I use it through either a Great River 1NV or UA LA-610 preamp and either one (especially the LA610) works great and this mic just shines. It is very sensitive for an up close and breathy "personal" sound but also you can hit it hard and it handles it with aplomb. Give it a listen and take you time if you can. It is not a super bright, hard-edge "sounds great in solo" mic rather, it settles in like a fine wine and puts the vox up front, smoothly in the mix with ease. Just Great!

  • from Akron, OH November 27, 2014Music Background:
    Commercial post-production recording studio, voice actor, recording engineer

    Very good, but...

    This is a beautiful-looking, hefty microphone. Yes, absurdly, it comes in a cardboard case, but your Sweetwater sale engineer can tell you how to order a wooden case for it.

    The TLM 49 has the response curve I've been looking for in an LDC - shy in the lows, present mids, dip in the "s" region, rising again above that. But, unlike a U87 that you can pretty much shape to your taste, the TLM 49 "is what it is."

    This mic has a lower output than my other condenser mics, which might make the noise spec a little better in theory than in practice.

    I do wish Neumann would one day decide that output transformers are not the devil. The older designs just sound more "organic" to me.

    This mic works great on my (mellower) voice for v/o; but I can also understand why some reviewers call it harsh. It's no M49, but it deserves consideration in its own right.

  • from Reno, NV December 11, 2008Music Background:
    Studio Owner, Producer, Engineer

    beautiful vocal tones

    Tonal wise sounds great on vocals and string instruments very clean and warm must have for your mic collection

  • from Denver, CO December 9, 2008Music Background:
    Full Time musician for years, engineer and producer

    Good Stuff

    Very Cool Mic. I've been borrowing it from a friend.

    Definitely has a certain 'sound' to it. Seems to really bring out the upper mids on things. Good present sound. Very quiet of course which is nice. I've used it on both vocals and acoustics...worked great on both but you have to be wanting its pronounced upper mids in the sound you're going for.

    Definitely worth buying if you want a great quality quiet mic with a specific flavor.

  • from Boulder, CO January 2, 2007Music Background:
    Songwriter, producer, studio engineer.. 40 years

    Neumann TLM49

    Nice mic.. Ran it through a Neve 1073 for the crunchy vibe, and then through a Grace for the open sound. Sounded good through both.. Hated it the first day I got it. But with a little eq and experimentation, dialed it in. Clean, not too strong in the low-mid department, but really cuts through..We settled on a Rode K2 tube mic for our main vocal mic on this project though..

  • from SPACE COAST, FLORIDA April 25, 2017Music Background:
    Pro musician and engineer


    The TLM-49 sounds strange to me in the high frequencies, not in a pleasant way. We record a wide range of musical styles from Rock to Reggae to Jazz to Classical Opera.

    I had the same problem with the U-87ai, it sounded harsh in the high frequencies compared to other microphones in my kit.

    The hype about having a Neumann microphone to impress your customers has not proven to be true for me, the bands we record depend on me to pick the right stuff to record them with.

    It was hard parting with my Neumann microphones but I don't need icons, I need the tools that help me get the job done and have the happiest customers.

    Old habits die hard, I found I kept going for my old AKG 414 microphones instead of the Neumann so we converted the Neumanns into more 1176 compressors (from Sweetwater of course).

    The TLM 49 lift in the higher frequencies is what is burning in my ear drums. Same for the U-87ai.

    Neumann is an iconic brand but I don't think the microphones Sennheiser is making under the Neumann brand sound as rich and friendly as older models. Perhaps it's just capsule degradation, I don't know. I have some modern microphones with new capsules that sound rich so I know it's possible.

    Wishing everyone all the best, good music to all!

  • from Los Angeles, California December 19, 2015


    A good sounding mic for non-demanding voice such as any pop voice. THIS mic is highly NOT recommended to record classical instruments or more so, classical singers. THIS mic does not translate a wide range of frequencies in a big classical voice. Metaphorically speaking, Neumann TLM 49 is a castrato mic similar to a male castrate's voice which lacks all frequencies. We have conducted vocal tests using this mic and an Audio-technical 4060a and found that the AT's sound is richer I frequencies! More over, Neumann would not handle a bigger sound pressure and would get hot too soon too fast. I myself personally tested it from the distance of 45 cm and still managed to overdrive it with a lowered gain in a dead sound booth. Because of the castrato presentation this mic makes most female voices sound pretty much the same - sweet and good, but not so much distinct !!! I strongly DO NOT recommend using this mic for big voices with a larger range of 3 octaves. Such voices will never be represented correctly via this route. Transformerless design DOES NOT WORK for accurate representation and translation of wide range frequencies even if anyone claims the opposite.Therefore, our joined verdict is Neumann TLM 49 is 1.) best for pop vocals, it will make them sound even better than in real life; 2.) is a good mic for small range voice; 3) is a not good mic for male voices; 4.) is BAD mic for big range ( 3 octaves) wide frequencies band classical or non classical voices. Do not record Maria Callas or Enrique Caruso into this mic ;-) Opt out for TUBER WITH TRANSFORMERS to preserve the timbre and the fullness. THIS mic is a joke for a serious large voice.

    P.S. I am a classically trained musician, Bachelor of Music, graduated in Russia, majors in music composition / theory / history, main instrument piano, undergoing classical voice studies, own a home recording studio. I own 3 mics so far, I own THIS mic as well and I am going to SELL it.

  • from Millwood, VA October 27, 2010Music Background:


    Bought one of these for male tenor vocals. Not a good fit, really. If you've got another use in mind it might be fine. For that it's a bit harsh. As it turns out the AKG C414 is a much better fit, has a smoother sound, lots of patterns to choose from, and is cheaper. I'll trade you mine for a 414.

  • from ATL, GA June 6, 2006Music Background:
    Recording Engineer

    Thin hollow sound

    Harsh sounding treble range with much to be desired in the mid-low registers. Definitely an impressive looking mic. not such an impressive sound...

  • from Los Angeles June 20, 2008Music Background:
    Singer, Recordist, Engineer

    Sorry Neumann... You can do better!

    I have used many new and vintage Neumann mics as both a singer and an engineer, and sadly this microphone did not perform as well as I had hoped. On vocals it was annoyingly harsh in the upper midrange, even when paired with my Telefunken 72. Even my TLM 103 sounded more pleasing than this mic and it is considerably less expensive. Don't beleive the hype. use your ears,--- and look past the name, and the cool look of this microphone.

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