Rode NT1 5th Gen Microphone Review: Dual Link
The Rode NT1 is a basic: first launched within the early ’90s, the NT1 was Rode’s (later Freedman Electronics) first microphone. It was allegedly so fashionable that its gross sales have been mentioned to have skyrocketed “like a mouse going right into a sewer pipe”, incomes it the nickname “Rodent-1” – this was later modified to “RØDE NT1”. This unconfirmed story about how the model bought its title is most certainly a fabrication, however that does not change the truth that the NT1 has been a preferred studio microphone for over three a long time.
However if you name finest gaming microphone, a studio microphone might be not your first alternative. Studio microphones are often analog solely; this implies you have to an audio interface to make use of them together with your PC.
Rode’s newest NT1 — the NT1 fifth Gen — is the model’s first cleverly carried out dual-link microphone: a USB-C port is constructed into the microphone’s XLR connector. Changing a studio microphone to a USB microphone in fact includes extra than simply a further port, and the NT1 fifth Gen has its personal audio interface and digital sign processor (DSP) for top decision (24 bit/192 kHz) recording. It additionally options 32-bit floating recording, which permits for just about unclipped audio (however you will want a DAW that helps it). The NT1 fifth Gen is accessible in each black and silver.
NT1 fifth Technology Design
The NT1 fifth Gen is much like its predecessors. It has a machined aluminum physique (additionally obtainable in silver) with a matte black end and an inside shock-mounted HF6 capsule beneath the silver mesh grille. It’s 7.44 inches (189 mm) tall and a couple of.05 inches (52 mm) in diameter.
Like most Rode microphones, the NT1 fifth Gen feels strong and strong regardless of being lighter than it appears. The microphone alone weighs 10.86 ounces (308g), which is lighter than both microphone. Rode NT-USB+ (1.2lb/540g) and compact Rode X XCM-50 (1.08lb/492g).
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The NT1 fifth Technology is a side-address cardioid microphone, so positioning is essential: the microphone sits vertically and also you speak to 1 aspect of it. The aspect you might be talking to is indicated by a small gold dot on the neck of the microphone (which is in any other case not simply seen since Rode’s emblem and the title of the microphone are printed on the opposite aspect).
The NT1 fifth Gen is a dual-link microphone that helps each XLR (analog) and USB-C connectivity, with an XLR connector on the backside of the microphone with a built-in USB-C port. You want a reasonably skinny USB-C cable to suit subsequent to the XLR leads (fortunately, Rode has one).
The microphone total is fairly easy; There are not any built-in controls for achieve, quantity or mute, and no headphone jack for direct zero-latency monitoring. That is hardly stunning for an XLR microphone (the NT1 as much as this era) plugged into an audio interface. However many USB microphones have these options—the dearth of controls might be irritating until you intend to finally migrate to an audio interface.
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The NT1 fifth Gen comes with quite a lot of equipment within the field, together with Rode’s SM6 studio microphone suspension shock mount equipment with a detachable pop filter ($59 if bought individually). You additionally get 9.8 toes (3 m) USB-C to USB-C cable, (vivid pink) 20 toes (6 m) XLR cable, mud cap, and a wavy blue “XLR ring” that goes contained in the machine. Microphone plug to assist safe unfastened third-party XLR cables.
The shock mount measures roughly 5.25 inches (133 mm) in diameter and is roughly 8.27 inches (210 mm) deep. The pop filter is 5.25 inches (133 mm) in diameter and attaches to the entrance of the shock mount that sits roughly 2.5 inches (63.5 mm) in entrance of the microphone. It has two adjustment axes and a telescopic arm that extends to a complete peak of 10 inches (254 mm). The shock mount and pop filter are primarily made from metallic, including an additional 1.5 kilos (682g) to the burden of the microphone.
The shock mount is designed to connect to a increase arm or a microphone stand, however the microphone doesn’t embody a desktop stand. For those who’re nonetheless contemplating upgrading your audio setup, it is most likely price investing in a increase arm, however – in the event you’re not fairly there but – there are many USB microphones on our listing of the very best gaming microphones that include desktop stands.
|Capsule Sort||Stress Gradient Capacitor|
|frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Bit Depth||24-bit (32-bit variable)|
|connection||USB-C, 3-pin XLR|
|Cable||USB-C to USB-C (9.8 ft/3 m), XLR (19.6 ft/6 m)|
|Software program||Rode Central, Rode Join, Rode Unify|
|Dimensions (L x W)||7.44 x 2.05 x 2.05 inches / 189 x 52 x 52mm|
|Weight||10.86 ounces / 308g|
|MSRP / Value at Evaluation||$259 / $259|
|Launch date||February 20, 2023|
NT1 fifth Gen Efficiency
The Rode NT1 fifth Technology is a big diaphragm condenser microphone with a side-address cardioid polar sample. It has a large frequency response of 20 Hz to twenty,000 Hz and data audio as 24-bit and 32-bit floating audio (extra on that in a bit of bit) at sampling charges of 48, 96, and 192 kHz. This places the recording high quality effectively above most gaming microphones that peak at 24-bit/96 kHz (and people are only a few).
One of the crucial notable new options of the NT1 fifth Gen is the power to file 32-bit floating audio, which permits for a considerably wider dynamic vary than normal 16- or 24-bit audio. The dynamic vary of 32-bit floating audio is so large that it nearly utterly eliminates clipping, a sort of waveform distortion that occurs when the quantity is simply too loud. (“Nearly”, as a result of there are a number of causes for clipping — not all of them might be prevented by recording in 32-bit float.) That is the place sudden spikes in NT1 fifth quantity can happen (like dwell occasions).
Dynamic vary isn’t the identical factor as decision akin to bit depth. Bit depth refers back to the variety of bits of data an audio pattern has or the variety of amplitude ranges it could seize. The theoretical most bit depth might be calculated by growing it to the ability of two. [number of bits] — 16-bit audio can have as much as 65,536 steps (2^16), 24-bit audio can have 16,777,216 steps (2^24), and 32-bit audio can have 4,294,967,296 steps.
Dynamic vary is predicated on the distinction between the loudest and softest sign the microphone can file, which is far higher in 32-bit scrolling sound than in normal 32-bit. It’s because 32-bit floating level is encoded in another way – as a substitute of being encoded as a fixed-point quantity, it is encoded as a 24-bit quantity (really, 1 bit represents an indication and 23 bits is for a fraction), 8- a little bit of exponent. This doesn’t change the utmost bit depth or decision, however adjustments the dynamic vary. 32-bit floating recording is beneficial in some conditions, however most often it isn’t objectively higher than normal 24-bit recording – particularly for players, broadcasters and podcasters in a managed surroundings.
The NT1 fifth Gen has the identical HF6 capacitor capsule as its 4th era predecessor, so it hasn’t modified a lot by way of sound. It was and nonetheless is a superb microphone, particularly for vocals: crisp and clear with a heat slope and affordable depth. However you need to watch out with positioning as a result of getting shut too shortly extra an excessive amount of depth (proximity impact) and the microphone has a reasonably tight cardioid polar sample.
NT1 fifth Gen Options and Software program
The NT1 fifth Gen works effectively as a plug and play machine and doesn’t require any software program to run. It really works with three of Rode’s apps: Rode Central, Rode Join and the not too long ago launched Rode Unify. You needn’t obtain all these apps, they are going to all allow you to regulate the superior DSP settings of NT1 fifth Gen. Rode Central is just for adjusting DSP settings (and updating firmware), whereas Rode Join and Rode Unify embody recording and channel mixing instruments.
Rode’s apps offer you entry to the NT1 fifth Gen’s superior DSP settings together with the compressor, excessive go filter, noise gate and Aphex enhancements “auditory stimulus” and “massive dip”. In addition to toggling between these settings, you may also fine-tune at a granular degree (you’ll be able to’t do this with Rode’s NT-USB+).
This, in fact, solely applies when the microphone is plugged in by way of USB; None of this is applicable in case you are utilizing it with an analog XLR connection.
The Rode NT1 fifth Gen is a wonderful microphone, however so have been its predecessors. The massive change – and fairly massive – is that the NT1, which was previously solely XLR, is now a USB-C microphone able to recording 32-bit scrolling audio. I am unsure what number of customers want twin connections on one microphone, however it could be tempting for somebody trying to improve to a extra skilled audio setup (although you should buy two microphones as effectively). I like to like the NT1 fifth Gen as a plug-and-play USB microphone, however it lacks lots of the options USB microphones deliver, like achieve management and an on-mic headphone jack; use it as an analog microphone with audio interface, however it’s not my first alternative for a USB microphone.
The NT1 fifth Gen’s potential to file 32-bit floating audio is exclusive in this sort of microphone, however it’s not one thing the typical particular person makes use of a lot. Keep in mind, dynamic vary is about quantity, not decision. 32-bit float is most wanted when sound ranges are unpredictable, for instance dwell concert events or journalists in warfare zones – you are not streaming by yourself (I assume relying on the broadcaster).
The NT1 fifth Gen is a superb microphone and is flexible, however most customers do not want that a lot versatility. The Rode NT-USB+ is a wonderful USB microphone with on-mic controls that prices $100 much less, whereas the Rode PodMic is a strong XLR microphone for simply $99, and you should buy each for the value of the NT1 fifth Gen. In fact, if you would like 32-bit floating recording, it is a fairly price range possibility.
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