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Neumann U 87 Ai Large-Diaphragm Multipattern Condenser Microphone (Studio Set, Nickel)

Neumann U 87 Ai Large-Diaphragm Multipattern Condenser Microphone (Studio Set, Nickel)
Key Features
  • Studio Standard for Vocals & Instruments
  • Cardioid, Omni & Figure-8 Polar Patterns
  • Dual-Diaphragm Condenser Capsule
  • Low-Noise FET Circuit
A definitive legend for decades, the nickel Neumann U 87 Ai Studio Set is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone offering the timeless and special sound that remains highly coveted for singers, voice-over artists, announcers, producers, and recording engineers to this day. By combining the same dual-diaphragm capsule design as the heralded U 67 with FET circuitry and a transformer-balanced output, the U 87 Ai retains the voicing that made the U 87 famous while ensuring low-noise performance and optimal signal purity.
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Neumann U 87 Ai Overview

  • 1Description
  • 2The Gold Standard
  • 3Omnipresent and Special
  • 4Classic Neumann Engineering
  • 5Versatile Applications
  • 6Features at a Glance

A definitive legend for decades, the nickel Neumann U 87 Ai Studio Set is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone offering the timeless and special sound that remains highly coveted for singers, voice-over artists, announcers, producers, and recording engineers to this day. By combining the same dual-diaphragm capsule design as the heralded U 67 with FET circuitry and a transformer-balanced output, the U 87 Ai retains the voicing that made the U 87 famous while ensuring low-noise performance and optimal signal purity.

The U 87 Ai's dual-diaphragm capsule, which is elastically suspended, affords the selection of three polar patterns (omni, cardioid, and figure-8) to enhance versatility in the studio. Additionally, the mic provides a switchable -10 dB pad that allows it to capture SPLs up to 127 dB without distortion, and a low-cut filter for controlling buildup of low-frequency content. Whether it is used for broadcast, stage, or studio applications, the U 87 Ai presents the sought-after look, sound, and reputation of a true classic.

The Gold Standard
The Neumann U 87 Ai may be the best-known and most frequently used studio microphone the world over. Its smooth and refined sound is as iconic as its elegant exterior design. The U 87 Ai is the standard microphone for speech and vocals. Three polar patterns plus pad and low-cut options make it adaptable to a wide range of applications.
Omnipresent and Special
The Neumann U 87 Ai is a true legend. Introduced in 1967, it has shaped the sound of countless hit records for the past 50 years. And when those hits were announced on the radio, many a DJ sat before a U 87 Ai.

The U 87 Ai is the epitome of a large-diaphragm condenser microphone. Its tapered body and iconic design have become part of the collective consciousness—this is what a studio microphone looks like. The same is true of its sound; the U 87 Ai represents studio quality and has become the gold standard by which other microphones are measured.

What sets the U 87 Ai apart is its special combination of linearity and character. Although its on-axis frequency response is remarkably flat, it does exert certain charisma, making the U 87 Ai both versatile and instantly recognizable.
Classic Neumann Engineering
Technically speaking, the U 87 Ai is a traditional design whose timeless formula has remained unchanged for decades. The U 87 Ai uses the same dual-diaphragm condenser capsule design as its predecessor, the no less legendary U 67 of the early 1960s. Its head amplifier, too, is based on the same design principles as its tube-driven predecessor, but the U 87 Ai realizes them by means of an FET circuit with a minimal signal path and a transformer-balanced output, ensuring maximum signal integrity and high common mode rejection.
Versatile Applications
The result is a studio microphone of unmatched clarity. Its natural sound and midrange presence make the U 87 Ai the ultimate vocal microphone, praised by singers and engineers alike as well as the prime choice for speech applications, such as voice-over, dubbing, and audio books. Due to its balanced response in each of its three directional patterns, the U 87 Ai is also a versatile microphone for anything from acoustic guitar to drums overheads. Due to its solid bass response and excellent midrange detail, it is often seen in front of bass and guitar cabinets. For classical recordings, the U 87 Ai is frequently used as a spot mic for soloists, e.g. cello. A stereo pair of U 87 Ai mics is the preferred choice of many engineers for recording piano in virtually any genre from pop and jazz to classical music.
Features at a Glance
  • The world’s most famous studio microphone
  • Classic sound, instantly recognizable and versatile
  • Balanced frequency response
  • Elastically suspended dual-diaphragm capsule
  • Omni, cardioid, and figure-8 polar patterns
  • Switchable low-cut filter and -10 dB pad
  • Low self-noise
  • XLR 3-pin output
  • 48V phantom powered
  • Includes color-matched shockmount and wooden box

Neumann U 87 Ai Specs

Primary ApplicationsStudio Recording, Broadcast
Form FactorLarge Diaphragm Mic / Stand/Boom Mount
Intended Sound SourcesVocals, Speech/Voice Over, Instrument
Sound FieldMono
Operating PrinciplePressure Gradient
Polar PatternCardioid, Figure-8, Omnidirectional
Pattern SelectionSwitched (Adjustable on Mic)
OrientationSide Address
CircuitrySolid-State (FET)
Pad-10 dB
High-Pass FilterYes
Tone AdjustmentNone
Gain AdjustmentNone
On-Board ControlsHigh-Pass Filter, Pad, Polar Pattern
Frequency Range20 Hz to 20 kHz
Maximum SPLCardioid: 117 dB SPL (1 kHz, .5% THD)
Cardioid: 127 dB SPL (1 kHz, .5% THD, with Pad)
Impedance200 Ohms
Load Impedance1000 Ohms
SensitivityOmnidirectional: 20 mV/Pa at 1 kHz into 1 Kilohms
Cardioid: 28 mV/Pa at 1 kHz into 1 Kilohms
Figure-8: 22 mV/Pa at 1 kHz into 1 Kilohms
Output Level-6 dBu (Max)
Signal-to-Noise RatioOmnidirectional: 79 dB A-Weighted
Cardioid: 82 dB A-Weighted
Figure-8: 80 dB A-Weighted
Omnidirectional: 68 dB CCIR
Cardioid: 71 dB CCIR
Figure-8: 69 dB CCIR
Equivalent Noise LevelOmnidirectional: 15 dB A-Weighted
Cardioid: 12 dB A-Weighted
Figure-8: 14 dB A-Weighted
Omnidirectional: 26 dB CCIR
Cardioid: 23 dB CCIR
Figure-8: 25 dB CCIR
Output Connectors (Analog)1 x XLR 3-Pin Male (on Mic)
Headphone ConnectorNone
Bus PowerNone
Operating Voltage48 V ± 4 V (Phantom Power)
Operating Current Consumption0.8 mA
MountingShockmount (Included)
Included CaseHard Case
Included FiltersNone
Dimensionsø: 2.2 x L: 7.9" / ø: 5.6 x L: 20.1 cm
Weight1.1 lb / 500 g
Packaging Info
Package Weight5.495 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)11.55 x 11.5 x 6.75"

Neumann U 87 Ai Reviews


By Peter
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-07-19

An ultimate aspirational mic for me. I have compared this with a vintage u87. For vocals, the vintage U 87 has a slightly more noticeable presence. By presence, I mean that you feel like the microphone is a noctilux-level macro lens focusing in on the singer's articulation and bringing them up close to your ear. All that, but it doesn't sound like it's trying. The new U 87 Ai is almost the same as the old U 87, but a bit more neutral. Less emphasis of sounds like ch (as in, chess), and the specs say less noise. That's my two cents, at least! The U 87 Ai is an amazing sounding mic and lives up to its name. I'd agree with so many reviewers who say that it's just plain good on anything.

Greatest! NEUMANN U 87Ai Studio Condenser Microphone

By greg k.
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2017-03-23

The NEUMANN U 87Ai is a studio microphone with outstanding performance and an attractive shape. NEUMANN microphones are the best. This company has almost 90 (ninety) years of experience in the manufacture of microphones. Truly amazing.

Expensive - but You're Worth It!

By Enrico Shaguerini
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2014-10-02

Many of us have been hypnotized by the endless sea of microphones that physically look like and sonically aspire to be like the U87. After wrestling with imitations for years, I finally learned an important lesson. SAVE UP and BUY THE REAL THING. You deserve to sound excellent! No matter what your gear is, I feel the most important aspect of recording is a GREAT MICROPHONE. I've used this microphone with inexpensive and top of the line mixers... Neve, Studer, Art TUBE MP's... Wow... Guess what? this mic sounds amazing through anything. From sensitive close proximity spoken word to the slap of moroccan goat skin drums to distorted guitar thru noisy tube amps to quiet, snooty booty cello solos, this mic captures ALL the magic. It captures something inexplicable. You can use it on anything! My only advice is keep it extremely clean, store it in a safe place. :) If you have a home studio, do yourself a grand favor. Get one. You won't be sorry - and you'll perform better as this microphone has a way of inspiring the best performances. Cheers Friends. David

Neumann U87 ai

Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2013-11-17

The U87 is now the centerpiece in my studio! Combined with the Grace Pre, this mic really adds a new dimension to vocals. Acoustics guitars have a fuller sound. The detail surpasses my 414. Definately a great deal from B&H!

Awesome microphone set

By CuriousMarc
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2013-07-01

One of the best (some would say the best...) microphone in the business, particularly for vocals and lower sound level instruments (acoustic guitar, flute, etc...). Extremely sensitive, very low noise. Picks up the tiniest detail. The switchable polar pattern, integrated low cut filter and 10 dB attenuation pad means you can use them for anything in any situation, couple of switches and you are done. Just did a simultaneous recording with my Schoeps on a flute and these sounded even better, if that was at all possible. More velvet and refinment in the mid tones. You could immediately tell why they are unsurpassed on voice. If you can afford it and don't mind how large they are, this is the quintessential studio mic you need in your arsenal.

a classic that still pleases

By Anonymous
Rated 4 out of 5
Date: 2009-03-26

If you can afford one of these you probably do not need to read a review to say why you should have one! It is simply a great studio microphone. There are few situations in which this would be a bad choice, and for voice recording it is a de facto standard. It is not perfect, though, no microphone is, but it sounds warm and big with Neumanns classic presence boost. I have used a U87 alongside many others throughout my 30 year career and it has never disappointed me, even when it was not the best choice. This ai model is a winner. The only reason I give it 4 instead of 5 stars is because it is so sensitive to mounting vibrations. Any physical vibration to the microphone is translated into a nasty 47hz tone, like a drum, with a very slight higher harmonic. This is a problem with many of the older Neumann models and was carried through to the U87. Some more recent Neumanns are improved in this regard, and I had hoped they included those improvements into this newer version of the classic. They did not. Anyway, the 47hz tone is low enough to be filtered out most of the time and is completely absent when using an omni pattern. The EA87 elastic suspension helps a little. I have not heard the higher harmonic tone (370hz?) unless I tap directly on the mic body. Take steps to reduce floor vibrations through the mic stand! The other thing I do not like is the U87s low frequency roll-off. It is so severe that it removes all the lovely warmth you pay dearly for. The microphone sounds great when flat, but rumble and breath pops can be a problem. You MUST use a pop filter for vocal work, or you may find that a big pop will distort the electronics. Speaking of electronics, they are what were upgraded from the original U87 design. I like the upgrade! It is cleaner sounding to me (the old ones sometimes were just a wee bit fuzzy), and definitely quieter. In fact, this microphone puts out a very hot signal, way more than the original model and more than most of my other microphones. I wouldnt use this to record tom toms, the way we used to do with the original model. For voice work, this sets the standard by which all others are judged.

Rockin mic!

By Steven
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2022-02-13

This mic is awesome. I additionally have a Sennheiser MKH416 which has better noise rejection. This Neumann condenser has a preferred frequency response. As a result, this mic is very well suited to live processing with an Apollo x8p or Twin X. I also have a few other mics, but this one is amazing!

It's a U87 - what else is there to say?

By Frank
Rated 5 out of 5
Date: 2021-08-16

I record a lot - I mean a lot. I went through the various options, the Sennheiser MHK416 (which I still have - a great mic), the TLM-103, The Stellar X - I should have bought the U87 first. Clean, clear, picks up the dust falling on the floor if that's what you want. It's expensive. You get what you pay for. Absolutely wonderful professional microphone.

See any errors on this page? Let us know


Can it be powered by the go xlr?

Can it be powered by the go xlr?
Asked by: Abdallah
Yes, the Neumann U 87 Ai Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone can be powered by the TC Helicon GoXLR mixer. The mixer can supply 48V phantom power through its XLR mic input.
Answered by: Lisa
Date published: 2021-12-12


What is difference between this mike and the plain old U87? Which is better for voice over work (no instruments; no music; no singing)?
Asked by: Alan G.
The U87 AI is the currently available version of the U87. According to Neumann The major difference occur in the electronics and effectively improve the sensitivity and signal to noise ratio. Tonally are very similar as the capsule has not changed.
Answered by: Jeff P.
Date published: 2022-10-08

How much gain do we need to power the mic ?

How much gain do we need to power the mic ?
Asked by: Abdallah
It is a condenser microphone. It required phantom power.
Answered by: David
Date published: 2021-08-17

is 48v pre amp box? included for this item..thank ...

is 48v pre amp box? included for this item..thank you
Asked by: Ruben
Answered by: David
Date published: 2021-03-25
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