Top 20 Most Expensive Microphones On The Market Today


The price tags on microphones range from pennies to thousands of dollars. There are plenty of high-quality high-end microphones on the market today that demand high price points.

The 20 most expensive microphones on the market today are:

  1. Brauner VM1S ($10,799.00)
  2. Telefunken ELA M 251 T ($9,995.00)
  3. Telefunken ELA M 251 E ($9,495.00)
  4. Telefunken C12 ($8,995.00)
  5. Telefunken U47 ($8,995.00)
  6. Telefunken U48 ($8,995.00)
  7. Josephson Engineering C725 ($8,800.00)
  8. Sony C-800G PAC ($8,321.00)
  9. Microtech Gefell KEM 975 ($8,239.99)
  10. Brauner VMA ($7,739.00)
  11. Wunder Audio CM50 S ($7,295.00)
  12. Josephson C700S ($7,205.00)
  13. Bock Audio 507 ($6,835.00)
  14. Microtech Gefell CVM 563 / M 7S ($6,704.55)
  15. Wunder Audio CM12 S ($6,650.00)
  16. Wunder Audio CM7 S ($6,650.00)
  17. Wunder Audio CM49 S ($6,650.00)
  18. Neumann D-01 ($6,000.00)
  19. Neumann USM 69 i ($6,000)
  20. Neumann U67 Collector’s Edition ($5,666.00)

Let’s get into each of these microphones in more detail in this article. Describing these microphones will help us to understand why they are so expensive!

For more information on microphone pricing, check out my article How Much Do Microphones Cost? (With Pricing Examples).

First, A Few Notes To Go With This Article:

  • All microphones on this list are currently in production.
  • All items on this list are single microphones (power supplies are included when necessary).
  • All prices are in USD unless otherwise stated.
  • Microphones are listed according to the lowest retail price (in USD only) that I found on the noted online microphone retailers.
  • If a noted retailer’s price does not show up in the microphone price chart, it means that the retailer does not sell that microphone.
  • Each microphone on the list must be sold by at least 2 of the retailers to get on the list.
  • The CAD to USD conversion rate used is $1 CAD = $0.75 USD
    (this is for Studio Economik pricing in CAD).

Here is a list of online microphone retailers that provided the price points for this article:

  • Sweetwater
  • Thomann
  • Musician’s Friend
  • B&H Photo/Video/Pro Audio
  • Vintage King
  • Front End Audio
  • RSPE Audio & Visual Solutions
  • Studio Economik (Canada)
  • Long & McQuade (Canada)
  • Alto Music
  • Dale Pro Audio
  • Sam Ash
  • Little Fish Audio
  • Lunchbox Audio
  • *American Music Supply
  • *Full Compass
  • *Guitar Center
  • *Zzounds

*Retailers with an asterisk do not sell any of the microphones on this list

To learn more about the best online audio equipment retailers, check out my article Top 10 Best Online Audio Gear/Equipment Retailers.

Below the list of 20, I’ve also added some honourable mentions that are worth noting. Some do not fit the criteria, while others are the most expensive of their microphone type. To skip to the honourable mentions, click here.

I’ll include important specifications of the microphones listed in this article. Details regarding each of the specifications can be found in my article Full List Of Microphone Specifications (How To Read A Spec Sheet).

Alright, with that out of the way, let’s get to it!


1. Brauner VM1S ($10,799.00)

Brauner VM1S

The Brauner VM1S is the most expensive single microphone on the market today. It is a dual-large-diaphragm multi-pattern stereo tube condenser microphone.

The VM1S is designed to be the stereo version of Brauner’s high-end VM1 microphone. It basically features two identical VM1 mics, allowing for independent control of the directionality of both capsules. Each capsule even has its own power supply and vacuum tube circuit.

The VM1S can be used in mono or stereo mode and each VM1 capsule is infinitely variable in its directionality. This makes the VM1S, arguably, the most versatile microphone on the market today!

On top of the versatility factor, the VM1S sounds completely natural and modern with the highest resolution of sonic detail.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: Yes.
Polar Pattern(s): Infinitely variable. XY, Blumlein, Mid-Side, and many more.
Capsule(s): 2x VM1 capsules (by MBHO)
Tube(s): 2x EF732s
Transformer: Custom
Remake: No
Released: 1999

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Brauner VM1S:

Online Retailer Of Brauner VM1SPrice Tag
Front End Audio$10,799.00 USD
Little Fish Audio$12,499.00 USD
RSPE Audio & Visual Solutions$12,499.00 USD
Studio Economik$15,919.00 CAD (~$11,885.00 USD)

Back to full list.


2. Telefunken Elektroakustik ELA M 251 T ($9,995.00)

Telefunken Ela M 251 T

The Telefunken ELA M 251 T is the highest priced ELA M 251 clone/remake on this list. It is the first of five mic in Telefunken’s Diamond Series that have made this list. The ELA M 251 T is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser microphone.

For more information on the original ELA M 251, vintage microphones, and clones/remakes, check out my article Top 12 Best Vintage Microphones (And Their Best Clones).

Though based on the original 251 and its previous clones, the ELA M 251 T has a modern twist with the Telefunken CK-13 capsule. This capsules is made of Alloy 2213 (Titanium and Aluminum) and allows for increased clarity in the low-end of the T-version when compared to other ELA M 251 microphones.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Omni, Cardioid, Bidirectional
Capsule(s): CK-13
Tube(s): GE JAN 6072a
Transformer: Haufe T14/1
Remake: Yes (Telefunken Ela M 251)
Released: 2009

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Telefunken Elektroakustik ELA M 251 T:

Online Retailer Of Telefunken Elektroakustik ELA M 251 TPrice Tag
B&H Photo$9,995.00 USD
Vintage King$9,995.00 USD
Studio Economik$13,489.00 CAD (~$10,070.00 USD)

Back to full list.


3. Telefunken Elektroakustik ELA M 251 E ($9,495.00)

Telefunken
Ela M 251 E

The Telefunken ELA M 251 E is the third most expensive mic on this list and the second clone/remake of the legendary ELA M 251/ELA M 251 E microphones. It is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser microphone.

This microphone is a historic recreation of the original ELA M 251E. It retains the best qualities of its predecessor and remains true to the heritage of the legendary microphones that we first introduced in 1959.

Modern components allow for consistent specifications, better current handling and a lower self-noise than the original. That being said, each reissue is 100% true in every detail to the original and the parts are even interchangeable with the 50+ year old originals. The new ELA M 251 E will sound just as incredible as the microphone it’s modelled after.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Omni, Cardioid, Bidirectional
Capsule(s): Telefunken CK-12
Tube(s): NOS JAN-spec 6072a (General Electric)
Transformer: Haufe T14/1
Remake: Yes (Telefunken Ela M 251)
Released: Originally in 1959

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Telefunken Elektroakustik ELA M 251 E:

Online Retailer Of Telefunken Elektroakustik ELA M 251 EPrice Tag
Sweetwater$9,495.00 USD
B&H Photo$9,495.00 USD
Vintage King$9,495.00 USD
Alto Music$9,495.00 USD
Sam Ash$9,495.00 USD
Studio Economik$12,799.00 CAD (~$9,555.00 USD)

Back to full list.


4. Telefunken Elektroakustik C12 ($8,995.00)

Telefunken
C 12

Fourth on the list is yet another Telefunken remake. The Telefunken C12 is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser microphone.

The original AKG C12 is widely considered one of the greatest sounding microphones to ever have been produced. The Telefunken C12 captures the essence of sound of the legendary AKG C12 through reverse engineering and the recreation of the construction and aesthetic of the original.

The Telefunken C12 sounds strikingly similar to the microphone it is modelled after. This is achieved with old and new electric components. The newer parts of the C12’s circuitry gives it lower self-noise and greater consistency while dropping the power requirement.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): 9 Selectable (including Omni, Cardioid, Bidirectional)
Capsule(s): Telefunken “CK-12”
Tube(s): ECC81
Transformer: Haufe T14/1
Remake: Yes (AKG C12)
Released: 2003

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Telefunken Elektroakustik C12:

Online Retailer Of Telefunken Elektroakustik C12Price Tag
Sweetwater$8,995.00 USD
B&H Photo$8,995.00 USD
Vintage King$8,995.00 USD
Alto Music$8,995.00 USD
Thomann (USA)$9,222.00 USD
Studio Economik$12,119.00 CAD (~$9,050.00 USD)

Back to full list.


5. Telefunken Elektroakustik U47 ($8,995.00)

Telefunken
U 47

Telefunken Elekroakustik comes in again at spot number 5 with its U47, a historically accurate reproduction of the famous Telefunken/Neumann U47. It is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser microphone.

This microphone is perhaps the most cherished studio vocal mic of all time. Telefunken did an excellent job in the reissue of this classic even though the tube and transformer are different.

The Telefunken U47 has excellent low-end response and wonderfully smooth top-end that sounds great on everything, especially vocals.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Omni and Cardioid
Capsule(s): Thiersch M7
Tube(s): VF-14K
Transformer: BV8
Remake: Yes (Telefunken/Neumann U47)
Released: Originally 1947

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Telefunken Elektroakustik U47:

Online Retailer Of Telefunken Elektroakustik U47Price Tag
Sweetwater$8,995.00 USD
Vintage King$8,995.00 USD
B&H Photo$8,995.00 USD
Alto Music$8,995.00 USD
Thomann (USA)$9,444.00 USD
Studio Economik$12,144.00 (~$9,066.00 USD)

Back to full list.


6. Telefunken Elektroakustik U48 ($8,995.00)

Telefunken
U 48

The Telefunken U48 remake is the last on this list from the Telefunken Diamond Series and is a historic remake of the original Telefunken/Neumann U48 (which was an alternative version to the aforementioned U47).

The Telefunken U48 is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser microphone.

Telefunken’s U48 is designed with the same capsule, tube, and transformer as its U47 reissue. The difference between the two being that the U47 has cardioid and omnidirectional pickup patterns while the U48 has cardioid and bidirectional pickup patterns.

Both microphones sounds incredibly similar to their predecessors. In other words, they sound absolutely incredible!

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Cardioid and Bidirectional
Capsule(s): Thiersch M7
Tube(s): VF-14K
Transformer: BV8
Remake: Yes (Telefunken/Neumann U48)
Released: Originally 1947

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Telefunken Elektroakustik U48:

Online Retailer Of Telefunken Elektroakustik U48Price Tag
B&H Photo$8,995.00 USD
Vintage King$8,995.00 USD
Alto Music$8,995.00 USD
Studio Economik$12,144.00 (~$9,066.00 USD)

Back to full list.


7. Josephson Engineering C725 ($8,800.00)

Josephson Engineering
C725

The Josephson C725 is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube/FET hybrid condenser microphone.

With 5 selectable pickup patterns, the C725 works amazingly well on a wide variety of studio applications.

The capsule of the C725 is internally shock mounted so the mic does not require an external shock mount.

The stand-out features of the C725 are its grille and hybrid tube/FET circuitry.

The grille of the C725 is made of its patented aluminum foam, which is fused to the housing to protect the capsule electrically and physically. No support structure is needed for the grille and so external rejection and internal reflections are minimal. This gives the C725 an incredibly accurate sound pickup.

The C725 utilizes a custom low-noise FET for internal voltage gain stage and a pentode vacuum tube for the current gain stage. This gives the microphone the best of both worlds: the low noise of a high-quality FET with the characteristic sound of a high-end vacuum tube!

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Omnidirectional, Subcardioid, Cardioid, Hypercardioid, and Bidirectional
Capsule(s): Dual-diaphragm C700 series
Tube(s): Hybrid tube/FET
Transformer: Custom nickel-core transformer
Remake: No

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Josephson Engineering C725:

Online Retailer Of Josephson Engineering C725Price Tag
Front End Audio$8,800.00 USD
Vintage King$8,800.00 USD
Studio Economik$11,918.00 CAD (~$8,900.00 USD)

Back to full list.


8. Sony C-800G PAC ($8,321.00)

Sony
C-800G PAC

The Sony C-800G PAC is one of the more popular microphones on this list. This microphone stands out as a contemporary classic. It is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser microphone.

The C-800G PAC capsule is based on the legendary Neumann K67. This dual-diaphragm capsule yields an incredibly smooth yet accurate capture. The sound of the Sony C-800G PAC has made it a go-to in high-end studios around the world.

The main feature, as we can see in the image of the C-800G, is its peculiar appendage. This is a built-in cooling system that keeps the microphone cool and the 6AU6 tube operating at its ideal temperature. Sony’s cooling system plays a vital role in maintaining the most consistent performance of the C-800G as well as keeping self-noise and distortion to a practical minimum.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Omnidirectional and Cardioid
Capsule(s): Sony’s C800G (based on Neumann K67)
Tube(s): 6AU6
Transformer: Custom
Remake: No
Released: 1993

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Sony C-800G PAC:

Online Retailer Of Sony C-800GPrice Tag
Dale Pro Audio$8,321.00 USD
Front End Audio$8,899.00 USD
B&H Photo$8,900.00 USD
Amazon$9,990.00 USD
Vintage King$9,990.00 USD
Musician's Friend$9,990.00 USD
Sweetwater$9,990.00 USD
Alto Music$9,990.00 USD
Sam Ash$9,990.00 USD
RSPE Audio & Visual Solutions$9,990.00 USD
Studio Economik$13,530.00 CAD (~$10,100.00 USD)

Back to full list.


9. Microtech Gefell KEM 975 ($8,239.99)

Microtech Gefell
KEM 975

The Microtech Gefell is truly a one-of-a-kind microphone. This multi-capsule line array condenser microphone features 8 unique M300 series ceramic capsules with an optional 9th Delta capsule for extended bottom end.

The KEM 975 acts as a cardioid microphone on its horizontal axis and a shotgun microphone with an acceptance angle of about 30° on its vertical axis.

Microtech Gefell’s KEM 975 excels as a high-end podium mic and in many studio applications.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Supercardioids
Capsule(s): multi-capsule 8x M 300 (interior) with optional 1x Delta capsule (exterior)
Tube(s): No
Transformer: Custom
Remake: No

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Microtech Gefell KEM 975:

Online Retailer Of Microtech Gefell KEM 975Price Tag
RSPE Audio & Visual Solutions$8,239.99 USD
Vintage King$8,517.05 USD

Back to full list.


10. Brauner VMA ($7,739.00)

Brauner
VMA

The Brauner VMA, like many mics on this list, is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser microphone.

Brauner designed the VMA to be a combination of their VM1 and VMX models. The VMA’s external power supply features a switch to choose between the VM1 “natural sounding” circuitry or the VMX “charming sounding” circuitry.

Like with many of Brauner’s hand-crafted high-end microphones, the differences in sound quality between polar patterns is nearly negligible.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Infinitely variable. Includes Omnidirectional, Cardioid, and Bidirectional.
Capsule(s): VM1 capsules (by MBHO)
Tube(s): EF732s
Transformer:
Remake: No
Released: 2008

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Brauner VMA:

Online Retailer Of Brauner VMAPrice Tag
Thomann (USA)$7,739.00 USD
Front End Audio$8,399.00 USD
Little Fish Audio$9,699.00 USD
RSPE Audio & Visual Solutions$9,699.00 USD
Studio Economik$12,315.00 CAD (~$9,195.00 USD)

Back to full list.


11. Wunder Audio CM50 Suprema ($7,295.00)

Wunder Audio
CM50 Suprema

Wunder Audio’s CM50 S is true-to-vintage, incorporating the M9 capsule, which was the original Neumann-style M50 spherical capsule. It is a large-diaphragm omnidirectional tube microphone.

The original Neumann M 50 was a go-to choice for engineers when recording drum rooms and orchestras. Today, the Wunder Audio CM50 Suprema has largely filled this role.

The CM50 S omni mic’s frequency rises slightly in the upper range, yielding a naturally bright sound that works particularly well in diffuse sound fields.

Note that there is a slightly less expensive CM50 version (without the “Suprema”) of this microphone. The CM50 would also take a spot on this list, but I figure I would omit it due to the great similarities between the two mics.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Omnidirectional
Capsule(s): M9
Tube(s): MSC2
Transformer: Custom
Remake: Yes (Neumann M 50)

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Wunder Audio CM50 Suprema:

Online Retailer Of Wunder Audio CM50 SupremaPrice Tag
Vintage King$7,295.00 USD
Alto Music$7,295.00 USD
Lunchbox Audio$7,295.00 USD
Studio Economik$9,880.00 CAD (~$7,375.00 USD)

Back to full list.


12. Josephson Engineering C700S ($7,205.00)

Josephson
C700S

The C700S marks Josephson Engineering’s second mic on this list. It is a triple-large-diaphragm multi-pattern stereo transformerless FET condenser microphone. What a mouthful!

The C700S features one small-diaphragm omnidirectional capsule and two large-diaphragm figure-8 capsules at 90° from one another.

Each capsule can be recorded individually via the C700S 7-pin XLR output and splitter. This allows for various polar patterns and stereo configurations to be selected in post production.

The Josephson C700S features completely neutral electronics with a Cascode FET input and class-A active balanced output circuit.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: Yes
Polar Pattern(s): Continuously variable.
Capsule(s): 1x Josephson’s KA11 small diaphragm
2x Josephson CK-12-based large diaphragm
Tube(s): No
Transformer: No
Remake: No
Released: 1998

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Josephson Engineering C700S:

Online Retailer Of Josephson Engineering C700SPrice Tag
Front End Audio$7,205.00 USD
Vintage King$7,205.00 USD
Dale Pro Audio$7,205.00 USD
Studio Economik$9,142.00 CAD (~$6,825.00 USD)

Back to full list.


13. Bock Audio 507 ($6,835.00)

Bock Audio
5ZERO7

Also known as the Bock Audio 5ZERO7

The Bock Audio 507 is a large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone.

This mic features a patented elliptical capsule that is unique to Bock Audio. This peculiar design, called the “golden ellipsoid,” reduces diaphragm resonance within the audible band.

The Bock Audio 507, odd as it may be, delivers and amazingly clear and detailed high-end while accurately representing full low-end.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Cardioid
Capsule(s): 507 Elliptical
Tube(s): EF814K
Transformer: Custom AMI/Tab-Funkenwerk
Remake: No
Released: 2008

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Bock Audio 507:

Online Retailer Of Bock Audio 507Price Tag
Sweetwater$6,835.00 USD
Vintage King$7,595.00 USD
Alto Music$7,595.00 USD
Lunchbox Audio$7,595.00 USD
RSPE Audio & Visual Solutions$7,595.00 USD

Bock Audio is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You’ve Likely Never Heard Of.

Back to full list.


14. Microtech Gefell CVM 563 / M 7S ($6,704.55)

Microtech Gefell
CVM 563 / M 7S

Microtech Gefell recreated the original Neumann CVM 563 with their own CVM 563. It is a modular large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone. The microphone/capsule combo we’re discussing here is the CVM 563 / M7S, which is the most common (and the M 7S is still in production).

Careful production is put into each of these microphones to not only ensure historical accuracy but to also provide backward compatibility with the original Neumann versions.

The CVM 563 / M 7S is an incredible studio microphone and with the precise craftsmanship that goes into each mic, it earns its high price tag.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Cardioid
Capsule(s): Microtech Gefell M7-S
Tube(s): EF86
Transformer: Custom
Remake: Yes (Neumann CMV 563)
Released: 2011

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Microtech Gefell CVM 563 / M 7S:

Online Retailer Of Microtech Gefell CVM 563 / M 7SPrice Tag
Vintage King$6,704.55 USD
B&H Photo$7,670.00 USD
Studio Economik$8,690.00 CAD (~$6,490.00 USD)

Back to full list.


15. Wunder Audio CM12 Suprema ($6,650.00)

Wunder Audio
CM12 Suprema

The Wunder Audio CM12 Suprema is the second close of the legendary AKG C12 that has shown up on this list. It is a large-diaphragm mulit-pattern tube condenser microphone.

The CM12 S features a CK12 capsule, Hiller T14/1 transformer, and 6072a vacuum tube. These are all built to the original specifications of the original C12.

If you’re looking for vintage microphone clones, Wunder Audio is an excellent first choice to look into (though Telefunken is also a strong replicator).

Wunder Audio, Telefunken, and many other microphone brands are featured in my article Top 12 Best Vintage Microphones (And Their Best Clones).

Note that there is a slightly less expensive CM12 version (without the “Suprema”) of this microphone. The CM12 would also take a spot on this list, but I figure I would omit it due to the great similarities between the two mics.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): 9 Selectable (including Omni, Cardioid, Bidirectional)
Capsule(s): CK12
Tube(s): NOS GE 5-star 6072A
Transformer: Hiller T14/1
Remake: Yes (AKG C12)

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Wunder Audio CM12 Suprema:

Online Retailer Of Wunder Audio CM12 SupremaPrice Tag
Vintage King$6,650.00 USD
Alto Music$6,650.00 USD
Lunchbox Audio$6,795.00 USD
Studio Economik$9,006.00 CAD (~$6,720.00 USD)

Back to full list.


16. Wunder Audio CM7 Suprema ($6,650.00)

Wunder Audio
CM7 Suprema

The Wunder Audio CM7 S is based on the design of the legendary Telefunken/Neumann U47. It is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser microphone.

The CM7 S features passive electronics in conjunction with tube electronics, yielding a modern sound with vintage characteristics.

Its incredible recreation of both high and low-end sound allow it to excel in studio environments on vocals and practically any instrument.

Note that there is a slightly less expensive CM7 version (without the “Suprema”) of this microphone. The CM7 would also take a spot on this list, but I figure I would omit it due to the great similarities between the two mics.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Omnidirectional and Cardioid
Capsule(s): M7
Tube(s): VF14 and select EF14
Transformer: “Large Badge” U47 recreation
Remake: Yes (Neumann U47)

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Wunder Audio CM7 Suprema:

Online Retailer Of Wunder Audio CM7 SupremaPrice Tag
Vintage King$6,650.00 USD
Lunchbox Audio$6,795.00 USD
Alto Music$6,795.00 USD
Studio Economik$9,006.00 CAD (~$6,720.00 USD)

Back to full list.


17. Wunder Audio CM49 Suprema ($6,650.00)

Wunder Audio
CM49 Suprema

The Wunder Audio CM49 S is an incredibly accurate remake of the legendary Neumann M 49. It is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser microphone.

The CM49 S consists of 2 equal cardioid condenser capsule systems mounted back to back. Its 3 polar patterns are switchable via remote control, just the original M 50 it emulates.

The CM49 Suprema’s tone is incredibly rich and round, making even harsh sounds pleasant to listen to.

Note that there is a slightly less expensive CM49 version (without the “Suprema”) of this microphone. The CM49 would also take a spot on this list, but I figure I would omit it due to the great similarities between the two mics.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): Omnidirectional, Cardioid, and Bidirectional.
Capsule(s): M7
Tube(s): MSC2
Transformer: Custom
Remake: Yes (Neumann M 49)

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Wunder Audio CM49 Suprema:

Online Retailer Of Wunder Audio CM49 SupremaPrice Tag
Vintage King$6,650.00 USD
Alto Music$6,795.00 USD
Lunchbox Audio$6,795.00 USD
Studio Economik$9,006.00 CAD (~$6,720.00 USD)

Back to full list.


18. Neumann D-01 ($6,000.00)

Neumann
D-01

The Neumann D-01 is a the first and only digital microphone I mention on this list. It is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern solid state condenser microphone with built-in analog-to-digital conversion.

Typically, this microphone is bought as part of the Neumann Solution-D digital microphone system, but, as I stated in the beginning, I would only list single standalone microphones.

The D-01 is an absolutely gem in the studio and sounds great on practically everything. Here are some of the microphone’s key points from Neumann’s website:

  • Digital output (AES 42)
  • DSP functions (e.g. overload protection, compressor/limiter, de-esser)
  • All parameters may be stored in the microphone
  • Remote controllable signal LEDs for communication with the artist
  • Balanced sound in 15 directional patterns
  • Extremely low self-noise (8 dB-A)

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No.
Polar Pattern(s): 15 Selectable.
Capsule(s): ?
Tube(s): No
Transformer: Custom
Remake: No.
A/D conversion: 28-bit internal word length.
Digital Signal Processing: Fixed-point, variable internal word length 28 bits to 60 bits.

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Neumann D-01:

Online Retailer Of Neumann D-01Price Tag
Vintage King$6,000.00 USD
Dale Pro Audio$6,000.00 USD
Front End Audio$6,499.95 USD
Lunchbox Audio$6,500.00 USD
Studio Economik$7,530.00 CAD (~$5,620.00 USD)

Neumann is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 11 Best Microphone Brands You Should Know And Use.

Back to full list.


19. Neumann USM 69 i ($6,000)

Neumann
USM 69 i

The Neumann USM 69 i is a dual-large-diaphragm stereo FET condenser microphone.

The USM 69 i utilizes two K870 capsule. These are the same capsules as Neumann’s U 87 Ai. Unlike the U 87 Ai’s 3 selectabe polar patterns, each USM 69 i capsule can be changed from omni, wide cardioid, cardioid, hypercardioid, or figure-8.

On top of that, the upper capsule housing rotates in relation to the fixed lower capsule, +180°–-90° (270° total). This yields an incredible amount of flexibility. Common stereo techniques of the USM 69 i include X-Y, Blumlein Pair, and Mid-Side.

To put icing on the cake, the USM 69 i sounds incredible.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: Yes.
Polar Pattern(s): 2x 5 Selectable for Mid-Side, XY, Blumlein Pair and more.
Capsule(s): 2x K870
Tube(s): No
Transformer: Custom
Remake: No.
Released: 1979

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Neumann USM 69 i:

Online Retailer Of Neumann USM 69 iPrice Tag
Lunchbox Audio$6,000.00 USD
B&H Photo$6,000.00 USD
Vintage King$6,000.00 USD
Dale Pro Audio$6,000.00 USD
Studio Economik$7,530.00 CAD (~$5,620.00 USD)

Back to full list.


20. Neumann U67 Reissue ($5,666.00)

Neumann
U67 Reissue

The Neumann U67 is likely the most well-known and cherished microphone on this list. It is a large-diaphragm multi-pattern tube condenser microphone.

Note that it’s listed at spot 20 only due to its low price on Thomann (USA). Typically this microphone retails for at least $6,200 USD and was originally higher on the list.

The Neumann U67, originally introduced in 1960, was a breakthrough in microphone technology and has since become a cherished microphone among musicians and engineers for its smooth sound and versatility in the studio.

The reissue of the U67 is completely the same as the original save for the output connector.

Transducer Type: Condenser.
Stereo: No
Polar Pattern(s): Omnidirectional, Cardioid, and Bidirectional.
Capsule(s): K67
Tube(s): Telefunken EF86
Transformer: Custom
Remake: No.
Released: Originally 1960 (rerelease in 1992)

Here is the price table from select retailers for the Neumann U67 Reissue:

Online Retailer Of Neumann U67 ReissuePrice Tag
Thomann (USA)$5,666.00 USD
Sweetwater$6,995.00 USD
Musician's Friend$6,995.00 USD
Front End Audio$6,995.00 USD
B&H Photo$6,995.00 USD
Vintage King$6,995.00 USD
Dale Pro Audio$6,995.00 USD
Lunchbox Audio$6,995.00 USD
Alto Music$6,995.00 USD
Studio Economik$8,780.00 CAD (~$6,555.00 USD)
Long &McQuade$8,780.00 CAD (~$6,555.00 USD)

Back to full list.


Recap

16 of 20 on this list were tube microphones. Tube electronics are generally more expensive than their solid state counterparts. On top of this, tube mics require external power and are most often sold with power supplies.

I’d also like to point out that many of these microphones have incredibly clever designs. Many are multi-pattern mics and some are even stereo microphones. Other examples of neat and innovative design include:

  • Continuous variable polar patterns (Brauner VM1S and VMA, Josephson C700S).
  • Elliptical capsule (Bock Audio 507)
  • Rotatable capsules (Neumann USM 69 i)
  • Internal analog-to-digital conversion (Neumann D-01)
  • Multi capsule line gradient shotgun pattern (Microtech Gefell KEM 975)
  • Switchable internal circuitry for various sound characteristics (Brauner VMA).

Some Honourable Mentions


Why are vintage microphones so expensive? Microphones that have survived to be deemed “vintage” are generally of superb quality; often have tube electronics; have been discontinued; and are highly sought after. The limited supply and high demand from audiophiles and collectors make these microphones very expensive.

Why are Neumann mics so expensive? Neumann mics are “expensive” due to their incredible quality. Each mic is hand-crafted in a state-of-the-art facility. Once produced, the mics undergo intensive testing to ensure they meet Neumann’s high standards. With Neumann, you pay for quality, consistency, and a highly respected brand name.

Recent Content