Audio brand RØDE has revealed the fifth generation of its flagship condenser microphone, the NT1, which the company claims to be “unclippable”.
The company points to the mic's new “32-bit float digital output” giving podcasters, vocalists, and content creators enough headroom for an up to 192kHz recording that is free from distortion. RØDE states “users can record anything from a whisper to scream… with no chance of [the] signal clipping.” At most, all you have to do is adjust the audio in a DAW (digital audio workstation) to an optimal level and you’re good to go. Additionally, the NDT1 features the company's new Dual Connect output for both XLR and USB-C connectivity. That way, you can connect the mic to a mixer or some kind of professional audio equipment via XLR or straight to your computer via USB.
A USB microphone with the 32-bit float is a pretty big deal. The dynamic range of most USB mics hover around 16-bits, sometimes 24-bits, limiting the amount of headroom you’re given resulting in scuffed audio. It’s also helpful for those who are starting a new podcast as they’re given a bit of extra leg room to work with as they won’t have to mess with audio gain too much. The main downside of a 32-bit float is that it creates bigger files so keep that in mind with the NT1.
Alongside those two features, the NT1 houses a ton of other audio tools to help users establish a professional recording environment. RØDE really packed this microphone to the brim.
It comes with the company’s own Revolution Preamp tech which houses a “powerful on-board DSP for advanced APHEX audio processing” allowing users to run plugins. Tools like compressors, noise gates, or a two-step high-pass filter can be added to further enhance a recording. You even connect up to eight separate NT1 mics onto a “single computer for multitrack recording” over USB. This is possible thanks to RØDE’s own ASIO driver.
Other notable features include a HF6 gold-sputtered capsule to deliver “detailed midrange and rich bass” as well as an incredibly low self-noise level of 4 dBA. To put that into perspective, the sound normal human breathing makes is 10 dB, according to the CDC.
The NT1 is currently available for pre-order for $249 and will ship out sometime in March 2023 (the announcement doesn't say exactly when). You have a choice between black or silver in a “rugged aluminium body [with] high-grade finishes” making it resistant to scratches. In addition to the mic, you’ll be getting a shock mount, pop filter, and cables for the XLR and USB ports.
Considering what you’re getting, $250 is honestly a really good price. But if you want to shop around before buying an NT1, be sure to check out TechRadar’s list of the best USB microphones for 2023. You get classics like the Blue Yeti mic.
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Cesar Cadenas has been writing about the tech industry for several years now specializing in consumer electronics, entertainment devices, Windows, and the gaming industry. But he’s also passionate about smartphones, GPUs, and cybersecurity.