- What Is The Best U87 Clone?
- U87 Clone Reviews
- U87 Clone Buyer’s Guide
- What To Expect From a U87 Clone
In this guide we’ll take a look at the best U87 clones for recording vocals and instruments.
I’ve compared sound response, design, build quality and cost to give you my top recommendations.
What Is The Best U87 Clone?
U87 Clone Reviews
Warm Audio WA-87 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Review
The impressive Warm Audio WA-87 Condenser Mic is an outstanding U87 clone that delivers a stellar performance with incredibly rich sonics. This microphone really is a must-have for any musician or producer looking for an alternative to the legendary Neumann U87.
Warm Audio doesn’t cut any corners on build quality or components. This microphone is built with premium parts throughout, coupled with a meticulous design, that allows for a superior-sounding microphone. One that also far exceeds its price point.
Comparing the response between the Neumann U87 and the Warm Audio WA-87, they do sound very close, and at a fraction of the price. The sound of the WA-87 is smoother, bigger and clearer than other microphones within this price range.
Overall the Warm Audio WA-87 is an incredible microphone. The price point alone makes it undeniable, and it belongs in every engineer’s microphone arsenal. It has a beautiful tone that works perfectly for vocals, toms, strings, guitars and many more instruments.
The WA-87 also comes very well-packaged, with a wooden storage box and accessories.
- Amazing warmth, clarity and presence
- Quality far exceeds its price point
- Responds very well to EQ and compression
- Signal level is quite low
TZ Audio Stellar X2 Large-Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Review
Up next we have the TZ Audio Stellar X2 Condenser Microphone, and this has kicked up a storm in a very short space of time. To be perfectly honest, it’s clear to see why everyone is raving about the Stellar X2 microphone as the best U87 clone. This thing sounds phenomenal considering it’s price tag.
The TZ Audio Stellar X2 is a brand new microphone and it’s already won over legions of professional musicians, record producers, voice over actors and announcers. The build quality and performance of this mic is outstanding. It possesses a clear, warm and natural tone and it is also super quiet.
The Stellar X2 is different from every other affordable mass-produced condenser microphone. This is because each Stellar X2 is carefully tuned to deliver a smooth sound that easily sits in any mix. Most low-cost condenser mics have a noticeable harsh and bright tone that makes them inferior to the legendary mics such as the Neumann U87.
If you are looking for the best U87 clone then this is without a doubt the best microphone out there. It’s received so much hype and it sounds remarkable on a wide range of instruments as well as vocals. It also includes a carry case and set of accessories.
- Incredible U87 clone
- Carefully tuned sound with a high quality capsule
- Perfect for a variety of sound sources
Townsend Labs Sphere L22 Microphone Modelling System Review
The Townsend Labs Sphere L22 Microphone Modelling System is a very unique microphone. This microphone works in conjunction with software in your DAW that allows you to change how the microphone sounds, including being able to model vintage microphones with incredible accuracy.
It’s a revolutionary piece of recording equipment. The modelling system enables you to accurately reconstruct how different mics respond to an acoustic environment. There really is no limit on what you can do with this microphone and the Sphere plugin.
The software allows you to precisely emulate the polar patterns and off-axis sonic characteristics that makes vintage microphones so sought after. So if you want the best Neumann 87 clone then you can recreate it with the Townsend Labs Sphere L22 mic.
You can change the mic type, polar pattern and many other characteristics before or even after recording. The standalone microphone sounds amazing on its own even without modelling. It boasts a robust build quality, even handle high SPLs of up to 140dB unlike prized vintage mics.
- Greater versatility than any other microphone
- Mic itself sounds fantastic before digital modelling
- Can handle high SPLs in excess of 140dB
- Expensive U87 alternative
- Relies on Sphere software for emulating vintage microphones
Lauten Audio LA-220 Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Review
The Lauten Audio LA-220 microphone is another excellent Neumann U87 clone that offers amazing all-round versatility and beautiful sounds at an affordable price. This is a really impressive microphone that offers balanced, warm and focused sounds.
The LA-220 is a hit amongst producers, musicians and audiophiles alike. It’s an inexpensive mic that is on par with microphones considerably more expensive, including the U87.
Most microphones in this price range sound muddy and have shrill-spikes in the frequency response. The LA-220 offers a smooth and wide response that makes it the perfect workhorse for studio recordings and it cuts through any mix wonderfully.
Whether you are looking for a U87 clone or you want to add to your recording arsenal, the Lauten Audio LA-220 is an impressive microphone that delivers great sounds when paired with a quality recording interface.
- Expensive sounding microphone
- Amazing value for money
- Smooth and balanced response
- No case included
Warm Audio WA-47 Jr Large Diaphragm Condenser Microphone Review
Last for review we have the Warm Audio WA-47 Jr Microphone and this is another exciting option for those looking at a U87 alternative. It’s a transformer-less microphone with 3 polar patterns, that offers amazing bang for your buck.
Warm Audio produce fantastic quality audio gear and this mic is designed to be the little brother of the popular WA-47. This microphone is around half the price, and the trade-off is that it’s not a tube microphone. It’s solid-state but it still offers a wide, warm and smooth response.
The WA-47 Jr ticks all of the boxes. It has a smooth sound, a wide frequency range, low noise and it records brilliantly. It has a universal and natural sound that works great for a range of instruments and vocals, and recording drums in particular!
It’s a great, low-cost alternative to expensive condenser microphones out there and it’s perfect for home studios. Musicians, podcasters, engineers and producers would all benefit from adding this microphone to their arsenal.
- Detailed sounds with great fidelity
- Shines on percussion and drums
- WA-47 performance at an affordable price
- Doesn’t compare to premium vintage microphones
- Not a tube-based microphone
U87 Clone Buyer’s Guide
There is a great deal of choice for microphones on the market. The competition is high, and the good news is that there are many mics out there that offer fantastic, natural and warm sounds at a very affordable price.
The Neumann U87 is one of the most iconic and sought-after microphones of all time. It’s considered to be the holy grail of vocal microphones and it can be heard on thousands of hit records, as well as being found in every world-class recording studio.
The reason why the Neumann U87 is one of the most popular and revered microphones is because it’s extremely versatile. It takes very well to compression and EQ also. It’s an amazing all-round performer that sounds fantastic when used for vocals and a wide range of instruments including guitars, strings, drums and more. They also excel as room microphones.
The bottom line is that the price of a U87 makes it out of reach for most people. After all, even if you could afford a U87 it’s wiser to invest that money on a range of high-end audio gear whilst still achieving a great sound with a U87 clone.
What To Expect From a U87 Clone
You really can’t go wrong with any of the U87 clones featured in this guide. They are all excellent options. Whichever one you choose, you can be sure you will be able to record fantastic sounds. Be sure to experiment with a wide range of sound sources too.
Even the most affordable options featured here offer smooth and clean sonics that are comparable to the legendary U87, whilst being a fraction of the price.
But it’s important to remember that these U87 clones are not going to be perfectly identical to the vintage U87. They are made differently, and they will only be able to sound similar.
Even the brand new U87 Ai’s are essentially replicas of the vintage U87. This is because classic microphones were hand made and just like cymbals, no two sounded exactly the same. They all possess uniquely individual sound qualities!
With this being said, you will be very impressed with what you can achieve with a good U87 clone. All of the microphones in this guide offer sounds and build quality that far exceed their price point, and will make an amazing addition to your home studio.