AKG D5 Vocal Dynamic Microphone Review and Test
Link to the AKG D5: http://amzn.to/1o00VA4
Link to the AKG D5S: http://amzn.to/1o00WUS
XLR Female to Male Cable: http://amzn.to/1SbI67X
XLR to 3.5mm: http://amzn.to/1R8qDhR
XLR to 1/4″: http://amzn.to/1R8qIC6
Behringer Xenyx 302USB: http://amzn.to/1SbIiEa
Zoom H4n: http://amzn.to/1Uefj6z
Today we’re looking at the AKG D5 Dynamic Microphone. This is mostly meant to be a live performance microphone and competes directly with the extremely popular Shure SM58. So let’s take a closer look.
The microphone has a very simple, yet rugged construction. The body is made from a die-cast zinc alloy, feels very comfortable to hold and is very well weighted. And this is very important for a live performance mic which is almost always used handheld. It has a very robust steel mesh that covers the recording surface and a gold-plated male XLR connector. Now the unit we are looking at is the AKG D5. However, in case you need a on-off button for your application, you can get the D5S which is identical to the D5 in every way, except that it has a on-off button. And I’ll put links to both versions in the description below.
When you buy the microphone, you get the mic itself, a standard mic clip that’s useful to mount to almost any kind of mic stand. You also also get a padded pouch and a very well-written user manual. You will need to buy an XLR female to male cable. Since the D5 provides a balanced XLR output, AKG recommends plugging it into an XLR input in a public address system, mixer or audio interface. However you can plug it into a 3.5mm or ¼” input using a XLR to 3.5mm or ¼” cable. This would affect the audio quality a bit, but it will definitely work. I’ll leave links to some of these cables below. Now dynamic microphones don’t require any power- no batteries or phantom power required. And if your audio interface has Phantom power, make sure to turn it off before plugging the D5 in.
Today I am going to test the D5 by connecting it to one of the XLR input ports on the Zoom H4n. And the audio you’re hearing now is from the AKG D5, being recorded into the H4n at the 320kbps MP3 setting. Now, I am using a balanced XLR female to male cable. Now this is meant to be a handheld microphone and I’ll be testing it handheld. The D5 is also has a supercardioid recording pattern, so it rejects a lot of background noise and off axis sounds. It really sounds best when you speak into the top of the microphone and are quite close to it. I’ve found that being about 2 inches from the microphone produces the best quality. To reduce the impact of plosives, I’ve also installed a windscreen. And this is a standard microphone windscreen. I’ll put a link to one that fits, in the description below. Let me read you a quote from Abraham Lincoln: “ I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.” Now I am speaking into the side of the microphone and then I’ll switch back to speaking into the top of the microphone, so you can hear the D5’s supercardioid characteristics.
So overall I was very impressed with the AKG D5. As you can tell, sound is very warm, clear and sharp. Really good for vocals and voiceovers. And I am also very impressed by the cardioid pattern which makes it ideal to record or speak in very noisy environments.
One of the questions I am bound to get is: Do I get this or the Shure Sm58. I haven’t reviewed the Sm58 but I’ve used it a few times. And both the AKG D5 and the Sm58 are amazing microphones. You can’t go wrong, no matter which mic you go for. There are ofcourse minor differences in the sound being produced. I personally prefer the AKG D5 to the SM58, purely because of its Supercardioid pattern. But that’s just my preference. Other people might prefer the SM58 instead. As I said, you can’t go wrong with either mic. I’ll leave links to both mics in the description below, in case you’d like to check them out.
So my overall thoughts about the AKG D5. The D5 is an extremely well-built mic that’s simple to use and produces amazing sound quality. The audio quality is just downright superb. If you need a microphone for live performances or to plug into a public address system, you’ll find that the AKG D5 is one your best options. Now you can also use it to record audio for your videos or podcasts. You can use the mic to record into a usb audio interface like the Behringer Xenyx 302 or you can record directly into a field recorder like the Zoom H4n. I also leave links to those two devices below.
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