Home Studio Makeover: The Microphone

by | Nov 17, 2021 | Home Studio Makeover by Harman

“Check, check… Attention, attention…Is this thing on?”

That’s a mic check if you don’t know, and after the interface, board and monitors are in place, we should get down to recording, right? Let’s check in with the mic that we’re using in my home studio. Of course, I’m talking about the AKG P420 high-performance condenser mic. Welcome to the future!


Right out of the box, the AKG P420 dual-capsule condenser mic comes stored snugly in its own hardshell carrying case, equipped with a custom shock mount; so, you can hook up to a mic stand or boom arm and get started recording vocals and instruments straight away. Be advised that in addition to an XLR cable, you will also need to provide at least +48V of Phantom Power in order for this microphone to operate. This can be achieved best by plugging the P420 into your interface of choice (like our Soundcraft board), then pressing the Phantom Power or +48 button. At this time, your solid- built P420 is ready to record vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, woodwind instruments and more.

As the bolder and mightier sibling to AKG’s P120 and P220 large-diaphragm condenser mics, the P420 produces very low self-noise, bringing high dynamic range to every take. With three adjustable polar patterns to toggle on the front of the mic, you can benefit from the figure-8, cardioid, or omnidirectional prowess of the P420 with the simple flip of a switch! The back of this microphone features two more toggle options: the bass roll-off switch and preattenuation pad.

I must beg your pardon, but I have a secret to share with you: every voiceover portion I recorded for the accompanying video series to this article was recorded with an AKG P420 microphone. I find these reviews to be most helpful when the product in question gets its own opportunity to shine in real-time.

For around $200 USD, this microphone is a dream; and while at the price point it competes with some of the more entry-level mics on the market, the specs of the AKG P420 easily line up with microphones in the $600+ range.

More information is available at AKG.com, including extended technical specs as well as purchasing information.