Earlier this year, RØDE announced their latest offering of the venerable NT1 microphone, the NT1 5th Generation. This new iteration keeps much of the same, the classic NT1 look, the same capsule, and even the same accessories, but delivers some innovations that make it stand out in the market.
XLR or USB
The first notable change is the inclusion of a USB port inside the XLR jack on the bottom of the microphone. That means this microphone is easily at home in your recording studio as it is your desktop or travel bag. This allows the NT1 to be used as a standalone option connected directly to your laptop or PC without the need for a dedicated audio interface. When switching between XLR or USB there is no notable change in the sound characteristics, providing consistent results no matter how you record.
32-bit Float Digital Output
The NT1 5th Generation incorporates 32-bit float digital output, making it virtually "unclippable." 32-bit float allows you to set the gain on your recording after the fact, so that you can capture every detail no matter how loud the sound source. The days of ruined audio due to clipping are behind us with this technology.
DSP Processing & Digital Conversion
The NT1 has a built-in audio interface that converts the analog signal to digital in high-resolution 192kHZ quality, making the NT1 a full digital recording solution. Take your recordings even further by adding compression, noise gate, a high-pass filter and more with the NT1's on-board DSP chip. Powered by APHEX audio processing, you are only limited by your imagination with tools such as APHEX Aural Exciter and Big Bottom to really give your recording the punch it needs.
Legacy at it's Core
Despite all of these innovations, the NT1 5th Generation is still very much the same through and through. RØDE was careful to maintain the same sound characteristics as the original NT1, including the same fixed 1" capsule that provides the classic studio condenser sound you are familiar with.
The NT1 5th Generation is perhaps one of the most versatile microphones in existence. Being able to recording nearly any sound source, from drums and percussion all the way down to ASMR recordings. When using the microphone digitally, the 32-bit float allows you to adjust the gain of those recordings after the fact so that you always get the perfect level.
The ability for it to connect to any mic pre or audio interface, or record digitally through the provided USB connection brings another level of flexibility. Set it into a fixed studio installation or create the ultimate portable recording solution. You can even record a session in the studio, grab the microphone, and do some additional recording at another location without needing more than a laptop or PC. Although not billed as such, you can even use it with an iPad for a super lightweight recording solution. The possibilities really are endless.
The NT1 5th Generation is definitely worth a look, packing some new state-of-the-art technology into a standard studio condenser microphone at a price-point that is less than the previous generation. The NT1 5th Generation includes a Shock Mount, Pop Filter, XLR Cable, USB-C Cable, and a Dust Cover; and is available in both Black and Nickle finishes. Whether it's your first microphone or if you are just adding to your existing mic locker, the NT1 is definitely worth considering.