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Rode NT1 VS NT1-A VS NT2-A – Which Should You Get?

Rode microphones have been an industry standard for podcasters, streamers, musicians, and other creators. The Rode NT1, NT1-A, and NT2-A are three exceptional models for those searching for a high-quality condenser microphone.

While each mic is a good option, there are some key differences to keep in mind. In this article, I will compare their features and help you determine which suits your specific needs.

Table of Contents


Firstly, let’s look at each Rode microphone’s specifications.


  • Microphone type: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Self-noise level: 4.5dBA
  • Connectivity: XLR
  • Phantom Power Requirements: P24 and P48
  • Accessories: shock mount, pop filter, XLR cable, and dust cover
  • Weight: 440g


  • Microphone type: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Range: 20 Hz-20 kHz
  • Self-noise level: 5dBA
  • Connectivity: 3-pin XLR, which ensures that the audio signal is transferred with minimal interference
  • Phantom Power Requirements: P24 or P48
  • Accessories:  recording kit with shock mount, pop filter, XLR cable, and dust cover
  • Weight: 326g


  • Microphone type: Condenser
  • Polar pattern: Cardioid, Figure 8, Omnidirectional
  • Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Self-noise level: 7dBA
  • Connectivity: XLR
  • Phantom Power Requirements: P24 and P48
  • Accessories: shock mount, pop filter, XLR cable, and dust cover
  • Weight: 710
Our Pick
Rode NT1-A Cardioid Condenser Mic Package

One of the world's quietest studio mics.

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The NT1 and NT1A have a black metal finish and a simple design. The NT2, however, is a bit more complex, with multiple controls for adjusting the polar pattern, high-pass filter, and pad.

The NT1 and NT1A are sturdy but not as chunky as the NT2A. It is on the heavier side, but both the mic and its accessories are built to last.

Ease of Use

The Rode NT1 and NT1A both have a fixed cardioid polar pattern, meaning that they are designed to capture sound from one direction and reject sound from other directions.

That means they are both relatively easy to use when recording because you don’t have to worry about ideal positioning.

However, the NT2A has three polar patterns (cardioid, omnidirectional, and figure-8), which can also pick up sounds from different angles. You may need to experiment more with the NT2A to determine the best configuration for your needs.

All three mics come with additional accessories, such as a pop filter, shock mount, XLR cable, and dust cover.

Audio Quality

When speaking of audio quality, all three microphones deliver a high-quality sound. But there are slight differences to look out for.

The Rode NT1 is well-regarded for its accuracy, clarity, and detail. It is a quiet microphone with a low self-noise level of 4.5 dBA. While it can be used for almost anything, it shines in vocals and acoustic guitar recordings.

According to online reviews, the NT1A probably has the best audio quality one can get for the price. Furthermore, the Rode NT1A also does an exceptional job at recording vocals and instruments. So, this may be a good choice if you want to achieve clean recordings on a limited budget.

Rode microphones are generally presence-boosted, and these models are no exceptions. However, the Rode NT2A doesn’t bring the edge to the sound as much as the others, and it’s the most pleasant sounding.

In terms of sound, the Rode NT1A sounds a little brighter, while the NT2A has a smoother, more balanced sound.

However, the NT2A may not be the best at rejecting background noise, which is something to keep in mind.

User experience

There are plenty of reviews for all three microphones, each with flaws. There are also different reviews for the same products because what suits one person or setup might not suit another.

Although Rode NT1 has many positive comments regarding its functionality, one user complained that it didn’t pick up enough bass frequencies, which made his voice sound too thin.

As for the Rode NT1A, one user claims it is still a winner compared to NT2A and that the added changes in the newer model don’t automatically mean something is better.

On the other hand, one person used the Rode NT2A for singing with other singers using NT1A microphones. He stated that the NT2A is clearly better suited for this purpose.

All three Rode mics have been widely praised for their build and durability.

Rode NT1 Cardioid Condenser Microphone
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Price and Value for Money

As for price and value, each of these microphones is worth the purchase.

The Rode NT2A is the most expensive model of the three. However, this is a professional and versatile microphone with plenty of features. It has three polar patterns, while NT1 and NT2A only have a cardioid polar pattern.

The NT1 comes at a lower price point and is probably the most popular. The NT1A is only slightly more expensive.

If you have a bigger budget and want to play around with options and features, NT2A may be for you. But if you only care about having a reliable mic on your hands and don’t need any extra stuff, the NT1 and NT1A are great options too.


In conclusion, the Rode NT1, NT1A, and NT2A are all high-quality condenser microphones with unique features. While the NT1 and NT1A are easier to use, the NT2A offers more versatility with its adjustable polar patterns.

The Rode NT1 and NT1A are more affordable and better suited for beginners. The Rode NT2A is a more considerable investment but also packed with features.

Ultimately, you will have to consider your specific needs before deciding. Whichever model you choose, Rode microphones are a true investment for years to come.

Rode NT2-A Studio Solution
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Frequently Asked Questions

What type of microphone is the Rode NT1?

The Rode NT1 is a large-diaphragm condenser microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. It works on phantom power and is suited for various recording applications, including vocals and instruments.

Is Rode NT1 suitable for recording vocals?

Yes, it is. The NT1 microphone has high sensitivity and low self-noise of only 5dBA, making it perfect for capturing vocals. Condenser microphones with low self-noise also do an excellent job of reducing ambient noise, resulting in clear recordings.

Is the Rode NT1A good for voiceover?

Yes, the Rode NT1A is considered a good microphone for voiceover work. It has a cardioid polar pattern, meaning it focuses on the sound in front of the mic. The NT1A can capture specific nuances in speech, making it perfect for voiceover.

Is the Rode NT1A good for rap?

Yes, the NT1A is a good choice for rap vocals. It’s a popular microphone among hip-hop and rap artists due to its affordability, low self-noise, and good sound quality.

Is the Rode NT1A better than NT1?

The Rode NT1 and NT1A are very similar in terms of functionality and price. However, they sound different – the NT1 sounds more natural, while NT1A has more coloration.

Does Rode NT2A need phantom power?

Yes. Condenser microphones need phantom power and electricity to work, and the Rode NT2A is one of them.

What is the Rode NT2A used for?

The Rode NT2A can be used for a wide range of things – vocal recording, recording instruments, podcasting, and streaming. It can also be used in television, gaming, or as an addition to a home studio.

It is a versatile tool that both beginners and professionals can use.

What are the main differences between the Rode NT1, NT1A, and NT2A microphones?

The Rode NT1 is known for its transparent sound and low self-noise, while the NT1A has a slightly brighter response. The NT2A is the most versatile of the three – it offers selectable polar patterns, variable high-pass filters, and variable pad attenuation.

Additionally, the NT1A and NT2A come with more accessories than the NT1.