ASMR does not work without a high quality ASMR microphone. I have been using the Rode NT2-A microphone in my studio for over ten years now, and there’s not much audio gear I’d word a recommendation for as strongly. Made in Australia by Rode, the build quality of the NT series microphones is indisputable. I purchased mine in 2011 after a recommendation from a very talented guitar technician and friend, and I have not looked back since. I clearly remember him saying: “It simply hears what your ears hear”, and if anything, he undersold it. It hears better than my ears can.
I use my Rode NT2-A mostly for recording vocals and acoustic guitar, but I have also used it for the occasional sound effect or foley art. Regardless of the type of recording, the sound picked up is crisp and clear. Perhaps with a slight emphasis on the higher frequencies, which I personally like on my voice.
If you don’t already have recording studio essentials, I would recommend buying Rode NT2-A Studio Solution Set as it comes with a shock mount and an integrated pop filter, as well as a 6-meter XLR cable. You’d still need a microphone stand though. Drop the microphone in the shock mount then connect the XLR cable from below.
The Rode NT2-A is not a USB microphone, so you won’t be able to plug it directly to a computer, that’s why you’ll need an audio interface. You can also check out our homepage for the latest audio interface recommendations. Connect the other end of the XLR cable to your audio interface, making sure that it supports 48V Phantom Power. Some audio interfaces will require you to manually turn on phantom power and set a signal level. Some others such as the popular Focusrite Scarlett series can set the signal level automatically when an XLR cable is plugged in.
Being a large-diaphragm microphone means it’s very sensitive, so depending on your recording environment some frequencies might be unforgiving. In this case, it could be a good idea to try and acoustically treat your room, at least on the first reflection points.
If you look up the Rode NT2-A online, one of the most asked questions is if it’s worth the extra cost over the slightly cheaper model by the same manufacturer, NT1-A.
The most noticeable difference between the two is that the NT2-A has 3 pickup patterns, accessed via a switch on the front of the microphone. This can be useful for recording things like duets, or room sounds, or just fun experimental sounds. Whereas the NT1-A has only a cardioid pickup pattern, meaning it picks up sound mostly directly in front of the microphone, which, to be fair, should be enough for most of your ASMR microphone needs.
Where the NT1-A falls short, however, is in quality. That isn’t to say it sounds bad, not at all. However, the NT2-A sounds just a bit crisper, clearer, and cleaner. This, combined with the option of having multiple pickup patterns, makes it worth the premium price tag of the NT2-A over its lesser brother.
The Rode NT2-A is a solid choice for an ASMR microphone, and even more so considering the price. Whether you’re building your first home studio setup or upgrading from a cheap microphone, I’d say go for it and don’t look back. Because you’d have to be spending quite a lot more to reach the next tier ASMR microphone.
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