I bet you were never aware that Neumann microphones have different color badges, and if you were, you probably thought they were for decoration. Think again, because there’s a specific reason behind the Neumann badge colors. Knowing them will allow you to identify the type of microphone it is.
Neumann mic badges come in 5 specific colors.
- Black tells you that this is a tube-based microphone. You’ll see it used on legendary mics like the U47, M49, and U67.
- Purple indicates that it’s a solid state FET-based microphone with an output transformer. A good example would be a U47 FET.
- Red badges indicate it’s also an FET microphone only without an output transformer. A KM 184 or KMS 104 are prime examples.
- Blue indicates that it’s a digital mic. Neumann was the first company to develop a mic with a digital output stage so you can get right into the digital domain as quickly as possible. TLM 103 D and D 01 microphones fall into this category.
- Finally, Green denotes a dynamic microphone. While known mostly for its condenser mics, Neumann does make dynamics as well like the DCM 705.
If you only have a few microphones in your mic locker these badges might not mean much to you, but if you’re in a studio with a large collection, knowing the meaning behind the Neumann badge colors could come in handy when you’re making your choice. After all, sometimes just changing the microphone is the best EQ that you can apply.