Free Courses & Downloads


best microphones

Congratulations! You've already narrowed the search for your next microphone down to an AKG C414. When it comes to high-quality condenser microphones, the AKG C414 series is one of the most popular and well-respected lines on the market. It represents one of the finest values among top end mics.

However, now you've got a new problem. Even though you've narrowed it down to one mic, you now realize that there are two variants! Both the AKG C414 XLS and AKG C414 XLII are excellent choices for a wide range of recording applications, they do have some key differences that are worth exploring. In this review I'll talk you through the differences so you can buy the perfect mic for you!

Note: this article may contain affiliate links, which mean that I receive a commission for any purchases you make, at no added cost to you.


AKG C414 XLS Key Features


🏆 Perfect for a high-quality all around microphone that also records good vocals 🏆


First off, let's take a closer look at the AKG C414 XLS. This microphone is a versatile, multi-pattern condenser microphone that is designed to deliver a clear and detailed sound across a wide range of frequencies. It features nine polar patterns, which can be selected using a switch on the microphone body. These patterns include omnidirectional, wide cardioid, cardioid, hypercardioid, and figure-8, as well as several intermediate patterns.

One of the standout features of the AKG C414 XLS is its ability to handle high sound pressure levels (SPLs). It has a maximum SPL of 140dB, which makes it well-suited for recording loud sources like drums, brass instruments, and guitar amps. Additionally, the microphone has a low self-noise level of just 6dB, which helps to keep the signal clean and clear.




The AKG C414 XLS also features a switchable pad (-6dB, -12dB, and -18dB) and a switchable high-pass filter (at 40Hz, 80Hz, and 160Hz). These features can be helpful when recording particularly loud sources or when trying to reduce low-frequency rumble or proximity effect.

Primary uses of the XLS:

  • Lead vocals (but not as good as XLII)
  • Backing vocals
  • Acoustic guitar
  • Electric bass
  • Double bass
  • Violin
  • Cello
  • Classical Piano
  • Horns
  • Woodwinds
  • Drums




AKG C414 XLII Key Features

🏆.Perfect for your "go to" vocal mic and recording acoustic instruments 🏆

Moving on to the AKG C414 XLII, this microphone is also a multi-pattern condenser microphone with same nine polar patterns. Like the XLS, it is designed to deliver a clear and detailed sound across a wide range of frequencies. It includes the same switchable pad, and high-pass filter, adjustable at 40Hz, 80Hz, and 160Hz.




Primary uses of the XLII:

  • vocals
  • acoustic guitar
  • horns,
  • strings
  • rock piano
  • woodwinds
  • harmonica


Its smooth top end, rock-solid midrange, and present low-end make it easy to mix in just about any scenario.




AKG C414 XLS vs. AKG C414 XLII


However, there are some key differences between the two models. The most important is the the XLS is silver, while the XLII is gold. 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Looking at the frequency curve below, you'll instantly that they treat the high end above 5kHz quite differently, while having identical frequency responses in the lows and midi.



Frequency curve of the AKG C414 XLS and XLII (courtesy of AKG)


One of the biggest differences between the AKG C414 XLS and the AKG C414 XLII is the capsule. The XLII features AKG's famous "edge-terminated" dual-diaphragm capsule, which is designed to deliver a bright and detailed sound. This capsule is similar to the one used in the AKG C12, which is one of the most famous and revered microphones in recording history.

According to AKG, "the C414 XLII has been designed as a sonic alternative to the standard C414 XLS, and closely approximates the sound of the legendary AKG C12. It is identical to the C414 XLS with the exception of a completely different acoustic resistor that provides a slight high‐frequency rise at 3 kHz and above."

Another key difference between the two models is the presence boost. The AKG C414 XLII has a presence boost that is specifically tailored to vocals and other mid-range sources. This slight lift can help to bring out the clarity and detail in these sources, making them sound more present and defined.


Should you Buy the C414 XLS or C414 XLII?


So, which microphone is the better choice? Well, that really depends on your specific recording needs and preferences. Both the AKG C414 XLS and the AKG C414 XLII are excellent microphones with a lot to offer, and they are they same price.

To be honest, you really can't go wrong with either of them.

If you're looking for a versatile microphone that can handle a wide range of recording situations, the AKG C414 XLS is the better choice. Its multiple polar patterns, high SPL handling, and low self-noise make it a workhorse microphone that can be used on a variety of sources, from vocals to drums to guitar amps.

On the other hand, if you're looking for a microphone that is specifically tailored to vocals and mid-range sources, the AKG C414 XLII should be your choice. It is definitely the less versatile of the two, but still can accurately record a lot of sounds.




If I had to pick only one of these mics, and I already had a dedicated vocal mic I loved, I'd select the C414 XLS. It's versatile and gets a great vocal tone, regardless. And that's why it's also on my list of the best piano mics.

On the other hand, if I was looking for my first "go to" vocal mic, the XLII would be my choice (which is why it's on my list of the best rapping microphones and best mics for acoustic guitar). Switch on the 40Hz shelf and place the AKG C414 XLII 6-12 inches in front of your singer. You'll get professional recordings and barely need to touch the EQ later.

Still on the fence? Listen to these demos of the differences between the C414 XLS and C414 XLII!


From a Frustrated Producer in a Ragtag Bedroom Studio to Major Placements on TV Earning $1,000s!


My name is Evan, and I've been making music since around 3rd grade. I'm from San Diego, California, but I've lived in Washington, DC for the last 20 years.

After 3 grueling years of grad school, though I had put aside serious attempts at making music. I found myself spending my days doing work that was dreadfully uncreative, with a ton of student student loan debt.
Which made me feel like my favorite parts of myself were withering.
But I didn't know what to do about it.
Being in my early 30s with tons of student loan debt, in a world where there is "no money in music," I felt like my youthful dreams of trying to "make it big" were dead. Like my music would remain unheard in my head and hard drive. 
Frustrated by my inability to get my music heard, I started researching solutions.
Instead, I wanted to find a way where I could focus on making the music and let someone else deal with promoting it. 
I realized the music licensing was the perfect opportunity for a solo artist like me to get my music heard, without having to do any promotion. I just need to focus on improving what I could control - my songwriting and my production skills.

While I still have a full-time day job, I have created systems that have allowed me to produce dozens of songs a year in my spare time.

My songs have been on Netflix, TV shows like the 90 Day Fiance, an award-winning indie film, and NPR’s “All Thing Considered.” They've also been streamed millions of times.

In addition to being a music producer, I am passionate about teaching people how they can make professional-sounding music and earn money licensing it, all in their spare time.

Thousands of musicians, like yourself, have trusted me to guide their musical journey. My YouTube videos have been watched nearly a million times. And my story has been in Forbes, Side Hustle Nation, and the Side Hustle School.

You Can Achieve Your Musical Dreams Too - Attend the Free Music Licensing Workshop!