If you used the original RODE NT1, you know it is an excellent product. It offers high-quality audio and has everything a USB/XLR mic should have. The latest mic from RODE is a treat, which we will discuss in our RODE NT1 5th Generation Review.
The successor to the NT1 consists of everything the original product has. However, this latest iteration comes with upgrades and features that helped lower its price.
The NT1 5th Generation comes complete with USB and dual XLR connectivity, integrated DSP for studio-grade FX, etc. The mic enters the market at around $259, and it is a solution worth considering for your next upgrade.
Today, our RODE NT1 5th Generation Review will discuss the product features, design, functions, specs, and performance. These will help determine if the mic is adequate for your needs.
But before looking deeper into these details, let us check its packaging and what RODE includes in the box.
Like other RODE microphones, the NT1 5th Generation shipped in a minimalist-styled box sporting a white theme. The front displays an image of the mic, its name, company branding, and the primary features.
The package contains the microphone and other accessories to help you get started. These items include the following:
An SM6 Shock mount & pop filter
One SC29 – 3m USB-C cable
A 6m XLR Cable
One Dust Cover
RODE NT1 5th Generation Review – Design and Functionality
This mic is the latest offering from RODE, and it is something people will surely love. So we will focus on the product in our RODE NT1 5th Generation Review and discuss its design and functions.
The original version of the NT1 5th Generation was released back in 1991. It was efficient, thus, became a staple component of recording studios globally.
And although the NT1 went through multiple updates, this current version is the most significant optimisation to date.
Like its predecessors, the NT1 5th Generation is a diaphragm studio condenser mic. And unlike the dynamic mics standard on podcasts and radio programs, condenser mics provide an expansive frequency response. It also offers more natural audio, making the mic perfect for instrument and vocal capture.
It is also why condenser mics are popular among content creators.
The whole design and exterior of the NT1 5th Generation look just like its 4th Generation sibling. It has a lightweight yet sturdy metal form with a durable woven grille to protect the inner capsule.
Since it is a side-address mic, you speak into the grille face and not on its end. Plus, it uses a cardioid pick-up pattern for accentuating audio.
You can receive noticeable tonal shifts and drop-offs when you are off-axis.
So What are the Changes?
Generally, headphone jacks for low-latency monitoring and control knobs are standards on USB mics. However, you do not get these on the NT1 5th Generation since its studio-ready XLR mode is standard.
Did RODE make any changes to the mic? Yes, and the current mic has a new power in its base. A patent-pending socket replaces the old XLR connector on the 4th Generation mic.
The NT1 5th Generation mic can now work with USB-C or female XLR plugs.
Key Features of the RODE NT1 5th Generation
New and Improved Version of the Iconic Original Studio Microphone
The NT1 5th Generation is the latest version of the NT1, which RODE introduced in 1991. It is the most popular studio microphone, and people enjoy its versatility and classic warm sound.
This new NT1 5th Generation takes the core of the NT1 and combines the latest features. It also retains the notable performance of the original microphone that became the go-to model for creators. With the new and improved product, RODE incorporated innovation and tradition.
Dual Connect – A Game-changing Connectivity
RODE used the Dual Connect output on the NT1 5th Generation. This groundbreaking connectivity allows you to connect the microphone to the computer via USB for direct, plug-and-play recording.
You can also plug it into a mixer or audio interface via XLR. Using this product allows you to enjoy unparalleled flexibility for any studio setup.
Classic Sound on the Cutting-edge
The NT1 5th Generation delivers the same audio quality as the original model. Its sound is warm with a silky character and extremely low noise. Plus, it has the high-SPL handling capacity of the NT1 and improved circuitry of the current model for lower self-noise.
Moreover, by connecting the microphone via XLR, you can experience using a rich, classic studio condenser microphone.
Later in our RODE NT1 5th Generation Review, we will discuss its sound quality and our experience with the product.
The Future Digital Studio
With its integrated professional-grade audio interface, the NT1 5th Generation can be your all-in-one digital recording solution. It can preserve pristine audio fidelity and highly innovative features to enhance audio with ultra-low noise. Plus, it uses high-resolution (192kHz) A/D conversion, high-gain Revolution Preamp, and excellent digital signal processing.
No Clipping and Distortion
The NT1 5th Generation uses a 32-bit float digital output. This format enables recording the softest and loudest sounds without setting your gain.
All you have to do is adjust the audio after recording. The NT1 5th Generation will retain the dynamics without distortion and clipping.
Versatility Like No Other
This microphone has low noise, smooth frequency response high, SPL handling, powerful digital capabilities, and flexible connectivity. Its versatility allows it to excel in any recording application.
Craft Your Sound
APHEX advanced audio processing enables you to craft your sound. When using the RODE companion apps, you can further enhance your audio. Add compression, a noise gate, a high-pass filter, etc. One touch of a button via the VoxLab editor lets you dial in your preferred sound.
Premium Components, Built to Last
While checking the product for our RODE NT1 5th Generation Review, we first noticed its premium build.
RODE built the NT1 5th Generation with premium components, complying with the highest standard in its manufacturing facilities. The company manufactured the HF6 capsule precisely to ensure consistent frequency response and tonality. It also has an internal shock mount to reduce external vibrations.
Aside from the high-quality components, RODE uses premium finishes that make it resistant to scuffs and scratches. As a result, the NT1 5th Generation is ready to withstand the rigours of daily recording.
This section of our RODE NT1 5th Generation Review is about product specifications. And to better showcase these details, we segregated each part for you.
Acoustic + Electrical Specifications of the RODE NT1 5th Generation
It has a pressure gradient acoustic principle
Active Electronics: a JFET impedance converter plus a bipolar output buffer
Audio Processing: APHEX DSP (only at 48kHz/24-bit)
Bit Depth: 24-bit/32-bit floating point
Minimum Operating System Requirements: Mac OS 10.15 or Windows 10
RODE NT1 5th Generation Mechanical Specifications
On the mic dimensions and weight, the NT1 5th Generation is 52 x 52 x 189mm and weighs 308g.
Hands-on with the RODE NT1 5th Generation
This section of our RODE NT1 5th Generation Review discusses how the mic performed in our tests. But before we share our hands-on experience with the product, let us look into the RODE App Suite.
RODE App Suite
On the software side, RODE bags several applications with this product. These are RODE Connect, RODE Unify, and RODE Central.
The RODE Central Software
The RODE Central software is something to explore. It allows you to adjust DSP settings, among other things.
As a plus, it instantly applies all the changes to the mic, unlike the NT-USB+ from RODE. The latter needs you to make manual saves, which can be troublesome. But the NT1 5th Generation allows the acquisition of threshold, range, attack, hold, and release options.
And honestly, that is something we appreciate.
Through the app, you can adjust its frequency ranges that affect the Compression, Big Bottom, and Aural Exciter modes. In addition, the EQ and harmonic distortion effects add low-end depth and sparkle to your mic signal.
We suggest downloading the RODE Central Software to adjust and manage DPS parameters. Then, use any third-party recording platform of your choice.
The mic works with macOS 10.14 or Windows 10 computers for USB connectivity. However, it does not work with iOS or Android mobile platforms.
RODE Connect is a podcasting software that is simple and powerful. It also works for live streaming and is compatible with RODE products, including the NT1 5th Generation.
It can connect as many as four guests to one PC, making it ideal for creating easy yet pro-quality podcasts.
The software features an intuitive recording interface with the following:
Multi-channel recording, etc.
Additionally, the software is perfect for creators who want to route audio to their streaming software.
RODE NT1 5th Generation and UNIFY
As a virtual mixing software, UNIFY allows you to stream using the NT1 5th Generation. You can route audio sources into a single mixer, find your ideal sound with pro processing, and create independent mixes.
From there, you can record mixes as multi-channel audio to edit post-production or output direct to OSB for streaming live.
Performance of the RODE NT1 5th Generation
We tested the mic for our RODE NT1 5th Generation Review and saw it provides the same sound quality as the 4th Generation model. In addition, it gives a natural and warm sound signature for vocal capture, whether you are singing or communicating in-game.
Simultaneously, there is plenty of detail in its audio.
We tested the mic by recording spoken words and the sounds of an acoustic guitar. Do not expect us to have natural radio voices, alright? But the NT1 5th Generation did a splendid job providing extra presence without the proximity effect.
The proximity effect we speak of is added bass based on the closeness of the sound source to the mic.
When we wanted extra power and punch, leaning into the mic warmed up the audio. Plus, it provided us with more body.
The mic signal was flat without any DSP effects while in USB mode. It also could have sounded crisp through our setup.
However, the audio improved when we combined high-pass filter options and the Aural Exciter. It was also possible to introduce compression, but we prefer adding it to the mixing stage. But since streamers cannot always do this, baking the compression effects into its signal can be helpful.
Remember that these settings disappear when going higher than the 24-bit/48kHz selection. Plus, it does not apply in all analogue XLR modes.
In our tests with the XLR mode, the signal sounded clear and relatively transparent. And overall, the guitar amps, vocals, and acoustic instruments sound suitable in most cases.
Vocals sounded most crisp from about five to six inches away. Moving closer gave us a proximity effect, which was excellent for voices requiring more depth.
Its pop filters diffused plosives without making us feel like screaming into gauze. Plus, its shock mount remained solid to decrease any form of vibration.
RODE NT1 5th Generation Review Summary
The NT1 5th Generation is another excellent microphone from RODE. Although marketed as a studio condenser mic, it works perfectly for content creators. With warm, detailed, and natural sound, it is ideal for recording speech, singing, and instruments.
What we liked about the product when testing it for our RODE NT1 5th Generation Review was its flexibility. It worked via XLR and USB while incorporating other outstanding features to deliver high-quality audio.
This exceptional microphone can record various audio and deliver high-quality sound for musicians and content creators. Overall, we highly recommend the NT1 5th Generation.