Skip the expensive audio interface and go straight to recording with Rode’s 5th gen NT1 microphone. This beloved studio mic now offers USB connectivity with “unclippable” 32-bit float digital output, marking a new era for amateur podcasting and music recording. Trust me; this is a big deal.
The Rode NT1 is a modern classic. It’s a relatively inexpensive large diaphragm condenser that offers detailed, crispy sound for voices or instruments. Plus, it can handle a maximum 142 dB SPL, meaning that it won’t distort when capturing extremely loud noises.
But all previous models of the Rode NT1 rely on XLR connectivity, meaning that you can’t plug them into a computer without an audio interface. The new Rode NT1 5th Generation breaks the mold with USB-C connectivity—you can plug it straight into a computer, just like a Blue Yeti. (Naturally, it also has an XLR output.)
To my surprise, Rode is utilizing a high-quality “Revolution” preamp in the N1T’s digital output (that’s the USB output, not XLR). It offers 192kHz A/D conversion with a 32-bit float digital output, which ensures an “unlimited” headroom. Basically, hardware with 32-bit float won’t clip even when your gain is too high or you record something at an extreme volume. It’s an awesome feature for podcasting or live recording, where screwups can’t be re-recorded.
Additionally, this preamp features onboard DSP. That means it can run plugins (compressors, noise gates, EQ, etc) without utilizing your computer’s resources. These parameters are controlled through the Rode Connect or Rode Central software.
But the most interesting Rode NT1 5th Generation feature might be multitrack recording. You can connect up to eight of these microphones to a computer over USB using Rode’s custom ASIO driver. Presumably, Rode will launch more studio-grade microphones with USB connectivity, further reducing the need for a dedicated audio interface.
The Rode NT1 5th Generation is available for pre-order at $250. It ships in March and includes a shock mount, pop filter, and USB/XLR cables (no mic stand). Note that previous versions of the NT1 are easy to find for $200 or less—if you own an audio interface, the XLR-only NT1 microphones are probably your best choice.
Rode NT1 5th Generation USB/XLR Condenser Microphone
The Rode NT1 5th Generation delivers studio-grade audio over an XLR or USB connection. It's large-diaphragm condenser with a cardioid pickup pattern, a maximum 142 dB SPL, and built-in DSP functionality over USB.