Universal Audio taps legendary mic designer for new pro and podcast-ready lineup from $299

Some brand new Universal Audio microphones have now been unveiled. An unrivaled brand with deep roots in the professional recording space and pioneers of pro-grade DSP audio processing is now stepping into the microphone game in a major way. Six new models have been unveiled ranging from pricey, professional large-diaphragm capacitor mics through to somewhat more attainable broadcast and podcasting variants. Starting from models based on legendary recording studio microphones like the Neumann U87, Neumann U67, and Telefunken ELA M 251 to the SD-1 dynamic model looking to rival Shure’s popular latest-model SM7 variant, head below for more details on the new Universal Audio microphones. 

New Universal Audio microphones

Starting with the high-end Bock series models aimed at recapturing some of the magic the aforementioned legends are responsible for, you’re looking at solid-state and valve-based solutions designed by their namesake, David Bock. A legend in his own right, Bock says they are “the best-sounding and most beautiful mics I’ve had the pleasure of designing over my long career.” And they are going to cost you as well:

  • UA Bock 187 Large-Diaphragm FET Condenser – Fall 2022 $1,249
  • UA Bock 167 Large-Diaphragm Tube Condenser – Fall 2022 $2,999
  • UA Bock 251 Large-Diaphragm Tube Condenser – Fall 2022 $5,999

Befitting a company with roots in both analog and digital audio recording, UA microphones include world-class UA Bock tube microphones handmade in Santa Cruz, California; the award-winning Sphere L22 Modeling Microphone with its ability to accurately emulate 34 classic studio mics; and new Standard Series microphones designed for home recordists, serious podcasters and content creators.

Podcast-ready Universal Audio microphones too

Next up we are looking at the more accessible Standard Series. Consisting of the SP-1 Pencil Mic and the SD-1 Dynamic Mic, the latter of which is likely the model most folks will have their eye on. Looking to take on that Shure SM7B you see in a massive collection of video-based podcasts you watch every day, this is a broadcast-style solution focused on capturing speech and vocals as well as instruments “destined to become workhorses in serious production spaces.” The pencil SP-1 mic is set to arrive this summer in a pair at $399 but the $299 SD-1 Dynamic Mic is available now:

And here are more details on the now available and quite expensive digital Sphere L22 Modeling Microphone:

On the digital side, with the technology acquisition of Townsend Labs Inc. in 2021, UA is excited to welcome proprietary Sphere Modeling Microphone technology and modeling guru Chris Townsend to the UA team — aligning with UA’s market-leading UAD audio plug-in platform.

  • Sphere L22 Modeling Microphone $1,499

9to5Toys’ Take:

If anyone is going to be able to compete in the high-end space with legendary company, David Bock and Universal Audio are likely it. While it will take some pretty serious industry backing before the higher-end Universal Audio microphones make some notable headway, the lower-tier broadcast microphone is primed for success. Priced $100 below the seemingly podcast instructions standard Shure SM7B, the off-white colorway might be the only thing holding it back at this point. 

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