Gear Review: Universal Audio New Microphones

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Videos by American Songwriter

A company known predominantly for its audio interfaces, audio production tools, and recording applications over the last 60 years Universal Audio has now moved into the microphone categories in a big way. UA recently launch their UA Bock tube microphones, Sphere Modeling mic, and Standard Series.  The three different UA Bock mics are handmade in Santa Cruz, California, and are available in FET or Tube Condenser models by David Bock.  These microphones are geared toward studio work with audio engineers and producers. 

The Bock microphones also include presets for the UA Apollo audio interfaces. The Sphere Modeling Microphones are digital-driven with modeling designed by Chris Townsend, and they function well with UAD audio plug-in platform. They are created around an award-winning system that has 34 classic mic models in one unit. The Standard Series of mics are aimed at content creators, home recording, and podcasters looking for great sound reproduction. 

One is a dynamic mic, and the other mics are a pair of pencil microphones for micing instruments.  The Standard SD-1 mic is priced at $299 MAP (See on Sweetwater), Standard SP-1 will be $399 MAP, the Sphere L22 modeling sells for $1,499 (See on Sweetwater). In the UA Bock Series, the 187 FET Condenser will sell for $1,249, 167 Tube Condenser at $2,999, and the 251 Tube Condenser microphone will be priced at $5,999. The Standard SD-1 Dynamic mic and Sphere L22 modeling mic are currently available.  The Standard SP-1 Pencil Mic (that come in a pair) will release this summer and the UA Bock 187, 167, and 251 microphones will all release this fall.

These microphones are built to last and are a smart extension of the strong Universal Audio brand already established.  

Pros: 

UA makes great recording equipment and these microphones, especially the Bock mics, will set a new standard. The Sphere L22 modeling mic is a great value considering you have the capability of 34 microphones in one.

Cons: 

Hand-built microphones made in the USA, like the three UA Bock mics, are not cheap.  The Bock mics, especially the two tube models, will probably be the domain of studios more than individuals.

Verdict:

I’m surprised UA didn’t launch a line of microphones 20 years ago. Once these current microphones launch, I would expect to see the company launch more. Great audio reproduction is worth the price for the right sound. Top-quality microphones are expensive for a reason and most producers and audio engineers can hear the difference when in the studio. I believe the UA microphones will be in demand and sought after.

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