Neumann TLM 103 vs U87 : Side-by-Side Comparison

Neumann TLM 103 vs U87

Every voice artist needs a good quality microphone to do justice to their voice. The famous Neumann brand has always been in talk for providing the best quality microphones in budget for decades.

Lately buyers face a great dilemma while choosing between Neumann TLM 103 vs U87 as both are best in their own fields. This article is aimed to crack the detailed pros and cons of these two microphones so that you can compare and pick the one that suits your needs the most.  

Neumann TLM 103

Neumann TLM 103

Neumann launched their classic TLM 103 as a budget friendly substitute of their veteran U87. Surprisingly, the Neumann TLM 103 voiceover became so popular among the users worldwide that it is still considered to be one of the standard microphones that buyers always consider to compare with other variation of microphones.

Minimal self noise

Neumann TLM 103 Minimal self noise

Self noise is one of the greatest issues while voice recording as the noise often kills the authentic sound and greatly affect the final outcome.  The TLM 103 has a very low only 7 dB-A self noise so that your voice does not get disrupted by any means.

Also, it is one of the quietest microphones in the market and is able to undertake immense sound pressure up to 138dB that also without preattenuation.

Multipurpose Usage

Initially this cardioid TLM 103 microphone was designed for project based studios and broadcasting purpose only. But as the users started using it, they found out it has far more to offer than just limited use opportunity.

Famous studios included this microphone in their set up as soon as they learnt about its outstanding performance. The TLM 103 goes fine with musical instruments such as guitar amps, drums and pianos as well.

Budget Friendly

In case of any purchase, budget plays an important role. The Neumann TLM 103 comes in a reasonable pricing even with a moderately vast range of features to offer.

Besides, you can use this microphone with your basic tools which mean you do not need to purchase any high budget gadgets to use with it. Also, the microphone is multipurpose so you can use this single microphone for different genres of recording.

Comes with Accessories

Another good deal about the TLM 103 microphone is it comes with a number of important accessories. You will get a SG 103 swivel mount for the microphone to mount and use as per your need.

Also, as the microphone needs to be stored in a secure place so dust cannot get inside it, Neumann provides a premium quality jeweler’s box for you to store the microphone securely.

Neumann U87 Ai

Neumann U87 Ai

The classic U87 by newmann is a vintage monster that is loved by all. From the time of very introduction in the market, the U87 has always been considered as the standard benchmark for other microphones to follow.

Also, it is considered to be one of the most well built and balanced microphone that the market has ever come across till date.

Warm Sound

The final outcome of the sound quality is essential whenever you use a microphone. The U87 is designed is such way that it suits perfectly in the studio ambiance where the sound is concentrated and needs to be self noise free and accurate.

This is one of the reasons why the musicians and voice artists are absolutely in love with U87 for years.

Dual Diaphragam Capsule

Neumann U87 Ai Dual Diaphragam Capsule

The U87 microphone includes a large dual diaphragam capsule that can also be adjusted in 3 different directional styles. These three style options are omnidirectional, cardioids and exclusive figure-8.

Besides, the microphone can balance higher sound level up to 127dB without any chance of noise, interruption or disruption. The inbuilt 10dB attenuation switch works to ensure a disruption free sound production all the time.

Fit for every Venue

Neumann’s U87 microphone is the heart of any situation as you can use it almost anywhere. The usage of the microphone is not only limited to extremely professional studio ambiance.

You can smoothly use this microphone for bands or even home studio recording purpose with minimal gadgets. Furthermore, it works incredibly fine as a spot microphone for gatherings.

Comes with Companions

As the U87 is a bit pricey in comparison to other available microphones with similar features available in the market, Neumann tried their best to compensate the extra bucks with free accessories that come along the microphone.

You will get a windscreen, a cable, an EA87 elastic suspension along with a beautiful wooden jeweler’s box to secure your microphone.

Neumann U87 vs TLM 103 : Comparison

It is safe to say the TLM 103 and U87 both are best on their own. But still then, when you are a buyer with the need to select only one between them you need to compare each and every aspect.

Besides, evaluating both of the microphones will give you a clear conception about which one will suit your needs the most.

Sound Quality

To be very honest the sweetwater Neumann TLM 103 and U87 sound quality difference cannot easily be noticed if you are not using both of them for a long period of time. The U87 provides a warm tone which works better with male voices and the TLM 103 is more applicable for female voices.

Besides, the TLM 103 needs a little more adjustment to get the accurately desired sound outcome but the U87 hits the exact spots from the first use.

Silky Top

Many users have mentioned the fact that though the bottom of both of the microphones is very similar in built. But many have experienced that the top of both of the microphones are a bit different than each other.

If you compare the top of Neumann U87 ai vs TLM 103 then you may discover the top of the U87 is silkier than the TLM 103. This silky top helps the U87 to produce a better quality sound and hits the exact spot for accurate outcome.


The TLM 103 is a bit cheaper in comparison to the classic U87. Surprisingly, even though the difference does not impact on the features of the microphones too much. Most of the users stated the qualities are quite similar so if you are tight in budget then TLM 103 can be a wise pick for your studio.

But if you are a perfectionist and want to receive the accurate outcome without any additional adjustment then you should increase your budget and opt for U87.


Additional accessories that come with the microphones help you to save your bucks and make justice to the price you paid while purchasing. Both the microphones come with similar additional accessories.

The TLM 103 comes with a mount and a wooden jeweler’s box whereas the U87 comes with a range of accessories including a cable, windscreen, elastic suspension and a wooden jeweler’s box.

Final Words

The battle between  U87 vs TLM 103 is present in the market for quite a long time now. The TLM 103 costs cheapers but the U87 comes with more accessories to make up with the extra pricing.

Both the microphone deliver good quality sound production but the distinction in characteristics is found when you evaluate both of them closely. Hope this article helps you to clear your dilemma and you easily select your perfect microphone.