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Neumann U47 FET Test & Reviews

Do you want to buy a high-quality condenser microphone for your studio that has already made a big impact on the world of sound and voice recording? The new Neumann U47 FET is the perfect microphone for you. It is a large diaphragm condenser microphone, an improved version of the old Neumann U47. In this guide you will find our full review of this professional studio microphone.


🎤 from Kevin Jung

Test Summary 👇

Do you want to buy a good microphone for your recording studio? Why not choose the Neumann U47 FET? This large-diaphragm condenser microphone has a proven track record. The Pretenders, Metallica, Dire Straits, Kate Bush… all these great artists have created masterpieces with this legendary microphone.

For the greatest happiness of the fans of the vintage and warm sound, the U47 FET signs its big return. The Neumann brand offers a reissue of the original U47 FET. It remains to be seen whether the sound quality of this new Neumann U47 FET is as good as that of the original created in the 1970s. Here are the test results for this iconic microphone.

microphone Neumann U47 FET
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History of the Neumann brand and the return of the U47 FET

The Neumann company is well known in the field of studio microphone design. This German brand has been able to distinguish itself thanks to the innovations it has brought. Among others:

  • 1946: Neumann U47, the first large diaphragm microphone with switchable polar pattern (cardioid and omnidirectional directivity)
  • 1966: Neumann KM84, the first phantom powered microphone
  • 1993: Neumann TLM170, the first transformerless microphone
  • In 2003: Neumann Solution-D, the first digital microphone

Note that Neumann has only reissued two of their legendary microphones: the Neumann U67 condenser microphone and the Neumann U47 FET. The original of the latter was first released in 1969. And its production stopped in 1986.

28 years after the last edition of the original, which is in 2014, Neumann offers the U47 “Collectors Edition“.

The reason for the reissue of the U47, according to the company’s press release, is that this microphone played an important role in recording studios in the 1970s. And this return will undoubtedly please lovers of classic microphones.

Neumann U47 FET


The brand has designed this new model based on the documents and drawings of the original manufacture. This means that the U47 FET microphones with the “Collectors Edition” label have the same components as the original.

However, Neumann did not fail to add a modern touch to the new U47 FET. We will explain this in detail in the next section.

The original Neumann U47 FET vs. the new Neumann U47: what is the difference?

As mentioned above, Neumann has not created a “new version” of the original U47 FET. Instead, they have started to produce them again to please the fans of this vintage microphone. Thus, the “Collectors Edition” has the same parts as the original.

The design, color and shape of their bodies are identical with one exception. The polar pattern on the underside of the grid is reversed for the new Neumann U47 FETs. By the way, the cross-section of their support adapter is slightly smaller than the original models.

Neumann U47 FET packaging
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Inside the new U47 FET, every part has been reproduced to look like the original. However, there are a few small details that differentiate the two models.

It can be noted, for example, that the capsule of the series produced from 2014 onwards benefits from a nylon protection. By the way, the slide travel of the new switches is shorter. Another small detail: the cable clamp wheel is plastic for the new U47 FET (metal for the original).

As for the technical characteristics, there are no notable changes. Like the first models, the new U47 FET has a large diaphragm. This makes it suitable for a wide range of applications.

Like the original, the new Neumann U47 FET also has a fixed cardioid pattern. This means that this microphone is designed to pick up sounds in front of it. It attenuates sound sources from the sides and rejects those from the back of the microphone.

The U47 FET has a FET 80 circuit technology just like the famous Neumann U87 Ai. By the way, it is also equipped with a k47 double diaphragm capsule to replace the M7 used in the first Neumann U47.

Neumann U47 FET


In terms of performance, the original U47 FET was particularly interesting for demanding instruments such as bass drums and guitar amps. Its main advantage was its ability to cope with high sound pressure levels. It could handle up to 147 dB when the 10 dB pad is activated.

And not surprisingly, the updated version of the U47 FET has the same capacities as the original. This seems quite logical considering that the brand has referred to the original’s schematics to design the new U47 FET.

Overview of the Neumann U47 FET microphone

The Neumann U47 FET is delivered in a beautiful wooden box. The microphone is perfectly protected in a firm sponge. It is a large diaphragm condenser microphone like the famous Telefunken U47 microphone and the Neumann TLM 193.

The microphone comes with instructions for use and an individually numbered certificate signed by the president of Neumann GmbH.

micro Neumann U47 FET
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On the back of the U47 FET you can find a -10 dB pad. This allows you to easily handle high sound pressure levels. Here you can also see a low-cut filter to get rid of unwanted low frequencies.

On the bottom of the microphone, next to the output connector, there is another small -6 dB pad. This is useful to prevent overloading the preamp (see also our articles on microphone preamp tests, in order to choose the best one for your studio).

The Neumann U47 FET microphone has a high quality design. Note that the microphones of the “Collectors Edition” series are only available in satin nickel. In contrast, the original was available in nickel and matte black.

The integrated stand provides the microphone with great stability. Its thread adapter is 5/8”. But a standard 3/8” and 1/2” thread adapter is also included in the box.

If you are interested in the weight of the Neumann U47 FET, you should know that this microphone weighs 710 g. By the way, it is 160 mm high and 160 mm long.

Neumann U47 FET


Neumann U47 FET: a versatile studio microphone

When you think of the U47 FET, you immediately think of voice recording. This is normal, since it is a large diaphragm microphone. At first glance, this is a microphone for singing. However, this doesn’t prevent you from using it for your podcast or YouTube videos.

That said, if you’re looking for a practical microphone for gaming, you’ll certainly find what you’re looking for with the Rode NT USB or the Blue Yeti X.

However, the U47 FET is not designed just for vocals. It is a very versatile microphone, just like the king of studio microphones: the Neumann U87 Ai.

In addition to voice recording, the U47 FET is also useful for recording acoustic instruments. In particular, you can use it for bass-rich instruments such as the bass drum.

enregistrement grosse caisse avec Neumann U47 FET
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By the way, feel free to use this microphone for your stereo recording. Given that it is a condenser microphone with a cardioid directivity, it would be perfect for mid/side recording.

Use the U47 FET as a mid-range microphone: position it in front of your source (e.g. your guitar). Then place another microphone with a figure-8 directivity perpendicular to it. For example, you can choose the ribbon microphone >> t.bone RB 500.

Focus on the sound quality of the Neumann U47 FET

This is probably the part you expect the most. This is normal, since the quality of the sound produced by a microphone directly affects the result of your work. So it will probably have an impact on your purchase decision.

With the U47 FET “Collectors Edition”, you can be sure that the sound quality is top notch. You will not be disappointed if you are particularly fond of vintage sound.

Whether for male or female vocals, the results are impressive. This microphone makes it easy to control the proximity effect, thanks in part to a high-cut filter. Simply turn on the high-cut switch to reduce the impact of low frequencies.

Neumann U47 FET


The Neumann U47 FET has a frequency response between 40 Hz and 16 000 Hz. Its nominal impedance is 150 ohms, while the nominal load impedance is 1000 ohms. This microphone has a good signal-to-noise ratio. It offers a very low level of background noise.

Technical specifications of the Neumann U47 FET

  • Microphone type: large diaphragm condenser microphone
  • Polar pattern: cardioid
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz – 16 kHz
  • Sensitivity at 1 kHz under 1 kOhm : 8 mV/Pa
  • Nominal impedance : 150 Ohms
  • Nominal load impedance : 1 kOhm
  • Equivalent noise level, according to CCIR : 25 dB
  • Equivalent sound level, A-weighted : 18 dB-A
  • Signal-to-noise ratio CCIR : 69 dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio A : 76 dB
  • SPL for THD < 0.5 : 137 dB
  • SPL with pre-attenuation : 147 dB
  • Maximum output voltage for THD < 0.5 %. : – 3,3 dBu
  • Power supply type: Phantom power 48 V
  • Output connector : XLR
  • Diameter : 63 mm
  • Length : 160 mm
  • Weight : 710 g
Neumann U47 FET package
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Our Global Review

Global Sound Quality

4,9 /5

Quality / Price ratio

4,7 /5

Overall Score

4,8 /5

Our opinion on the Neumann U47 FET microphone

Are you looking for a warm vintage sound, characteristic of the 70’s? If so, then I highly recommend the Neumann U47 FET. You will certainly be pleased to have this legendary microphone in your recording studio.

It cannot be denied that Neumann has done a remarkable job in reissuing the original U47 FET. This new model has retained all the character of the original. Not only in the look, but also in the performance. Among other things, it is able to withstand high sound pressure levels. The main advantage of the original U47 FET.

To recap our review of the Neumann U47 FET, here are the pros and cons:

The most :

  • Natural and ultra precise sound
  • Impressive in the face of high sound pressure levels
  • Wide range of applications

The minuses :

The price of the U47 FET is still a bit high. But it is well worth it, as its performance is nothing like that of low-end condenser microphones.

Neumann U47 FET Demo

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