The LA-220 V2 is Lauten Audio’s most affordable large-diaphragm condenser microphone. First released in 2007 and recently upgraded with better components and specifications, the Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 is part of the Lauten “Series Black” range. The “Series Black” range also includes Lauten Audio’s LA-120 V2, a small-diaphragm condenser microphone and the Lauten LA-320 V2 large-diaphragm tube condenser microphone. The overall presentation and first impression when you pick up the LA-220 V2 is that of an upscale, professional quality microphone that looks and feels like it should cost considerably more than its $349 MAP price point.
The Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 is a transformer balanced JFET condenser microphone and features a versatile cardioid polar pattern. The heart of the Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 is a hand-tuned 32mm center terminated pressure gradient capsule. The LA-220 V2 features high-quality polypropylene capacitors and resister components found in Lauten Audio’s more expensive microphones. Frequency response on the Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 is 20Hz to 20 KHz Max SPL 130 dB with less than 0.5 total harmonics distortion @1000 Hz. The LA-220 V2 requires 48V phantom power to operate.
The Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 has a 130 dB SPL threshold and low floor noise makes it practical to use on vocals and acoustic guitar as well as in front of guitar amps and drum kits. The JFET (Junction-Gate Field Effect Transistor) character of the LA-220 V2 midrange frequencies make it a great choice for recording and mixing vocals and acoustic guitar, which I suspect what a lot of people who buy the LA-220 V2 will primarily be using it for.
The LA-220 V2 has switchable onboard high-cut and low-cut switches positioned on either side of the front of the microphone. The low-cut filter is a great tool for taking the low-end muddiness or “boominess” out of your recordings (a common problem when recording vocals and acoustic guitars). The low-cut filter also helps to shift the focus of the LA-220 V2’s to the mid and upper frequencies, helping your recordings to cut through your mixes. The high-cut filter is a great tool for addressing overly bright sound sources by adding weight to a sound. Because of the LA-220 V2’s all-analog domain, its effect on sound (what your ears perceive) starts at around 3k, which helps to create the perception of warmth in your recordings.
As I have found from personal experience over the years, it is always better to “get it right” the first time rather than “fix it in the mix” later. The high- and low-cut filters on the LA-220 V2 can help you achieve this by giving you the tools to help manage common recording problems such as dialing out extraneous background noise when recording your tracks.
The LA-220 V2 comes with a custom-made, open-face design shock mount and a soft cloth bag. Though the LA-220 V2 does not have its own storage case, the box is designed to double as a display quality case when the microphone is not in use.
I tested the Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 recording my Donner Rising G Pro Acoustic Guitar into my Joe Meek One Q 2 Master Channel and straight into Pro Tools via my Audient EV0 16 Interface. I just added some compression on the Joe Meek, left the EQ flat and bingo! Sounds great! I was expecting some low-end rumble or coloration, but none of that was evident coming out of my headphones or nearfield monitors. Just a clear and accurate and, more importantly, highly musical representation of my acoustic guitar.
There really is a lot to like with the Lauten Audio LA-220 V2. The microphone offers a serious value proposition by delivering a professional quality, versatile and highly musical microphone that’s able to deliver vintage to modern tones on demand and has enough flexibility and versatility to be able to effectively record just about anything. The Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 is very well constructed overall. The body features all metal construction, and the head is a steel frame with woven steel mesh. It is clear that a lot of care went into designing the LA-220 V2. The Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 is, in short, built to last.
For singer-songwriters or podcasters on a tight budget or anyone just getting into home recording who are looking for the one microphone that can “do it all”—not to mention more experienced users who are looking for a second or third microphone to add to their collection—the Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 is a great choice. All this for a price point that won’t break the bank. Highly recommended!
The Lauten Audio LA-220 V2 is available now for $349 MAP. Find out more at: