AEA N8 Ribbon Microphone
- Astonishingly open and natural sound
- Far-field ribbon mic designed to retain low end and top end at a distance
- Same design philosophy as the AEA R88 stereo ribbon mic
- Compact, lightweight, and discreet design
- Active electronics and custom transformer optimized for all preamps
- Made in the U.S.A.
HEARS LIKE YOUR EARS - The N8 captures a space as it sounds live and in person, with all the present subtlety and nuance. Its expansive frequency response and balanced low end make it superbly effective when capturing the full breadth of sound from the back of a room or above a drum set. It boasts the widest frequency range of any mic in the AEA lineup and effortlessly manages more complex source audio like drums, strings, piano, and other instruments that produce harsher highs and bellowing lows. The full potential of the N8 is perhaps best realized when part of a stereo array since it draws from the same successful concepts as the AEA R88.
THE FAR-FIELD RIBBON - The N8 is a far-field ribbon mic, meaning it is ideally designed to be placed at a distance of 12 inches or further from the sound source. This allows a huge range of positions for the N8s to naturally capture an instrument within the context of a room. As far away as 20 feet, the N8 retains the low end of the frequency spectrum. Combined with its open and natural tonality, the N8’s far-field design makes it perfect as mains for capturing entire orchestras or on overheads to record the full low end of a drum kit. If used closer than 12 inches, proximity effect comes into play. This beneficial effect can be used to thicken up the sound of a voice or instrument. The N8 can be positioned close to instruments and other loud sources when proximity effect is desired easily handling 141+ dB SPL at 1 kHz. For a more balanced sound from up close with reduced proximity effect, the AEA N22 near-field ribbon mic is a nice complement.
"The N8's and the N22's have become pretty much the standard for both the band's touring set up and day to day recording in my studio. As a mono or stereo drum overhead, the N8 has become a no-brainer. i solo'd a mono N8 last week and it sounded like 'us and them.' not bad!!” - Adam Granduciel (The War On Drugs)
An Active Ribbon for a Modern Age - With active electronics and a custom transformer, the N8 provides 12db of extra output and more preamp flexibility than traditional passive ribbon mics. The N8 uses the same custom transformer utilized in the AEA A440 and R84A microphones, enabling additional output over passive microphones and a stable impedance. Though it sounds great with any AEA ribbon-optimized preamp, it is not dependent on a high-impedance, high-gain preamp for proper use. The extra output is a major advantage when recording quiet sources like vocals and soft acoustic guitars. The active circuitry also prevents noise, interference on long cable runs and when near operating near large lighting rigs.
The N8 is the mono version of the AEA R88 stereo microphone with active electronics. Engineers in both the studio and on the scoring stage who use the R88 desired a mono version that was more discreet, lightweight and easier to position. The N8 and R88 share the same minimalist design philosophy and honest sound. A pair of N8s with the NUVO stereo kit can emulate the R88, but a special preamp is not needed since the N8 uses active circuitry.
A RUGGED, ROADWORTHY COMPANION - With increased durability and a small profile, it’s no wonder that a wide range of performers use AEA’s NUVO series microphones on the road. The mics are totally rugged and hold up to daily wear and tear. From outdoor gigs at music festivals to indoor theaters, NUVO mics are the perfect companion to bring the sound of studio recordings to the live stage. With the NUVO Windscreen, never worry about the ribbon – even at windy gigs. On the Road with the N8 - Bands now using N8s and N22s on the road include Bonnie Raitt, Alicia Keys, Aerosmith, Mitski, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, Alabama Shakes, War On Drugs, Local Natives, The Head and The Heart, Sara Watkins, Kurt Vile, Deerhunter, Jamestown Revival, JOHNNYSWIM, Brandi Carlile, Autolux, Foxygen, Kruger Brothers, Cam, Pedro the Lion, The Districts, Valerie June, and more.
“I’ve used these mics in all the applications where I normally use ribbon mics, guitar cabinets, drum overheads, room mics for drum kit, violin, and metal percussion. The high end is particularly nice and seems extended more than I would have expected. I use the proximity effect of the figure-8 pattern to control and augment the low-end of guitar cabinets, and occasionally ribbon mics in this application will be overwhelmed and distort. I noticed no distortion in demanding use and am very happy with the overall sound of these mics. Whatever, these mics are terrific and I like them a lot.” - Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Breeders)
“Depth, detail, and bottom end for days. so much focus and tone from one phantom powered ribbon mic." Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Beck, Paul McCartney)
Tape Op || “The N8 shares some sonic DNA with the R88 for sure, so it was like being able to use that beast of a mic in a dual mono, Glyn Johns configuration, and the take turned out great in combination with the other kit. Honestly, I didn't find anything that the N8 didn't make sound great anywhere you'd use a normal ribbon…” – Chris Koltay
Sound on Sound || “For more classical orchestral instruments, the N8 sounded sublime on cello and violin, and (excuse the total heresy!) I think I preferred it to my life-long favourite ribbon, the Coles 4038!... This is a very nice and well-priced microphone and I think Wes and AEA really have realised a ribbon mic for the 21st century. Highly recommended.” – Hugh Robjohns
Recording Mag || “All the AEA models sound great, and ever since my 2012 review the R88mk2 has been on my short list of must-haves as the “set it and forget it” room mic. However, I am now thinking the N8 may be the better choice in the long run. It offers more versatility and placement options thanks to its smaller size and light weight, and I love how it pairs with the N22... Oh, decisions, decisions!” – Paul Vnuk Jr.
The NUVO Stereo Kit - AEA’s NUVO Stereo Kit enables users to rapidly set up and accurately record in stereo on a single mic stand. It consists of either two matched N22s or N8s, and comes with all of the accessories necessary to easily configure the figure-eight microphones in Blumlein and near-coincident. The NUVO Series - Discreet in shape and size, AEA’s NUVO series microphones are lightweight, portable and easy to position. They feature active electronics and custom transformers that provide extra output and more preamp flexibility than traditional passive ribbon mics. Both the N22 and N8 NUVO mics are the same size and offer the same ribbon sound and high-quality components as our other mics. They are all handmade in the United States. For a more balanced sound from up close to capture your instrument without as much room tone, the AEA N22 near-field ribbon mic is a nice complement.
| Operating Principle ||Pressure gradient transducer |
| Directional Pattern ||Bidirectional |
|Frequency Range || |
< 20 Hz to >20 kHz
|Maximum SPL || |
141 dB SPL (1% third harmonic > 1 kHz)
|Sensitivity || |
8.3 mV/Pa (at 1 kHz, no load)
|Output Impedance || |
92 Ω broadband
Recommended Load Impedance
1.0 kΩ or greater
|Phantom Power || |
P48 phantom power, 7 mA
|Polarity ||Pin 2 high for positive pressure |
at the front of the microphone.
Native bidirectional, figure-of-8 pattern
Polar Response Horizontal
Up to 90 dB rejection
at right angles to the front/back axis.
|Polar Response Vertical || |
Level changes with angle of incidence,
but frequency response is consistent.
|Transducer Element Material || |
Pure aluminum corrugated ribbon
|Transducer Width || |
0.185 in (4.7 mm)
|Transducer Length || |
2.35 in (59.7 mm)
|Dimensions /Weight ||
Height: 8.83 in (32.4 cm) |
Width: 1.62 in (11.7 cm)
Depth: 1.62 in (9.5 cm)
Weight: 12 oz. (335 g)
|Connector Type || |
|Shipping Weight ||1 lb. 13 oz. (810 g) |