Neumann is well known for its state-of-the-art condenser microphones. THier microphones are used in all the professional recording studios around the world.
However, recently Neumann entered the market of the Audio Interface industry with its flagship MT 48 audio interface.
In this vlog post, I’m going to review Neumann MT 48 audio interface that will help you to decide is it worth for you or not.
In this Neumann MT 48 audio interface review, I will go through the first impressions to design, quality, inputs and outputs, preamps, gain controls, and other factors that anyone considers before purchasing an audio interface.
So Without wasting any more time, let’s dive into the review.
Table of Contents
- 1 Unboxing and First Impressions
- 2 Design and Build Quality
- 3 Technical Specifications
- 4 Connectivity Options
- 5 Audio Performance
- 6 Preamps and Gain Control
- 7 Compatibility and Software
- 8 User-Friendly Interface
- 9 Performance in Real-World Scenarios
- 10 Pros and Cons
- 11 Price and Value for Money
- 12 Other Alternatives
- 13 Conclusion
- 14 FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Unboxing and First Impressions
Neumann MT 48 comes inside a safe case just like Neumann condenser mics. This case actually keeps it safe during transits.
The golden color and big size screen give it a classy look which is quite suitable for any kind of studio.
However, it has only 2 preamps and 2 XLR inputs which make it an entry-level audio interface. Well, it has an 8-channel ADAT input and output and an ethernet port which can be used with digital mixers but is still useless for those who don’t have a digital audio interface.
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Well, it is an entry-level audio interface with professional features like 24bit/192kHz audio recording, ADA optical connectivity, and high-quality amps.
So, if you are a songwriter, home producer, DJ and want a high-quality audio interface with limited inputs and outputs then this one is perfect for you.
Now let’s take a look at its build quality and design.
Design and Build Quality
Neumann has always been known for its exceptional craftsmanship, and this is also applied to MT 48 audio interface.
Neumann used its “microphones theme” for the color and material used in this audio interface. The color is the same as Neumann TLM 103 and other Neumann mics which is a Nickel finish with golden or silver color.
The golden color is actually used in MT 48 audio interface. You will get a nickel finish which is the signature of the Neumann products.
The red logo with the name just above the screen gives it the Neumann branding.
One thing I liked about the design of MT 48 is there are no unnecessary buttons and controls given. You will get only a handful of controls and buttons to control this audio interface. This gives it a sleek and clean design.
Now let’s talk about the build quality.
The metal enclosure makes it a durable product, however, if you drop it, chances are it may get scratched because of the nickel finish.
The touchscreen needs to be treated with care like mobile phones otherwise it may get damaged.
Buttons and controls are quality tested to provide seamless performance for several years and actually, they respond to a slight pressure of the finger.
That’s all about the design and build quality of Neumann MT 48 audio interface.
Now, let’s get technical as without knowing this part, we cannot evaluate recording equipment, especially an audio interface.
So, first things first,
Neumann MT 48 has world’s one of the best AD/DA converters in the world. Which is co-developed by Neumann and Swiss manufacturer Merging Technologies. These high-precision DACs give a staggering dynamic range of 136 dB.
The high dynamic range gives MT 48 four times more resolution compared to other audio interfaces.
We can record up to 24bit/192kHz in this audio interface which is great for high-quality and high-depth audio recording.
The low dynamic range and high sample rate recording give us precise audio that we can mix further to get output that stands out from the other audio interfaces.
There are 2 Preamps used in this audio interface with extremely low noise with up to 78 dB gain as claimed by the company.
It also has 2 XLR amphibious line/instrument inputs and 4 balanced monitor/line outputs with a pair of headphone outs.
The company also provided 8-channel ADAT optical, ethernet, S/PDIF and AES67 connectivity to connect this audio interface to ADAT and ethernet devices such as mixing consoles.
One of the most impressive things about the MT 48 is It offers USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 connections, which makes it compatible with both PCs and Macs.
You will also get MIDI input and outputs which is all the way necessary for the MIDI composers like me.
When it comes to audio quality, Neumann MT 48 has some edge over other audio interfaces.
It has 2 high-quality Preamps, 2 XLR inputs and 4 balanced outputs with ADAT optical connection for digital mixers and other ADAT optical devices.
Its DAC provides 136dB of dynamic range which is one of the lowest in all the audio interfaces available in the market.
You can record, up to 24Bit/192kHz audio sample rates which give you the ability to add extra depth to your audio recording.
When we use effects and processors on these audio files, they don’t get distorted. That’s why you’ll get clean audio.
However, I have not tried it in my recordings, but I want to buy one for my second home studio. If I buy it, I’ll definitely give you the audio samples in this blog post.
Preamps and Gain Control
There are 2 world-class Preamps given in Neumann MT 48, both provide up to 78 dB of clean gain.
With that, you can capture every detail from any microphone, no matter if it’s a high-sensitivity condenser or low-output ribbon.
Both have a cut-off frequency of 40/60/80 Hz, which is selectable via the mixer.
However, Neumann doesn’t provide any information about the manufacturer of the Preamp, which I think should be given in the specs.
Compatibility and Software
As Neumann MT 48 comes with 2 USB-C ports you can obviously connect it to Mac, Windows and iPads.
When it comes to data transfer speed, USB-C ports make it an ultrafast (480 MB/s and above) USB interface.
YOu will get a compatible audio driver with DSP mixer software that you have to install on your device and you connect the audio interface via any USB-C port.
That’s it, you are now ready to record your projects.
The best thing is, you will get a big touch screen that you can use to adjust pan pots, channel faders and other commonly used parameters, without having to switch the mixer software on your device.
As I have told you above, this audio interface has a full-featured touchscreen with a handful of buttons and controls. These things make it user-friendly.
Also, operating this audio interface is simple, however, you need some learning before getting into it.
Well, the operating manual is sufficient to teach you how to use it. You can also watch some videos on how ot operate this audio interface.
Compared to other audio interfaces, it’s easy to learn and operate.
You can even use MT 48’s DSP only for monitoring purposes and add the effects within an ongoing recording, or you can do both through the Direct Output Technology given in this audio interface.
Performance in Real-World Scenarios
Neumann MT 48 is a perfect audio interface for home studios where we don’t need more inputs and outputs, yet want to match the quality of professional recording studios.
The high-quality Preamps, lower dynamic range of DAC and HD recording formats give this the ability to provide us with crystal clear audio tracks for further mixing.
MT 48 can also be used as a standalone audio interface without the need for a computer.
Whether you are a songwriter, DJ or a home studio owner, this audio interface is equally useful for you.
Pros and Cons
- Neumann MT 48 provides a dynamic range of up to 136 dB for microphone inputs, which ensures excellent sound quality for mics and instruments.
- MT 48 features various input types, such as mic/line inputs, and instrument/line inputs. It also has 4 analog line-level balanced outputs and 2 headphone outputs low output impedance amplifiers.
- You will get a built-in DSP which allows you to add EQ and dynamic effects on separate channels. You will also add reverb effects to the channels for post and pre-recording.
- It has a large multi-color touchscreen that gives you easy access to settings, routing, mixing, and DSP effects. So, you don’t need to switch to the software mixer for common tasks.
- You will get multiple connectivity options, such as USB-C, ADAT, AES67, and MIDI I/O which makes it a versatile audio interface among the competitors.
- Neumann MT 48 Audio Interface costs much higher than other same-feature audio interfaces. You’ve to pay around $1850 for this which is just double that of a standard audio interface.
- There are several alternatives available in the market for low prices which give the same quality so paying off for just a brand logo is not a wise decision.
Price and Value for Money
Neumann MT 48 audio interface costs you around $1850 which an actually a bit expensive than its competitors.
There are audio interfaces available with the same features that cost you just half of this audio interface.
However, the dynamic range of DAC and the touch screen sets it apart from its competitors but buying an audio interface for just one or two features is not ideally a great decision.
We must see other things that we are getting. Also, they did not disclose the manufacturer of the Preamps which I think should be there in the manual.
So, keeping in mind the features and specs I think it’s a bit expensive. Anywhere between $1000-$1200 would be a great price for this audio interface.
Universal Audio Apollo x4 Heritage Edition
UAD Apollo is one of the best alternatives to Neumann MT 48 for the same price range. It costs around $1750.
And, you will get, 4 Unison mic preamps,2 headphone and 6 line outputs and QUAD Core Real-Time UAD DSP in which you get UAD analog effects.
You can record in multiple formats up to 24Bit/192kHz which is the same as Neumann MT 48.
Motu 624 is another great alternative to MT 48 with just half of its price, costing you around $800.
You will get 2 high-quality mic preamps, 2 x 1/4″ TRS Hi-Z Input, 2 x XLR 3-Pin Mic Input, 4 x 1/4″ TRS Balanced/Unbalanced Line Input, 6 x 1/4″ TRS Balanced Line Output, 1 x 1/4″ TRS Headphone Output and other great features that make it a good competitor of Neumann MT 48.
So, here was my honest review of Neumann MT 48 audio interface.
To wrap it up, the Neumann MT 48 audio interface is one of the best audio interfaces for recording enthusiasts and professionals.
With exceptional audio quality, user-friendly design, easy-to-operate features, and solid build quality make it essential in any serious recording setup.
If you want to take your recordings to the next level, the MT 48 won’t disappoint you, however, the price is a bit high than its other competitors.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Neumann MT 48 compatible with Windows, Mac and Android operating systems?
MT 48 is compatible with Windows PCs and Mac computers, but not compatible with Android.
Does the Neumann MT 48 require an external power source?
MT comes with USB-C which powers up the devices through the computer’s USB port. So you don’t need an external power source for this audio interface.
Can I connect my MIDI keyboard to the Neumann MT 48?
Yes, MT 48 comes with MIDI ports so you can easily connect and MIDI instrument to this audio interface.
Is the Neumann MT 48 suitable for podcasting?
Yes, Neumann MT 48 is actually built for these kinds of operations. YOu can do podcasting, DJing, and songwriting, and use it for other serious recording applications.
Does the Neumann MT 48 come with DAW?
No, you need a separate DAW for your recording sessions. However, it comes with DSP mixer that helps you in routing, mixing and printing effects in real-time.