German microphone manufacturer Neumann announced the new TLM 102 at AES 2009. The cardioid-only design features a compact appearance while retaining the aesthetics and performance that define the Neumann studio line.
The TLM 102 houses a newly developed large-diaphragm cardioid capsule that handles a maximum sound pressure level of 144dB, making it useful for capturing loud sound sources. However, the sonic design was optimized for vocals and speech, with a slight boost above 6kHz to create presence and a transformerless design to preserve signal purity. The TLM 102 carries a self-noise rating of 12dBA and signal-to-noise ratio of 82dB (A-weighted). It operates on standard phantom power.
Neumann explained that the new model’s modest pricing was part of its design goal of providing a highly versatile microphone that that would be accessible to broadcasters, as further evidenced by its camera-friendly, low-profile appearance. The TLM 102 is available in black and nickel and ships complete with a stand mount.