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AKG Acoustics C 542 BL

Pricing & Availability

  • MSRP: $293
  • Discontinued


Reviews & News

C 542 BL Documentation

OmnidirectionalAKG Acoustics C 542 BL

Omnidirectional Boundary Microphone

  • Extremely small and inconspicuous, lightweight yet rugged
  • Delivers superior sound combined with outstanding ease of use
  • High sensitivity and low self-noise ensures generous headroom

The C 542 BL is a high-quality boundary microphone designed to deliver superior results for a multitude of recording applications. The boundary layer technique is well-known for recording and offers non-directional pickup that is frequency-independent.

Succeeding the proven C 562 BL, the C 542 BL is small, lightweight and easy to place . No stand is needed. Since the transducer sits in a metal plate only 5 mm (0.2 in) thick, the plate doesn’t interfere with or color the sound. Frequency response is very uniform within its hemisphere and it captures the “room sound” of an instrument very accurately.

The C 542 BL can be permanently attached to the floor or wall of a studio using the screw holes in the plate or attached temporarily using the supplied adhesive compound. Its 3-pin output connector also has a switchable bass-cut filter to minimize surface-born noise.

Electronic Musician, 2005
Placing a pair of C 542 BLs about 48 inches apart on the ceiling in a two-point stereo arrangement over the vibes rendered a nice, wide stereo image and achieved an even balance through the instrument’s range, leaving no hole in the middle. The attack of my harder-than-usual mallets was quite audible, though not as sharp and peaky as it would have been with close-miking. The low-frequency pickup was pleasing in its range but did not seem smooth. Overall, it was an excellent sound on a notoriously difficult instrument.

Solo-sung vocals were my least favorite application for the C 542 BL — it had a bit of a “bark” in the midrange. It showed little change in sound quality, however, when I played rock star and threw myself around the room while singing. (Under those conditions a cardioid condenser would have captured audio that was all over the sonic map.) I could definitely see recording a vocal group in a nice room with this mic.

The AKG Acoustics C 542 BL is also known as: C542BL, C 542 BL.


Frequency Response - OmnidirectionalClick Graph to Compare!
C 542 BL Omnidirectional Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Omnidirectional (20 mV/Pa; 20 Hz to 20 kHz)
  • Filter: 12 dB/octave at 150 Hz (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
n/a 600 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 130 dB
Self-noise: 16.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
56g (1.98oz) 5mm (0.20'') 80mm (3.15'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 9–52v

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