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CardioidNeumann KM 85

Cardioid Pencil Condenser Microphone

The KM 85 is a Cardioid pencil mic, built from around 1966 to 1990. The capsule has a fixed high-pass filter that rolls off at 4dB/octave below 500Hz.

In a sense, the KM85 is a KM84 with a low rolloff. The two mics’ polar patterns are identical, and very consistently Cardioid across the full audible spectrum (narrowing just slightly above 12kHz).


The KM 85 i incorporates a low-frequency roll-off which reaches about 12dB at 50Hz. This microphone is therefore much less sensitive to low-frequecny interference which may be encountered outdoors or in public address applications, while at close talking range, the characteristic low-frequency boost present in all pressure gradient transducers [aka proximity effect] is compensated.

A switch on the rear of the microphone enables a -10dB pad.

The KM 85 was wired at the factory for an output impedance of 200Ω. This could be changed to 50Ω by modifying the jumpers that configure the output transformer.

Like the other KM-8x microphones, the KM85 used Neumann’s innovative crossed-slit capsule backplace design, which contributes to the KM85’s excellent Cardioid pattern control.

Four versions of the KM 85 were produced:

  • KM 85 - silver finish, 3-pin DIN connector for Binder/Tuchel adapter
  • KM 85 mt - as above, with matte gray finish
  • KM 85 i - silver finish, XLR3M connector
  • KM 85 i mt - matte grey finish, XLR3M connector

The Neumann KM 85 is also known as: KM 85i, KM85.

The mic was released in 1966.


Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
KM 85 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (9 mV/Pa; 40 - 20,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -10dB (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Capsule diameter: 20mm
200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 130 dB
Self-noise: 18.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
80g (2.82oz) 100mm (3.94'') 21mm (0.83'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48±4v

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