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OmnidirectionalCardioidBidirectionalSony C100

Multi-Pattern Condenser Microphone

The Sony C100a is Sony’s first new microphone release in 25 years. It is a dual-capsule, mono microphone with a separate single-backplate electret capsule mounted above the large dual-diaphragm capsule, similar in appearance (but not function) to the Sanken CU-44X MKII. It is a transformerless design.

Since Sony has a hand in every aspect of recorded music, from record labels to manufacturing speakers, they thought it necessary to manufacture a mic that would capture high resolution sound at the source. As a result, the C100 was designed and improved with the help of Sony Music, the process taking three years of research and development.

The 17mm electret capsule, the topmost capsule in the headbasket, allows the C100 to capture high resolution audio up to 50,000Hz. The two capsules are crossed over at 25kHz, with the 25mm large diaphragm (lower) capsule handling everything below 25kHz

A spectrum analyser revealed that it definitely has greater extension in the ultrasonic range than conventional large-diaphragm capacitor mics. Whereas my C414 had rolled off completely by 30kHz, the C100 was still going at 40kHz and above, and what it had captured was obviously audio generated by the source, rather than random noise.

This is a novel arrangement, different from the Sanken mics or any other dual capsule arrangement we’re aware of, primarily because of the crossover point. For instance, the Sanken CU-44X MKII and the CU-42 cross over to the second capsule at a much lower frequency, 1kHz. Due to Sony’s high-frequency crossover, lower sample rates do not make use of the smaller capsule, thereby avoiding the potential pitfalls of an internal crossover.

Both capsules are new designs, and the 17mm capsule is the same capsule found in the other Sony microphones introduced at AES 2017, the ECM-100U and 100N.

The C100 is a multi-pattern microphone, taking advantage of the dual diaphragms on the larger of the two capsules in the microphone. Accordingly, it has a switch on the front for omni, figure-8 and cardioid. There are also switches on the rear of the mic for a -10db pad, and a 70Hz low cut filter.

The C100 is sold with a shock mount and a windscreen inside a protective plastic case.

The Sony C100 is also known as: C-100.

The mic was released in 2017.


Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Omnidirectional (14 mV/Pa; 20 - 50,000Hz)
Cardioid (15.8 mV/Pa; 20 - 50,000Hz)
Bidirectional (17.7 mV/Pa; 20 - 50,000Hz)
  • Pad: -10db (Via Switch)
  • Filter: 70Hz Low Cut (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diaphragm diameter: 25mm
90 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 131 dB
Self-noise: 18.0 dB(A)
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
290g (10.23oz) 175mm (6.89'') 40mm (1.57'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 48v

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