Sony's microphone history

A heritage of more than 60 years in "C" microphones

It was 1958 when Sony first entered the field of condenser mics. The C-37A released that year was developed for broadcast applications, and even today, lovingly maintained units can still be found in many music studios. The tradition continued with the C-38B and C-800G, two condenser mics that went on to become legendary in the music industry.Building on this heritage of excellence, C-100, C-80 equipped new capsule designed-in house were released.



The release of Sony’s very first product for professionals was seen in 1958: the C-37A, which was also the first domestic vacuum tube condenser microphone. It was Dr.Heitaro Nakajima, an engineer who would later become known as “the father of the compact disc,” who drew up the basic concept. Instead of using the AC701 triode found in popular German mics at the time, this model featured a 6AU6 pentode wired as a triode. The resulting sound – honest and detailed – marked a clear departure from the Western microphones of the day.



After earlier versions introduced features such as a -8 dB attenuator pad and low-cut filter, the C-38B inherited these features on release in 1970. The immediacy needed in broadcasting is provided by a FET-equipped circuit for low cross-modulation distortion in the head amp, which also reduces distortion from loud input. Another highlight is dual power sources of phantom and battery power. To this day, more than 50 years since launch, the C-38B is still manufactured as a mic true to Sony ideals.



Nearly 30 years later in 1992, two condenser mics with a large-diaphragm capsule were introduced: C-800 and C-800G. Behind the C-800G lies a now-iconic heatsink, which helps reduce low-frequency noise and distortion, contributing to the mic’s pure, clear sound. R&B singers and rappers in particular have come to rely on these models, which are standard vocal mics at studios worldwide.



26 years after C-800G, high-resolution sound sources have become widespread in the field of music production. Against this backdrop, Sony developed C-100,studio condenser microphone for recording high-resolution sound sources, with a wide bandwidth of 20 Hz to 50 kHz. The sound quality was adjusted with the cooperation of engineers at Sony Music Studio. The C-100 is a reference microphone that realizes the sound that artists and creators originally intended to deliver as faithfully as possible.



In response to the diversification of recording situations, we developed C-80 ,condenser microphone for home studios, inheriting the high-quality sound harvesting technology cultivated in the C-800G and C-100 microphones. The C-80 uses the same diaphragm material as the C-800G, which continues to be used in top-class professional studios as a vocal microphone,to achieve vocal voice recording with a strong presence that does not subside when mixed with other instrument sounds.