Neumann KMR 81 D Digital Shotgun Microphone

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Neumann KMR 81 D Digital Shotgun Microphone

The KMR 81 is a shotgun microphone with a high directivity that remains within the acceptance angle independent of the frequency.

The advantage is that a sound source, for example an actor on stage, will not change its apparent tonal balance when moving within this area.


Shotgun microphones are particularly useful in recording situations where a microphone cannot be positioned within the desired distance of the sound source to produce a sufficiently loud signal level.

Typical applications are film and video recordings, where the microphone should not appear in the picture.

The KMR 81 has been specifically designed for electronic news gathering.

Acoustic features

In principle, Neumann shotgun microphones use a combination of a pressure gradient transducer and an interference tube. If the wavelength of the frequency is longer than the tube length, the microphones work as pressure gradient transducers. At higher frequencies they operate as interference transducers for lateral sound. Off-axis sound sources are picked up with reduced level, but without coloration.

Therefore, the microphones are well suited to record individual instruments of an orchestra. The pickup areas of several shotgun microphones may even overlap as, for example, during recordings on a large stage, without causing any problem.

The KMR 81 is less sensitive to wind and pop noise when compared to the KM 150 miniature microphone with a similar high directivity. The shotgun microphone features extremely low self noise, good impulse response, and high output level.

Polar patterns

The KMR 81 is a shotgun microphones with a very directional characteristic.

The microphone capsule is positioned inside a housing tube that is acoustically open but has a high flow resistance. The directional pattern of the microphone is lobe shaped. The attenuation of lateral sound is practically independent of the frequency. The KMR 81 has a frequency independent directivity within a pickup angle of 90° for audio signals that determine the tonal balance of the program material.

Filter and attenuation

The microphone has a 10 dB attenuation switch to prevent the input of the following unit from overloading.

A second switch activates a 200 Hz high-pass filter. Toward the lower frequencies the sensitivity of the microphone is attenuated by approximately 15 dB at 50 Hz. The frequency range above 200 Hz is unaffected.

Use on location

The shotgun microphone features very high output capability and a remarkably low self-noise level.

Its low power consumption, light weight, and low sensitivity to wind and handling noise, makes it an ideal tools for news gathering on location.

Small dimensions, together with a balanced center of gravity, make handling easy without any whiplash effect.

However, when on location and during strong wind conditions, we recommend using an additional wind screen (included as standard accessory). The wind screen is made of polyurethane foam.

For mobile use a handle and an elastic suspension are available.

The Neumann KMR 81 D Digital Shotgun Microphone is a digital version of the coveted Neumann KMR 81 I shotgun microphone. This digital counterpart to the KMR 81 I exhibits all the benefits of its lobe/supercardioid polar pattern with professional grade A/D conversion and an internal compressor / limiter to avoid digital peak clipping. The capsule features a combination of a pressure gradient transducer and an interference tube.

If the wavelength of the frequency is longer than the tube length, the microphones work as pressure gradient transducers. At higher frequencies they operate as interference transducers for lateral sound. As a result all off-axis sound sources are attenuated without coloration. The KMR 81 D is well suited to record individual instruments, vocals and speech within highly ambient environment and much more.

  • Interference tube microphone with shotgun directional characteristic
  • Interference/pressure-gradient transducer
  • High lateral and back attenuation
  • 90° recording angle
  • Extensive accessories for outdoor use
  • The legendary Neumann sound in the digital realm. Pure Neumann capsule sound
  • The satisfaction of recording the uncolored original, with no "bottlenecks" between the capsule and the recording system
  • The guarantee of having one of the best A/D converters available
  • Anti-clipping processing ensures handling safety, and reduces stress
  • Reduced time requirements and personnel costs, particularly due to faster post production processing
  • Lower investment costs, since separate A/D converters and preamps are no longer needed. This also means space and weight savings (e.g. in the OB van)

Neumann KMR 81 D Digital Shotgun Microphone Specifications:

Transducer : Interference transducer
Polar Pattern : Supercardioid/lobe
Frequency Response : 20Hz to 20kHz
Dynamic Range (Typical) : 114dB
Signal-to-Noise Ratio :

  • Equivalent noise level, CCIR: 21dB
  • Equivalent noise level, A-weighted: 9dB-A
  • Signal-to-noise ratio, CCIR: 73dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio, A-weighted: 85dB

Maximum Input Sound Level : SPL at 0 dBFS: 123 dBSPL

Sensitivity : Free-field sensitivity: -36 dBFS

Preset :

  • Sampling rates: 48kHz
  • Gain: 10dB
  • Compressor on, Attack time 100ms, Release time 0.5s, Threshold -10 dBFS, Ratio 2:1

A/D Conversion : Neumann process (patented), 28-bit internal word length

Digital Signal Processing (DSP) : Fixed-point, variable internal word length 28 bits to 60 bits


  • Asynchronous operation (free-running, AES42 - Mode 1), basic frequency accuracy: ± 25 ppm
  • Synchronous operation (AES42 - Mode 2), pulling range: Min. ± 100 ppm

Remote Operation:

  • Interface: AES42

Remote controlled functions:

  • Polar pattern4)
  • Low-cut: flat, 40, 80, 160Hz
  • Pre-attenuation: 0 , -6, -12, -18dB
  • Gain: 0...63dB in 1dB steps, clickless
  • Test signal: 1 kHz, pink noise, white noise
  • Parametric compressor/limiter (incl. de-esser function)
  • Independent peak limiter avoiding any clipping
  • Switch functions: soft muting, phase reverse, signal lights
  • Signal lights: red and blue LEDs
  • System functions, firmware download

Power Requirements : Supply voltage range: +7V to +10.5V

Current consumption : max. 150 mA

Output Connectors : XLR3M, 24 bits as per AES/EBU (AES3)

Dimensions (LxDiameter) : 8.36 x 1.46" (212 x 42mm)