The active NUVO N8 is a modern ribbon mic that records the live, natural sound of instruments within a space as it would sound in-person, with all subtlety and nuance present. It effortlessly captures complex sources like drums, strings, piano, and other instruments that can produce intricate transients, harsh highs, and bellowing lows.

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N8 Microphone Overview

  • Open and natural sound
  • Far-field ribbon mic that retains low end and top end from a distance
  • Same design philosophy as the AEA R88 stereo ribbon mic
  • Compact, lightweight, and low-profile design
  • Features active electronics and custom transformer optimized for all preamps
  • Made in the U.S.A.

Hears Like Your Ears

The N8 captures a space as it sounds live and in person, with all the present subtlety and nuance. Its expansive frequency response and balanced low end make it superbly effective when capturing the full breadth of sound from the back of a room, above a drum set, or overhead a string section.

It boasts the widest frequency range of any mic in the AEA lineup and effortlessly manages more complex source audio like drums, strings, piano, and other instruments that produce intricate transients, harsh highs, and bellowing lows. The full potential of the N8 is perhaps best realized when configured in a stereo array, as it draws on the same successful sonic concepts as the AEA R88.

The Far-field Ribbon

The N8 is a far-field ribbon mic, meaning it is designed to be positioned at an ideal distance of 12 inches or farther from the source of sound. This far-field design allows for a wide range of options when positioning the N8 to best capture an instrument within the context of a room.

From as far away as 20 feet away, the N8 retains the low end frequencies of the sources it captures, and its open, natural tonality makes it perfect to record an entire orchestras or the full low end of a drum kit from overhead. The proximity effect of the N8 is present when recording a source from closer than 12 inches, so this feature can be used to accentuate the low-end of a vocal or string instrument. Potential damage from loud sources is of no concern, even at such a short distance, as the N8 can handle 141+dB SPL at 1 kHz.

If less proximity effect is desired when recording at close range, the near-field AEA N22 is an effective ribbon mic to complement the N8’s far-field performance.

Hear the N8

"The N8's and the N22's have become pretty much the standard for both the band's touring set up and day to day recording in my studio. As a Mono or stereo drum overhead, the N8 has become a no-brainer. I solo'd a mono n8 last week and it sounded like 'Us and Them.' Not bad!!”

- Adam Granduciel (The War On Drugs)

An Active Ribbon for a Modern Age

With active electronics and a custom transformer, the N8 provides 12db of extra output and more preamp flexibility than traditional passive ribbon mics.

The N8 uses the same custom transformer utilized in the AEA A440 and R84A microphones, enabling additional output over passive microphones. Though it sounds great with any AEA ribbon-optimized preamp, it is not dependent on a high-impedance, high-gain preamp for proper use

The extra output is a major advantage when recording quiet sources like vocals and soft acoustic guitars. The active circuitry also prevents noise, interference on long cable runs and when near operating near large lighting rigs. 

The N8 In Action

A mic made for drums

Watch the N8s in action on Zach Harmon’s drumming in this AEA Session.

See More N8 Videos

A Mono Version of the AEA R88

The N8 is the mono version of the AEA R88 stereo microphone with active electronics.

Engineers in both the studio and on the scoring stage who use the R88 desired a mono version that was more discreet, lightweight and easier to position. The N8 and R88 share the same minimalist design philosophy and honest sound. A pair of N8s with the NUVO stereo kit can emulate the R88, but a special preamp is not needed since the N8 uses active circuitry.

A Rugged, Roadworthy Companion

With increased durability and a small profile, it’s no wonder that a wide range of performers use AEA’s NUVO series microphones on the road. The mics are totally rugged and hold up to daily wear and tear.

From outdoor gigs at music festivals to indoor theaters, NUVO mics are the perfect companion to bring the sound of studio recordings to the live stage. With the NUVO Windscreen, never worry about the ribbon – even at windy gigs.


On the Road with the N8

Bands now using N8s and N22s on the road include Bonnie Raitt, Alicia Keys, Aerosmith, MitskiMarty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives, Alabama Shakes, War On Drugs, Local Natives, The Head and The Heart, Sara Watkins, Kurt Vile, Deerhunter, Jamestown Revival, JOHNNYSWIM, Brandi Carlile, Autolux, Foxygen, Kruger Brothers, Cam, Pedro the Lion, The Districts, Valerie June, Mitski, King Krule, The Head and The Heart, Ought and more.


Darrell Thorp / Radiohead, Beck, Paul McCartney

“[The N8] has depth, detail, and bottom end for days. So much focus and tone from one phantom powered ribbon mic…”

Steve Albini / Nirvana, Pixies, Breeders

“Whatever, these mics are terrific and I like them a lot.”

John Kurlander / Lord of the Rings, Beatles

“The N8 has a fantastically full and natural tone, and can easily and safely be hoisted above an orchestra.”

Depth, detail, and bottom end for days. So much focus and tone from one phantom powered ribbon mic.

Darrell Thorp (Radiohead, Beck, Paul McCartney)

Tape Op

“The N8 shares some sonic DNA with the R88 for sure, so it was like being able to use that beast of a mic in a dual mono, Glyn Johns configuration, and the take turned out great in combination with the other kit. Honestly, I didn't find anything that the N8 didn't make sound great anywhere you'd use a normal ribbon…”

– Chris Koltay read the full review

Sound on Sound

“For more classical orchestral instruments, the N8 sounded sublime on cello and violin, and (excuse the total heresy!) I think I preferred it to my life-long favourite ribbon, the Coles 4038!... This is a very nice and well-priced microphone and I think Wes and AEA really have realised a ribbon mic for the 21st century. Highly recommended.”

– Hugh Robjohns read the full review

Recording Mag

“All the AEA models sound great, and ever since my 2012 review the R88mk2 has been on my short list of must-haves as the “set it and forget it” room mic. However, I am now thinking the N8 may be the better choice in the long run. It offers more versatility and placement options thanks to its smaller size and light weight, and I love how it pairs with the N22... Oh, decisions, decisions!”

– Paul Vnuk Jr. read the full review

The NUVO Stereo Kit

AEA’s NUVO Stereo Kit enables users to rapidly set up and accurately record in stereo on a single mic stand. It consists of either two matched N22s or N8s, and comes with all of the accessories necessary to easily configure the figure-eight microphones in Blumlein and near-coincident.

The NUVO Series

Discreet in shape and size, AEA’s NUVO series microphones are lightweight, portable and easy to position. They feature an active ribbon and custom transformers that provide extra output and more preamp flexibility than traditional passive ribbon mics. Both the N22 and N8 NUVO mics are the same size and offer the same ribbon sound and high-quality components as our other mics. They are all handmade in the United States.

For a more balanced sound from up close to capture your instrument without as much room tone, the AEA N22 near-field ribbon mic is a nice complement.

Manual and Specifications

Tricks of the Trade
N22 vs N8: What’s the Difference?
Tricks of the Trade
Near-Field vs. Far-Field Ribbon Mics: What’s The Difference

Knowing the difference will change the way you record.

The AEA Sessions

AEA’s own recording series featuring our favorite artists.

Tricks of the Trade
What is an Active Ribbon Microphone?
Tricks of the Trade
Is a Ribbon Room Mic the Missing “Glue” in Your Recording?
How To Record Drums With the N8