AKG was created in 1971. The AKG C414 XLS was created in 2009. It originated from the C12. The C414 was available in 2 versions. Either, the C414E, with cannon type connector or, the C414C with a connector to the “Din standard”. The C414XLS comes with a AKG custom mount, its versatile, has three attenuation levels (-6,-12,-18dB), three different switchable bass-cut filters (to reduce noise, subsonic noise or for proximity effect) and a overload warning with audio peak hold LED. By far my favourite feature is the ability to choose from multiple different polar patterns. You can switch from a cardioid pattern (heart shaped), a figure 8 pattern, a hypercardioid pattern, an omnidirectional pattern or a wide cardioid pattern. All polar patterns pictures are below.
The AKG C414 XLS gets a 5 star rating form me because I love how you can customize it so much. It makes it able to record professional studio recordings, professional stage miking, lead vocals & lead instruments, classical music recording and even ensemble recording. My experience with this is that it sounded really nice, I used it to mic over head a drum and it worked very well I had no problems with the sound. To hear it click here. Some other members in this microphones family are the C12A, the C12B, the C412 and the C414Eb.