Audio-Technica is a familiar face throughout the condenser mic market, from budget models to higher-end mics. Sitting roughly in the middle, in the under $300 category, their dual‑diaphragm AT2050 proves a popular model. Spending just five minutes with it is enough to see why. Let’s take a closer look!
In the grand scheme of things, Audio-Technica isn’t a brand that seems to cares too much about showing off when it comes to design – they leave that to companies such as Aston and Blue. No, Audio-Technica are very much in the no-nonsense camp – and the AT2050 is just that.
It shares its no-frills design with many others in Audio-Technica’s extensive catalog, with an entirely black all-metal chassis and a black mesh grille divided into a side/top address configuration. The only thing that breaks up this uniformly black exterior is the brand logo at the front – otherwise it’s very clean. No surprises with the craftsmanship either, with a typically strong build.
One look under the hood reveals some familiar components, with two gold-spluttered capsule diaphragms (0.8” diameter). With this, the AT2050 offers a listed 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response range, with a max SPL value of 149dB, which can be extended to a whopping 159dB when the -10dB pad is used, making it a strong option for recording instruments as well as vocals.
Additionally, this mic gives you the choice between standard cardioid, omnidirectional and figure-8 polar patterns, as well as an 80Hz high-pass filter switch. Given how reliable the core performance of these microphones is, having these extra features expands the versatility of this platform quite considerably.
It’s also worth mentioning that Audio-Technica delivers this mic with a handy shock mount, a thread adapter, and a protective pouch. At this price a hardshell case would have been nice, but it’s not enough to sour the deal.
Performance-wise, the Audio-Technica AT2050 provides a very versatile experience. With the additional polar patterns, it’s a very practical mic that can be used for recording everything from vocals to full orchestras – and, with the higher SPL options, recording loud and aggressive instruments such as drums and electric guitar is no problem.
Vocals sound amazing no matter what your voice profile is like, although it doesn’t color them in a noticeable way. Ultimately it is consistent and reliable and gets the job done, whatever pattern you have set. For a home studio, or even a semi-professional recording studio, that’s exactly what you want to have at your disposal.
It doesn’t stand out in any particular way aside from its consistent and reliable performance. For a home studio, or even a semi professional recording studio, that is exactly what you want to have at your disposal. If that wasn’t enough, just looking at the price tag reveals how attractive this mic is.
Overall, Audio-Technica’s AT2050 offers everything that’s good about mics in the midrange market – a great combination of features, performance and value. In addition to the sound quality, the added polar patterns extend the already versatile nature of the AT2050, making it one of the most attractive general-purpose condensers on the market today.