Review: Audio-Technica AT 2010, Handheld Condenser Microphone

Can this budget friendly live condenser mic can add some studio clarity to your live show?

Item: Audio-Technica AT 2010, Handheld Condenser Microphone

Price: $99 (UK), £75 (UK)

Mic Rating: 4.5/5

At A Glance: Audio-Technica AT 2010 is a cardioid condenser handheld microphone aimed at live singers looking for a full and accurate sound. It has been designed to bring the studio-quality articulation and intelligibility of Audio-Technica’s 20 Series studio mics to the stage, for crystal-clear vocal performances. The AT2010 features the same 16 mm low-mass diaphragm found in their popular AT2020 studio condenser microphone combined with a rugged, all-metal and construction to withstand years of use at gigs. It comes with a stand holder and a carry bag, and is powered by +48v phantom power down a standard XLR cable.

High Notes: As it is derived from a studio mic, the AT2010 is a good choice if you want an articulate and on-coloured vocal sound, such as in houses of worship, for solo performances, jazz vocalists, singer/songwriters, etc. Its cardioid pickup pattern is effective at minimising feedback and it is maximum SPL of 136 dB makes capable handling even the loudest of singers. It features a multi-stage grill to offer good protection against plosives and sibilance and its internal shock-mount is effective at eliminating handling noise. The microphone has a fairly neutral sound which makes it work well on a wide range of voices, however there is also a subtle high frequency boost to help cut through the mix.

Off Pitch: This is probably not the ideal microphone if you are looking for something to add a bit of character to your voice and its resistance to feedback isn’t quite as good as a lot of dynamic mics. There are also more refined alternatives available if you have a larger budget; however for $99 there is really very little to complain about.

at2020-2VoiceCouncil Reviewer Says: The AT2010 has a well-balanced low frequency response combined with a smooth high-end that sounds particularly nice on female vocals when you want a slightly enhanced sound that isn’t so overblown that you start to get too many problems with sibilance. Its studio-like sound makes it also quite useful for singers wanting to record demos at home and haven’t got the budget (or the need) for a separate studio mic. Overall, the Audio-Technica AT 2010 is an impressive microphone considering its price point that is certainly worth checking out if you are looking for your first decent live microphone and don’t have a budget for high-end mics such as the Neumann KMS, Shure Beta 87, or Sennheiser E965.

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