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Audio-Technica AT2005 vs ATR2100 USB – Which Is Right for You?

Trying to decide between the Audio Technica AT2005 versus the ATR2100? Get the comparison and figure out which one is right for your needs. I have the ATR2100 personally.

As a podcaster, one annoying thing you always have to deal with is reverb and ambient noises.

You want to be able to record your podcast with little or no noise or echoes, but the one time you want to start recording is when your neighbor’s dog starts barking so loud, or someone down the street begins honking for no particular reason (you get the gist).

So that’s why opting to get the best microphone that will give you direct audio is a no-brainer.

Audio-Technica has done so with the AT2005 and the ATR2100-USB model microphones, which shields you from surrounding noises, thereby making your podcasting experience less tortuous.

Now, one of the questions most people tend to ask frequently is, “what’s the best microphone to choose from between the Audio-Technica AT2005 and the ATR2100-USB?”. And I’m sure you’re looking for an AT2005 vs. ATR2100-USB showdown to help you make the “right choice.”

I mean, that’s why you’re reading this piece in the first place. Well, fret not, for I will place these two, side by side, to help you choose the right one for whatever it is you are looking to do.

Regarding the question asked, I’ll be frank with you, there’s no absolute answer there because there are so many different variables and so many different use cases.

Because there is no right answer, this piece aims to walk you through the decision-making process of selecting the right microphone best fitted for your work and style.

What Is The ATR2100-USB?

Audio Technica ATR 2100 USB and XLR Microphone

Audio-Technica came up with this model in 2011. They aimed to serve the growing population of podcasters who had little to zero knowledge of sound engineering but wanted to reach out to their audience in a professional manner without breaking the bank.

The ATR2100-USB is also a dynamic microphone with a cardioid polar pattern. It has a frequency response of 50Hz to 15 kHz and has both a USB option for connecting straight to your computer and an XLR option for live sound applications.

Since it’s a dynamic microphone, it rejects much more background noise than any other kind of microphone (like the condenser microphone, for example).

So you don’t have to worry about it picking up any keyboard noises, mouse click noises, ambient noises, and so on, which can be a massive problem for podcasters.

This microphone, when used as an XLR microphone, you do not need to engage phantom power because this is a dynamic microphone, not a condenser microphone.

When it comes to this microphone as a USB mic:

  • It can record a bit depth of 16 bit.
  • A sample rate of either 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz.
  • The 3.5 mm headphone jack on the bottom of the microphone allows you to directly monitor your recording with a pair of headphones.
Our Pick
Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB Mic

For a beginner mic, the 2100x is relatively cheap, produces professional sound quality with other attractive features. Honestly, it’s a fantastic mic even for pros and audio connoisseurs.

Check Price At Amazon See Real Reviews on Amazon
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After your preliminary setup is complete, and your USB microphone connected to your computer’s USB port, you can plug in your headphones into the headphone jack on the microphone’s bottom.

While talking into the microphone, you should hear yourself in the headphones and adjust your voice if you’re too loud or too low.

You can also adjust the volume up or down by rotating the Up/ Down dial on the microphone’s bottom. Although you should note that the Up/ Down dial only adjusts the mic’s headphone output volume, it does not change the microphone level.

All these amazing features come with the ATR2100-USB making it one cool mic that is relatively affordable.

In addition, the sound quality is pretty good. One might think that since it’s a budget microphone, it will not be appealing, but surprisingly it offers almost the same quality a very expensive microphone would.

What Is The AT2005?

Now, to start, you need to know what these microphones are and what they do, and we’ll start with the AT2005 model.

The Audio-Technica AT2005 is a cardioid dynamic microphone that offers high-quality articulation and intelligibility, perfect for home studio recording, field recording, podcasting, voice-over, and on-stage use.

Its cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source, thereby eliminating background noises (you don’t have to worry about your neighbor’s noisy dog anymore).

This digital/analog microphone comes equipped with USB and XLR outputs, so you can connect this to whatever interface you have. You can plug it into your computer via the USB cord that comes with this product or to a mixer via the XLR cable that accompanies this product.

This microphone’s exciting feature is the 3.5 mm headphone jack, which provides zero-latency monitoring for your headphones and can also play audio back from your computer.

As far as specs go, this mic has a:

  • Frequency response of 50Hz to 15,000Hz
  • Bit depth of 16 bit
  • Sampling rate of 44.1kHz/48kHz

Now, enough with the geeky stuff, let’s cover some basics and talk about what comes in the box.

When you purchase the Audio-Technica AT2005, you will get a nice leather carrying case. This package includes all of the cables you would need (USB and XLR), also, the AT2005 comes with accessories like a tripod stand, a mic clip to hold your mic in place, some documentation, and of course, the microphone itself.

The interesting thing about this microphone is that it’s quite affordable and does not compromise on the quality and functionality, so if you’re on a budget, this mic would be a home run.

As far as the build quality, it has an all-metal construction, it’s sturdy, has a nice metal grill, and generally feels like it’s well-built and only weighs approximately 0.6 pounds.

 

How Are They Similar?

First of all, both the Audio-Technica AT2005 and ATR2100-USB are incredibly good mics with very similar features.

They are both dynamic cardioid microphones, which, as I’ve stated earlier, reject background noises, ambient sounds, and reverbs (annoying echoes).

They both have the USB and XLR options, which gives a ton of advantages. Think of it this way; let’s say you’re starting right now in your podcasting career.

You don’t have an audio interface or a lot of audio equipment in general, in that scenario, of course, a lot of people would refer you to a USB microphone because if you have a computer, you can use it…simply plug and play.

But then down the line maybe you want to upgrade to something that sounds a little better, so you go ahead and buy an audio interface. Instead of trying to get another microphone, you can plug this to your preamp or your mixer with their XLR port, and you’re good to go.

Another feature peculiar to both microphones is the headphone jack visible at the bottom of both the AT2005 and the ATR2100-USB.

They both have an ON/OFF switch, so you don’t always have to worry if you’re on-air in a live broadcast situation.

How is the AT2005  different from the ATR2100?

The differences between the Audio-Technica AT2005 and the ATR2100-USB are subtle, as a matter of fact, you can swap one for the other without anyone noticing. Although they are quite similar, they differ in some aspects.

One significant difference that is easily visible is the color. The AT2005 model dons a matte black finish giving it this professional, corporate look while the ATR2100-USB comes in a metallic silver finish that is more hip and trendy. Still, since you’re doing a podcast, it shouldn’t necessarily matter.

Another thing that sets these two apart is the warranty. Once you get the ATR2100USB, you get a lifetime end-user warranty, whereas, with the AT2005, you only get a one-year limited end-user warranty.

A test on both mics got carried out by recording hacks to compare the audio quality of both mics. They essentially connected both mics using their USB outputs and created an aggregate audio device that included both. Then they proceeded to record a 25-bit pro session at a working distance of approximately 4 inches.

When the audio feedback from both mics was analyzed, it found that a slightly fuller low-frequency response occasionally came from the ATR2100-USB. In non-geek terms, what they are trying to say is that the ATR2100-USB is quite sensitive to low, soft, subtle sounds compared to the AT2005.

Pros And Cons Of The AT2005

There are a lot of positive benefits in using the Audio-Technica AT2005 microphone and a few have been highlighted below based on how consumers relate to this product.

  • Excellent sound quality for the price…the list goes on and on about the quality of this microphone for its incredibly affordable price. With a few bucks, you can get this mic and kickstart your podcast career.
  • It’s portable and since it comes with a pouch, it makes it easy to carry around. Perfect for when you’re on the go.
  • Has its own tripod stand in case you don’t have a boomstick to mount your mic on.

Although this microphone seems like the perfect thing a podcaster could ever wish for, especially one that is just starting out, it has some imperfections which consumers have criticized.

  • The volume adjuster that controls the output of the headphone jack on the bottom is a rocker, not a dial, so quick and precise adjustments can be a little difficult.
  • Some users have complained about the longevity of the product.
  • Consumers have aired their complaints about the low volume the mic seems to give when connected to a computer (especially Windows) via the USB output.

Pros And Cons Of The ATR2100-USB

Consumers have expressed their satisfaction with this product based on first-hand experiences and some of their observations have been expressed below.

  • Most consumers of this product agree on one thing which is the sensitivity of this mic. They describe it as having a great range of frequency response and an excellent one at that.
  • Relatively cheaper than the AT2005 model.
  • You get a lifetime end-user warranty when you get the ATR2100-USB

This microphone does not come with its flaws and shortcomings which end-users have encountered.

  • Some users have reported the compatibility of this microphone. It doesn’t seem to work well with windows 8 and 10.
  •  Some have complained about an annoying buzzing noise they hear when they use the USB option of this device. I’ve never noticed any issues and get compliments all the time about the clean audio.
  • Another complaint that most people seem to agree on is that the inside connections wear out over time. Either the USB port or the headphone jack slacks after some time.

Who Should Get The AT2005?

An AT2005 microphone is a good option for podcasters that are just starting. You don’t want your podcasts riddled with background noises and surrounding sounds, you just want to get your message across without interruptions, and this microphone does this for you.

Also, as a podcaster, you want to keep things simple. You don’t necessarily want the hassle to connect your mic to a mixer and then try to figure out what button configurations would give the best sounds. The USB feature of this microphone eliminates that stress.

Who Should Get The ATR2100-USB?

If you’re on a tight budget and you need a microphone for voice-overs, screencasts, and podcasts, the ATR2100-USB is a good choice.

This microphone offers all the cool features of a typical podcast microphone without you having to go bankrupt.

References

  1. Audacity To Podcast
  2. Audio Technica
  3. Audio Technica