Over the years, Audio-Technica has comfortably established itself as a manufacturer of top quality budget and mid-priced microphones. Its AT2020 is a particularly well-known cardioid condenser mic that’s become a favorite in many home studios around the world thanks to its quality sound and affordable price. Thanks to the popularity of the AT2020, Audio-Technica has rolled out the next step in the evolution of the AT2020 design— the AT2035.
Released alongside the AT2050, which is another successor to the AT2020, the Audio Technica 2035 is a fixed cardioid large-diaphragm condenser mic. It’s a side-address mic designed to look similar to the AT2020, with an all-metal case in satin black and two slide-switches for the low-cut filter and the pad located at the base of the body.
The AT 2035’s performance and specs are an improvement on the AT2020, with a lower self-noise level than the AT2020 and an impressive tolerance for high sound levels. It ships with a custom shockmount and durable padded pouch. In terms of value for money, it’s an excellent balance between the two, and outperforms many of the mics in its price range. Take a deeper look at the features, specs, and best deals in this Audio Technica AT2035 review below.
NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Shout4Music earns from qualifying purchases. This post includes Amazon links throughout.
Low Frequency Roll-Off
80 Hz, 12 dB/octave
Open Circuit Sensitivity
-33 dB (22.4 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
Maximum Input Sound Level
148 dB SPL, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D.;
12 dB SPL
Dynamic Range (Typical)
136 dB, 1 kHz at Max SPL
As home recording becomes more and more popular, consumers aren’t likely to settle for tinny, over- or under-sensitive microphones. But it also isn’t likely that they’ll shell out for the exorbitant prices of a Neumann or AKG either— which is where the Audio-Technica mics come in. The AT2035 is an inexpensive but high quality alternative to many of the top mics on the market, and is an especially great beginner’s mic for those who are just starting to build their home studios.
A back electret condenser, the AT2035 mic has a cardioid polar pattern and large diaphragm that makes it an excellent choice for users looking to focus on vocals and instruments. Its pad and low-pass filters also make it great for nearly any recording situations. It produces a rich mid-end that flatters nearly every kind of voice, which makes its popularity among vocalists, podcasters, and streamers no surprise.
Improving on many of the aspects that made the AT2020 so beloved, it’s no wonder that the AT2035 microphone is so highly regarded. It has a clear frequency response that ranges between 20Hz to 20,000Hz, and can handle sound levels up to 148dB without the pad. With the pad, it holds up to a staggering 158dB of sound. The AT2035 XLR connector has a low-impedance balanced output, and the mic can be used with phantom power from 11 to 52V.
The AT2035 is comparable with several studio-grade condensers, which makes its affordability all the more astonishing. It has a similar SPL, signal-to-noise ratio, sensitivity, and equivalent noise level to the AKG C214, and some of its specs are even better. It produces a natural sound with a tone that leans slightly towards the warm and vintage. It has a crisp and detailed high end, as well as a rich low-end that’s full of depth, making it a great choice for any sound engineer looking to buy their first large-diaphragm condenser.
Perhaps the stat that blows the AT2035’s competition out of the water is its self-noise. The AT2035 has a self-noise level of only 12 dBA— a number that would only usually be found on mics made by the likes of Neumann, and now available with the AT2035 for a fraction of the price. Most professional studios are satisfied with noise levels of 16dBA, which makes the AT2035’s self-noise all the more incredible. In order to make sure you get the absolute best out of this mic, you’ll need to make sure that your preamp is good quality and doesn’t add to the noise.
The AT2035 requires phantom power to work, and can be connected to an audio interface or preamp via its XLR cord. You’ll need an audio interface in order to be able to connect your microphone to your PC, as the mic will connect to the interface via XLR and the interface to your PC via USB. With its back electret, it can be very forgiving regarding voltage (running on 11-52V DC), so beginners won’t have to worry too much.
Audio-Technica mics are designed to be “plug and play”, so you won’t have any need for Audio Technica drivers or Audio Technica AT2035 drivers. While XLR-USB cables do exist for the AT2035, the AT2035 is a condenser mic and thus operates at a higher voltage than your run-of-the-mill USB mic. Thus, you will need a preamp or audio interface in order to use the mic correctly. Additionally, to avoid headaches make sure that your recording and editing software are all updated.
Like many microphones, the ideal distance between your sound source and the AT2035 should be about 6 to 12 inches. This allows your mic to capture the sound optimally. Any closer than 6 inches may cause your recordings to sound too bassy, which is normal thanks to the proximity effect. Also keep in mind that your AT2035 has a single polar pattern (cardioid), which means you’ll need to position your sound source accordingly.
Thanks to its smooth, balanced sound and fantastic midrange, the AT2035 is one of the best choices for recording vocals. Its side-address design and cardioid polar pattern mean that you can easily position the mic to capture your voice, while avoiding catching sounds like clicking or typing on the keyboard. Its high sensitivity also means that you can capture the nuances of your voice perfectly, making it the perfect companion for streaming.
The AT2035 is simply one of the best mics in the Audio-Technica lineup, with a sensitivity and frequency range that put it above and beyond other mics in the same price range. It retains the same sound characteristics that made the AT2020 so popular, while improving on the technical aspects. The overall result is a mic that’s as well made as it is affordable, and a perfect element for home studios everywhere.
With the AT2035, Audio-Technica seems to have done the impossible: created one of the best mics on the market for an incredible price. The low self-noise, incredible maximum input sound levels, and flattering tone all make this mic an absolute steal. There’s simply nothing better, especially for users looking to buy their first large-diaphragm condenser mic. Find the best deals for the Audio-Technica AT2035 Microphone here.