Audio-Technica AT2050 Review – Feature-Rich Studio Mic

Audio-Technica has rapidly established itself as a dependable microphone manufacturer with an impressive range. The 20 series, in particular, is excellent due to its approachable price point and high performance ceiling. In this review, we check out the very impressive AT2050.

Audio-Technica AT2050

Front view of the Audio-Technica AT2050 microphone.

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Studio Vocals


Live Vocals














Table of Contents

The Audio-Technica AT2050 offers exceptional versatility and high sound quality without a huge price tag. This sets it as one of the leading large condenser microphones on the market.


I’ve already had the chance to check out the super popular AT2020, so I was very eager to get my hands on the AT2050, which boasts more features and also comes with a few extras in the box. Let’s dive into the detailed review.

Sound Quality

Once I had the AT2050 in hand, I began putting it through its paces to see how it stacks up in various situations. In many areas, it exceeded my expectations and certainly made a case for being among the best options at its price point.

The most notable difference from the entry-level AT2020 is the option to switch between three polar patterns.

Audio-Technica AT2050 Sound Profile.

The AT2050 is an excellent choice for recorded vocals and speech applications.

You’ll have access to a Cardioid pattern, which is excellent for side-address applications and solo vocal recordings. In this pattern, the captured vocals are clean, refined, and with a hint of color that brings life and warmth.

For some, this slightly colored response might not be ideal, but I feel it adds a good level of dynamism to vocals without detracting from the nuance of the artist.

The next polar pattern is an Omni directional option, which is excellent for capturing the ambiance of a room with no notable dip in quality around the 360-degree field.

“Warm and dynamic sound quality with flexible polar patterns.”

Finally, a Figure-8 option completes the versatility. It is ideal for vocal duos. There is a noticeable drop in quality in this pattern, but not enough to make me not recommend the AT2050.

While the Audio-Technica AT2050 is technically an option for live vocals, I suggest a dedicated live vocal microphone.

Moving beyond vocals, the AT2050 suffers from the same issues as the AT2020 when it comes to speech applications. Plosives are very evident, and a pop filter is essentially a necessity to attain clean recordings.

Audio-Technica AT2050 microphone with headphones and a studio monitor in the background.

The AT2050 can handle a wide array of studio tasks.

The Audio-Technica AT2050 is also a solid choice for micing drums with impressive performance across different drums thanks to the high Max SPL and high signal-to-noise ratio. It might not be my first choice for kick drums, but it’s still a big jump in quality over the cheaper AT2020.

Likewise, the AT2050 is a treat for acoustic and electric guitars. You’ll have no trouble capturing every delicate twang or power chord.

For a condenser microphone at this price point, there is little to fault. The Audio-Technica AT2050 is versatile while also retaining high capturing capabilities.


Diving into the technical specifications of the Audio-Technica AT2050 highlights the notable jump in quality over the AT2020.

The AT2050 features the same frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz but features a pair of larger 0.8″ (20.3mm) gold-vaporized diaphragms. One facing forward with the other facing the rear to be able to handle the Omni and Figure-8 polar patterns.

Audio-Technica AT2050 Specifications.

The AT2050 is not the best choice for quiet recordings.

As mentioned, the response is not ultra-linear and flat. For clinical recordings, you’ll want to opt for an alternate microphone. Still, from a musicality standpoint, I’m a fan of the curve present here.

The AT2050 also sees a drop in self-noise from 20dB on the AT2020 to 17dB. While this is a notable improvement, it’s still a little high for my liking for low-volume recordings like whispering and general ambiance.

“The high Max SPL makes handling loud instruments a breeze.”

The Max SPL also sees a jump, topping out at 149dB and 159dB with the Pad. Excellent for capturing high-volume instruments with minimal distortion, resulting in highly workable recordings.

Wrapping up the differences is a nominal jump in impedance to 120 ohms. Still easy enough to power as long as your audio interface features 48V phantom power.

The AT2050 meets my expectations of a higher-priced model by improving in multiple areas over the base entry-level choice. It is also an excellent upgrade over other beginner options.


The Audio-Technica AT2050 maintains the sleek styling of the rest of the 20 series of microphones and, in my opinion, balances aesthetics with functionality exceptionally well.

The all-black casing blends effortlessly with the rugged grille, and the switches for both Polar Pattern and the Pad are comfortably situated. The subtle logo placement is also a feature that I like. I’m not too fond of excessive company branding on gear, and the AT2050 ticks this box for me.

Audio-Technica AT2050 microphone on a boom arm with a computer, headphones, and studio monitors in the background.

The AT2050 is an attractive microphone with modern aesthetics.

Beyond aesthetics, the AT2050 features an XLR connection point with a threaded adapter for simple integration with stands. But you won’t be able to directly attach this to a generic microphone clip due to the larger base circumference.

Overall, the AT2050 is among my favorite microphones in appearance, with enough versatility to comfortably adapt to a variety of studio applications.

Build Quality

Despite being very affordable, the Audio-Technica AT2050 maintains a high level of quality throughout. It offers enough heft and durability to make it a mainstay in a project studio.

The casing is rigid and firm, and the steel grille is superb. The internal components match the exterior quality with an externally polarized (DC bias) condenser featuring gold vaporization.

Audio-Technica AT2050 build quality details.

Reliable microphone at a fantastic price.

The result is a clean and dependable recording capability that punches well above what you expect from a microphone at this price point.

While it is a robust and durable microphone, it is still a condenser microphone. You’ll need to handle it carefully to prevent damage to the sensitive internal components. The high quality also extends to the included accessories.


The Audio-Techncia AT2050 retains the same diameter as the entry-level AT2020 at 2.05″ (52mm) despite the larger internal diaphragm. But it is a little longer at 6.69″ (170mm). Mind you, this is exceptionally minor at just 8mm longer than the AT2020.

Audio-Technica AT2050 Dimensions.

Excellent balance between size and heft.

I’ve already mentioned this microphone’s surprising heft. It is heavier than the AT2020, weighing 0.9 lbs (412 grams). It’s not overly bulky but likewise doesn’t feel flimsy. As with all condenser microphones, the AT2050 will capture handling noise, so invest in a dependable stand that can take its weight.


The AT2050 rockets up my list of recommendations primarily due to how much value it represents. This multi-pattern microphone has impressive sound quality and dependable construction at a very affordable price.

Within the box, you’ll also receive a few extras that further bump up the value proposition. First is a soft protective pouch. I prefer a dedicated hardshell case, but the pouch is still an excellent choice to prevent dust build-up.

Audio-Technica AT2050 Accessories.

The shock mount is an excellent inclusion.

Supporting this is a custom shock mount, which is compatible with threaded stands that feature a 5/8 “-27 connection point. You’ll also find a threaded adapter to accommodate 3/8 “-16 connections.

If you want a versatile microphone with multiple polar patterns at a reasonable price, the AT2050 should be high on your list of options.

Customer Reviews

The Audio-Technica AT2050 has been around for a little while now. In that time, it has gathered consistent praise from both customers and industry experts. Dependable quality wrapped up in a price that won’t drain the bank balance.

Double The Fun

A microphone with a Figure-8 polar pattern can change your recording workflow with vocalists. You no longer have to record each vocal separately, and the connection and engagement of having two singers in the room can deliver outstanding and dynamic results.

Emotion plays a massive role in music, and having both artists present and performing simultaneously can inspire both to perform at their very best. But with this setup, there can also be a few issues. Thankfully, I’ve got you covered with a couple of quick tips.

One of the potential issues you could encounter is volume differences between the two singers. One might sing much louder than the other, making it impossible to balance in post-production.

Stylized image of two women singing into a microphone.

A Figure-8 polar pattern opens up the option to record two vocalists simultaneously.

In these situations, I recommend that the louder singer be a bit further away from the microphone than the quieter singer. You might need to experiment with this a bit, but if you can’t get it working, you might have no choice but to switch back to solo recordings.

The other potential pitfall is the null points. The Figure-8 polar pattern features points at either side where the microphone will not capture vocals well. Always ensure that the vocalists are on either side and don’t wander out of range in the heat of the moment.

Both of these issues are minor and often easy to address. It might take a little bit of playing around, but once you’ve got a great setup, you’ll benefit from injecting increased realism and authenticity into the vocal performances of a talented singing duo.


The Audio-Technica AT2050 is an excellent microphone, but that doesn’t mean it is the only player in the game. Below, I take a quick look at some alternatives worth considering if the AT2050 isn’t quite what you were hoping it would be.

Sennheiser MK 4 Review

The Sennheiser MK 4 is another superb condenser mic with a lot going for it. It features dynamic sound quality that retains more authenticity than the more colored response of the AT2050.

  • High-quality recording capability and low self-noise.
  • Attractive styling and premium build quality.
  • It’s more expensive than the At2050 and doesn’t come with a shock mount.
Sennheiser MK 4 Microphone

Sennheiser MK 4

Shure SM27 Review

If having the ability to record quiet content is a pivotal factor for you, the Shure SM27 is worth exploring. It features a sleek design and high build quality.

  • Low self-noise makes it an excellent choice for softer recordings.
  • Offers settings switches to handle different situations.
  • It only offers a Cardioid polar pattern.

Beyerdynamic M90 Pro X Review

The M90 Pro X from legendary manufacturer Beyerdynamic is another superb choice. It will especially appeal to content creators due to the integrated pop filter.

  • Dual-layer pop filter that eliminates plosives with ease.
  • Slimline and sophisticated design.
  • It’s not as well suited to loud instruments as the AT2050.
Front view of the Beyerdynamic M90 Pro X microphone.

Beyerdynamic M90 Pro X

Should You Buy?

After spending plenty of time with the AT2050, I’ve been highly impressed with what Audio-Technica has achieved. This affordable microphone features functionality often not found at this price point.

The sound quality is better than you would think for a microphone at this price, and its versatility is second to none. Combine that with excellent build quality and sleek aesthetics, and the result is a superb offering that is perfect as an upgrade or as a flexible beginner microphone.

Audio-Technica AT2050 Microphone

Audio-Technica AT2050

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Picture of Article by Patryk Biernacki
Article by Patryk Biernacki

Patryk has been immersed in the world of music since the early 90s. This coupled with his creative talents, drove his passion to become an expert writer in the music industry. He constantly researches and tests new products, and enjoys playing with all types of gear in his spare time. Electronic music runs through his veins and he absolutely loves DJing in his home studio.

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