The Audio-Technica AT2022 is a stereo condenser microphone that is
just 9.5 ounces and 7.5 inches long, with one end of the narrow body
sprouting a pair of cardioid capsules arranged in an X-Y configuration.
The angle between these two capsules can be altered to either 90 or
120 degrees on a swivel mount. The mount clicks into place at each
angle, and the capsules are decoupled from the mount with rubber,
helping to absorb some of the jolts and knocks you expect with a
portable recording device. For storage and transportation purposes,
you can fold the two capsules down flat.
The body of the Audio-Technica AT2022
unscrews to expose the battery compartment.
A single AA battery powers the mic,
which has an on/off switch on the body. As
well as turning on the power for the AT2022,
this switch can also engage a high-pass
filter with the turnover frequency fixed at
150 Hz with a 6 dB/octave slope. As a stereo
microphone, it may initially appear odd
that the base of the Audio-Technica AT2022
terminates in a standard three-pin XLR connector,
but this is an unbalanced output
with pins 2 and 3 carrying signals, with pin
Along with a padded microphone case,
clip, and furry “monster-type” windshield,
the AT2022 is supplied with a short cable
that converts this XLR output to a mini
I tried the AT2022 out with two different
devices. First, I attached the microphone to
an HD Flash camcorder to record a number
of different types of event, including auto
racing, an outdoor music gig, and some general
dialogue examples. The supplied
windshield is an absolute must,
and thankfully didn’t make any
significant changes to the
frequency response of
the AT2022, which was
full ranging with good
levels of high-end detail
and convincing lows. I used
the HPF in most applications, and
also without it with open-air music
and low throbbing engines to see
how well the sound was represented.
I was not disappointed.
Handling noise was an issue with
this microphone, but when fixed
securely, or in an appropriate suspension,
the problem goes away.
The quality of both the microphone
and the supplied accessories is very
good indeed and all felt robust and
up to the task.
For the second test, I used the
AT2022 with a Zoom handheld stereo
recorder to capture a number
of sound effects and various instruments
within a few different studio spaces.
When capturing ambient effects I noticed
that the output of the AT2022 was generally
quite low and needed a good degree of
gain to capture sufficient detail. It was only
with this type of recording I really noticed
this, and I ended up with some low-level
background noise that might be an issue in
some circumstances, though this was the
only scenario where it was apparent during
the review. In the studio, using the AT2022
to record drums and other instruments in
a more ambient fashion was definitely the
way to use it and, in this application, did a
very good job.
In application, the AT2022
capsules in both the 90- and
120-degree settings presented
in stereo image; it
was more than I expected.
In general, I found the
standard 90-degree setting
was “the one to use.” The 120-degree
setting offered a special dynamic
effect that worked well with things
such as wide ambiences and vehicle
The Audio-Technica AT2022 is a
well-designed and solidly built
great value. It is ideal for achieving
increased quality when capturing
audio in the field with any variety of
portable audio/video devices.
Price: $439 list
Contact: Audio-Technica | audiotechnica.com
Simon Tillbrook is the principal music tutor at Islington Music Workshop in London and a regular contributor to PAR’s sister publication, Audio Media.