Audio-Technica's BP4025 mic
The AT8022 ($499 list) and BP4025 ($749 list) from Audio-Technica, a consistent builder of high-quality and attractively priced microphones, recently improved my recording habits in some aurally affirming ways.
The main features of the AT8022 and BP4025 are very similar in polar pattern, weight, and aesthetics, and both offer a low cut (80 Hz, 12 dB/oct) switch. The BP4025 slightly outperforms the AT8022 in terms of maximum SPL handling, dynamic range, and frequency response. However, the AT8022 wins in terms of sheer flexibility; while both operate with standard phantom power, the AT8022 can also run on a 1.5V AA battery, ideal for portable recording applications (when connecting directly to an unbalanced input). An identical clamp, carrying pouch, windscreen, and 5-pin XLRM-type output connector are standard with both mics. Both mics come with a XLRF 5-pin to two XLRM cable; additionally, the AT8022 gets a XLRF 5-pin to 1/8-inch TRS cable.
For this review, the AT8022 (running on AA battery power) was linked to two common portable stereo digital recorders and a "prosumer" digital video camera . Further, I used both mics in traditional studio applications (as room/ ambient microphones) on several acoustic instruments using console-supplied phantom power; the BP4025 found additional use for drum overheads (studio and live) as well as distant "amp room" applications. With the portable recorders, the AT8022 offered very significant improvement over the built-in mics: a far better performance well worth its $399 street price. In direct comparison, the BP4025 offered extended frequency range with extended "air" up top and a slight upper midrange presence bump that flattered sound sources.
In summary, the AT8022 and the BP4025 are ideal and well-priced stereo miking solutions. Buy either based on your own needs and workload, and you'll choose a X/Y workhorse to serve you well for years to come.
Strother Bullins is the reviews and features editor for Pro Audio Review.
Contact: Audio-Technica | 330-686-2600 | www.audio-technica.com