Whether you want to amplify the sound of a saxophone or a violin, or record percussion for an album track, Audio-Technica has the solution for you. There is no need for stands to get in the way. These two small and light microphones clip right onto instruments. Let’s look at them both and see which one will work best for you.
Audio-Technica PRO35 Cardioid Condenser Clip-on Instrument Microphone
The PRO 35 is made to capture the sound from wind, brass, and percussion instruments like flutes, trombones, tom-tom drums, and more. With its cardioid polar pickup pattern, it focuses on what’s in front of it and disregards noise from the sides and rear. It can withstand a sound pressure level of 145dB so it works well both in the studio and for live performances.
The frequency response ranges between 50Hz to 15kHz, and it has a low-frequency roll-off at 80Hz at 18dB per octave. There’s a switch to turn this on and off. This feature cuts down on distortion from vibrations. The open-circuit sensitivity is rated at -45dB. With these specs the PRO 35 captures clear sound even at very low or very high volume.
The mic itself is small and light, measuring just under an inch long and not quite a half an inch in diameter. It weighs just a third of an ounce. Audio-Technica includes their UniMount clip that serves as shock mount and as protection. The foam insulates the mic from wind and vibration while the clip attaches the mic to the instrument. The six-foot cable is permanently attached to the microphone. A few users have complained that the cable tends to break.
The PRO 35 needs 11 to 52 volts of phantom power and has an XLRM connector. The output impedance is 250 ohms.
More features of the Audio-Technica PRO 35
- Dynamic range of 115dB, a little less than the ATM 350
- 2-year limited warranty
- Comes with UniMount clip, in-line power module, and protective pouch
- Measures 0.98” long by 0.40” in diameter and weighs 0.3 ounces
Audio-Technica ATM350 Cardioid Condenser Clip-on Instrument Microphone
Audio-Technica has another microphone, the ATM 350, that is especially good for recording instruments. It comes with a violin mount, but it also works well for brass and reed instruments, pianos, and drums. Its frequency response is wider than that of the PRO 35, ranging from 40Hz to 20kHz, and it picks up fine nuances in the music.
Like the other mic, the ATM 350 has a switch for the low frequency roll-off at 80Hz (12dB per octave). This high-pass filter is integrated into the power module. The mic comes with the UniMount clip and foam insulation against vibration and wind noise. Some users have complained about feedback, but this seems to be limited to softer-sounding instruments that need a lot of amplification in a band setting.
The ATM 350 is also a cardioid-pattern condenser mic, so it needs to be pointed right at the source of sound. That way it focuses on just the sound of the instrument. It is larger than the PRO 35 mic and that might be a problem on some instruments.
On the other hand, the ATM 350 can handle a higher sound pressure level than the PRO 35. The dynamic range is larger and the output impedance is a tiny 50 ohms. And one major bonus of the ATM 350 is the ability to swap the cardioid capsule for an omnidirectional or a hypercardioid capsule.
More features of the Audio-Technica ATM 350 microphone
- Maximum SPL of 149dB and dynamic range of 122dB
- 2-year limited warranty
- Comes with protective pouch, UniMount clip, Velcro violin mount, and in-line power module
- Measures 1.49” long by 0.48” in diameter and weighs 0.5 ounces
Both of these mics are great for the stage or the studio and for a wide range of instruments. It’s difficult to choose between them.
Obviously, it’s convenient to have the violin mount included with the ATM 350. The ATM 350 also has a larger dynamic range and a higher maximum SPL, and it captures a wider range of frequencies. The cardioid mic capsule can be swapped for two other types. If you must have the wider range and capabilities, this is the mic for you.
If you don’t need the dynamics that the ATM 350 offers, you may be very pleased with the results you’ll get with the PRO 35.