The affordable Audio-Technica AT2040, a popular item among podcasters, is now available as a USB-C microphone. Content creators can buy the AT2040USB for just $150—it looks like a killer deal for those who want a well-made, broadcast-quality mic at a reasonable price.
Update, 5/19/23: Updated to include in-house photos.
Most podcast mics are large-diaphragm condensers. They look cool, they sound great, but they tend to pick up a lot of background noise, so they are rarely an ideal option for amateur podcasters. The AT2040USB is notable because it uses a dynamic design, which is much less sensitive to background noise.
Not to mention, the AT2040USB uses a hypercardiod pickup pattern. It’s a lot more focused than your typical cardioid mic, and it will do a better job blocking out sounds that come from the left and right. This isn’t always the best feature for livestreaming (a more focused mic requires better mic placement), but it’s invaluable when hosting a podcast or interview with multiple speakers.
As for actual sound quality—well, I haven’t tested the AT2040USB just yet. But supports 24-bit recording at a 96kHz resolution, plus an integrated shock mount and pop filter. There’s also a high-pass filter setting, which cuts out some of the low end (you usually don’t need those bass frequencies when recording voices), plus headphone monitoring.
Based on the images and specs (specifically the 600-gram weight), it seems that the AT2040USB uses a metal chassis with minimal plastic. It looks like a fairly high-quality microphone, although it obviously doesn’t cost too much money. My only note here is that the large mute button is touch-sensitive. This probably reduces handling noise when muting the mic, but it also means that you may accidentally mute the AT2040USB when moving it around.
I should note that the AT2040USB is part of a wider industry trend. Microphone brands are slowly realizing that podcasters, amateurs, videographers, and journalists want XLR-quality microphones with USB connectivity—so, they’re adding USB to popular mics! In a recent example, Rode launched a version of its famous NT1 condenser mic with USB-C and XLR connectivity.
For a closer look at the AT2040USB, I suggest watching Audio-Technica’s overview video. Unfortunately, this video is in Japanese, but it shows off the internal shock mount and some other components. You can buy the AT2040USB on Amazon or at the Audio-Technica website.
Audio-Technica AT2040USB Dynamic USB Microphone
Get broadcast-quality 24-bit 96kHz sound with Audio-Technica's AT2040USB microphone. Its dynamic design and hypercardiod pickup pattern are perfect for amateur podcasters.