Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Argument for a Cheap Microphone: the Audio Technica M8000


I do a little live sound work, and when choosing the best microphone for the job I would ordinarily go for a Shure SM-57 or SM-58. They sound good, don’t give a lot of feedback, and they hold up really well.

But, they cost about $100 each, and many times it is not worth the risk of putting them out there for the unwashed masses to grab.

Huh? You’ve seen it before. The drunk lady tries the Roger Daltrey microphone swing during karaoke, or the best man fumbles the mike while making announcements, or the mike stand gets kicked over as young bands are hustling while loading or unloading during a festival or party. And do you need high fidelity for any of these gigs? Most likely not.

I have been using Audio Technica M8000 for a lot of jobs over the past year, and they are good enough for any of those situations. I have been steadily using 5 of them with no failures and no complaints from anybody that has used them.

The M8000 is a dynamic microphone with a hypercardioid polar pattern and frequency response of 50Hz–14kHz. They are covered by a one-year warranty from Audio Technica, which I have not needed as of yet.

You might look at the list price of $259 or the street price of $80 and say, ”no thanks.” But, these are often bundled into packages that make them a lot more attractive.

For example, you can pick up a deal on these Audio Technica microphones during Musician’s Friend Microphone Month sale. The package includes six M8000 microphones, six decent boom mic stands and six cables for $229 (with free shipping).

I have not given up my Shure microphones, but these budget mics make a lot of sense for what I do most of the time. Check them out if you get a chance.



  1. Hey Rex. Can you post a picture of the capsule of this microphone? Pardon my english. Luciano.

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  3. yeah I was wondering where he must be shopping to get it for $80 yikes

  4. PS I'd be curious to hear how this holds up in a recording session

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