PROS / The Audio-Technica ATR2500 offers CD-level recording quality.
CONS / The frequency range is narrower than most of the other microphones we reviewed.
VERDICT / The Audio-Technica ATR2500 is an affordable computer microphone, but it doesn't have the same audio quality as other microphones we tested.
The Audio-Technica ATR2500 is a USB microphone that will deliver decent sound quality without costing too much. This affordable microphone is good for music and podcasting, although we heard slightly improved sounds with music, offering a more robust sound than we got with speech. Unfortunately, its lower price equates to lower recording quality than other microphones on our lineup, but unless you record on multiple microphones side by side, you won't notice many imperfections. The included stand is flimsy, but it's unlikely to topple over during your project.
In terms of sound quality, the Audio-Technica has CD-quality sound fidelity, but its frequency range is narrower than most of the other microphones we reviewed. While it covers the range of the human voice and hearing, it doesn't capture those ultra-low tones, which are felt instead of heard.
The mic comes with an asymmetrical tripod stand. This stand adds extra stability so you won't worry about your computer microphone tipping over in the middle of a song. It also has a headphone jack and on-board headphone volume control. Unfortunately, you have to control the gain and mix from within your computer, so there will be some trial and error before you find that sweet spot.
The ATR2500 is plug-and-play compatible with both PC and Mac, and you won't have to install drivers or mess with too many system settings. It works with any recording software you are using. If you have any problems, Audio-Technica provides downloadable user manuals and a FAQs section for self-help. You can also contact customer support by email and phone. Although this is an affordable microphone for people on a budget, Audio-Technica supplies a lifetime warranty for it. This is the most impressive warranty of all the microphones we reviewed, and that kind of product security is unequaled.
The Audio-Technica ATR2500 is an affordable USB microphone with many of the features that podcasters and home musicians need. It comes with a desk stand and is simple to set up and use. However, it doesn't offer the same recording quality that other computer microphones have. The ATR2500 makes up for its slightly limited frequency range with a lower price than many other microphones as well as a lifetime warranty.