AT2035 vs Shure SM 7b – Which is better?

If you are struggling with the debate between the AT2035 microphone and the Shure SM 7b microphone then you should go for the condenser AT2035.

For live streaming of games on twitch, unless you have a particularly well treated space away from outside noises and a super quiet keyboard and mouse, you will definitely get ambient noise from dynamic microphones such as the SM7b.

And if you are thinking of recording vocals in your home studio, then a condenser mic like the AT2035 is your best bet.

This is because it has better audio clarity and vocal pickups than any other microphone out there.

That said, if you are considering any of the above mentioned microphones then in my opinion I will suggest you go for the AT2035.

Here is a link on Amazon where you can pick up this mic at a decent price.

In this article I will be reviewing both microphones, showing you the pros and cons and comparing both specs and features.

AT2035 Review

The Audio-Technica AT2035 is often cited as one of the best affordable large diaphragm condensers (LDCs) on the market. 

Audio-Technica released the AT2035 alongside the AT2050, which features multiple pickup patterns. 

Both mics were inspired by the budget AT2020. 

The AT2035 features a low-cut filter, 10dB pad and cardioid pickup pattern. 

It requires +48V phantom power. 

The mic ships with a custom shockmount and a durable padded pouch. 

The plastic shockmount is sturdy and does the job adequately. 

The vinyl pouch gives as much protection as a pouch is likely to be able to provide. However unless space was at a premium, I would transport the mic in the original cardboard box it is sold in, which has a shaped foam slot. 

Unlike the other two mics in this range, the AT2050 has switchable polar patterns: omni, cardioid and figure‑of‑eight, using the expected back‑to‑back capsule arrangement. 

Like the 2035, it has a switchable 80Hz high‑pass filter and a 10dB pad, and the internal circuitry makes extensive use of surface‑mount components to conserve space. 

The two capsule diaphragms are gold‑sputtered and subjected to an ageing process designed to promote long-term stability of performance. 

The 2050 runs on phantom power, in the same 11-52V range as the 2035. 

This mic also comes with an identical vinyl pouch, a shockmount and a thread adaptor.

When paired with a female vocalist with a full bassy voice, the AT2035 accentuated the bass far too much

Naturally I engaged the low cut to compensate. 

However for my purposes this chopped out too much of the bottom end and was not satisfactory either. 

I found the AT2035 resulted in similar issues when recording a coarse vocalist with a bass-heavy voice. 

In both situations I tried the MXL 2006, a significantly cheaper LDC, and got better results. 

It seemed to hit the right balance of bass more readily. 

When used on a male rock vocalist with a thin voice and very dynamic performance, the AT2035 hit the mark much better. 

The warm bass reproduction helped fill out the sound. The mids sounded beautiful and the highs were smooth.

The AT2035 can be used effectively on a wide range of instruments

With it’s broad, flat response, it sounds at home on acoustic instruments and pianos. 

It can function as a drum overhead, and it is also popular for voice work. 

Because of the high SPL rating, it can be used on brass instruments and electric guitar. When I mic’d up an amp to record rock guitars I found the 2035 sounded unfocused. 

Putting an SM57 in front of the amp produced much better results. 

Its narrower response allowed the guitar tone to sit more naturally with minimal EQ. 

Paired with a SM57, the AT2035 could be used to fill out the sound by covering different frequencies.

What I Like?

  • It has excellent build quality
  • It produces a musical and warm sound
  • It comes with a sturdy shock mount and pouch for travel
  • It is a mic of good value

What I Don’t Like

  • The only “fault” i found with this mic is the slightly reduced sensitivity

Related: Check out my review of the AT2020 vs Shure SM 7B

Shure SM 7b Review

This is a legendary microphone that has been used by musicians and audio engineers for years.

It is the top choice for most people because of it’s reliable performance, rugged construction and noise attenuating technology that ensures you get crisp, clear recordings when used.

If you are looking for something as a beginner then this microphone is really not for you.

It is ideal for professionals and studio engineers that have been in the game for a very long time and want crisp clear sounds to their recordings.

It’s uniform frequency response with the flat frequency range selected is ideal for any type of recording you want to achieve.

The SM7b is a costly microphone and when you get this mic you are paying for two things – it’s professional performance and its unique rugged construction.

This is one microphone that reflects the company’s attention to detail and prioritization of premium construction.

It comes packaged with a unique noticeable mutable frequency response illustration at the back that allows you to select one of three responses unique to your desired output.

It comes with a brilliant yoke mounting mechanism that allows you to mount and remove it from your favourite mic stand

It’s pre installed pop filters ensure that all plosives and fricatives are eliminated from your recordings.

Shure also provides it A7WS detachable windscreen that also helps in reducing plosives and provides a bassier tone

This mic comes with lots of advanced internal hardware that protects the cartridge and other components.

It’s internal air suspension shocks reduce mechanical noise and hums emitted from your studio monitors.

Without a doubt this is a brilliant vocal microphone that delivers crisp, clear audio recordings when used in your studio.

What I Like

  • Reliable performance and awesome sound quality
  • Premium rugged construction
  • Pre installed pop filters
  • Detachable windscreen for clear sounds
  • Flat frequency response microphone

What I don’t like

  • It’s a bit costly
  • Not ideal for the beginner studio engineer

Also check out this mega guide on the best microphones

Comparison of Specs and Features

1. Sensitivity

The first thing we want to consider about both microphones is the sensitivity of both microphones.

AT2035 is a condenser microphone meaning that you get so much clarity and crisp clear audio when used.

As against the SM 7b which is a dynamic microphone that picks up lots of background noises and is very difficult to get clear vocals.

So on the case of sensitivity, where you want to record vocals professionally, then you really want to go with the AT2035

2. Build Quality

Another thing you want to take note of is the material used to build the microphone.

This is because you want something that is durable and is resistant to scratches and fall.

Both microphones are made from durable, quality materials that helps ensure that the microphone is durable and lasts for a very long time

3. The Cost

Finally we look at how much the microphones cost

One thing that you need to know is that whatever you pay for your microphones is what you get in terms of audio quality and durability.

At the price which the AT2035 sells for, you are sure to get a quality microphone that delivers awesome audio quality with clear vocals.

Related: Check out this article reviewing the AT2020 vs SM 57

My Verdict

In my opinion, the AT2035 is a better microphone than the SM 7b.

This has to do with the audio quality of this microphone being a condenser mic and the fact that the audio output is warm and very clear.

And for the price it retails for on Amazon, this mic is a steal.

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