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CardioidAudio-Technica ATM450

Cardioid Pencil Condenser Microphone

The ATM450 is a pencil condenser mic with an innovative side-address design. The capsule is a “back-electret” design and provides a fixed cardioid response.

Onboard recessed switches allow selection of a high pass filter and a -10dB preattenuation pad.

The mic’s signal-to-noise ratio is 69dB, which some reviewers conclude to mean that the mic is intended for stage, rather than studio use. For the sake of comparison: the AT4047 cardioid condenser has a s/n ratio of 85dB, and is also more sensitive.

Electronic Musician

I set up a little comparison test with the ATM450, an Earthworks SR77, and a Shure KSM141, both of the latter costing at least twice as much as the ATM450.

The ATM450 had a very appealing quality that struck a balance between the “documentary” sound of the Earthworks mic and the “in-your-face” sound of the Shure. For instance, shakers were clear, clean, and agreeably nonaggressive, and a few different hand drums all had nice body but also a clear presence of skin on skin (hands on the head).

If I were miking a solo or otherwise very exposed acoustic guitar, I’d be very likely to reach for the ATM450, which had nice body and shimmer. For a strummed acoustic guitar in a band, though, the KSM141’s more forward mid-high frequencies would make that my choice. I wouldn’t say the ATM450’s frequency response is necessarily flatter than the KSM141’s, but it does have a gentler quality…

The Audio-Technica ATM450 is also known as: ATM-450.

The mic was released in 2006.


Frequency Response - CardioidClick Graph to Compare!
ATM450 Cardioid Frequency Response Chart
Pickup Patterns Pads & Filters
Cardioid (8.9 mV/Pa; 40 - 20,000 Hz)
  • Pad: -10dB (Via Switch)
  • Filter: HPF: -18dB @ 80Hz (Via Switch)
Capsule Dimensions Impedance SPL/Noise
Diameter n/a
200 Ohms (Low) Max SPL: 152 dB
Weight Length Max Diameter Interface(s)
98g (3.46oz) 127mm (5.00'') 21mm (0.83'')
  • 3-pin XLR male (1)
Power Specifications
  • Requires phantom power
  • Phantom voltage: 11-52v

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