Audio-Technica ATM510 & ATM610A

Dynamic Microphones

Published in SOS April 2013
Bookmark and Share

Reviews : Microphone

Audio-Technica ATM510 & ATM610A.

Not every mic on stage has to be one of the usual suspects, as Audio-Technica prove with these two dynamic vocal mics.

Paul White

Think of Audio-Technica and you probably think of their studio microphones, but the company also build some seriously good models suitable for the stage. Here we're looking at two of their dynamic mics, the hypercardioid ATM610A (pictured right) and the slightly cheaper, cardioid-pattern ATM510.

The ATM610A is voiced for vocal clarity and is suitable for both main and backing vocals. It's powered by a rare-earth magnet and uses a multi-stage grille with an inner foam lining designed to minimise popping. An internal shockmount reduces handling noise, and the basket can be unscrewed for cleaning.

Shipped with a vinyl carrying pouch and a Quiet-Flex stand clip, the mic certainly looks elegant, with a matte black finish to the grille and a metallic grey finish to the body. A thread adaptor to fit European mic stands is included, and a rubber sleeve surrounds the XLR end of the body to aid gripping in the stand clip. The mic is nicely weighted and well balanced, at 270g, and its size is pretty typical of this kind of microphone, being 170mm long and 48mm in diameter at the widest point of the basket. The XLR output pins are gold plated, to resist corrosion.

The mic's frequency response is given as 40Hz to 16kHz, with an open-circuit sensitivity of 55dB ref. 1V at 1Pa. A dual-hump presence peak gives the mic its voicing, with a slight lift at 4kHz and again at around 12kHz. The mic's output impedance is 300Ω.

Although it's a little cheaper, the ATM510 has the same build quality, internal design and general styling as the ATM610A, but is distinguished by a round rather than a barrel-shaped basket. It comes with the same accessories, too, the main difference between it and the ATM610A being that it has a cardioid rather than a hypercardioid polar pattern. It also has a slightly less extended low end (the frequency response is quoted as 90Hz to 16kHz), but the proximity effect when it's used close means that it doesn't lack low end on vocals. Higher up, there's a hint of a presence peak with a similar shape to that of the ATM610A, but slightly less pronounced. Sensitivity is quoted as being identical to that of the ATM610A, and it's only marginally lighter, at 258g, with the widest part of the basket measuring 53.7mm.

Testing, Testing...

These two mics sounded rather more similar to each other than I'd expected, given the more pronounced presence peak of the ATM610A, which came across as only slightly brighter. Neither mic excessively colours the voice, which I feel is a plus point, and both respond well to EQ, so if you need a little more air at the top end, it's easy enough to add it.

There's definitely a sense of what I'd call a 'dynamic vocal mic' sound with both of these mics, which I associate with a slightly mid-biased character, but it isn't overbearing, and these mics certainly stack up well against similarly-priced competitors. The handling noise is commendably low, as is the susceptibility to popping. I checked both mics with my acoustic guitar combo's mic input, and I could manage plenty of level before feedback became an issue.

In all, then, these two mics uphold the A-T reputation for both quality and value, offering a viable alternative to the more common dynamic microphone choices.  


Apart from the obvious Shure SM58, other alternatives include the AKG D5, the Lewitt MTP series, and Audix's OM series.

Audio-Technica ATM510 & ATM610A £99/£129$99/$149
Smooth vocal sound.
Resistant to feedback.
Well engineered.
None at the price.
Two well-engineered, good-sounding live mics at an attractive price point.
ATM510 £99; ATM610A £129. Prices include VAT.
Audio-Technica +44 (0)1132 771441.
ATM510 $99; ATM610A $149.
Audio-Technica +1 330 686 2600.

SOS Readers Ads


of Second-User Gear for sale now — don't miss out!

Audio-Technica AT4047 MP

Multi-pattern Condenser Microphone

Thumbnail for article: Audio-Technica AT4047 MP

Audio-Technica have added multiple polar patterns to one of their already successful designs, bringing increased versatility in the studio.

Audio-Technica AT4047 MP | Media

Multi-pattern Condenser Microphone

Audio files to accompany the article.

Audio-Technica AT4050 ST

Stereo Condenser Microphone

Thumbnail for article: Audio-Technica AT4050 ST

There's more to this variation on Audio-Technica's flagship microphone than the simple addition of a second capsule...

Peavey Studio Pro M2

Condenser Microphone

Thumbnail for article: Peavey Studio Pro M2

Paul White explores the capabilities of the understated-yet-powerful Studio Pro M2.

Schoeps VSR5

Microphone Preamp

Thumbnail for article: Schoeps VSR5

Schoeps make some of the most revered mics on the planet, so when they release a commercial version of the mic preamp they use for testing, you have to take it seriously...

Schoeps VSR5 Mic Preamp

Test Measurements

Thumbnail for article: Schoeps VSR5 Mic Preamp

The following charts, made using an Audio Precision Analyser, accompany our review of the Schoeps VSR5 microphone preamplifier.

Blue Encore 300

Handheld Condenser Microphone

Thumbnail for article: Blue Encore 300

Designed as a hand-held live vocal mic, this mic has a cardioid pickup pattern, and seems very robustly engineered.

Cartec EQP1A

Mono Valve Equaliser

Thumbnail for article: Cartec EQP1A

British 'boutique' outboard manufacturers seem to be rather thin on the ground these days, but if this Pultec clone is anything to go by, newcomers Cartec look set to make a big impression.

Prodipe TT1

Dynamic Microphone

Thumbnail for article: Prodipe TT1

Prodipe say they wanted to offer a high-quality, live-sound, cardioid-pattern dynamic mic at a very affordable price.

Sontronics Saturn

Multi-pattern Condenser Microphone

Thumbnail for article: Sontronics Saturn

Sontronics mics usually sound as distinctive as they look - and this one looks more distinctive than most!

MXL Revelation

Multi-pattern Valve Microphone

Thumbnail for article: MXL Revelation

Hot on the heels of the impressive Genesis cardioid valve mic, MXL have unveiled their flagship multi-pattern model, the Revelation. Does it live up to its name?

MXL Revelation | Audio Examples

Multi-pattern Valve Microphone

These audio files accompany the SOS September 2010 review of the MXL Revelation microphone.

Samson Go Mic

USB Microphone

Thumbnail for article: Samson Go Mic

USB mics are nothing new, but the Samson Go Mic is probably the smallest and cutest I've seen to date. This metal-bodied mic,...

AKG Perception 820

Valve Microphone

Thumbnail for article: AKG Perception 820

Does AKGs Chinese-made Perception 820 maintain the Austrian companys impressive reputation?

AKG Perception 820 | Audio

Audio Examples

Hear for yourself how this mic performed during the SOS tests.

Audio-Technica AT4080 & AT4081

Ribbon Microphones

Thumbnail for article: Audio-Technica AT4080 & AT4081

A-Ts brand-new transducer technology has produced a robust design intended to deliver high signal levels as well as that prized ribbon character...

Earthworks DP25C & DP30C

Snare & Tom Condenser Microphones

Thumbnail for article: Earthworks DP25C & DP30C

Despite the ubiquity of the SM57 for use on snare, there are other options — and Earthworks aim to help you capture a more natural sound.

MXL Genesis

Cardioid Valve Microphone

Thumbnail for article: MXL Genesis

We put MXLs Genesis through its paces alongside a much pricier model, to find out just how good a tube mic can be at this price.

MXL Genesis Mic | Audio Files

Hear For Yourself

To accompany our July 2010 Genesis review, we recorded a series of standard tests with the review mic alongside a more established mic (in this case, the AKG C12 VR).

WIN Great Prizes in SOS Competitions!


Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Blog | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help


Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26


We accept the following payment methods in our web Shop:

Pay by PayPal - fast and secure  VISA  MasterCard  Solo  Electron  Maestro (used to be Switch)  

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2016. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents.
The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media