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Audio-Technica ATS99

Dynamic Microphone By Paul White
Published June 2023

Audio-Technica ATS99

If you want to add a little weight to your live vocal sound, A‑T’s new handheld dynamic mic could be just the ticket.

Audio‑Technica are well‑known for their studio mics but when talking about live vocals, other brands tend to come more readily to mind. That might change, though, as the ATS99 hypercardioid dynamic microphone is priced to appeal to those who are happy to spend a little more than for the more obvious affordable choices, but perhaps don’t have the budget for super high‑end mics of the kind used by professional touring companies. Audio‑Technica tell us that the mic was designed after listening to feedback from a number of vocalists, the aim being to create a mic that was comfortable to use and that could cover an adequately wide frequency range while adding a little more push to the mids and lows.

Finished in satin black and measuring just over 18cm in length, the mic’s aluminium body has a general physical profile typical of live vocal mics. The barrel‑shaped basket can be unscrewed for cleaning and an internal shockmount reduces handling noise. Its dynamic capsule, which we’re told uses a particularly strong magnet, has a frequency response of 60Hz‑16kHz and a sensitivity of ‑52dB (0dB=1V/Pa, 1kHz measured open‑circuit). It has a 600Ω output impedance, courtesy of an internal transformer that is also designed to allow the mic to deliver high volume and low frequencies more accurately. Its hypercardioid pattern gives it good feedback resistance, as long as stage monitors are positioned in the mic’s area of the least sensitivity (which is not directly behind it, as is the case for cardioid mics) and also helps reject spill from sound sources on either side. For this mic the least sensitive region is 120 degrees off‑axis.

The mic ships with an AT8470 stand clamp, a thread adaptor and a zip‑up storage pouch. Its frequency response plot shows dual presence humps, one centred at around 4.5kHz and the other around 10kHz. Both rise to around 5dB above the nominal level so nothing excessive. There’s also a slight bass rise of a dB to two in the 120Hz region, below which the response gradually falls away to help counter the proximity effect when close‑miking vocals.

I found it to be very smooth and natural‑sounding in the mids and highs, but with a little more more apparent weight in the lows than my references.

On Song

I compared the ATS99 with several other high‑quality dynamic microphones, and when used on vocals I found it to be very smooth and natural‑sounding in the mids and highs, but with a little more more apparent weight in the lows than my references. One of my other favourite dynamic mics, which costs roughly the same as this one, actually sounded a little honky in the mids by comparison.

The ATS99’s low‑end support works very well for voices that otherwise come across as being on the lightweight side — certainly that subtle low‑end lift adds a nice weight to podcast‑style voiceovers, but as hypercardioid mics exhibit a significant proximity effect when used up close, you may find that for live performance the low end builds up just a little too much without using a low‑cut filter. The mic’s low susceptibility to popping and handling noise compared well with other similarly priced mics, so no complaints there.

Overall then, this is a very classy‑sounding microphone that would be an excellent choice for anyone who needs a little extra low‑end weight in their vocals.


A smooth, full‑sounding vocal mic that compares very well against the competition.


£280 including VAT.

Audio‑Technica +44 (0)1132 771441.