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Audio Technica ATR2100 vs. Shure SM 58

Audio Technica ATR2100 vs. Shure SM58

This post is for the folks who are debating whether they should purchase an Audio Technica ATR2100 or invest in a Shure SM58 along with an audio interface. It’s tough to jump into a new mic when you have no idea what it sounds like, so I went ahead and crafted a solution just for you. These two mics are volume matched and that’s about it, so what you hear is what you get right out of the box.



Audio Technica ATR2100

  • Plug and play USB dynamic cardioid mic
  • XLR capabilities
  • $65

Shure SM58

  • XLR dynamic cardioid microphone
  • $99


Audio Technica ATR2100

  • Thin low end
  • Crackle and crunch in the high end
  • Has clarity
  • Lack of warmth — something you wouldn’t expect with a dynamic microphone

Shure SM58

  • Great low end
  • Plenty of warmth
  • Smooth high end
  • Has clarity
  • Stronger performance overall

Closing Comments

You get what you put in. People are willing to go to great lengths with their video production where they buy expensive DSLR cameras, but for some reason they don’t apply that same logic to audio gear. The truth is, it’s important to invest in your audio gear especially if you want to sound professional. 

If you’re just starting out, and you don’t know if you’re serious about recording then the ATR2100 is an awesome option. You don’t need an interface, and it sounds better than the built-in mic or a cheap headset.

If you’re just starting out, and you really want to instantly put out a better product then invest in an affordable audio interface like the Scarlett 2i2, and spend the money to get an SM58. It’s only $35 more than a ATR2100.

What did you think about the shootout? Could you hear the difference, or did you feel like it was a case of diminishing returns? Share your thoughts with the community in the comments below! Otherwise, feel free to share the article with the recording artists you care about.

Keep on learning.


Michael Heuer

Sound Design Academy


Gear Used in Video