Review: AT875R shotgun mic & AT8415 shockmount from Audio Technica

Yes, Virginia: You can use one particular shotgun microphone for indoor dialog, in addition to narration/voiceover and its traditional applications.

Most people think about using a shotgun mic for dialog, and mainly outdoors. However, the US$169 AT875R from Audio Technica is one of the few shotgun microphones that also works well for indoor dialog, as well as narration/voiceover. I found about it from my friend Melvin Rivera Velázquez, who uses two of them. The AT875R short shotgun also features a built-in low cut/high pass filter to reduce undesired rumble, which is always active: no switches. That explains its 90Hz-20kHz frequency response. Ahead you’ll get to hear an indoor test, with an unfair simultaneous comparison to the ModMic5 head microphone I reviewed previously.

Equipment used in this test

The AT875R is quite short, at only 175.01 mm (6.89 inches), and has an impressive signal to noise for its price, at 74 dB. Since it’s a condenser microphone, its output level is much higher than with most dynamic microphones, and I was able to set the potentiometer on the H5 at only about 4.75 on a scale of 1-10 to get -12 dB in the raw recording. This masks noise in the preamp which becomes more apparent when it has to be set much higher.

How the test was made

The AT875R shotgun was connected to input 1 (XLR) of the H5 recorder, which fed it 48-volt phantom power. The ModMic5 was set to omnidirectional mode and connected to the 3.5 mm input of the H5, which fed it bias voltage, aka plugin power. Each microphone had its included windscreen. Each microphone was recorded as an independent 48 kHz WAV file at 24-bit. (See my 2015 article Understanding 24-bit vs 16-bit audio production & distribution.) Each individual file was sent to Auphonic.com for filtering and normalization to -16 LUFS, while being changed to 16-bit files. Then I trimmed them with Hindenburg Journalist Pro and published them. No other equalization has been applied other than the low-cut filter, aka high pass.

AT875R shotgun recording

Simultaneous ModMic5 recording

Conclusions

I am very impressed with how both of these microphones sound, in each particular category, especially given the untreated room. Each microphone masked the room’s echo extremely well. Please feel to comment below as to how they sound to you.

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No manufacturer is specifically paying Allan Tépper or TecnoTur LLC to write this article or the mentioned books. Some of the other manufacturers listed above have contracted Tépper and/or TecnoTur LLC to carry out consulting and/or translations/localizations/transcreations. Many of the manufacturers listed above have sent Allan Tépper review units, including Audio Technica and Antlion Audio. So far, none of the manufacturers listed above is/are sponsors of the TecnoTur programs, although they are welcome to do so, and some are, may be (or may have been) sponsors of ProVideo Coalition magazine. Some links to third parties listed in this article and/or on this web page may indirectly benefit TecnoTur LLC via affiliate programs. Allan Tépper’s opinions are his own.

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Allan Tépper

Born in Connecticut, United States, Allan Tépper is a bilingual consultant, multi-title author, tech journalist, translator, and language activist who has been working with professional video since the eighties. Since 1994, Tépper has been consulting both end-users and manufacturers through his Florida company. Via TecnoTur, Tépper has been giving video tech seminars in several South Florida’s universities and training centers, and in a half dozen Latin American countries, in their native language. Tépper has been a frequent radio/TV guest on several South Florida, Guatemalan, and Venezuelan radio and TV stations. As a certified ATA (American Translators Association) translator, Tépper has translated and localized dozens of advertisements, catalogs, software, and technical manuals for the Spanish and Latin American markets. He has also written many contracted white papers for tech manufacturers. Over the past 18 years, Tépper’s articles have been published or quoted in more than a dozen magazines, newspapers, and electronic media in Latin America. Since 2008, Allan Tépper’s articles have been published frequently –in English– in ProVideo Coalition magazine, and since 2014, he is is the director of CapicúaFM.com. His website is AllanTépper.com.

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2 Comments on "Review: AT875R shotgun mic & AT8415 shockmount from Audio Technica"

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RWR66
RWR66

Thanks for pointing out this mic.
I think a better test would be to put it on a boom overhead, at some distance/out of frame as would be done in a standard interview setup (with a picture for reference)…maybe comparing to other popular shotgun(s) in similar (or higher) price range. Maybe mounted on a camera as well.

mrive
mrive

Allan Tépper I am impressed with the way in which you you take a product and analyze it. Excellent analysis. Your voice sounds spectacular with this microphone. Friends, with this microphone I recorded Allan Tépper in the last MeetUp of South Florida podcasters in Miami.Allan Tépper I am impressed with the way in which you you take a product and analyze it. Excellent analysis. Your voice sounds spectacular with this microphone. Friends, with this microphone I recorded Allan Tépper in the last MeetUp of South Florida podcasters in Miami.

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