Audio Technica has hits and misses , mostly in the Headphone dept. and preamps ,
But mics they have been doing for a fair amount of time . There are the extreme Budget line of mics the “Plastic packaged Mini jack stereo mics ” for basic note taking etc . That Isn’t what we are talking about here
As an Audio pro , I have my own tastes and preferences in what a mic should sound like to me . There are mics that help you get a job done , then Job done WELL , ( level up ) then there are mics that let you disappear in your headphones and just explore what you are hearing ….
This mic gets PReeettty darn close to that latter category for me .
I have the AT-822 , its predecessor , and had the AT-825 as well . Both quite useable stereo mics , but I Always felt they didn’t quite bring me “There” for a stereo mic , One thing is they have X/Y capsule configuration at way less than 180 degrees , so true left/right separation isn’t happening and I always had to do a Little in post to get that extra space when I was using them .
Not the AT-8022 , I mean I WILL be able to play with the space of this mic but Probably for working purposes really wont need to For Camera POV , the Left/Right Separation is very well balanced and feels quite natural . I went for a walk , headphones on and walked around my neighbourhood for about 30 minutes just listening . Had the Mic connected to channels 1&2 of the Tascam DR70d in my Portabrace bag , shoulder slung, and neighbours giving me strange looks and asking to try the headphones ( 70 year old lady got a real kick out of hearing this mic LOL)
What I heard was not an Over Hyped sound like my AT-822 , This was much more natural and with a quite low noise floor and really good sensitivity , I really like this mic . Better than my Sony ECM-999 in some ways .
The AT-8022 Isn’t a Lite weight mic compared to the AT-822 , in fact it is hefty , has weight to it . So Booming it will be a bit more effort , but handling noise isn’t bad at all ! , Some mics have HORRIBLE handling noise , but this one doesn’t especially when in a Shock Handle or Blimp shockmount .
The choice of Battery or Phantom power drew my attention as well as Balanced and Unbalanced operation . This is a mic that can integrate into different systems .
The Freq chart and specs say two different things , Specs say 2ohz – 15Khz , but if you look at the chart it goes up to 20k just at 10db lower ( which I can fix in post with EQ ) You cant EQ or add what isn’t there but the 20 khz region is in fact there, just needs a boost . And it coincides with what I hear from the mic.
I have the Beyer MCE-72 Stereo Mic as well , But the Sonic Character is Night and Day difference , the AT-8022 is hands down a way way better mic for sensitive material , whereas Loud material , I am not sure yet ,… I will have to do a Side by Side ( with Stereo Mics ??? LOL) better yet A/B kind of test with the two at high Volume situations ( Maybe TAIKO drums or Thunderstorm )
If you use the mic Outside , it is an absolute MUST that you have really good Wind protection , NO OPTIONS , …… get the Rycote Ball type for it , I am planning on that myself , I think a Rode Blimp with Dead Cat , might not be quite enough , especially if it gets good and breezy. For this mic , multiple layers of wind protection , is a good idea . ( this is where I can get away with more on the Beyer MCE-72 as it is nowhere near as sensitive)
The Capsule design on this is NOT an X/Y 120º pattern the Capsules are actually Back to Back at 180º !!! but the Circuitry gives a bit of the X/Y information to the signal , I could wish for a Switch to turn that off and just have true Binaural pattern to use at times , but what I hear is pretty close to In Between Binaural and X/Y in a good way . Much more space than my AT-822 or the Beyer MCE-72 , Much wider field or Sound Stage . But in a natural way .
All in All , I like this mic , and with Wind Proofing I think I will get a lot of Outdoor sounds and city samples with this mic .
Stereotomy Rating = 8.5 out of 10
Welcome addition to the family.