Audio Technica AT4040 Review. The 4040 is a large diaphragm condenser microphone that offers outstanding mid-
Here at The Pro Audio Web Blog, Audio Technica is a slick and familiar brand that has made a huge impact on us for their ability to manufacture a highly articulate product range that combines excellent sonic performance with premium build quality. Usually many of the products that Audio Technica have developed are expected to be seen at higher cost and, yet again, we believe that this so for the AT4040 cardioid condenser microphone.
Arriving in the signature Audio Technica teal and white tones, the retail packaging makes a classy statement that continues to impress on the inside with the striking inclusion of a sharp black and chrome embossed presentation case that is secured with a single popper. Inside this beautifully made case sits the AT4040. Adequately enveloping the microphone with a low density dark-
Completing the overall product, Audio Technica includes a complex shock mount that goes against the fabric elastic grain and opts for a rubber band spider system known as the AT8449. Experience with this shock mount was a tricky one that made me question if the amount of teasing and pressure I was applying would damage the product in some way. After some confusion, the microphone was in its place and appeared to be very secure when affixed at the end of the boom -
The whole package on offer here has clearly been manufactured to a first class 'no holes barred' standard. An overview of the microphone reveals a smooth surface that tightly fits together without noticeable seams and importantly the internal structures conforms to this same standard. During the review period we found no evidence of mismatched external or internal alignments that could cause recorded circuitry or capsule rattling (and damage) when in use at high SPL sound source levels; such as on bass or guitar cabinets. As for the microphones resilience, the grille on the AT4040 is made out of a material that feels harder than the usual and is contorted into a shape that reduces damage if dropped. This is a further quality that is repeated within the security of the microphones body with a matte black finish and is extremely hard. As mentioned previously, the AT8449 shock mount that comes within the package uses a spider rubber band system that happens to compliment the AT4040's of Matt finish by adding a higher, more secure, degree of resistance. However, although these findings may be so, I still believe that this shock mount design is too tricky to use on a daily basis and I doubt that or could last as long as other designs. If this element was amended then this overall package would be an award winning package for us. Moving on to some of the smaller details, I personally quite like that the -
Coming to the end of the build quality section now I would like to discuss some of the internal facts and specifications of this microphone before committing to the next section. The AT4040's internal circuitry is unsurprisingly harboured on a printed board that is matched with a condenser gold Mylar capsule and gold terminated XLR pins. The capsule design appears to be very tidy indeed and is obviously free of machine marring, dust, or any factors that could prove to later arise as an issue. From a build quality perspective the AT4040 demonstrates first class design with the minor exception of the shock mount being a difficult beast to regularly handle.
It has to be said that the AT4040 is truly a workhorse microphone that has a great sonic signature, and response, that allows the user to implement this little wonder on a plethora of instruments. Importantly, during our extensive performance testing, the AT4040 returned results of having a low noise floor, can handle fast transients at a high SPL (post 130db) without significant distortion, and has a really very transparent nature. Now the AT4040 does have an articulate presence but offers this quality with smoothness and grace. I particularly found this microphone to compliment both female and male vocals where it sounded true, well represented, airy and very personal. However, it has to be said that plosives were a little forward, but when I clicked in the low-
Noting that this is a single diaphragm cardioid microphone is probably where all the value for money comes with this microphone as others in this price-
The Audio Technica AT4040 is a highly sophisticated microphone that performs at an exceptional level. With a build quality, sonic attention to detail, and package that is on par the only exception is the shock mount. We believe that at the current marketed price the AT4040 clearly sets itself above the rest and holds a strong ground. If you are looking for a great overall microphone that is transparent in recording a wide variety of instruments then look no further, the AT4040 is your best bet. Overall The Pro Audio Web Blog rates the Audio Technica AT4040 a four and half out of five.