Rode NTG-2 VS Audio Technica AT897

There are so many good microphones to consider and for those who are filming video, a shotgun microphone such as Rode NTG-2 Vs Audio Technica AT897 will be ideal options to go for. They are some of the best in cancellation so we don’t capture too much sound from other directions than what was intended. If you are also considering the two, let’s see below about what they can offer.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • What are Shotgun Microphones
  • What are Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897
  • How are the Design of Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897
  • How are the Specs of Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897
  • How are the Sound Quality of Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897
  • What else Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 can offer
  • How are the Noise in Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897
  • Rode NTG-2 Vs Audio Technica AT897

Shotgun Microphones

We all know the importance of audio quality in your video, it can be subjective but a good quality footage that is well taken and edited will be unpleasant to watch without the audio being at least decent. It is necessary to get good audio for your video, just as much as we are making sure that the video comes out well. Unfortunately, while many cameras have built-in microphones, there is only so much they can offer and often not sufficient for a more professional result.

One of the most popular ways to improve audio for your video is by attaching or recording separately using an external microphone. The type of microphone can be anything you can find and useful for the shooting but many of us are fond of shotgun mics. This is the type of mic that looks like a stick, very long, and often mounted on a boom and held by an operator. Shotgun mics evolve too and you can find them small enough to be mounted on a camera.

The reason why shotguns are often used in filming applications is because of their narrow pick up pattern. Pick up pattern is from what side the microphone is capturing sound and the narrower it is, the more isolated the source. Typically microphones are cardioid which is still wide enough so it may record other sound that we don’t want to include, moreover if we are recording in an uncontrolled environment. This will allow for clearer audio with less background noise.

When buying a shotgun microphone, we need to consider how to power this equipment based on the application and what you have ready. They usually come with a 3-pin XLR input such as Rode NTG4+ Vs Sennheiser MKE 600 or single 1/8-inch plug input like VideoMic Pro. Some people may have to provide other equipment to make the microphone work while some can just plug the mic into their camera for example like the Rode VideoMic Pro which is very convenient for almost every shooter.

Not only for filming or video recording, shotgun mics are also versatile and can be used for other applications like streaming as long as we can power the equipment. It is a great solution if you want to keep the audio cleaner from whatever in the room that we can’t turn off. The directionality of shotgun mics are very narrow so they will only pick up straight from the front of the capsule and some from the back. Installation matters too however because it is not a guarantee we won’t pick up other sound from the room.

 Rode NTG-2 Audio Technica AT897
Product Dimensions0.88 x 0.88 x 11 inches
19.5 x 4.5 x 2.4 inches
Shipping Weight5.8 ounces 2 pounds
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About Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897

If you are also interested in using a shotgun microphone to improve audio quality or to just record it properly so we can edit it faster later in post-production, there are more than plenty to choose from. Most companies who are making microphones in general are also making shotgun types and we recommend well-known or reputable names to ensure product quality as well as performance. You can also shop based on the budget and which microphone will fit best in the application.

When it comes to shotgun mics, some of the best options come from Rode and Audio Technica. These companies are famous names and they carry so many different types of microphones from those used to record vocals, for live performance, instruments, streaming etc. They also have some of the most interesting shotguns to consider. Performance wise, they will vary based on which model you pick and how many you will spend for the mic.

For those who are considering the budget too, we recommend considering Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 because you can buy them for less than $250. These microphones are entry-level options and ideal for first time users or any budget conscious buyers without scarifying the quality. They are highly rated for clarity and ease of use yet the overall sound quality is not identical because in comparison we do think NTG-2 is slightly better.

The Audio Technica AT897 is far from a bad microphone as it also sounds really good and has been a go-to for so many videographers who like the sound character it produces. However, it seems to be not as flat as the NTG-2 while it can get really close. We do think you can go amazing with any of these microphones based on which you like better. We love their clarity and details while the unit itself is rigid and can sustain some stress. Price wise we can’t ask much for what they can offer.

Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 Design

Next let’s see the microphones first before checking what they can offer. Surprisingly, the Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 are very similar to each other or almost identical even when they come from different manufacturers. These mics have a frequency roll off switch inside the housing, located below the surface. For some reason there is no on/off switch here so you will need to unscrew and unplug the unit. Durability wise they are rigid and Audio Technica gives a 5 year limited warranty for this mic.

For NTG-2, it seems the mic comes with 1 year warranty from typical sellers and you can get the 10 year warranty when registering the product in Rode’s website. For both mics we also get a windscreen which, as expected, has a cheap feeling and doesn’t work really well so if you can spare some budget we highly recommend investing in a much better windscreen. They are easier to use but not convenient for the lack of built-in features that can be easily accessed.

Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 Specs

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 can offer starting from the basic specs first. As for the polar pattern, both of them are supercardioid or with line and gradient acoustic. The frequency response is from 20Hz to 20kHz while the output impedance is 250 Ohm and 200 Ohm respectively. They are using 0.50-inch capsules with sensitivity of -36dB and -40dB side by side. They use the same 3-pin XLR connector and can work with direct power or battery.

Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 Sound Quality

Next for the sound quality, the Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 are similar but not the same. As we have mentioned above, they are similarly clean and clear with plenty of details coming from both recordings; it is difficult to tell them apart actually but you may be able to tell the difference. NTG-2 is the more neutral microphone and it is ideal or flat in almost all frequency range so it has the most minimum sound coloration compared to AT897.

NTG-2 is also more sensitive so when placed properly it will be able to capture the nuance and every little detail from the sound source for example human voice. The AT897 is slightly less sensitive and it is probably more ideal for some people who want to avoid capturing too much from the sound but overall we are satisfied and see them as more than good microphones for filming or video recording.

Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 Feature

Just like with most shotgun microphones, both Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 come with the roll off to help reduce the frequency noise but they seem to be not as aggressive or leave some to be desired still. The maximum SPL of these microphones are 131 and 120dB SPL so they will be suitable for a wide range of applications or environments including the places that can get very noisy where the sound source needs to shout for their voice to be heard.

Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 Noise

Lastly for the noise, both Rode NTG-2 and Audio Technica AT897 are slightly different and in comparison, AT897 is not as prone to noise than the NTG-2 but then again the NTG-2 is also more sensitive. Both are still on the average side and surprisingly very good for a mic in this price range. Depending on how the sound turns out, you may need to play with the gain too, especially the NTG-2 because this microphone seems to be a bit on the soft side.

Rode NTG-2 Vs Audio Technica AT897

There are so many good microphones to consider based on what you want to achieve and these shotgun mics are some of the best for the directionality and budget. The main difference is that NTG-2 sounds more natural, more sensitive, and also slightly more prone to noise while AT897 is slightly colored, not as sensitive, and less prone to noise. This mic is usually more expensive than the NTG-2 with the same overall quality.

- Broadcast sound quality; Low noise circuitry
- 48V phantom power or 1.5V AA battery
- Two step high-pass filter - flat or 80 Hz
- Rugged metal construction
 
- Designed for video production and broadcast (ENG/EFP) audio acquisition
- Short length (11") ensures mic stays out of the shot -- even when used with compact digital cameras
- Smooth, natural-sounding on-axis audio quality
- Provides the narrow acceptance angle desirable for long-distance sound pickup
 

Conclusion 

The decision is all yours based on which seems to work in your application best and also personal preference but we recommend the NTG-2 here because it is more affordable, sounds very good, and also very well built with extensive 10 year warranty.