MSRP $259

Available January 2011

Everyone knows that the on-board sound for the Canon 7D (actually all DSLR cameras) leaves something to be desired. Yes it will work in a pinch, but it does not compliment the high quality of the video it records. In a noisy area like a trade show floor, the internal microphone on the camera is nearly unusable. This fact has Canon 7D users looking for audio recording companions. Many of us are using the Zoom H4n or shotgun mikes like the Rode Videomic. While better, these solutions do not completely eliminate loud ambient environments. Fortunately, on-site interviews have being going on for decades and companies like Audio Technica have been building hand-held microphones optimized for this task. Coming soon in January 2011, the BP4001 is one of their latest offerings. How does it handle the task? Let’s find out.

First Look

The Audio Technica BP4001 is a professional cardioid dynamic microphone. It sleek black design has an extended handle making it perfect for on-location interviews like trade shows. The cardioid polar pattern focuses the sensitivity away from the sides of the microphone optimizing isolation of the subject of your interview. Frequency response is stated to be 80Hz to 18kHz. The BP4001 has an impedance of 300 ohms.
The BP4001 has a rugged housing and the grille, made from hardened-steel has an integral foam windscreen that protects against wind and breath noise. The overall length is about 9.5 inches long with a barrel diameter a litter over 1.5 inches long. The weight comes in at 275 grams or about 10 ounces. Included with the Audio Technica BP4001 is a nice black case, a shock insulated carrying case, microphone stand mount and external foam windscreen. Connection is made through a standard 3-pin XLR connector.

Initial Observations

This microphone feels solid and rugged. After removing the grille, you can see how the microphone back cavity assembly floats inside the handle shell. General handling of the BP4001 produced no sound in the audio recording. Even slight taps to the handle casing resulted in no noise. I was also pleasantly surprised that the Audio Technica BP4001 was unaffected by mechanical noises transferred through cabling. This can be a problem in lesser microphones. The XLR cable connection was solid, never feeling loose. The quality of this microphone is obvious when you hold it in your hand.

The Audio/Video Rig

I connected the Audio Technica BP4001 to my Zoom H4n with a standard XLR cable. For the interviewer, I used the Audio Technica ATR-3350 lavalier mic also connected to the Zoom H4n. This made it easier to facilitate syncing during postproduction. Video was taken using my Canon 7D with an external monitor and a Litepanels Micro for additional light.


For comparison, I put together a clip of the Audio Technica BP4001 audio versus the on-board sound of the Canon 7D. The results are, well, staggering. The audio came through extremely clear, not boomy and especially not burdened with the background noise of the trade show.

Obviously, the microphone has an advantage over the on-board microphone of the Canon 7D but I never expected it to be that drastic. When compared to the internal microphone of the Canon 7D, it sounded like we were in a different venue. In fact, it sounded clearer than I remembered the actual interviews.

During the entire time we were recording interviews, we did not experience any mechanical noises generated by the handling of the BP4001 or cabling. That is very impressive giving the situation. The result was clear, well-balanced audio that sounded great and required no post edited except to normalize levels.


The Audio Technica BP4001 fills the audio performance gap found on all DSLR and even professional video rigs. At an expected street price of $200, you get a professional grade microphone that looks and feels as good as it performs. If you are looking for an professional grade audio microphone for field-interviews, the Audio Technica BP4001 is an excellent choice.


Frequency response: 80–18,000 Hz
Length: 240.8 mm (9.48″) long
Head Diameter: 40.0 mm (1.57″)
Weight: 275 g (9.7 oz)
Connection: Integral 3-pin XLRM-type S8 AT8470
Included: Quiet-FlexTM stand clamp for 5/8″-27 threaded stands; 5/8″-27 to 3/8″-16 threaded adapter; foam windscreen; carrying case; soft protective pouch

NOTE: The unit reviewed is a pre-production version of the Audio Technica BP4001. We at 7DSLR expect the production version to perform the same as the provided pre-production sample. No money was paid for this review.