We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Alex Oana, the co-creator and co-founder of Audio Test Kitchen.
Audio Test Kitchen is a free online resource that aims to change the way we audition microphones. They have partnered with the top pro audio manufacturers in order to provide the most comprehensive gear comparison platform ever!
Audio Test Kitchen does this by providing you with real recordings of microphones in 11 acoustic spaces under precisely standardized conditions. They did this so that there was no variation in the source at all, right down to the position of the mic, the signal chain, or anything else, so when you are switching between mics on the site, the only difference you are hearing is between the mics themselves. This way, you can hear the differences between various mics in the most scientific way possible.
Audio Test Kitchen is a great tool, and it is free to sign up! Click here to create your account!
Make sure you also sign up for the mailing list so you can stay up-to-date with when new features, gear, and sounds are available!
There are over 300 different mics that you can choose from to compare, and you can compare up to 6 mics at once. When selecting the mics, you can sort the mics by brand or by price point. You can then drag the mics you want to compare into the slot above, select the track you want to use to test them – there is currently a choice between a hip-hop track and an acoustic singer-songwriter track.
When Alex and I tested out our mic choices, we did it in blind mode! This setting covers up which mic you are listening to and shuffles the order of the mics so you have no idea which one you are listening to. This helps to eliminate any bias you may have towards certain brands or certain mics as you are comparing!
We did a couple of sessions while we were comparing mics, so we’ve saved the links for you so you can see which mics we compared and listen to them on your own speakers! Click below to listen to the sessions:
The goal of Audio Test Kitchen is to empower people to think independently by allowing them to compare equipment for themselves and see which sound and mic they like best. They wanted to find a way to make this process as efficient as possible and make it easier for people to make a great decision about a microphone!
The best way to make sure you are hearing all of the differences between each mic and getting the most authentic listening experience is to listen on whatever system and in whatever environment you usually do. The reason I was able to pick up small differences between mics is because we were listening on my speakers, in my room. If you are in an environment you know and are used to, you will pick up things that you wouldn’t pick up elsewhere!
Watch the full video below to see this great mic comparison tool in action and to see which mics we tested out! The links to our sessions are listed above, so check those out as well!