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Cardioid Condenser Hanging Microphone

U.S. Two-Year Limited End-User Warranty

*Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. Actual selling price may vary; please check with an authorized Audio-Technica dealer.

  • Overview
  • Features
  • Specifications
  • Downloads
  • Reviews
  • Q & A

  • Overview

    The U853A has been discontinued and replaced with the U853R.

    Maintaining the Audio-Technica tradition of clear and transparent sound quality, the U853A cardioid condenser hanging microphone is ideal for speech, theater, orchestra and choir sound reinforcement and recording. The microphone’s fast transient response and low distortion characteristics allow every complex detail to be heard with all its impact—rich, vibrant qualities faithfully reproduced. Equipped with UniGuard® innovations that offer unsurpassed immunity from radio frequency interference, the U853A accepts interchangeable elements, available in cardioid, hypercardioid, omnidirectional and UniLine® line cardioid polar patterns. The battery- or phantom-powered microphone also offers an 80 Hz low-cut UniSteep® filter that reduces pickup of low-frequency ambient noise.
  • Features

    • Designed for suspension over choirs, instrumental groups and theater stages

    • Superior off-axis rejection for maximum gain before feedback

    • UniGuard® RFI-shielding technology offers outstanding rejection of radio frequency interference (RFI)

    • UniSteep® filter provides a steep low-frequency attenuation to improve sound pickup without affecting voice quality

    • Accepts interchangeable elements to permit angle of acceptance from 90° to 360°

    • Low-profile design with low-reflectance finish for minimum visibility

    • Available in two colors: black (U853A) and white (U853AW)

    • Operates on battery or phantom power

  • Specifications

    ELEMENTFixed-charge back plate, permanently polarized condenser
    LOW FREQUENCY ROLL-OFF80 Hz, 18 dB/octave
    OPEN CIRCUIT SENSITIVITYPhantom: –42 dB (7.9 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
    Battery: –43 dB (7.0 mV) re 1V at 1 Pa
    IMPEDANCEPhantom: 200 ohms
    Battery: 270 ohms
    MAXIMUM INPUT SOUND LEVELPhantom: 133 dB, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D.
    Battery: 123 dB SPL, 1 kHz at 1% T.H.D.
    DYNAMIC RANGE (typical)Phantom: 109 dB, 1 kHz at Max SPL
    Battery: 99 dB, 1 kHz at Max SPL
    SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO70 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa
    BATTERY CURRENT / LIFE0.4 mA / 1200 hours typical (alkaline)
    SWITCHOff, on-flat, on-roll-off
    WEIGHT (MICROPHONE)0.5 oz (14 g)
    WEIGHT (POWER MODULE)4.9 oz (139 g)
    DIMENSIONS (MICROPHONE)1.34" (34.0 mm) long,
    0.48" (12.2 mm) diameter
    DIMENSIONS (POWER MODULE)3.31" (84.0 mm) H x
    2.48" (63.0 mm) W x
    0.87" (22.0 mm) D
    CABLE25.0' (7.6 m) long (permanently attached to microphone), 0.13" (3.2 mm) diameter, 2-conductor, shielded cable with TA3F-type connector
    UE-O omnidirectional (360°);
    UE-UL UniLine® (90°)
    ACCESSORIES FURNISHEDAT8153 two-stage foam windscreen; AT8451 steel hanger; AT8531 power module; AT8438 5/8"-27 stand adapter; battery
    Click on the chart to view the larger image

  • Downloads

    UniPoint Review - Sound & Video Contractor (pdf 128.21 KB)
    UniPoint Review - Pro Audio Review (pdf 238.70 KB)
    U853A, U853AW Specification Sheet (pdf 406.87 KB)
    U853A & U853AW Submittal Sheet (pdf 604.76 KB)
    Optional Windscreens / Mounts
  • Reviews

  • Q & A

    I need to find power supplies I currently have 3 853a but am missing the power supplies,. Someone has modified them to connect to a large XRL vs the mini XRL connector that was orginal, and IM not sure I can get captisan anymore either Will the U835A power supply work with these or am I Out of luck now.


    Thank you for your inquiry. Please contact our Audio Solutions Department at (330) 686-2600 ext 5000 or at for assistance with this.

    whats the name of the U853A with a hipercardiod element?


    The U853A has interchangeable elements, meaning you only have to purchase the element you need. In your case, you are looking for the product "UE-H", which is the hypercardioid element that can attach to the U853A.


    I purchased these microphones for use on the stage at my school, however I am not sure the 25' cable will be long enough to reach the sound board and hang down, do you sell extension cables?

    Music Teacher

    To receive assistance with your product, please contact the Audio-Technica United States (ATUS) Audio Solutions Team at: Thanks!


    We use U853a hanging mics in our theatre for sound reinforcement of the actors. The mics are powered with phantom power from our mixer through the AT8531 power modules, at which point the Mini XLR connector on the mic cable is transitioned to a full size XLR. We would like to add additional U853a or possibly U853R mics. In looking at differences, I read in the QandA's that the only difference between the two is the ability to use battery power on the U853a, otherwise they are identical. 1) Since we will be using phantom power fro these additional mics, would I be correct that we could go with the U853R without any concern for variance in pickup, and save a few bucks in the process? 2) Would we need the AT8531 power module for the U853R mics? 3) What is the length of the mic cable and do they come pre-pinned with MiniXLR connectors ? Thank you, Joe Ercole


    Yes, the difference between the U853A and U853R is the power module. The U853A includes the AT8531 power module which can be phantom or battery powered while the U853R includes the AT8538 power module which is phantom powered only. The attached cable is 25'. Please contact our Audio Solutions Department at (330) 686-2600 ext 5000 or at for additional assistance with this.


    What is the maximum distance from microphone to speaker to have a good pickup on a normal conversation?


    Thank you for your inquiry. Please refer to our Question of the Week: "How far away will my microphone pick up sound?" You may also contact our Audio Solutions Department at (330) 686-2600 ext 5000 or at for additional assistance with this.


    where do you put the battery? is there a battery already in it, and if not, how to I put the battery in? If there is a battery, then how do I replace it?


    If this is a new microphone, a single 1.5V AA battery is included with it but it is not installed. To install or replace a battery, remove the cap on the top of the provided AT8531 inline Power Module by pushing in and holding in the button on the side of the module that is marked PUSH. While holding the button in with one hand, remove the cap with the other hand. When installing the battery, note the + and - signs in the bottom of the battery compartment to aid you with the correct orientation of the battery. The negative end of the battery goes against the spring. Insert the battery at a 45 degree angle, using it to push the spring back to make room to push the positive end down into the compartment. Replace the cap, making certain that it snaps securely into place. Note that there is a 3-postion switch on the side of the module. When the switch is in the OFF position the microphone is turned off. This is true whether the mic is being battery or phantom powered at the time. When the switch is in the straight line position, the microphone is ON and the low roll-off filter is bypassed. When the switch is in the bent line position, the microphone is ON and the low roll-off filter is engaged. Low frequencies below 80 Hz are rolled off at a rate of 18 dB per octave.


    What are the differences between the Audio-Technica U853A and the U853R?


    Thank you for your inquiry. The U853R is phantom power only and the U853a is phantom power or via an onboard battery. The microphone element is the same.


    U853A - Use on Stand? We no longer have use for it to be hanging where it is. We would rather be able to be mobile with it. Are there stands that could work with them? What dangers should we be looking for it we do put them on stands?


    Thank you for your inquiry. The AT8438 Microphone Desk-stand Adapter Mount is designed for use with this microphone. The should be no issues using this as a stand microphone.


    Can use 9 volt Unbalanced phantom power? What pin is phantom power on?


    No it cannot.The U853A Cardioid Condenser Hanging Microphone can be powered by its associated (AT8531) power module only. The module accepts phantom power (11 to 52 V DC) through its audio output connector when phantom power is provided on a balanced 3-pin XLR microphone input connector. The module also accepts a single AA 1.5 V battery for battery powering the microphone if phantom power is not available. The power module manages phantom power by stepping it down to a much lower (less than 9 volts) bias voltage. It also balances the audio signal and sets the output impedance.


    Effective range for U853A Thank you for the prompt answer. Sorry I am not experienced so I still need more explanation, please bear with me. (1) distance based on 1:3 ratio. But what is the effective range for the 1 (in 1:3 raio). Let me ask in a stupid way,can we hang the microphone 30 feet from the first signer ? I think not, so what is the recommended range from the microphone to the first signer, 5 feet to 10 feet, or 5 feet to 30 feet ? For the 2nd question, bent or straight setting choice ? what is the intended application, hanging or on the microphone stand ? Can you provide some guidelines, or we just try and see ? For the 3rd question, that is a good suggestion. But if we use regular XLR cable to extend the distance, the power module will be located on the ceiling which is very difficult to access, and we need to access to turn on and off the switch, to replace battery. So my question is whether there is way to extend the 25" cable, which come with the microphone.


    Microphones, like ears, can sense distance. The further away a microphone is from a source, the more distant it will sound. Adversely, the closer the microphone is, the closer it will sound. This is why there is no "range" spec for microphones. The bent switch engages the low-end roll-off. This attenuates some of the low frequencies, but not all. The straight line is normal frequency response. It is recommended that you experiment, and use the one you think sounds better to you. There is no other way to extend the cable without the power-module and subsequent XLR cable. To avoid using batteries, it is recommended that you enable Phantom Power. If you do not have a Phantom Power supply, we manufacture the AT8801. If you have further questions, please contact the Audio-Solutions Department (