Pros: Records at a clear, consistent level.
Cons: Has a hard time picking up bass frequencies.
When purchasing microphones, it is hard to find the right one that is affordable. Different microphones are used for different reasons, so I'll try explaining why this microphone is great for almost all reasons.
The Audio Technica ATR-30 microphone is very good for voice and acoustical instruments. Usually, for acoustical instruments and voice, a person would want to invest in a condenser microphone, but a good condenser can get pretty expensive. Many people that are recording both voice and instruments can find the ATR-30 useful because it sounds similar to a condenser, although I have never read that in any other reviews.
However, this is a true statement. The microphone has the ability to pick up the higher frequencies that both vocals and acoustical instruments project. The frequency range is from 60Hz to 15kHz, which is mostly for higher ranges. It is also a bonus for recording acoustical guitars and even piano because the lower frequencies are completely cut from the recording. When recording in rooms that have poor acoustics, cutting out the lower frequencies can eliminate the booming sound that microphones seem to pick up so easily. There is also a handy on/off switch on its durably constructed frame, for you dialog recorders.
Many people that do record at home on their PCs (being either house demos, or voice/dialog) can enjoy the benefits from this microphone because it is also a dynamic microphone, which means the 48 volts of phantom power is not required.
While it is recommended that a good pre-amplifier is needed to record, most Soundblaster (and blaster clones) have a small pre-amplifier that is able to make the ATR-30 work well with the computer. Other reviewers on other sites praise this microphone for the great relationship between this microphone and inexpensive computer soundcards; and yes, the ATR-30 does a great job with PCs and Macs.
My personal recommendation for the use of this microphone is for recording small home-demos, and voice/dialog. The microphone is supreme for miking a drum kit with either one or two microphones from a distance. This microphone can benefit a small band utilizing a small multitracking computer program or a small console-recording multi-track system. However, when it comes to recording lower-end guitars and bass guitars, the microphone has a hard time picking up the lower ends that those instruments project; but the microphone does pick up the instruments and it is still quite versatile for the price. Having said this, the ATR-30 is great to use in conjunction with other microphones.
The Audio Technica ATR-30 is a very versatile microphone that is usually priced between $29.00 and $59.00. It is worth every penny due to its solid construction and it's ability to work with basic recording setups and other microphones. The ATR-30 is needed in any home, and in any recording studio. It will do more than its share of work.