AT2020 Audio Technica Microphone Review
Audio Technica have produced a truly stunning mic in the AT2020 USB condenser microphone. Technically, it can be compared somewhat to the Blue Microphones Yeti we reviewed last week but it’s significantly smaller and lighter so it’s ideal if you’re tight on desktop space or you want to record stuff on the go.
It really depends on what features you need and the Blue Yeti is enormous compared to the AT2020. However, the AT2020 only has a cardioid pickup pattern, while the Yeti has switchable patterns (cardioid, omnidirectional, stereo, and two-way) and a headphone jack for direct monitoring.
The AT2020 USB is based on the design of Audio-Technica’s critically acclaimed AT2020 cardioid condenser microphone. Like the AT2020, it features a low-mass diaphragm, custom-engineered for extended frequency response and superior transient response. It is a mid-level microphone with a lot of pro features and awesome sound so it’s great for recording podcasts or live music. Heavy Skype users and gamers will also benefit from upgrading to a dedicated USB condenser microphone like the AT2020.
Who is the AT2020 aimed at?
The AT2020 mic is perfect for p0dcasters, musicians and heavy skype users. The features list is big enough to be the ideal gateway microphone for professionals whilst keeping the price extremely affordable. Because it’s small footprint, it’s super portable for road warriors, although if you’re travelling a lot, your headphone mic or internal laptop mic will probably be enough.
AT2020 USB Condenser Mic Features
- Side-address studio condenser with USB digital output (Windows and Mac compatible).
- Crystal-clear, natural sound for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording, and voiceover use.
- Low self-noise – perfectly suited for sophisticated digital recording equipment
- Custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response.
- Includes tripod desk stand, pivoting stand mount, USB cable & storage pouch.
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source
Why I love the Audio Technica AT2020
1. Solid Build – The microphone itself feels hefty and solid; it and the stand are nice well-crafted metal.
2. Plug and Play – For voiceovers and video tutorials. I can’t imagine the voice quality being much better. It sounds like you’re on NPR or something, rather than talking into a PC microphone. No fiddling required, just plug in the mic and fire up Audacity.
3. Amazing Price – After you get it properly set up (with a pop filter, for instance), this microphone is extremely high quality for an extremely good price.
4. The sound quality is superb, it’s easy to use, and it’s affordable for most business usage. You’ll probably want a shock-mount and wind-screen, though, as this unit is really sensitive. You can always use a mic boom to get it off the desk to prevent it picking up too much noise from the keyboard.
1. Although the At2020 has a warm, full sound, It also picked up a lot more room noise, so make sure you have a nice quiet place to record. A shockmount like the Samson SP01 Spider Mount will also help background noises from your desk.
2. Condenser mics like the At2020 very sensitive to “connecting/touching” sound, so the stand that came with it adds hum to the play-back. Hold it, though, and the hum goes away. But the sensitivity/accuracy is great for singing practice.
AT2020 Buying Advice
The Audio Technica AT2020 is an excellent plug and record condenser microphone that’s really well suited to most podcasters and musicians. You might need to buy a pop filter
and shockmount though which are all available from Amazon.