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Audio Technica 2020 Review

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Whether you are a streamer or just a general content creator, one thing is almost certain every single time… You need a decent microphone. Some can be a little excessively overpriced and not really worth that cost, others too cheap with more of a ‘vintage’ sound. What you need is a quality microphone, and that doesn’t always mean that it’s going to cost you a pretty penny to get it either.

If you are looking for an affordable yet quality microphone, the internet is definitely not short for options. Audio Technica offers exactly that with the AT2020 costing only $100 and the AT2020USB+ price at $150, but what exactly makes it so good? In this article we are going to look at exactly that.

Audio Technica 2020 Features

The AT2020 is a XLR microphone, meaning you will need to purchase an audio interface to be able to connect to your pc. Though this is an additional cost, there are some benefits to having an XLR microphone such as the option to use a mixing desk or to upgrade your audio interface to a GoXLR at a later date.


However, if you would prefer a USB microphone (for whatever reason), Audio Technica has you covered there too with a version called the AT2020USB+ which as the title would suggest, is a USB version. With the AT2020USB+ you get almost the same specs as the AT2020, though there are a couple more additions including; volume controls to monitor your microphone, a headphone input and a volume control to adjust your headphones.

I personally prefer the standard AT2020 over the USB+. You are left with a few more upgrade options using a standard XLR mic which just makes it seem like a more worthy investment, plus with the additional cost of an audio interface you will be looking at paying roughly the same price!

Design and Build Quality – metal exterior

Polar Pattern – cardioid condenser

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    Design and quality

    The design of this microphone is kind of sleek! The body is a matt black finish, which is not really anything special but on this model it just looks particularly clean. The gille is also black to match the body and is missing some of that extra padding on the inside, which would usually hide the coil, which makes it look very interesting in decent lighting on camera. I was surprised to see how heavy it was when I took it out of the box, seriously this thing weighs a ton, which gives me the impression it has been built to last.

    My favorite feature of this microphone though has to be the screw on clip included in the box. It really holds the microphone well and actually looks amazing – it gives off a kind of floating effect when your mic is mounted to a boom arm.

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    Polar Pattern

    The AT2020 is a permanently polarized condenser microphone. This means that there is only one polar pattern, which for this microphone happens to be cardioid. Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source (your voice). This is a preferred polar pattern for most content creators and streamers as it gives your audio that sort of ‘radio’ sound.

    However, this does mean that the AT2020 may not be very well suited for musicians, due to instruments becoming a little muffled and sounding like more of a background noise. If your content is based on music, this can be easily fixed using a multi input interface or mixing desk and electric instruments anyway so maybe do not completely rule it out just yet.

Audio Technica 2020 Accessories

In the box, the AT2020 comes with a couple of accessories. A leather carry case for your microphone, and a clip to mount your microphone. I wouldn’t normally get excited about a mic clip, however this clip sits really snug around the base of the AT2020 and displays your microphone really nicely for streaming.

Like I said earlier, this is an XLR microphone so you will need an audio interface to use your mic. If you are buying this microphone on a budget, I would recommend getting something like the Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 until you can afford to make that sweet upgrade to a GoXLR. The Behringer U-Phoria UMC22 will however set you back an extra $50 dollars from most online retailers, so you might want to shop around for a cheaper option if that blows your budget – this is just my recommendation.

If you are new to using professional sound equipment, you will benefit from knowing that a pop filter is pretty much essential with any microphone, not just the AT2020. All pop filters are designed to do is to soften your S’s and dampen your P’s to give a more natural/cleaner sound.

You may also want to think about getting yourself a boom arm. Boom arms are microphone mounts which can extend and clamp onto the side of your desk. Though they are not too overpriced and brand doesn’t really matter for this sort of accessory, it’s worth knowing you should look for one which is solid and stable. For this it would recommend an innogear boom arm. This one I’ve linked is a little pricey but honestly, it’s one of the best I have had, and more importantly… It looks really nice on stream!

Audio Technica 2020 Specs

Phantom Power Requirements: 48V 2 mA

Sample Rate: 48 kHz

Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz

Max Input Sound Level: 144dB SPL

Dimensions: 4.72″ (12cm) x 4.92″(12.5cm) x 11.61″(29.5cm)

Weight: 12.1 oz (345g)

Frequently Asked Questions

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    How Do You Set Up the Audio Technica 2020?

    Setting up the AT2020 is very easy. All you need to do is connect your microphone to a USB audio interface via XLR, turn on phantom power and plug your audio interface into any free USB slot on your laptop or PC. Just remember, it is very important you turn on phantom power for your microphone to work as that supplies power to your microphone so it will not work without it.

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    Is the Audio Technica 2020 Worth the Price?

    The AT2020 will set you back about $100. Though there are a lot of microphones available at this price point, I would say this one is definitely worth the money, if not even a little more. However, for some it may be a little off putting having to buy an audio interface to use this device for streaming or just creating content. If this is the case for you, then it might be worth looking at buying the AT2020USB+, although it’s worth knowing even with the purchase of an audio interface both will come out to around $150.

About the Author


Arry, also known as ArryBo, is a full time Partnered Twitch streamer from the southeast of England! Video gaming and music are two of the passions he shares on his stream.

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