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
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)