Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone, Black, With Built-In Headphone Jack & Volume Control
- Condenser microphone with USB output for digital recording
- High quality A/D converter with 16 bit, 44.1/48 kilohertz sampling rate for superb audio
- Headphone jack with volume control allows you to monitor the microphone signal with no delay
- Mix control allows you to blend your microphone signal and pre recorded audio
- High output internal headphone amplifier delivers superior clarity and musical detail as well as more volume overall
- Compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 and Mac OS X
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CHOKING HAZARD -- Small parts. Not for children under 3 yrs.
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From the manufacturer
For Digital Recording Use
Condenser microphone with USB output.
Superb Audio Quality
High-quality A/D converter with 16 bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate.
Mix Control & Volume Control
Mix control allows you to blend your microphone signal and pre-recorded audio; headphone jack volume control allows you to monitor the microphone signal with no delay.
Smooth, Extended Frequency Response
Ideally suited for podcasting, home studio recording, field recording and voiceover use.
Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 and Mac OS X.
Pivoting stand mount for 5/8"-27 threaded stands; 5/8"-27 to 3/8"-16 threaded adapter; soft protective pouch; tripod desk stand; 10' (3.1 m) USB cable.
|Element||Dynamic||Fixed-charge back plate, permanently polarized condenser||Fixed-charge back plate, permanently polarized condenser|
|Frequency Response||50-15,000 Hz||20 - 20,000 Hz||20 - 20,000 Hz|
|Power Requirements||USB Power (5V DC)||USB Power (5V DC)||USB Power (5V DC); Lightning (3.3V DC)|
|Bit Depth||16 bit||16 bit||24 bit|
|Sample Rate||44.1 kHz/48 kHz||44.1 kHz/48 kHz||Up to 96 kHz|
|Controls||On/off Switch; Headphone Volume Control||Mix control; Headphone volume control||Mic gain control|
|Headphone Jack||3.5 mm (1/8") TRS (stereo)||3.5 mm (1/8") TRS (stereo)||N/A|
|Accessories Furnished||Stand clamp for 5/8"-27 threaded stands; tripod desk stand; 6.6' (2 m) mini USB cable, 9.8' (3 m) XLRF-type to XLRM-type cable||Pivoting stand mount for 5/8"-27 threaded stands; 5/8"-27 to 3/8"-16 threaded adapter; soft protective pouch; tripod desk stand; 10' (3.1 m) USB cable||Pivoting stand mount for 5/8"-27 threaded stands; 5/8"-27 to 3/8"-16 threaded adapter; soft protective pouch; tripod desk stand; 4.9' (1.5 m) USB cable; 4.9' (1.5 m) Lightning cable|
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Equipped with a USB output, the AT2020USB+ is designed for digitally capturing music or any acoustic audio source using your favorite recording software. The microphone offers the critically acclaimed, award-winning sound of the AT2020, with studio-quality articulation and intelligibility perfect for singer/songwriters, podcasters, voice-over artists, field recorders, and home studio recorders. The AT2020USB+ features a built-in headphone jack with volume control that allows you to directly monitor your microphone signal with no delay. It also offers mix control that blends microphone and pre-recorded audio. The microphone’s cardioid pickup pattern delivers excellent off-axis rejection, while its A/D converter with a 16-bit, 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate ensures extremely articulate sound reproduction. Audio-Technica’s state-of-the-art design and manufacturing techniques ensure that the microphone complies with the company’s renowned consistency and reliability standards.
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I am editing this review to show my dissatisfaction with AT support. I have been using this mic successfully even though the USB driver in the mic died just a little after the first 40 days ( barely past the return window. Recently I tried using it with JamKazam. The problem is that JamKazam says that the rates don't match for input and output. There is also no way to force it to work.
The turn around time for getting the mic repaired is about 10 days after AT gets the mic. This does not include shipping. If you ship it UPS next days they repair it faster and ship it back Next Day, but by the time I pay for that kind of shipping I might as well put that money into a new mic like a Rode, or go back to using a Yeti. Even though the Yeti didn't have the same quality sound, it was like a brick and went through 2 years of every day usage before the USB controller failed. (It's also cheaper).
Why did I not give this 5 stars? There is only one reason. After about 40-45 days owning this, it started showing up as a Generic USB Mic. After doing some searching, I found out that this a very common problem with the mic. Unfortunately, if you want it fixed, you have to pay to ship it to Audio-Technica with no guarantee that they won't charge you for the repair. Also you are without a mic for who knows how long. I had a Blue Yeti for about 2 years before this happened.
Luckily though, this mic is still usable even after the driver issue. Just so any readers know, I have already tried a different cable and a different computer. The problem is with the mic itself. I know that this happens with USB mics, but should be after extensive use.
On the good side, why I gave it 4 stars even with software issues. The sound quality, even after the driver issue, is far superior to a Blue Yeti. Also, it is very light, and easily attaches to a boom mic stand without making it fall over. I love everything Audio Technica makes, and even if this is the worst thing they make, it's the worst of a load of great products.
But, if you want to have something that will work as advertised longer, I would go with the Yeti or a Rode.
* Great quality recording.
* Quality build
* A little awkward to use on a desk
* Get a boom microphone floor stand for this.
* Get a pop filter.
* Note that this is not a noise canceling microphone. It will pick up your neighbor's dog barking and people talking a few rooms away.
The advantages, I believe, of a large condenser microphone are mostly (1) excellent quality, (2) sensitivity and (3) the microphone overloads gracefully. By that, I mean that it does not just go all the way to the power supply rail and latch. As it approaches the power supply rail, it slows down, so to speak. That way, the signal is rounded and does not have the harsh cold distortion typical of dynamic microphones or electret or piezo microphones. Another way to say it, that sounds bad is that the response is non-linear at high sound pressure. Fortunately, this is a desirable feature. It gives a "warmer" sound and allows you to record at a higher volume than otherwise possible. In other words, it has a response similar to a tube amplifier.
This microphone delivers a high quality sound and has headphone monitoring capability built in.
Is the software easy to install? Reasonably so. It takes a couple of attempts for most software drivers for USB devices and this is no different. You may need to close other programs, restart a couple of times, and so on, but eventually you get it installed and all is good.
I am not a musician, but I have been an audiophile and recognize a good microphone from a poor one.
I paired it with the AT8458 shockmount and Rode PSA1 stand, and the whole set-up works wonderfully. Also using the WindTech PopGard which works well, though in hindsight, could have just gone for a clip on filter.
Top international reviews
This microphone is similar in design to the previous variants with a medium diaphragm 16mm cardioid mic. It is powered directly by a USB (type A to type B) cable where the connector takes the places of the previous XLR socket. The microphone has a self-noise figure of 20dB, which is not brilliant but is adequately low for most studio applications. There is no means of on the fly filtering so any necessary filters must be applied after recording.
The USB side takes care of the 16bit Analog to Digital conversion which is convenient, but the user is restricted to this convertor. Headphones can be plugged into the phono jack socket on the side of the mic and there are two thumbwheels on the front of the device which control the headphone volume and the balance between the microphone signal and computer stereo output. The microphone is a class-compliant device and requires no additional driver to use on Apple operating systems and a suitable driver should download automatically on Windows (if not already installed).
Recorded speech confirms that this mic has the same characteristic of the XLR variants but with the added warmth to the lower mids in vocals. It is well suited to all vocal styles and can double as a very capable acoustic instrument mic.
The tripod stand carries the weight of the microphone very well and it is of very high quality. However it is prone to falling over if it is knocked.
For audio recordings it is recommended to use the free software Audacity and apply software filers. However for our video recordings we use Camtasia (which does not support audio filters) and instead use Voice Shaper (intended for AM radio) combined with a virtual audio cable to filter audio on the fly.
1) Quality - The most import aspect of this microphone is it's quality. I have used many mics in the past, but none come close to the AT2020+.
2) Background Noise - While it doesn't come with a windscreen, the mic doesn't seem to pick up much backgroudn noise.
3) Durability - The moment you hold this mic you can tell that it is well built.
4) USB - It's extremely convenient that you can plug the mic directly into your computer.
5) Stand - The stand that comes with the mic is quite convenient for podcasting; it saves you the need to purchase a seperate stand.
6) Volume - The mic features a volume control dial on the side, which I've been using quite often.
7) Price - While the mic is definitely not cheap, I find the price very reasonable given the quality.
1) Stand - While the stand is convenient, it takes a bit of getting used to in order to make it stand well. Also, if you want to use it for Twitch or gaming and don't want it infront of you, you'll likely have to purchase a more versatile stand.
2) Weight - This is not at all a problem for me, but others might find the mic a bit heavy. That being said, you'd be hard pressed to find a high quality microphone that isn't really on the heavy side.
The sounds is amazing. Crystal clear, sharp and professional. It has a headphone jack to listen back and almost zero lag. There is two volume controls on the mic. One for headphones and the other as a monitor. I live in a noisy environment and was worried about it picking up to much. Just by using adjusting the microphone levels in your OS's settings it can work to how you want.
Coupled with other programs it can do a lot more. For live recording.... Adobe Audition can process your voice to give it broadcasting/radio quality. In OBS (Open Broadcasting Software) the noise gate can be adjusted so it picks up your voice and not loud keystrokes. For stuff like Youtube or pre-recorded videos. The sound can be ran through Audacity or a number of programs and maximizes the sound quality due to the AT2020 being one of the best microphones on the market. In terms of quality this in my option beats the Blue Yeti hands down. Aesthetically its looks more pleasing to the eye and due to the slim design it will fit in most shock mounts/ mic stands. I know the Blue Yeti has trouble sliding into some stands.
Do remember that this is a USB mic, so the advantage is you do not need a mixer to adjust the audio levels as with the AT2020 standard. It is all done digitally with whatever program you use.
I also recommend buying a boom arm stand instead of using the standard tripod (more room for Keyboard and mouse) and a cheap pop shield like this one Mudder Recording Studio Microphone Mic Windscreen Pop Filter with Double Layer for streaming and gaming . If you have the space directly in front of your person then the tripod stand is sufficient.
The only downside is the blue L.E.D. It is not distracting but when coupled with a green screen can shine a little. However you can always rotate the mic so the blue light is on the other side. There is no way to turn this light off but it is the only flaw on what I deem a perfect microphone. The sound is AMAZING!
However I realised it was my version of Logic that was the problem as I tried the mic on my iMac in the studios at work and it worked perfectly. I would 100% recommend this microphone to someone who knows what they're doing... it was my first microphone and it was a bit overwhelming and confusing but I did work it out eventually 😂
I have it mounted to a rode psa1 boom arm, positioned in front of my mouth. Used whilst gaming and it does not get in the way of the monitor at all, I can easily see over it.
I did not want all the extra junk you have to buy with other non-usb microphones (amplifiers)—and this hit my price point perfectly. I've not used the stand as I've mounted it on my own c-stand that I use for photography.
I live in a noisy, busy street and it does pick up everything (traffic noise, planes, scooters, motorbikes etc). That's not the fault of the microphone, but thought I would mention it.
I just downloaded a bit of free audio software (Audacity) and run noise reduction. So, so far so good.—very happy with the purchase.
Some people find the lack of gain controls on the mic a downside. I think it's a really positive thing. I know my settings are exactly right every time. I just plug it in, move the boom arm to roughly the right position and go. It's great!
This mic just looks and feels very professional. The quality is just superb. I stream quite a bit and knew that my quality had to be good but just wow. The quality of this mic alone without added effects could rival even the top 10 streamers on Twitch.
This mic is just so good and I can not praise it enough. I have had a really positive experience with this and I really recommend it if you want an upgrade that’s not too pricey. 5/5
It doesnt pick up too much background noise, especially if you configure it correctly with any programs you use.
I've had no issues with it in all the times I have had it (close to a year) and it's a simple plug and play mic with professional quality.
This microphone goes above and beyond, I've owned the blue snowball, blue yeti and other similarly priced microphones but they don't even compare to how good this thing sounds with a few tweaks here and there, you will NOT be disappointed.
Also on a side note, it easily fits into most setups not being too large.
I'd give it 6 stars if I could.