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Audio-Technica AT2020USB Cardioid Condenser USB Microphone (Discontinued)
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- 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
- Custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm provides extended frequency response and superior transient response
- Cardioid polar pattern reduces pickup of sounds from the sides and rear, improving isolation of desired sound source
- Low self-noise: perfectly suited for sophisticated digital recording equipment
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|Item Dimensions||9.6 x 9.6 x 2.6 in||9.6 x 9.6 x 2.6 in||11 x 15 x 4 in||4 x 14 x 11 in||2.4 x 6.6 x 10.1 in||4 x 10 x 10 in|
The new AT2020 USB offers studio-quality articulation and intelligibility. It plugs right into your computer’s USB port, and functions seamlessly with your favorite recording software. Equipped with a USB digital output, the AT2020 USB is perfect for home studio recording, field recording, podcasting, and voiceover use. Based on the renowned AT2020 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. With low self-noise, the AT2020 USB is perfectly suited for sophisticated digital recording equipment. 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. Experience AT2020 USB. Plug it in and transform your sound.
From the Manufacturer
Audio-Technica AT2020USB Condenser Microphone, Cardioid
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| THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS
1) This mic sounds fantastic for the price. You will, however, want to consider the AT2020+ / Plus version if you'd like to hear yourself along with your computer's audio straight through a single jack on the mic.
2) It's plug and play with everything, or at least as close as it gets. If it's got a USB port it's pretty likely that this mic will work. I personally use it with my PlayStation 4 and it requires zero setup. The PS4 instantly recognizes it as a microphone only and not as a mic/headphones combo.
I love this company and have several of their products at this point (which will come up in this review). With that at the forefront I'll give a little backstory to explain why I got the mic. I devised a super complicated setup with which I can split my PlayStation 4's HDMI to my TV as well as my computer's monitor. I do this with a ViewHD HDMI matrix with 4 inputs & 2 outputs. I can watch the same thing on both screens or separate things simultaneously. With this HDMI 'splitter' I can also have the audio split off through a standard 3.5mm headphone jack which I run into a line level input on my M-Audio Fast Track C600 audio interface using a 1/4" to 1/8" adapter. The reason I do this is because I also have another Audio-Technica mic, the AT4040 XLR, running through this mixer. The 4040 is for recording my voice on my PC, and the 2020 is for voice chat on the PlayStation 4.
So to mix it down for you - here's what I end up being able to hear in a single pair of headphones (which just so happen to be Audio-Technica, the ATH-M50):
1) PlayStation 4 audio - via the HDMI splitter above
2) Desktop PC audio (anything playing on my computer) - using the audio interface as the ASIO soundcard
3) AT4040 Microphone - to hear my own voice with no delay and also record to the computer
All these things go through my audio mixer's realtime monitoring output, which means there is no delay or 'latency', it's a beautiful thing to hear yourself the entire time you're chatting on PS4 (or any other situation for that matter) for those who haven't experienced it. I'm used to it from recording rap vocals. This is why depending on your usage, you might want to look at the next model up, the AT2020+ which has monitoring built-in.
| GENERAL CONDENSER MIC INFO & CLOSING OPINIONS
Still with me? I know that was a lot but I wished there was more information similar to this when I was setting this all up. If it helps out one person over the course of the next thousand years, I'll have done my job! In terms of being a condenser microphone, be aware that this has a 'proximity effect,' which is sometimes useful and sometimes not. It's basically the idea that if you're very close to the mic, your voice will sound very much like you're broadcasting on the radio - deep and punchy. If you're farther away, you're going to sound that way - distant and quiet. Also be aware that you'll probably want a pop shield to reduce 'plosives' like that burst of air when you say P's and B's. Essentially all mics will need that plosive control.
Like I said, I'm a big fan of Audio-Technica and their products have always been of the highest tier in terms of quality. I've never needed to contact support but I'm confident they'd be as awesome as the products themselves. Big recommendation for AT here from me. Good luck!
Because it has a cardioid pick-up pattern it captures sound in front of it well, while attenuating sounds made to the sides and rear.
Lastly, because it is USB you don't need a mixer, pre-amp, or special connectors to make this thing work. Just plug it into your computer and go!
If you are curious as to how this microphone sounds I created a video so you can hear what this inexpensive microphone can do:
I had a dynamic mic that I connected to my PC via 3.5mm headphone jack, and there was sooooo much background noise, but the AT2020 is dead silent, no noise whatsoever, perfectly clear voices and sounds, it can record close to mouth and further away (2-3feet easily).
So if you want to use it on your desk and keep it out of your face, this is perfect, the only thing I NEVER liked about condenser mics are that they pick up the typing and clicking, but I can make lower in the software, so that issue was solved and I have reduced unesseary noise from desk by 98%
BUY IT ITS AMAZING FOR THAT PRICE, I AM THE HAPPIEST PERSON RIGHT NOW! X-) <3 <3 <3
A few thoughts about this microphone versus its competitors:
- Some other microphones in this price range include pattern selectors (i.e. between Cardioid and Omnidirectional), but this microphone is a cardioid pattern side-address microphone with no selectability. Keep in mind that this tends to be a very effective pattern for voice and musical instruments, so for many people this wouldn't be a disadvantage.
- I find the microphone's lack of an on-device mute switch to be somewhat unfortunate, as this leaves me with no option to mute it other than doing so at the software level. This isn't particularly inconvenient, but it's significantly more difficult than a hardware switch would be.
- The microphone lacks a monitor headphone output. Other devices (like the Blue Yeti) include an output to listen to the live output on the microphone, but in this microphone's case, the only way to listen to the output is by repeating it at the host device's software level, which imparts just enough of a delay to somewhat drive you a little crazy (often to the point of making you slow down or stop entirely).
Despite these shortcomings, I chose this microphone over its competitors due to its pure audio quality and overall appearance. It excels so greatly in those fields, in my opinion, that it's worth sacrificing some hardware features to accomplish this.