Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Studio XLR Microphone Review

Audio-Technica AT2020 Condenser Studio XLR Microphone Review

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Studio XLRWant to expand your condenser microphone selection? An option you can rely on is the Audio-Technica AT2020, a condenser mic that can nail every star performance you desire.

Details & Specs

  • Standard inside address studio condenser microphone technology ideal for project or studio applications
  • The unmatched versatility provided by its wide dynamic range and high SPL-handling
  • Extended frequency response that is also super transient, made possible by its custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm
  • Cardioid pickup pattern which isolates the desired sound source
  • Includes a pivoting, threaded stand mount for easy and precise placement
  • Includes a 5/8”-27 to 3/8”-16 threaded adapter and a soft, protective pouch
  • Retailed at $99; 1.3 pounds

Sound reproduction can be very difficult to do especially when you’re operating with a lot of interference. Even when you’re in a studio, buzzes and hums from the AC can still interfere. Since that’s a universal problem among musicians and producers, we want to highlight the AT2020’s impressive ability to isolate the desired source.

It’s considered as the “no-frills’ mic, and it has a fixed, polar cardioid pattern. Audio-Technica calls it of stringent and consistent quality, so we think there’s not much we can fault with it. For its retail price, we believed we were about to come to terms with so-so quality.

Proving to be way beyond our expectations, AT2020 fully delivered rich and mature reproductions of vocals and instrument sounds. Now, this is a highly commendable feat, knowing and seeing as there are other mics within its price range that can only service one recording need.

Used to record vocals, the AT2020 can bring out the lower midrange warmth, which could flatter you if you’re a singer. It doesn’t hype up the original sound too much, so that’s how we know it will fit various singers. It can add just a bit of a presence peak that is nowhere near harsh. When we tested it on a guitar, we were more pleased to hear the recording sounded so much like the acoustic one. Clarity and depth were abundant, and there was no honky or scratchy quality that other mics tend to have.

The off-axis feature on this one is also worth commending. Sounds that come from 90 degrees off the axis are properly rejected, allowing recording to go as smooth as possible because it eliminates the sound coming from the computer. As a very well-balanced recorder, the AT2020 gets a thumbs-up on both quality and performance scores.

We were expecting the mic to come with its own shock mount, but that might be because Audio-Technica wants the price to be as keen as possible. In general, however, we found the AT2020 to be a very thoroughly designed, general-purpose capacitor condenser that inarguably has a lot of stiff market competition. And since Audio Technica is known for great microphone engineering, we didn’t find it too difficult to get sold on this one.

Is it for you?

The AT2020 offers high-tier features for a condenser mic with its given price. We believe there’s a lot you can do with it. We think it an excellent deal, and it’s certainly on top of our condenser mic recommendations.

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