Everyday someone dreams to make music & Everyday someone buys a simple mic/interface combo to record themselves. Whether it is for Youtube, Vimeo, a podcast or a blog. Everyday there are thousands of people all over the world that want to record. They want to record vocals, guitar, percussion or whatever. Since this home recording revolution has started tons of people have bought and wasted money on cheap horrible sounding gear, but some have bought great inexpensive gear that has rocked and is a low end champion. That is exactly what Audio Technica has done with the AT-2020.
Now one thing that does bother me is false advertising. Kind of shady but a ton of microphone companies have been doing this, big and small a like. Companies like MCA (MXL) and Audio Technica have been taking small and medium diaphragm microphone capsules and putting them in bigger housing and then advertising them as large diaphragm. Well Audio Technica put the same small diaphragm capsule in the 2021 and put it in the 2020. Here is the best part….They advertise and push this microphone as a large diaphragm condenser! Personally I hate it when people lie to me, much less companies lying about products that they are trying to sell to us. Now I’ll be first to say this is a great mic. Forget for the price is is a solid mic. Sounds great on tons of things as I’ll go into in a bit but I just wanted to clarify that this is NOT a large diaphragm condenser. This is a small diaphragm condenser. Now on with the review…
For $100 it amazing. Now without considering the price its great. Really, vocals, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, drum over heads, percussion – you name it. I promise no matter what you point it at it sounds decent. This is the Shure SM57 of condensers. Great mic. That is it. I can end this review now if I wanted. You could google reviews on it for days and it you will be overwhelmed with the amount of praise it has. Now I’m not gonna say this is a perfect mic. I could almost always find a mic that sounds better but finding a mic that is this versatile, for this price and for how well it sounds on everything. This is a great mic and if I could give it a award I would. Hell I think I may just create my own award to give out to companies that create great gear!
The Audio Technica AT-2020 is a side address small diaphragm condenser with a 20 mm diaphragm, a fixed cardioid pattern and a very high SPL handling at 144 dB. That makes this a very flexible mic by itself and to give you some prospective on that, a Jack Hammer has a SPL of 100dB. It runs off of 48 volt Phantom Power and is very quiet at only 20 dB SPL noise which is not noticeable especially when micing up loud sources like a Jack Hammer! On vocals it provides a very modern bright sound without being overly sibilant and there are no harsh notes or a harsh high end like on other Chinese mics. I recorded a simple shaker track and it sounded great. If you ever want to test a mic try recording a shaker or keys. This is a simple test that will easily point out cheap or bad sounding mics. To me this and testing a mic on acoustic guitars is what separates the men from the boys. Up next was the guitar test. I had some problems with positioning and this mic is known for proximity problems with acoustic guitars. Not bad but just know you will have to work the mic positioning a bit to get it right. It sounded great for that. This microphone is so versatile that I would take this microphone for recording anything out there no matter what it is and make it sound decent.
Audio Technica has always been a solid company for solid studio work horse microphones. From the AT-4050 down to the AT-2020, Audio Technica’s mics are both great staples and additions to your mic locker. The AT-2020 is also available in a mic pack with the AT-2021 for under 200. Also the Audio Technica AT-2020 is also available as a USB microphone for pod casters. Same mic with a built in USB connector. Please don’t buy this! There are tons of mics available for under $100 few are on the level of the Audio Technica AT-2020.