Audio-Technica AT2020 Review

Audio-Technica AT2020 Review

When it comes to a good cardioid condenser microphone, Audio-Technica AT2020 stands out in every aspect. If you’re looking for a microphone that captures direct, clean and crisp vocals, the AT2020 should definitely be on your list. The AT2020 has a very airy sound and when combined with a compressor plug-in or preamp, you can get the vocals that you’re looking for.

Features at a Glance

  • Fixed cardioid pattern, no switch pads.
  • Includes a zip-up, soft vinyl case and a basic mount stand.
  • 16mm back-electret capsule which is smaller than most microphones.
  • Offers a smooth response and lots of bass extension.

Audio-Technica AT2020 Review: Our Opinion

The Audio-Technica AT2020 is a cardioid microphone with no frills other than a basic stand and zip-up case. It features a fixed cardioid polar pattern and no switching to other patterns is available. However, its strictly cardioid design is what makes it such an impressive mic because Audio-Technica AT2020 is easily one of the best cardioid mics out there.

Its side-entry vocal mics are smaller than usual and the casing has a 16mm back-electret capsule. Despite its small and lightweight approach, the AT2020 delivers fully on its audio quality front. The smaller diaphragms in no way mean that the microphone is not up for delivering a solid sound. The AT2020 offers a comprehensive frequency response with a slight dip-centered response near 70Hz and a gentle presence hump in between 5 to 15 kHz.

The microphone also sports a solid build with a thick and chunky metal case and a solid wire mesh protecting the capsule. Granted that the noise figure isn’t the market best, it’s still ideal for close recording, be it instrumental or vocal recording. In fact, it delivers a unique mid-range warmth that is ideal for vocal recording.

Overall, the AT2020 is an outstanding, low-cost capacitor microphone with no faults other than its noise level. It delivers a solid performance and a well-balanced sound, and it’s a recommended microphone for vocal recording.

8 Total Score

PROS
  • Smaller than other vocal microphones but still delivers a solid sound.
  • Thick and solid metal casing with a tough wire protecting the capsule and reducing popping.
  • Mature and believable sound despite its comparatively low price.
CONS
  • Fixed polar pattern with no switches for filters or pads, but it’s one of the best cardioid mics.
  • Features smaller diaphragms but still has a solid sound over a full 20 Hz to 20 kHz bandwidth.
  • Noise figure isn't great, but that won't be an issue when close-recording instruments or voices.
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