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AT2020 USB Microphone
Name: AT2020 USB Microphone
Essential Sale 1-10
1 = I almost never use this thing.
10 = You had better own this, like yesterday.
Essential Scale: 6

The Audio Technica AT2020 USB Mic is an amazing microphone for its price, and a must have for anyone making audio recordings.


The AT2020 has a fixed cardioid polar pattern to allow isolation of the desired sound source. The mic features excellent performance specifications, including a flat, extended frequency response (20 – 20,000 Hz), high SPL handling capability (144 dB), and a wide dynamic range (124 dB). Every aspect of the AT2020 has been tailored for a very smooth, natural sound while ensuring maximum accuracy, making it a perfect complement for today’s digital recording equipment.

Technical Details

  • Pivoting, threaded stand mount
  • Cardioid polar pattern
  • Custom-engineered low-mass diaphragm
  • Ideal for project/home-studio applications


The Audio Technica AT2020 USB Mic is an amazing microphone for its price, and a must have for anyone making audio recordings. This is a condenser microphone meaning it is best when placed very close to the recording source, aka your face.

Personal Experience

You have probably seen this microphone in many Phlearn episodes, it is our primary source for recording audio. I have gone through many different options when it comes to audio, and I am very happy to have found the AT2020.

The best thing about this microphone is the USB connection. You don’t have to worry about having an special receiver to go between the microphone and your computer. Just plug it in and you are good to go, it will be recognized just like your internal microphone in your computer. We use ScreenFlow to record Phlearn episodes, and there is a dialogue box to choose your audio input, simply click AT2020 and you are good to go.


AT2020 vs Internal Microphone

If you are currently recording audio with a built in microphone, you are going to notice a huge difference when using this mic.

This is a large microphone, and it records a much larger range than an internal mic. Your voice will sound deeper and more full. It is also most sensitive to sounds that are very close meaning that it will help to eliminate background noise. Here is an audio comparison between the AT2020 USB and an onboard mic from the Macbook PRO. .

Best Usage

This microphone is best used very close to the source you want to record. If you are going to also be recording video and need your mic to be out of the shot, this is not the mic for you. You should try something like the Rode NTG-2 if you need your microphone to be farther away.

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Random Tips

You only need new gear if you can define exactly how your current gear is limiting you and how the new gear would remove the limitation. If you can’t the money would be better spent on workshops and other forms of training.