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 Audio Technica At2020 Or Blue Yeti - The Best All-round Usb Microphone

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Posts : 319
Join date : 2011-09-04

PostSubject: Audio Technica At2020 Or Blue Yeti - The Best All-round Usb Microphone   Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:33 pm

The question I am most often asked is whether to buy the Blue Yeti USB microphone or the AT2020 from Audio Technica.

The Yeti and the AT2020 occupy the sweet-spot in terms of price, quality, functionality and quality so deciding which is the best USB mic comes down to you personal preference and how you intend to use the mic. Both are mid-priced mics, and both mics plug into your USB port and offer professional quality recording.

The Blue Yeti USB mic is the top-of-the-range offering from Blue microphones. It's a large, quite heavy mic which is perfect for desktop or studio use. It's solid and sturdy however it reduces the portability therefore if you have to have a lightweight unit to cart around, the Yeti perhaps isn't your best option.

The AT2020 from Audio Technica is a more compact unit that is a bit more expensive but it is a bit more versatile for road-warriors. It's also far easier to find a shock-mount to fit the AT2020 which greatly reduces background noise.

The yeti is industrial and robust whilst the AT2020 is sleek and light-weight. Should you want portability, the AT2020 wins every time

Sound quality
The Yeti and the AT2020 both have classy sound quality and adds a deep richness to just about any voice and they also both pick up the warm tones of an acoustic guitar perfectly. It is difficult to split the difference in quality of sound but the Yeti has 4 different recording modes based on the sound source so just pips the AT2020.

Ease of Setup
After I purchased my blue Yeti, I was recording in a minute of opening the box. I simply plugged in the mini USB and connected it up to my iMac. System preferences appeared and I selected the Yeti for input and output. Boom - ready and recording in 30 seconds!

The AT2020 is also simple to get started but I've never set one up personally so it would be unfair of me to comment. We'll have to say it's a draw.

There is a noticeable lag with the sound of the AT2020, as the sound gets processed by the sound card before it's fed back to the monitor headphones. This echo can be quite distracting. You will find some premium software available to help rectify this but with the Yeti, there just isn't a problem. There is a headphone monitor port directly in the microphone so the monitor is one hundred percent real-time. It's warmingly haunting to hear your own voice in your headphones sounding so full and rich.

On paper the specs of the Yeti are far superior. It's the only officially THX certified USB mic on the market and has 4 recording settings to pick up sounds from various directions as needed. In the omnidirectional setting, it's great for recording a live session with a few musicians in the room playing at the same time. The At2020 isn't as versatile with only the cardioid setting available but it's no wallflower either. The Yeti gets another point on this one.

Both microphones come with a stand with a small base, so they both work well if you're working at your desktop, recording a voiceover or podcast. But if you're recording screencasts or typing during the recording, both micas will pick up vibrations from the desk.

That's where the AT2020 comes into its own simply because it's a lot easier to locate a shock mount which fits. The yeti is simply too big for any widely available shock mount.

The best way to take your recordings to the highest level is to use a freestanding microphone boom. They both have standard mounts allowing you to use any microphone stand, and if you would like the adjustability of an "anglepoise" swivel style mount such as the rode PSA1, then both will work fine. Keep in mind you will need a high tension mount to counterbalance the weighty Yeti.

Just like most microphones, the Yeti and the AT2020 would be improved by adding a pop-filter to take out those popping "p"s. Blue microphones have their own pop filter but I'd recommend a plain pop filter that will save you 10 or 20 bucks.

The AT2020 comes first on accessories just because it's easier to purchase a shock-mount to fit. But it is a close call and definitely depends upon what you require.

The Final Verdict
We have got a tie with 3 1/2 points each to the Yeti and AT2020.

And so it really depends upon what you want.

If the lack of portability isn't an issue for you and you don't need a shock mount, in my opinion the yeti is the foremost USB microphone available.

If portability is essential than audio flexibility, then i suggest the Audio Technica AT2020.

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Audio Technica At2020 Or Blue Yeti - The Best All-round Usb Microphone
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