USB microphones are gaining popularity thanks to their user-friendliness.
If you are looking for a mic that is great for broadcasting and podcasts recording, the Audio Technica AT2020 and Blue Yeti should be at the top of your list. These two are great options to start with when it comes to getting value for money. The big question is, which one of the two is better than the other?
Finding the perfect microphone can be a daunting task. Each of these two microphones has excellent potential and excellent features that will appeal to specific groups of recording artists.
For instance, Blue Yeti offers more versatility; the AT2020 comes to live in music recording.
Here is where we come in; in this review, we get to the bottom of every little feature from design to sound capability.
To kick us off, let’s take a look at each mic individually.
The mic has gained acceptance amongst YouTubers and podcasters. It weighs around 4.4 pounds, has a three capsule construction, and is quite sturdy and reliable.
The Blue Yeti is a USB microphone; hence it is compatible with PCs. It naturally allows for analog to digital conversion on its own. It cannot, however, be used as a conventional microphone.
Its frequency ranges from 20Hz to 20kHz, covering their entire audible spectrum. The frequency response dips in the middle on the graph irrespective of the polar pattern.
The microphone features four different polar patters and has an integrated headphone amplifier. The four polar patterns allow you to switch between:
- Cardioid Pattern-Cardioid mode is the preferred mode by podcasters as it picks sound directly from the front only. It, however, cannot pick sound from the back and sides.
- Stereo Mode-Stereo modes allow the mic to pick sound from the front and sides. This is the mode of choice if you are co-hosting a show and need the mic to pick up sound from three directions.
- Omnidirectional- This allows the mic to pick sound from all directions. It is perfect for live recordings where you need the mic to capture the ambiance.
- Bidirectional- This polar pattern allows the mic to pick up sound from the front and behind hence great for an interview or podcasts with two speakers.
This makes it the perfect microphone for podcasts, recording spoken word, live streaming on any platform. This mic is incredibly popular among content creators and not so much among music recording artists.
Pros of the Blue Yeti
- It is an excellent mic for spoken parts and live broadcasts.
- It has four polar patterns
- Excellent analog to digital conversion
- Accompanying stand
- Comes in many colors
- Built-in headphone amp
- A bit heavy
- Not great at recording music and instruments
The AT2020 is a USB condenser microphone that focuses on speech and broadcasts. The AT2020 is also the go-to microphone for vocal and instrument recording.
The frequency response is neutral, with a sharp rise in the between 5kHz to 15kHz. From 15kHz, it drops sharply towards the 20kHz mark.
It is quite simple to operate. There are no extra controls or switches on it. It has one polar pattern, that is, cardioid polar pattern.
The mic also has a slightly higher self-noise around 20dB covering the entire audible spectrum, just like Blue Yeti, with a range of between 20Hz and 20kHz.
This is an excellent mic for recording acoustic instruments, recording spoken word as well as electric instruments. It allows you to record directly to your computer, which is a plus.
This mic has a rather high SPL max of 136Db. It can comfortably handle high pitches, which makes this microphone a useful tool for music. With an excellent dynamic response, this microphone captures even the slightest sounds in broadcasts and recordings. This makes it perfect for recording instruments or recording in louder environments.
To top it up, the microphone has an appealing design and is sturdy, weighing around 1.3 pounds. It does not come with an accompanying mounting stand, but you can get one separately
- Excellent sound quality
- Neutral response
- Great build
- A great deal for the price.
- Has higher self-noise
Differences and Similarities between the AT2020 and Blue Yeti
While they are both USB Condenser microphones, the two have features that are unique to their brand. Here is a side by side comparison of their individual specifications.
|Sample rate||48kHz +16-bit resolution||44.1kHz/48kHz +16 bit resolution|
|Polar Patterns||Has four polar patterns||Has one polar pattern|
|Headphone amplifier||Present||Not present|
|Frequency Response||Dips in the high ends||Neutral/Flat|
The headphone amplifier looks good on video; hence the Yeti is popular among content creators.
AT2020 And Blue Yeti: Similarities
- Both are great broadcasting mics
- Both are good for home studio recordings
- Excellent sound quality for the price
- Both are condenser microphones
- Both have a broad capture spectrum
- Both sound very natural
- Both have an analog to digital conversion features
What makes The Blue Yeti Better?
Blue Yeti is a brand known for its broadcasting USB mics. They have built a reputable name amongst content creators such as Youtubers, Podcasters, Twitch streamers, and so on. The Blue Yeti model took off right from the beginning, gaining popularity and becoming some sort of ‘industry standard’ among content creators. It is very reliable and sounds pretty good.
Much as content creators are known for imitating each other’s gadgets, the Blue Yeti stands out as a simple mic. You simply need recording software, and you are ready to go. You do not need individual drivers or skill to use this microphone. It is a plug and go mic with a headphone jack where you can monitor through it.
The four polar patterns are also are a unique feature. Much as most people may not need this feature, it can come in handy in specific situations making the mic very versatile.
Last but not least, this mic comes in an impressive 13 different colors. You cannot find these anywhere else in the market. These include; Aztec, Copper, Cool Gray, Midnight Blue, Platinum, Satin Red, Space Gray, Steel Red, whiteout, Prime Red, Silver, and Blackout. This provides creatives with a wide range to choose from.
What Makes The Audi-Technica AT2020 USB+ Better?
The AT2020 appeals to a broader market beyond the content creators. Much as it only has one polar pattern, this microphone has an excellent frequency response hence its ability to capture vocals and acoustic instruments are unmatched. It can also handle higher noise levels up to 136dB.
This has been a high tackle as both mics have substantial specifications that could appeal to specific audio artists differently. The AT2020 might be a good buy for a music recording artist who doubles up as a content creator because the mic can record instruments and vocals pretty well. The fact that it can record directly to a computer makes it great for recording podcasts.
On the other hand, the four polar patterns and 13 colors to choose from make the Blue Yeti a decent mic. The sound is spot on, and it does the job just well. Much as it wouldn’t be the best for music and instrumentals, this mic has raised the bar and is the one to beat when targeting content creators. It is not surprising that it has had an overwhelmingly positive response.
Your choice trickles down to your needs, and one of these two budget-friendly mics will never disappoint you.