Regardless of what you do in the music industry, chances are that you’ll be needing a microphone. Now the thing is, there are many different kinds of mics to choose from – contrary to what people think, they come in various shapes and sizes. Luckily, your pal here has spent year buying (and sometimes selling) gear. When buying musical equipment, you’re better off buying from a well-known brand such as Audio-Technica or the Blue Yeti. Both brands offer numerous models and along with other gear that you might find handy.
For this particular blog post, I’ll be providing you a detailed comparison of AT2020 vs. Blue yeti. So let’s just get right to it.
Let’s start by examining the features of both models. First off is the Blue Yeti features:
- Includes 3 capsules and can effectively pick up sound from anywhere
- Various pattern selection to choose from including omnidirectional, bidirectional, cardioid and stereo
- Includes a mute button
- Great mic for recording vocals and musical instruments. The model is quite versatile and can also be used for conference calls and voiceovers
- Is compatible with most Window Devices and Mac OS X
Moving on to the features of Audio Technica’s AT2020:
- Studio condenser mic – offers standard performance and does not disappoint
- Most suitable for studio application hence an excellent choice for professionals
- Offers high SPL handing with a pretty wide dynamic range, making the mic increasingly versatile
- A low mass diaphragm that offers the best transient response
- Features a cardioid polar pattern that is designed to pick up sounds from both the front and the rear
- Mic features black speckles that offer a nice look
Now let’s summarize what we’ve learnt so far. As far as the features are concerned, Blue Yeti is a clear winner. It has multiple polar patterns that capture sound from various angles and is incredibly versatile. Plus, it also features a mute button which is a useful addition. It may only be just one button, but it can be incredibly useful while recording. For instance, it’ll also you to mute when you’re suddenly thirsty and want to gulp down some water. In other words, additional features are always welcome.
Yeti also includes a volume gain knob along with a direct headphone monitoring option. Sadly, the AT2020 does not offer these additional buttons and knobs. This can be a disappointment but to be fair, it’s more of an entry-level product so you can’t really expect it to be too fancy.
However, if you like the overall design AT2020, then you can opt for its upgraded model. The Plus version includes a number of features that helps the product perform better in terms of functionality and design. But you’ll have to deal with the additional cost, though it makes sense to pay extra for the additional features.
Bonus: Check out this guide on how to make money as a musician.
Design and functionality go hand and hand. And no, it’s not just about how good a product looks. Let’s begin with the AT2020 first: at first glance, the mic looks pretty high-end, so you don’t have to worry about the product giving cheap vibes!
I’d say that the build is pretty solid and doesn’t feel flimsy. I’ve had mine for a couple of years, so it’s pretty solid on the inside. It pretty much looks how you’d expect it too, the cast metal is sturdy and thick, some might call it chunky, but I think it’s fine. The capsule is covered by a wire mesh and does a decent job at blocking out unnecessary sound. It also has an external layer that reduces popping noise.
I’m also a fan of the casing which includes a black capsule measuring in 16mm. It’s worth mentioning that the overall size is much smaller than what you’d expect from a standard capsule. What’s important though is that the sound quality is excellent; hence size should not be a major problem.
Moving on to Blue Yeti…
This model also features an arm which you can adjust according to your convenience. I normally move it away so that it doesn’t get in the way of my recording. The overall look of the Blue Yeti is pretty neat and aesthetic. It goes well with most décor, but I’d say it looks better with an all-black or white setting.
Now coming down to how it’s different from its contender, this particular model is much taller and offers a better height. This eliminates the need to bend down while you’re working. While this isn’t a major inconvenience, it can get annoying and will strain your neck if you work for long periods. Our contender (the AT2020) is comparatively much shorter
For the final analysis, it’s clear that Blue Yeti wins this round. It is much more durable and is a lot taller, making it a prime choice for professionals. But I will add that both products are alike in numerous ways and both offer easy setup. All in all, it all depends on what design you prefer the most. As for me, I’d definitely choose the Yeti because of its adjustability and ease.
Performance – it’s the primary reason why you’re buying the mic in the first place. I mean, it won’t matter how great the product looks if it doesn’t do well in terms of performance. Now let’s see who does best here.
Let’s start off with the AT2020, but I think you already know what I’m about to say. The thing is, this particular mic is an entry level mic so you can’t really expect too much from it. Hence, the features, performance and sound outcome are all fairly basic. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re a beginner, you’ll likely do better with this model even without the extra bells and whistles.
So as far as a basic mic is concerned, it performs fairly well because of the exceptional sound quality. Plus, you can also connect the mic to your Mac or Windows device. It’s quite a relief that the gear can work on both operating systems. It’s also fairly easy to install and does not have any tough requirements. (Well, it’s worth mentioning that both models are fairly easy to work with.)
The frequency response is also pretty good, and the sound clarity is also worth raving about. As far as the polar pattern is concerned, the mic uses a cardioid one. This does make the product less versatile, unlike its contender which can be used for recording vocals, musical instruments, podcasts, etc. On the other hand, with a cardioid polar pattern, the mic will only pick up sounds from the front. However, this is great for minimizing noise. I also wouldn’t recommend that you use this model outdoors because it is a condenser microphone.
And for the Blue Yeti…
I’ve already mentioned about that the Blue Yeti features four distinct polar patterns. This is quite a leap forward when compared to its contender. Because of this, the mic is able to offer better functionality, increased versatility, making it a prime choice for top professionals. The following polar patterns are supported:
Ps. if you want to learn more about polar patterns, check out my detailed guide on the best microphones for singing at home.
With so many options to choose from, this model certainly offers more flexibility. Regardless of what you’re recording, you can expect the sound output to be natural without any distortions. I’m also a huge fan of the sound clarity since it really makes the audio worth listening to.
Overall, the Blue Yeti does an excellent job in eliminating weird hissing or booming sounds. However, I’d still recommend you use pop filters to get better control.
So coming down to who wins this round, I think the answer is pretty obvious: the Blue Yeti. I know, I know, it’s not fair since the AT2020 is meant for beginners, but even so, the Yeti does well in almost all other aspects. I also like how it’s more versatile. Overall, it shouldn’t be difficult for anybody to identify which microphone performs better!
I know a lot of people like to act self-righteous when it comes to the cost of things, but the real questions is, why on earth would you want to waste your money anyway? Plus, buying a cheaper product might be the best way to go for you if you’re a beginner and don’t want to spend too much. In fact, if you’re still figuring stuff out, I highly recommend you start off with a cheaper product such as the AT2020.
For the low price, the mic offers pretty good value and is a steal. It is obviously priced lower compared to the Blue Yeti, but that doesn’t make much of a difference. I bought this model at a reduced price, so I’ll also advise you to keep a look out for sales and discounts.
Now you’re probably wondering which model is the winner here. Well, I’m afraid the Yeti takes the prize again. It offers some pretty awesome features despite its reasonable price, plus, I’m a huge fan of how the mic looks.
All in all, the Yeti offers great value for professional folks, and it’s quite convenient to use too. Overall, both mics perform well, it’s just that one of them performs considerably better than the other.
Going Head to Head: AT2020 vs. Blue Yeti
I’ve already discussed both the products in detail, so it’s time we take things head to head now. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each model.
AT2020: Pros and Cons
Let’s start with the pros:
- Amazing sound clarity
- Compatible with most devices, bonus points for working on both Windows and Mac
- Perfect for recording vocals
- Offers better frequency
- More reasonably priced and doesn’t break the bank
- Works well for recording vocals and for some instruments
Moving forward to the cons:
- Not as versatile and only features cardioid polar pattern
- Does not include volume knobs hence you’ll have to adjust the volume using your computer
- You might have to bend while recording
- No headphone jack
Blue Yeti: Pros and Cons
Like always, let’s start off with the pros again:
- Exceptional sound quality each time you use the microphone
- Solid base and overall very sturdy body, minimizes the chances of the mic toppling over
- Offers four distinct polar patterns which is a huge deal, especially when you consider the price
- Professionals can use the mic to record practically anything they want
- Setup is nice and quick
- Incudes a nice cable that will come in handy when you connect the mic to your computer
- Offer a mute button along with other knobs and buttons that makes recording a breeze
Now for the real stuff, here are some cons you should potentially be worried about:
- The product is only compatible with Windows computers. This limits usability, plus you cannot plug the device on a separate USB system
- You’ll have to add a pop filter yourself
- The buttons feel a little flimsy
- Some folks might prefer a smaller mic because of the huge size
Well, in case you’ve only been skimming through this guide, we have a clear winner here: the Blue Yeti. It’s brilliant, it’s affordable, and it will make your life much easier.
But of course, I’d be wrong if I said that the AT2020 is a bad mic. It’s a fairly good choice for beginners and has all the basic features that you need. Plus, it triumphs over its contender in terms of compatibility.