Audio Technica AT2020USB+ Microphone Review / Test

Today I am reviewing Audio Technica AT2020USB+. This mic is not to be confused with the XLR Version (AT2020) or the prior iteration (AT2020USB). I do also want to note that this microphone is listed as compatible with Windows & Mac machines.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $150 on Amazon

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. USB Cable
  3. Mic Mount
  4. Desktop Mic Stand
  5. 5/8" to 3/8" Mic Stand Adapter
  6. Padded Carrying Pouch
  7. Documentation
  8. 1-Year Warranty

Performance / Features

The build quality on this microphone feels pretty nice. It has an all metal body, a metal grill, and some substantial weight to it. On the front of the microphone there is a blue LED light to indicate when the microphone is connected to the computer and receiving sufficient power. Directly beneath this are two new dials that were non existent on the prior model. The first dial controls the mix between the microphones audio and the computers audio. This will allow you to hear 100% of the mics zero latency monitoring, 100% of the computers audio output from your DAW, or any mix in between. The second dial is a simple headphone volume control. On the back of there is a single 3.5mm headphone port that allows you to plug in your headphones.

The built in audio interface offers a 16-bit bit depth and a sampling rate of 44.1/48kHz. When I tested the noise generated by the microphone, I didn't start to hear excessive noise until I got around 60% on my computer. Everything below that seemed to be fairly workable. 

The frequency response of this mic is listed as 20Hz - 20kHz and it sounded great to me. I did not notice any frequencies missing or sticking out which is always a good thing. Due to the nice response, I thought that the electric guitar, acoustic guitar, and voice all sounded very nice and full on this mic. I do want to point out that the 2020USB+ also improved it's frequency response compared to the 2020USB. The prior version only had a freq response of 20Hz - 16kHz. 

The polar pattern of this microphone is cardioid, but it seems a bit wider than most other cardioid mics I tested out. It picked up my voice fairly well all around the microphone and when I typed on my keyboard it picked up quite a bit of clicking. 

Pros

  • Nice build quality
  • Good sound
  • Full frequency response
  • Plug and play
  • Zero latency monitoring

Cons

  • No microphone gain control
  • Wide cardioid polar pattern

Conclusion

Overall, I think this microphone sounds great. It has a nice full frequency response and it performed very well on the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and voice. The polar pattern is a bit wider than I would prefer and that is why I placed this in the cons section, however, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The wide polar pattern just requires you have a room that is treated (if you don't want reverb), or it means you should want some reverb in your recordings.

Because of the polar pattern, I don't think this is a good option for gamers because it will most likely pick up a lot of keyboard noise and mouse clicking. This seems to be designed for musicians who are looking to demo out music, or podcasters who do have the ability to record in a treated room.

If you have any additional questions about this microphone, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy the AT2020USB+
US: http://amzn.to/29wWjy0
UK: http://amzn.to/29r5cXJ

Audio-Technica ATR2500-USB Mic Review / Test

Today I reviewed another USB microphone from Audio Technica. This time, the ATR-2500 USB Condenser Microphone. This is part of the ATR series, which Audio Technica describes their affordable line of microphones. But that clearly does not translate into poor quality when it comes to audio.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $75 on Amazon.

What's In the Box

  1. Microphone
  2. USB Cable
  3. Microphone Mount
  4. Table Top Stand
  5. Documentation
  6. Life Time Warranty

Performance / Features

The build quality of the microphone is nice for about 90%. The remaining 10% feels like cheap plastic. The microphone stand is cheap and does not feel sturdy enough to hold the microphone stand, and the microphone mount provide no shock absorption.

The specs sheet says that this microphone provides 30Hz - 15kHz, which does not look like the best, but when listening to the microphone, I think it sounds perfectly fine. It seems like they made up for the lack of high frequencies through clever EQ of the microphone.

The microphone has a cardioid polar pattern, which is fairly directional. When testing it out, it seems like the pick up pattern is about 180-degrees. So anything in front of the mic it will pick up, and anything behind it, it will only pick up low frequencies of. When testing this out on the keyboard test, we heard a LOT more of my voice versus the keyboard, but you could still hear a bit of clicking in the background. During the distance test, we heard a bit of a drop off in volume as the distance increased, but it was not as drastic as a dynamic microphone. 

Pros

  • Nice sound
  • Good build quality
  • Provides EVERYTHING you need to record
  • Decent sound isolation

Cons

  • Horrible Microphone Mount
  • USB Microphone

Conclusion

All things considered, I think that this is a fairly nice microphone. The acoustic guitar and voice sounded really nice through this microphone, and the electric guitar sounded great as well. There was a bit of background noise picked up when typing on a keyboard. I think if you buy this microphone your best bet would be to invest a few extra bucks on a shock mount, a pop filter, and a proper microphone stand and then you would be good to go.

I would recommend this mainly for podcasters or musicians who will be controlling the recording environment a little more than a live streamer would. With proper attention paid to the location of the microphone and the audio treatment in the room, this will be a microphone that you could use for podcasts or youtube covers for years to come.

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Buy it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Thnc8P

Audio-Technica AT2020 Cardioid Condenser Mic Review / Test

Today I am testing out a microphone that I was incredibly excited to get my hands on. The Audio Technica AT-2020. This whole series of microphones is supposed to be great, and my first impression is good.

As per usual, I do need to include a disclaimer that this is an XLR Condenser microphone. That means that you need a proper audio interface for your computer, and you need proper phantom power (+48v) for this microphone to function properly.

If you are interested in this microphone, it will set you back $99 on Amazon.

What's In the Box 

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Mount
  3. 5/8 to 3/8” microphone stand mount
  4. Padded Mic Pouch
  5. Documentation

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone is excellent. It has an all metal body and metal grill and has some nice weight to it. The mic mount is a nice sturdy metal, and the microphone storage pouch is very nicely padded for protection.

The frequency response is 20Hz-20kHz, which is everything you will need out of a microphone. I think that the acoustic guitar sounds very nice and clean. Vocals sound crisp on this microphone. Electric guitar sounds nice as well. I think it does extremely well in the low end by picking up those frequencies while controlling them and avoiding an overly boomy sound.

The microphone has a cardioid polar pattern, which is fairly directional. When testing it out, it seems like the pick up pattern is about 180-degrees. So anything in front of the mic it will pick up, and anything behind it, it should cancel out. When testing this out on the keyboard test, we heard a LOT more of my voice versus the keyboard, but you could still hear a bit of clicking in the background. During the distance test, we heard a bit of a drop off in volume as the distance increased, but it was not as drastic as a dynamic microphone. 

Pros

  • Great sound
  • Nice build quality
  • Full frequency response
  • Not overly boomy in the low end

Cons

  • Not great with sound isolation

Conclusion

So all around, I think that this is a great microphone and I found it very difficult to find any negatives for this microphone. 

I would not recommend this microphone to someone who is not concerned with getting high quality audio, or willing to invest in a proper Audio Interface. If you are just doing voice overs for gaming videos and are on a budget, this is not a microphone for you. If you're starting a little home studio, and want to record higher quality audio, this is a great starter mic. 

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Audio Technica AT2020: http://amzn.to/1ScCehb
Behringer UM2: http://amzn.to/1WYlPMI  

Audio Technica ATR2100-USB Mic Review / Test

Today I'm testing out maybe my favorite USB microphone that I have tested out to date. The Audio Technica ATR2100-USB

The reason I like this microphone so much is because of a very special attribute...it has a USB plug as well as an XLR plug! That means that you can use this microphone to record directly on to your computer, then take it down to your bowling alley and use it on the PA to sing some Lynyrd Skynard Karaoke. In all seriousness, this is an AMAZING feature because it allows you to grow and upgrade to an audio interface with a better preamp and more control over your microphones sound.

What's In the Box 

  1. Microphone
  2. Microphone Clip
  3. Microphone Stand
  4. USB Cable
  5. XLR to XLR Cable
  6. Documentation

Performance / Features

The build quality of this microphone feels decent. It has a metal body, but the grill feels like it's plastic, or at least it is metal that is coated in plastic. There is an LED light on the front to indicate the microphone is plugged into the USB port and is receiving power, and directly below that there is an on/off switch that feels somewhat flimsy.

On the bottom of the microphone we have a USB port to connect the microphone to your computer. There is a headphone jack to allow for latency free monitoring and audio playback when it the microphone is connected to your computer through the USB cable. There is a headphone volume control. And lastly there is an XLR plug which allows you to plug your microphone into an amplifier, mixer, or preamp.

(note: the headphone jack does not work when the microphone is only plugged in using an XLR cable. It also does not work if you are connected to an XLR cable and the usb cable is plugged into a charger. However, it does work if you have the XLR cable plugged in and the USB cable plugged into your computer).

The mic has a Cardioid Polar Pattern, and it is decent at cancelling background noise. When I was typing on the keyboard it did pick up a bit of noise in the background. So it is not the best at cancelling out noise, but it still sounds pretty good!

The frequency response is 50Hz - 15kHz which is plenty for a starting podcaster or voice over artist. Voice sounds incredibly crisp and clear through this microphone and acoustic guitar sounds full and wide as well. I think it does fall a little flat when recording electric guitar though.

Pros

  • USB Microphone & XLR Microphone (allows room to expand and grow)
  • Nice build quality
  • Good sound
  • Latency free monitoring (in USB Mode)
  • Decent at noise cancellation

Cons

  • No microphone gain control

Conclusion

This is hands down my favorite USB microphone that I have tested out yet. This is because of the microphones versatility. It provides great sound through the USB function, and it still allows you to grow and get better microphone preamps, or even use the microphone in a live situation. With that being said, I wish I could recommend this to everyone who is just starting out as solo podcaster or anything. It's an amazing product and I'm glad that I finally got around to testing it out.

If you have any additional questions about this headset, leave them in the comments on this site or on the youtube channel, and I will try to reply ASAP. 

Audio Technica ATR2100-USB: http://amzn.to/1nSfAy5