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AT2020 vs. AT2035 | THE UPGRADE!

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The AT2020 vs. AT2035. A comparison of two Audio Technica microphones. Grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

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AT2020 vs. AT2035

AT2020 vs. AT2035

What I will bring you in this review

of each microphone

  1. Specifications
  2. Summary
  3. Sound Test (AT2020 only)
  4. Pros
  5. Cons
  6. Video Review
  7. Who this mic benefits?
  8. What you will need?
  9. Consensus/Conclusion
  10. Similarities & Differences
  11. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Audio Technica AT2020 (XLR version)

Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 0.63″ (16mm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 144 dB
  • Output Impedance: 100 Ohms
  • Signal to noise ratio: 20dB
  • Color: Black
  • Connector: XLR
  • Weight: 0.76 lbs.
  • Included Accessories: Stand Mount, Microphone Pouch
  • Manufacturer Part Number: AT2020

Audio Technica AT2020

Audio Technica AT2020

Summary

Reading the reviews on amazon truly left me disappointed. A good majority of the 1-star reviews that the AT2020 received were from people who had no idea what they were getting into prior to purchase. Guys, this isn’t a USB mic. It’s an XLR condenser mic that will only run off of 48v phantom power. Know what you are buying before you buy it! What is XLR?

There are so many good qualities about the 2020, that it’s hard to sum up. It does really well with husky, deep male voices. It’s well built and durable, and comes with a nice carrying pouch giving it an added portability. Really it’s built like a tank, and can take a lot of abuse.

As for it’s sound, it’s extremely sensitive and boasts a flat, neutral response. It also greatly benefits from some EQ’ing. Adding a bit of EQ and compression can really make this mic sound amazing. Know that above all, it is still an entry level mic, but proves to be extremely versatile. You can record just about anything with it, and do it well! More on that a little later.

Check out my sound test!!

with Pop-Filter:

with Pop-Filter under a blanket:

with Pop-Filter, under a blanket, farther away:

Pros

  • Bold and crisp sound. Better with darker sources more so than brighter ones.
  • Extremely Versatile & can handle a wide variety of studio, as well as general applications.
  • Very sensitive, picks up a lot.
  • Very well built and durable. Will last you a long time. Built like tank.
  • Great for small home studios and beginning musicians.
  • Gives a nice flat response that can be EQ’d very easily.

Cons

  • Storage bag is a bit flimsy and doesn’t have any padding according to some.
  • Doesn’t come with XLR cables or shock-mount.

Check out the video review!

Who this mic benefits?

I’ve seen this thing used for nearly everything. As an all around workhorse mic, it does well with:

  • Acoustic instruments
  • overheads
  • amps
  • brass
  • vocals
  • electric guitar
  • drums
  • banjo
  • violin
  • pod-casting
  • spoken word
  • singing
  • you-tube
  • twitch shooter commentary
  • narration
  • skype
  • conference calls

It really is the true definition of a multi purpose tool!

What you will need?

Before you buy this mic, or any mic that is XLR, you will need the following:

  • 48v Phantom power via audio interface, or some sort of mixer.

Here are a few options I recommend

  1. Focusrite Scarlett 2i2. I have this one, and recommend it highly. It’s extremely reliable and will work wonders with the AT2020. You can also upgrade your mic in the future and still use it.  A Great piece of equipment.
  2. Roland Tri Capture. Saw this mentioned by a very reliable source. It comes bundled with the AT2020 AND an XLR cable on amazon as well, so you can’t go wrong.
  3. Behringer Xeynx 802 Mixer. If you’re just starting out, you may not want to spend over $100 on an interface. The 802 comes in handy because it has two XLR mic inputs, so you can record your vocals. It also gets really nice reviews on amazon. Around $50.
  • XLR cables. This was a huge “complaint” from people that didn’t know what they were buying. You will need at least 1 XLR cable to plug from your mic into the front, back, or top of your interface or mixer.
  • Shock-mount. Optional but recommended. If the mic accidentally gets hit or something during recording, this will absorb that shock and won’t alter your vocals or record something you didn’t intend.
  • Pop-filter. Should be a standard purchase with most microphones. This will prevent those plosives from coming through. Plosives are just the S’s, P’s, and other consonants that sound harsh coming out of your mouth at loud volumes. The pop-filter quiets them down. It also prevents spit and other undesirables from entering the microphone and damaging the diaphragm inside.
  • Mic Stand. You can either go with a boom stand, a scissor arm, or a desktop stand. I love the desktop stands convenience, as I don’t have to actually stand up and record (I’m lazy lol). Just make sure you go with what YOU need.

Consensus/Conclusion

The AT2020 is a good starter investment because it comes from a reputable brand with a long line of great mics. It’s also a great workhorse mic that excels with many different applications. It’s well built and durable, and most of the complaints came from people who didn’t know USB from XLR. One negative I came across is that it may sound a tad bright, but not as much as the NT1A. Also make sure you add a bit of EQ and compression before you write it off. The raw vocals may not amaze you.

Onto..

Audio Technica AT 2035

Specifications

  • Microphone Type: Condenser
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Diaphragm Size: 0.96″ (24.3mm)
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Max SPL: 148 dB
  • Output Impedance: 120 Ohms
  • Signal to noise ratio: 82dB
  • Low Cut Filter: 80hz (-12dB/octave)
  • Self Noise: 12dB
  • Pads: -10dB
  • Color: Black
  • Connector: XLR
  • Weight: 0.89 lbs.
  • Included Accessories: Stand Mount, Microphone Pouch
  • Manufacturer Part Number: AT2035
Audio Technica AT2035 large diaphragm cardioid condenser

Audio Technica AT2035 large diaphragm cardioid condenser

Summary

This is a great all around cardioid condenser mic (What is a cardioid capsule?) and proves to be very versatile at an affordable price point. It’s a work horse and will be your go to for many different studio applications. It comes in at a nice value, boasts really impressive sound, and has a solid and heavy build.

Not many microphones come packaged with more than a case these days, so the fact that this one has an XLR cable, shock mount & pop filter at a great price makes it incredibly valuable to me. The quality of the shock-mount and cable is excellent. However, the pop filter has gotten numerous complaints, so you would be better off purchasing one separate if it does indeed give you problems.

Someone in the comments section of another post asked me to recommend one, So I will: I have used the Samson PS01 in conjunction with my Samson C01 for about 8 years. A great buy! The snake arm is extremely flexible and the filter feels nice and heavy. A real durable piece of equipment!!

Sound

This is really where this mic shines. It is very neutral sounding, and will not color your recording in any way, but remains crystal clear and full bodied. It is also very sensitive, which can be a good and bad thing. It will become a bad thing if you aren’t recording properly in the right environment. Check out my post on Acoustic Sound Treatment for some tips and ideas on how to get the best sound from your mic!

This mic is fairly transparent, with a touch of warmth and will catch subtle nuances in your voice. Some are calling it the best Large diaphragm condenser microphone in this price range, and claim that it can compete with other mics in the $300 price range.

“As for the sound quality, it is PHENOMENAL. Every syllable comes out clearly, and distinctly. Subtle nuances in tone that some lesser mics tend leave out are crystal clear, and, best of all, it can handle high vocals without peaking as easily like my other microphones did. I managed to go to ear piercingly high pitches, and still managed to keep it from peaking.”

-amazon reviewer

Recording Instruments

This mic also does well in recording guitar, drums, and piano, and even saxophone. The piano in particular is very demanding. It’s frequency range covers the entire audible spectrum, and it has a very wide dynamic range. The AT 2035’s ability to provide a balanced sound across the spectrum with ease makes it invaluable. Other reviewers have been impressed with it’s ability to handle/record pretty much anything you throw at it, and also do it well. Just be aware that it may need EQ for bass heavy instruments because of it’s warm tone.

Pros

  • Extremely versatile workhorse mic.
  • Very neutral and balanced sounding.
  • Comes packaged with stuffs you need.
  • Very strong and durable.
  • Crystal clear, can handle high vocals without peaking or distortion.
  • Comes with low cut filter and 10dB pad switches for added flexibility.

Cons

  • Switches are a bit hard to turn on and off.
  • Provided pop filter isn’t the greatest. The one bundled is much better. Link at the bottom!
  • May be a bit sibilant. What does sibilant mean?

Check out the review!

Who this mic benefits?

Pretty much everyone.. I have come across rave reviews for all of the following:

  • Rappers
  • Singers
  • Pod-casters
  • Live Streaming
  • Instruments

What you will need?

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

This is an XLR mic, so you will need the following:

  • XLR cable (one is provided in the package!)
  • 48v phantom power (check out my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 review!)
  • Fortunately for you, the mic stand, pop filter, XLR cables, and shock-mount are all included!

What is the difference between a USB microphone and an XLR microphone?

Consensus/Conclusion

This is a very valuable and versatile mic at a great price, and includes 3 extra accessories that most other mics do not provide. I have reviewed a bunch of different microphones in other articles, and none of them provide an XLR cable. A lot of times that is such an inconvenience to me because then I have to go hunting for one and as you know, there are a million to choose from.

The shock mount that comes with this set has been generally favored. The Pop filter however has been the weak link here. You will want to invest in a better one.

The biggest selling point is that it can handle a wide variety of different applications, from rap vocals, to singing, to pod casting, to live streaming, as well as a ton of different instruments. And it does all of this near flawlessly, as most reviewers have pointed out. It is very warm, but neutral, and handles highs without peaking at all.

One reviewer said that he turned his gain down to 50% and could still record very loud with great results.

Similarities & Differences

Similarities

  • Look/feel/color/size. They pretty much look like identical microphones at first glance.
  • Both are very versatile.

Differences

  • Price. The 2035 is about $50 more than the 2020.
  • The AT2020 doesn’t come with XLR cables or a shock-mount, while the 2035 comes with both plus a pop filter.
  • It seems as though the 2035 has a better carrying case.
  • The AT2020 doesn’t have any on-board switches, filters, or pads. The 2035 has the low cut filter (to reduce or eliminate low end rumbling), and 10dB pad which we discussed earlier.
  • The AT2035 is said to have less noise/hiss. The electronics inside have been upgraded to reduce said noise.
  • The diaphragm size of the 2035 is a bit larger than the 2020. 0.96″ compared to 0.63″.
  • Sound pressure levels are slightly different. AT2035 has an SPL of 148dB compared to the 144dB of the 2020. This basically just means you can sing/scream/talk louder into the 2035 without distortion, as well as record louder instruments coming from a guitar amp.
  • The 2035 is a bit heavier than the 2020.
  • The AT2020 is slightly less sensitive, so you won’t have to worry about room noise as much. However, an investment in either mic does warrant some Acoustic Sound Treatment like we discussed earlier.
  • The AT2035 has a bit of a smoother high end.

Final Word

By this point, it should be pretty clear that the AT2035 is a nice upgrade from the AT2020. If you have the wiggle room to spend the extra $50 on the 2035, I say go for it. You get a little more flexibility in the form of some on-board switches, less noise, a heavier piece, higher SPL, and the added bonus of XLR cables, shock-mount,  Mic Stand, and Pop filter (bundled version) for the same price. Note: the bundle without the mic stand has over 125 reviews, and with the mic stand only 11. I’ve read both sets of reviews.

SEE THE BUNDLED AT2035 FOR YOURSELF ON AMAZON!!


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the AT2020 vs. AT2035..

Questions? Comments? Requests? Did I miss the mark on something? Please let me know down below or Contact me!!

Do you agree that the AT2035 is the clear upgrade and worth the price? I would love to hear from you. Until next time..

All the best and God bless,

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[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

 

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