AT2020 vs. Blue Yeti | BEST MIC REVEALED!

Updated 12/27/18

2,258-word post, approx. 5-6 min. read

Hi friend and Welcome!

Today I’m going to be sprinting at you like a runner with my AT2020 vs. Blue Yeti comparison review! Both of these mics compete heavily with each other but are very different when you really get down to it. I will dissect and pick apart each so that you may be able to discern which is better for you!

This will be quite a comprehensive comparison.. so sit back, relax, and grab some popcorn too. If you crave information, not only are you a smart person, but you’ve come to the right place!!

Now without further ado,

What I will bring you in this review

Of each microphone:

  1. Specifications/Price
  2. Summary
  3. Value
  4. Sound
  5. Build Quality
  6. Pros/Cons
  7. Who this mic benefits?
  8. What you will need?
  9. Consensus/Conclusion
  10. Similarities/Differences between both
  11. Final Word

Let’s get started!

For the purposes of this review, I will be comparing both of the USB models.

Audio Technica AT2020 USB (Old Model)


  • Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check eBay!
  • Microphone Type: Condenser. Condenser mic vs. Dynamic mic.
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid. What is a Cardioid Capsule?
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-16kHz
  • Bit Depth: 16
  • Sample Rate: 44,000 kHz. Bit depth vs. Sample rate.
  • Color: Black
  • Connector: USB
  • Weight: 13.2 oz (374g)
  • Included Accessories: Pivoting stand mount for 5/8″- 27 threaded stands, 5/8″- 27 to 3/8″- 16 threaded adapter, soft protective pouch; tripod desk stand; 10′ (3.1 m) USB Cable
  • Manufacturer Part Number: AT2020


In my research, I’ve found that people just tend to get really excited about this baby. It’s well suited for a plethora of different applications, including pretty much any voice-over instance you can think of.

Some say it gives off XLR quality even being a USB mic and goes well with your iPad, adobe audition, garage band, audacity, and even your Playstation 4. The difference between a USB microphone and an XLR microphone. It’s also so easy to use that even your grandma could hook it up. You plug the USB into the port and BAM! You’re done. Your mac or PC will recognize it instantaneously, as well as your PS4.

I’ve also read a ton of reviews from people that have had this for upwards of 6 years. It’s a great long-term investment and even has a lifetime warranty. Speaking of…


Doesn’t get much better. As mentioned above, there are reviewers that have had this thing for 2 to 6 years and it still works like a charm.


It delivers XLR quality results that you typically would get if you had an audio interface and XLR cables. What is XLR? Many people commented on just how pristine the sound is. It’s also really easy to EQ with and works well with a variety of different programs such as Audacity, Adobe Audition, and Garage band. I have heard it doesn’t work with Pro Tools, so be wary of this.

The remarkable thing about this mic is that it does well with not only voice-over applications, but vocals as well as instrument recording. I’ve heard it endorsed for acoustic guitar, violin, vocals, video games (gameplay audio), youtube, interviews, streaming, webinars, etc. It has a rich full sound, and your vocals will come out crystal clear.

“Do I make myself clear, Mr. Bender? Crystalll.”

What you will frequently encounter is other people, friends, fans, etc. commenting on the amazing sound that comes out of this puppy. Be aware though that it is very sensitive, and could pick up a wee baby crapping his diaper 2 houses down. Lol. If you don’t have a soundproofed room, turn the gain down some. It should really help out.

Build Quality

It’s a durable and heavy piece and can withstand a ton of abuse. Just goes to show how solid metal can contribute to the longevity of this monster. It pretty much functions like your standard-issue barbell. Haha just kidding, but really I’m not.

I’ve read about people dropping this thing, kicking it (not on purpose), and what have you. Still holds up. If you enjoy abusing microphones, this may be the one for you. 🙂

Check out this informative review!!


  • Plug and play, doesn’t get any easier.
  • Your CPU will recognize it immediately.
  • Does well with a variety of programs including audacity, adobe audition, garage band, your PS4, and your iPad.
  • Works with Mac and PC.
  • Called the best mic for gameplay audio.
  • Good with a variety of studio and in-home applications such as guitar, violin, ukulele, video games, voice over, you-tube, interviews, podcasts, tutorials, Skype, etc.
  • USB mic that delivers XLR quality recording.
  • Durable and heavy.
  • Comes with a nice zipper pouch.
  • Lasts a long time. So many reviews were people who have had it anywhere from 2-6 years.
  • Easy as pie to EQ with.
  • Amazing, crystal clear, rich sound.
  • Portable, you can take it anywhere.


  • The stand/tripod that comes with the AT2020 is awful. Nearly every review pointed this out. As a separate stand, I would recommend the DS7200B.
  • There isn’t a headphone jack built into the mic. This means there will be a delay in your voice when recording live.
  • Low audio complaints about users on Windows 8, 8.1, and 10. The issue maybe with a specific port on your PC. Try using different ports first to remedy the problem.
  • If you change locations of the mic, i.e. different rooms, or different places in one room, the mic may give you driver installation errors.
  • Very sensitive and picks up a lot of noise, keyboard clicks, etc. Can emit some echo. Make sure you treat the room or use some acoustic studio foam around the mic to block out some of that noise. Turning down the gain also helps.
  • has limited settings and features.

Who this mic benefits?

Napoleon Dynamite says that this mic benefits everyone… Wait he’s right here and has something to say: “Yeah, it’s pretty much my favorite mic ever” Lol, really though it’s great for everything from voice-over, to vocals, to instruments. A jack of all trades.

What you will need?

  • A better stand, as alluded to above.
  • A pop filter. I do recommend the Samson PS01, as I’ve had it since 2007. The one that is frequently bought with the DS7200B mic stand (above) also works fine.
  • shock-mount is optional but recommended.
  • Acoustic Sound Treatment. Because cardioid condensers tend to pick up a lot of background/ambient noise, you will want to invest in the proper treatment. Bass traps and acoustic foam shields go a long way to start out. You could also opt to line the walls with old comforters or thick blankets. Some even go so far as to record themselves underneath a blanket! Anything to deaden the sound helps tremendously.


Amazing sound quality and super easy to set up and use. Does well in a variety of situations, and is built to last. The tripod stand however is terrible, and you will need to invest in a new one should you purchase this mic.

Blue Yeti


  • Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check eBay!
  • Microphone Type: Condenser.
  • Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Omni, Stereo, and Bi-directional.
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Max SPL: 120dB SPL. What is SPL?
  • Signal to noise ratio: 100dB
  • Colors: Silver, Platinum, Blackout, Whiteout, Cool Grey
  • Connector: USB.
  • Weight: 1.2 lb. 2.2 with stand.
  • Impedance: 16 Ohm
  • Sample Rate: 48 kHz. Bit depth vs. sample rate


This is a really popular mic, and for good reason. Standing about a foot tall on your desk, it’s got a great sound, is really solid, reliable, and most importantly it’s convenient. By nearly all accounts, the Blue Yeti is the AT2020’s biggest competitor.

The Yeti however is different in a lot of ways.


At its price, it’s a quality investment due to its performance and convenience. Being that it’s USB, you won’t have to tinker around with extraneous gear. Some folks get scared off from USB setups because they seem cheap and easy, but not satisfying. What you’re getting here is a versatile piece of equipment with great sound quality. Speaking of,


Called exceptional, this mic handles a variety of applications very well. I’ve seen it endorsed mostly for Skype, conference calls, pod-casting, you-tube, and anything that requires voice-over. You may not want to pick this up as your primary vocal mic, but it has been known to handle that as well.

Build Quality

It has a very nice build, is made of metal, and feels solid in your hand 🙂 Some have complained that it leaves a rather large footprint on your desk, because of the fact that it stands about a foot tall. It can also detach from its stand and fitted to a separate stand for added versatility.

Check out the review!!


  • The sound quality is exceptional.
  • Solid build (made of metal) and a great mic stand that comes with it.
  • Convenient, just plug and play.
  • Recognized by all windows platforms.
  • Has a mute button. Simple knobs and design.
  • Good USB cable provided.
  • Versatile. you can record almost anything in any type of circumstance.
  • 4 different polar patterns for amazing versatility.
  • Gain control and a headphone jack with zero-latency monitoring. What is latency?


  • Needs to be plugged directly into a USB port on your laptop/computer. Some say it doesn’t do well plugged into a separate USB hub.
  • The mic does not actually have a switch to turn it off.
  • Extremely sensitive and picks up everything (this can be a good and bad thing). Acoustic Sound Treatment never hurts!

Who benefits from this mic?

  • People who do video conferencing
  • Pod-casters, people who need to do voice over
  • People who want to Skype
  • People who need to record for videos or animations

What you will need?

Really the only thing you need is the windscreen as far as accessories go.


So many people rave about its sound quality, build, convenience, and versatility. It’s really an all-purpose mic that is super easy to use. Complaints include size (a bit large), and you can’t include a standard pop filter unless you Jerry rig it. People were also saying it’s hyper-sensitive, but recording in the right environment greatly helps.


This is one of the best options you can go with if you’re looking to record with Skype, doing any pod-casting, you-tube videos, video conferencing, and anything similar. I wouldn’t recommend it much for vocals, although it can be done. The 4 different polar patterns, its rugged build, and remarkable versatility makes it a valuable option.

Similarities & Differences


  • Both connect to your PC via USB.
  • Both do well with voice-over-type stuff.
  • Both are extremely solid and durable and have a similar build quality.


  • Functionality. The Blue Yeti comes with its own stand, but can also be detached and used with a separate stand. The AT2020 comes with a useless tripod stand that needs to be upgraded.
  • Size and color. The AT2020 is significantly smaller than the Yeti and is black while the Yeti is silver.
  • Features. The Yeti has onboard controls and more features. It has a mute button, gain sensitivity, headphone input, and 4 different recording modes.
  • Aesthetic. The AT2020 has a blue LED that shines through the grill. The Yeti has a red light, and it remains solid red when active and flashes red while not active.
  • Sound. The Yeti sounds a bit brighter and crisper, while the AT2020 sounds warmer.
  • Delay. There is a delay in The AT2020 in real-time due to there being no headphone jack on the mic itself. The Yeti doesn’t have this issue because it has its own headphone jack. One thing to note: The AT2020 plus (an upgraded version) has this feature, and maybe the solution to your dilemma if you were planning to go with the 2020.
  • Versatility. The AT2020 does well with not only voice-over but instruments and vocals as well. The Yeti is really only suited for voice-over applications.
  • Overall. Across the board, many people raved about the 2020 over the Blue Yeti, even in reviews that had nothing to do with the Yeti. It’s safe to say that the sound quality from the 2020 is better, and should be at a higher price point.
  • Protection. The Yeti uses a windscreen, while the 2020 utilizes a traditional pop filter.

Check out the in-depth comparison!

Final Word

It’s a close call here, but overall I feel like the Blue Yeti is the better all-around microphone. Some say that the 2020’s sound edges it slightly, but that may be a matter of taste. I would say the 2020’s sound is a little warmer and has a radio broadcast type of sound, while the Yeti is brighter, crisper, and more detailed. I love the raw sound of the Yeti, but it does pick up more room sound than the AT2020. The Yeti has a sense of clarity but isn’t harsh or sibilant. What does sibilant mean?

I would also call the Yeti the best USB microphone on the market. It’s really the all-in-one solution and proves extremely versatile and flexible. Interested in a more detailed and thorough review? Check out my:


Well, that’s about it for today my friend! I hope you’ve enjoyed my comparison review of the AT2020 vs. Blue Yeti, and have come away with some knowledge and perspective on which may suit your needs better.

Speaking of, which of these sounds more useful to you? Which to you seems more valuable?

Let me know down below!! If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I look forward to speaking with you…

All the best and God bless,





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



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