Blue Yeti VS Audio-Technica AT2020 USB Mics Review

Since USB microphones have been introduced, they have made a real revolution among podcasters, gamers, and home music recording studio enthusiasts – and between the Blue Yeti vs AudioTechnica AT2020, you have a choice of two very good mics.

What should you know about USB microphones and why they differ from the regular mics!? Read on with this buyer’s guide to find out the pros and cons of each one of these quality mics.

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The regular mic is an analog device while USB is one that has A/D (analog to digital) converter built-in. Your regular mic is usually used for live performance in front of the audience and of course, for recording in studios. USB microphones are plug and play alternative for recording directly to your computer. That is an extra ability since you don’t need any additional equipment, and by that, we mean, at least, sound card. In this scenario, the sound card plays a role as analog to digital signal converter. Another advantage of USB mics is that no special drivers are necessary for their setup as they use the standard USB audio codec which is a regular part of Windows and Mac OS. The only downside of these mics is that you can’t use more than one at the same time with Windows OS. With a Mac, it takes some time to set it up, but you can get a headache if you are not tech savvy.

We did not accidentally choose Blue Yeti and AT2020 to compare. We can claim that every podcaster, YouTuber, voice actor is very well familiarized with these two outstanding USB mics. Their modern design and ease of use will make you fall in love with this quality, yet affordable mics. In the following lines, we will introduce you to the characteristics of Blue Yeti and Audio Technica At2020 condensers, their recording quality, durability, and additional features.

As a content creator, you must be wondering which one is the best of these two microphones and whether their price justifies their reliability and audio recording quality. Since both are in a different price range, (but not much) the first thing you need to decide is what you need from one of these USB mics. What would be its purpose? Both are great, but there are small differences, primarily in sound quality, and a couple of other not so relevant things which will be explained in the text below.


Blue Yeti Microphone

photograph of a blue yeti microphone

Blue is one of the world’s most popular company when talking about USB mics. The Blue Yeti model is well known as a high quality mic and for the affordable price. It is entirely made of metal, except knobs, and it comes in a couple of color variations: black, silver and white. Its base, or stand if you like, is also made of metal. In one word, it is a really well-built microphone.

The Blue Yeti, on its base, has a USB mini B port for connecting with computer and a headphone jack (3.5mm) which provides you with real-time monitoring. That means that you can hear yourself through headphones while you are speaking. On the front side of the mic there is a headphone knob with which you can adjust the volume of headphones. Above that knob, there is a LED mute button. On the back side there are knobs for gain and polar pattern selection. Gain knob is a pretty normal thing for USB mics but polar pattern selection knob!? Yes, the Blue Yeti has four different polar patterns you can choose depending on for what purpose you need your mic.

Blue Yeti is absolutely compatible with every OS, Win or Mac and their versions. Sound quality is simply outstanding, it can compete with much more expensive analog models. It captures full bandwidth, clear and crisp sound which will satisfy any user. The Blue Yeti is really an exceptional Blue Microphone for any purpose; you can utilize this for professional radio commercial recording, podcasting, gaming, musical instruments recordings, and also for video audio. All ground, all in one mic.

blue yeti vs at2020 photograph
Blue Yeti

Technical Specifications

The Blue Yeti offers four polar patterns forms to choose from:

  • Cardioid the Blue Yeti pickup pattern will capture all of the sounds which are in the front of the mic. This option is excellent for most applications, especially voice recording.
  • Stereo pattern settings mode captures the sound source from the left and the right side while creating a beautiful stereo image. This feature is perfect for recording, for example, acoustic guitar or any other instrument.
  • Omnidirectional recording pattern mode captures sounds from all around. It can be useful for a couple of podcast guest, for example.
  • Bidirectional polar pattern feature provides you with the ability to capture the sound sources from the front and the back of the mic. This feature is just perfect if you have one guest in your podcast show.
  • Microphone type: Condenser
  • Sample Rate: 48 kHz
  • Bit Rate: 16-bit
  • Polar Patterns: Cardioid, Bidirectional, Omnidirectional, Stereo
  • Frequency Response Range : 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Max SPL: 120dB
  • Dimensions (with stand): 120mm X 125mm X 295mm
  • Weight: 550g
  • Compatible with: Mac, Windows operating systems

Blue Yeti FAQs

Does it need a pop filter?

Does any microphone need a pop filter? Basically, no, but it certainly will not hurt you to spend few bucks more for a pop filter for the Blue Yeti. It will, for sure, provide you with better quality recording, and shorten your time spent on post editing.

Does it have XLR?

Do not be confused, regular Blue Yeti does not have a XLR output, while Blue Yeti Pro has. Other things Pro version has are higher sample rate, bit rate, and obviously higher price.

What type of USB cable does the Blue mic need?

If something unpredictable happens to your cable, so it won’t work for that reason, the Blue Yeti works with a standard mini USB to regular USB 2.0 cable which you can buy in any electronics or computer store. It is pretty cheap.

Does it have a mute button?

Yes, there is a mute button on the front with a red LED indicator on the Blue Yeti to let you know if it is enable or not – a pretty useful feature.

To check the price of the Blue Yeti on Amazon, click here


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Audio Technica 2020USB+ Microphone

headphones mic and desk stand photo
Our first impression about the Audio Technica AT2020USB+ is that it is product of high build quality, inexpensive, professional, large diaphragm condenser microphone. We seem to have said everything about it, but there are a lot more details you should know about before you go shopping.

The AT2020 is pretty heavy as condenser microphones go, a really high-quality build and looks simple but strong and is probably the most expensive microphone listed here. It gives you the feeling that you’ve bought something very good even before you plugged it. We love it! The sound quality of the AT2020 is remarkable and amazingly clear. It has, the same as the other two, audio output jack at the back of the mic for headphones. On the front side of the mic, there are two dials/jog wheels. Left jog wheel is for mic/com monitoring control, and the right wheel is for headphones volume control. You can adjust how much of your audio comes from where (microphone or computer) with the left wheel, and how loud your volume is with the right wheel. If you turn the it all the way to “MIC”, you will be able to hear only your mic. If you turn wheel opposite, to “COM” you will be able to hear your computer. Jog wheel positioned in middle will allow you to hear both, and you can adjust how much of which you want to hear. It is not that complicated as it sounds. When comparing the AT2020 vs Yeti, it performs well in terms of sound quality.

The main difference between the two previous microphones and AudioTechnica AT2020 is that it does not have a polar pattern selection. Is this your decisive factor? The most important thing if you are thinking of buying this microphone is whether or not you are a Windows 10 user. The web has a significant number of users who complain that their AT2020 microphone has issues with low volume and some even cannot use it at all with Microsoft win 10. This issue is a big disadvantage for such a great product.

Technical Specifications

The older brother of the At2020, the 2020USB, was discontinued (lacked some features), but now you can find a newer version called 2020USB +.

With its higher SPL than the previous two, AT2020USB+ provides you better handling loud sounds. That number, measured in dBs, tells you how much volume your microphone can handle before start to distort/clip.

  • Microphone type: Condenser
  • Sample Rate: 44.1/48 kHz
  • Bit Rate: 16-bit
  • Polar Pattern: Cardioid
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Max SPL: 142dB
  • Dimensions (with stand): 162mm ; 52mm body diameter
  • Weight: 550g
  • AT2020 is Compatible with: Mac, Windows (7, Vista, XP, 2000) via usb connection

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AT2020 FAQs

Does it need a shock mount?

Nobody’s forcing you to use one with the At2020, but shock mounts reduce the unwanted low-frequency vibrations passing from the floor or table, through the mic stand, and into the mic. You can get it for a reasonable price, so, the main answer would actually be the question: Why not?

Does the AT2020 work with Microsoft Windows 10?

If it’s of any help, the official website of Audio Technica does not say that the AT2020 is compatible with Windows 10. They say:

Compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 and Mac OS X.

Known issues on Windows 10, such as low volume and background noise are just small problems compared to many AT2020USB+ owners who can’t even use their mic at all. Windows 10 just can’t recognize it. This is a significant downside of this excellent sounding microphone although it is not its fault.

To check out the price of the Audio-Technica AT2020 condenser mic on Amazon, click here

Final Thoughts

If you carefully read the text above, you will know exactly which USB mic to choose between the Blue Yeti or AT2020. They look totally different and have a couple of things which distinguish them. For some users, especially those who care about the price, these differences are irrelevant. Doubtless, both microphones will provide you with a superb sound, some less, some more. Consider all the details we mentioned and pay attention to the most important detail; which OS you are using or what OS you plan to use.

If you are a Windows 7 user, you will not have any problem with either of these two, but if you are a Win 10 user, the AT2020 might not be the best option but might be a good buy if you are an Apple Mac Pro user. If you are a Windows 10 user, then Blue Yeti is the number 1 for you.

If you are doing any Podcasting or using a DAW, you should check out my NEW Audacity Basics 20 part video course. Just click here


Frank Edwards

Frank Edwards is the founder and owner of and has over 10 years experience running sound in his local church.

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