ReviewsAudio-Technica AT2020USB+ review (2023) a USB condenser mic

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ review (2023) a USB condenser mic

The Audio Technica AT2020USB+ is a great USB condenser microphone.


Features and performance
Sound quality


The Audio-Technica AT2020 is certainly a workhorse among studio microphones, even if it is intended more for vocal recording. In that respect, it's actually a popular choice for live streamers and voiceover artists on a budget. Largely because of the way the AT2020 handles bass, some sound engineers will either love or hate this mic.

When it comes to low-cost microphones, we’ve seen a lot of “less is more” designs. Companies are taking out features and making design changes so that their mics can still sound good and cost less. Audio-Technica, which is no slouch when it comes to microphones, goes against the grain by making a good mic for under $100 without taking away all the features you might want. The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ has taken the place of the now-discontinued AT2020USB. It costs less than $70, which puts it on the higher end of the price range for budget gaming microphones. It is a cardioid microphone that works well for streaming, podcasting, and regular use at work or in Discord.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+: Description

It can be confusing because AT makes a few microphones with the name “AT2020.” These include the AT2020 USB X, which costs $150, and the AT2020 XLR, which costs $100. Unlike the cheap USB microphone, this one is made of metal and can take a beating. You don’t have to worry about the AT2020+ if you travel a lot. It does come with a convenient travel pouch, which is a nice touch that makes it feel high-end every time you pull it out.

The mic is easy to use on its own. It just needs to be plugged in and turned on. You don’t have to install any software, so you can start recording pretty quickly. There is even a volume and mix control for the headphones, which is something you won’t find on many products under $100. For example, the Razer Seiren Mini, which is my favorite cheap mic, doesn’t have any extra features. During a live stream, it’s always helpful to be able to check and adjust your mic levels without having to use third-party software. But we don’t understand why Audio-Technica chose these controls instead of a mute button or volume controls.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+: Pros and Cons


  • Close to the best USB mic we’ve heard
  • Handy lag-free monitoring
  • Versatile
  • Clear, clean audio


  • A few odd and dated design choices
  • Pop filter and shock mount require separate purchase
  • Not quite up to the Beyerdynamic’s sound quality
  • Picks up keyboard clicks

Specification Table

Microphone TypeCondenser (Cardioid)
Frequency Response20Hz – 20kHz
Bit Depth16-bit
Sample Rate44.1kHz/48kHz
TransducerFixed-charge back plate, permanently polarized condenser
Output ConnectorUSB Type B
Headphone OutputYes, with volume control
ControlsMix control (blends microphone and pre-recorded audio)
MonitoringDirect monitoring (zero-latency monitoring)
Power RequirementsUSB bus-powered
Weight386g (13.6 oz)
Dimensions (L x D x H)162.0mm x 52.0mm x 52.0mm (6.38″ x 2.05″ x 2.05″)
Included AccessoriesPivoting stand mount, tripod desk stand, USB cable, storage pouch
CompatibilityWindows, Mac OS
Official linkVisit Website

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+: Design

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ review

Like most USB mics that come into our office, this one from Audio-Technica looks more like a studio tool than a gaming accessory. We couldn’t be happier about that, to be honest. When we’re recording, the last thing we want is for a confusing array of RGB lights to distract us from what we were about to say or play. The desktop stand looks like a tripod, like the kind you’d use with an AKG D112 kick drum mic. It might look a little bit flimsy, but the locking tripod arms make it stable, so you don’t have to worry about the mic falling while you’re recording your WWE podcast.

Due to the number of hinges and screws, it’s a little hard to adjust and balance. We prefer the simpler options from Razer and Beyerdynamic, where the base stand is just a big piece of metal. Gain and volume controls, as well as a headphone monitoring input and a monitoring level adjuster, are all on the USB microphone itself. They are all controlled by thumb wheels in the middle of the microphone. The AT2020USB+ has a small blue led that lights up when it gets power from USB.

The USB connector is at the very bottom of the device. There is also an adapter for boom arms and a leather carrying case with a lot of padding that looks “pro.” If you bring it up while someone is reading Sound On Sound, they will look at it like a moth to a flame. It’s about the same size as other mics we’ve tested recently, like the Beyerdynamic Fox. It’s small enough to fit between your keyboard and monitor in a gaming setup, and the tripod lets it sit close to a speaker cabinet for music recording.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+: Features and Performance

The Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ microphone has a backplate with a fixed charge and a condenser that is always polarized. This gives it a 120-degree cardioid polar pattern. This can record audio from 20Hz to 20kHz at 16-bit and 44.1/48kHz. All of that is pretty standard, but because Audio-Technica is a brand that specializes in studio recording, the end result is of great quality thanks to their experience. To be clear, this is great for the price, and there are mics that sound better, but for most uses, even professional ones, this is more than good enough.

The 3.5mm headphone output is useful for hearing how you sound without any delay. The monitor control is also helpful. With a simple slide of the wheel on the mic, you can hear more of yourself or more of the sound you’re recording over. It might sound simple, but it’s very useful if you often record tracks on top of each other. To get the most out of the final product, you will need some of the best audio editing software. But this is easy to set up for video chat on platforms like Zoom, and people on the other end will appreciate how clear you sound compared to a standard built-in mic.

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+: Sound Quality

Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ review

AT2020USB makes sound that is clear and sharp Compared to several other models in the same price range, it is the best. The mic’s frequency response is steady, which makes it better for music. This is the best curve on a USB mic you will ever see. Other microphones, like the Yeti USB, use cheaper capsules that make the sound harsher, especially in the higher frequencies. Due to digital sampling, these flaws tend to be even easier to hear.

On a side note, the USB interface itself has a limited capacity, which tends to slow down the upper high end of the spectrum. So, if the same capsule is used in the XLR version of the AT2020, the response may be sharper. Again, this isn’t much of a problem for normal use. we will say again that it does a great job with the vocal and instrument range.

The body of the AT2020USB seems to be made of tough metal to make it last, and it does seem to be able to handle a lot of abuse. It can’t break, and a rigid grid is there to protect the capsule. It has a square USB connector from the old days that is often found on printers. we think it’s better than mini-USB, which can break and bend. The package comes with a 10-foot USB cable, which you can easily find elsewhere if you need to. The set also comes with a tripod. Unfortunately, the tripod is too short and shaky, and the microphone makes it even worse trash, but this is the only negative. You can change it out with the shock mount you like best.

Final Words

There aren’t many things wrong with this. Audio-Technica’s AT2020USB+ is good for streaming and podcasting. It is made with the same quality and durability as its studio mics, and it has a USB interface and tripod stand that make it easy to set up for streaming. If you often stream or record podcasts with a partner, a microphone with a bidirectional polar pattern, like HyperX’s Quadcast, might be better. However, this model is a dream for solo recording.

If you listen carefully to the recordings, you can hear that the low end isn’t as powerful and chunky as it is on our current favorite headphones, the Fox from Beyerdynamic. But what the AT2020USB+ is missing in overall tone, it makes up for in the clarity and headroom of its headphone monitoring. This is a strong contender for anyone who wants to use their USB mic for more than just the occasional stream.


What mic is better than Audio-Technica AT2020?

Even though the two mics are very similar, the AT2035 from Audio-Technica has more features than the AT2020. The AT2035 is better because it has a higher Max Sound Pressure Level, less self-noise, a pad switch, and better accessories.

What is the frequency response of the Audio-Technica AT2020USB+?

The Audio-Technica AT2020 can reproduce all frequencies from 20 to 20,000 Hz, but for a $99 mic, it has a lot of color. It has a cut in the lows that starts around 50 Hz and is most noticeable around 70 Hz and goes all the way up to 300 Hz.

Amy Hinckley
Amy Hinckley
The Dell Inspiron 15 that her father purchased from QVC sparked the beginning of her interest in technology. At Bollyinside, Amy Hinckley is in charge of content editing and reviewing products. Amy's interests outside of working include going for bike rides, playing video games, and watching football when she's not at her laptop.
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The Audio-Technica AT2020 is certainly a workhorse among studio microphones, even if it is intended more for vocal recording. In that respect, it's actually a popular choice for live streamers and voiceover artists on a budget. Largely because of the way the AT2020 handles bass, some sound engineers will either love or hate this mic.Audio-Technica AT2020USB+ review (2023) a USB condenser mic